10 Surf Spots in South Africa You Have to See in Your Lifetime
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Rich natural beauty, vibrant diversity, and fascinating cultures are just a few of the things that make South Africa special.
With over 1,600 miles (2,500km) of coastline facing both the cold and restless Atlantic, as well as the tropical Indian Ocean, South Africa is a surfing mecca. There are simply so many surf spots worth exploring that one visit is hardly enough. The numerous world-class have the world’s best surfers coming back year after year.
Located in the path of the Roaring Forties, it’s one of the world’s most consistent surfing destinations. However, it’s the winter months that bring epic conditions.
Regardless of your surfing experience, whether you’re a beginner or pro, the country certainly deserves a place high on your bucket list. Plus, the many surf camps in South Africa located in the vicinity of the best breaks offer all the guidance you need to either take your first steps on the surfboard in friendly water or take your skills to the new level on more challenging waves.
Without further ado, here are the top 10 best surfing spots in South Africa you have to see in your lifetime:
1. Jeffrey’s Bay
This is the home of the world-famous Supertubes and the annual J-Bay Open, a prestigious WSL event. It’s the home surf break of local surf legend Jordy Smith, and consistently welcomes other surfing titans like Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning. Need we say any more?
In the Eastern Cape Province, an hour’s drive south of Port Elizabeth, Jeffrey’s Bay is perhaps the most renowned surf spot on the African continent. And it was ranked the second-best surfing destination in the world.
» Join a surf camp in Jeffrey’s Bay.
There are several surf beaches to choose from, each with its own personality and offering a wide variety of waves for all levels of surfers.
2. Wild Coast
Located near the beautiful town of Port Edward, the Wild Coast is one of the top tourist destinations in South Africa. Not only does it offer surfers excellent rides on an exposed point break, but the scenery is breathtaking and the combination of ocean and nature cannot be beat. Ntloyane, or Breezy Point, is one of most famous surf spots on the Wild Coast and is at its best surfed in summer when the area is dry and warm.
3. Dungeons (Hout Bay)
Dungeons is a legendary surf spot reserved for experienced surfers. Waves between 4.5 and 9 meters (15-30 ft) break over a treacherous shallow reef, and the line-up can only be accessed by boat. This is one of the world’s best big wave surf spots and should only be tackled by experienced surfers.
Durban is a top vacation destination in South Africa, and no matter which side of the city you find yourself at, there’ll surely be some waves to surf. With warm and inviting water, as well as a good number of reefs, points, and beach breaks, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
For beginners, Umhlanga has gentle waves. The south tends to receive smaller swells and moving north, they get bigger and bigger.
Besides the excellent waves, Durban also has a flourishing surf culture. The promenade stretching from uShaka to Blue Lagoon is dotted with surf shops, beach cafes, and world-renowned surfboard shapers.
5. Big Bay
Between Melkbosstrand and Blue Berg Strand, you’ll find Big Bay. While not a massive surfing destination, it offers a decent training area and an ideal place for beginners to start. The town is riddled with surfers and locals selling great surfing memorabilia.
Llandudno is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Western Cape, but also one of the most dangerous. These hollow waves are definitely not for the faint of heart. The rocky boulders and towering mountains are virtually everywhere and this makes for beautiful scenery. Nevertheless, you should be careful as the waves tend to get quite hollow from time to time and the rocky boulders could lead to serious injury.
Muizenberg is generally known as the birthplace of surfing in South Africa. While better places have been discovered, Surfer's Corner still offers a great place for you to relax and tackle the waves. You could bring your family here, as there are waves for all levels.
Muizenberg is one of the most popular surf spots for beginners in South Africa, but the waves are also great for improving your technique.
» Not sure what to expect from your first surf camp in South Africa? Here’s a breakdown of what happens on a surf camp in Muizenberg.
Located in Noordhoek near Cape Town, Dunes is a 40-minute drive from the international airport. While the waves might not be as big as you will find in places like Hout Bay, they still reach around 2.5 meters (8 ft).
Noordhoek is a surfing hotspot and the best time to visit is during winter months. Its picturesque beaches are safe and easy to access.
9. Long Beach
Long Beach is located in the small town of Kommetjie in the Western Cape, around 40-45 minutes drive from Cape Town. It features one of the finest and most consistent beach breaks in the country and a popular surfing destination. Long Beach can be surfed throughout the year, but winter is generally the best time to visit the Western Cape Province.
10. Eland’s Bay
Photo credit: surfline.com
Last but certainly not least, we have Eland’s Bay, which is a 3-hour drive up the shoreline from the city of Cape Town. The spot is more suitable for intermediate and advanced surfers, and you can find the best conditions in summer.
With rides of up to 150 meters (500 ft) long and a vibrant atmosphere, the town and its beach is a wonderful place for you to take your surfing to the next level.
Ready to go on the surf trip of a lifetime? Choose a surf camp in South Africa and ride some of the world’s best waves!