Surfing in South Africa

Tourists and visitors to our shores will be pleased to know that South Africa boasts some of the best surfing spots in the world, thanks to its superb waves, temperate climate, and sublime coastal scenery. South African surfers are passionate about their favourite spots and what makes them unique. There is massive variety along this extensive coastline, making this a fantastic surfing destination for novices and hardcore surf junkies alike.

KwaZulu Natal's coast is a veritable surfers’ paradise. There are fantastic waves far and wide, including hollow beach breaks, points and a few classic reef breaks. The water temperature is relatively warm all year round too, so no wetsuit is required for this part of South Africa. The most consistent surf is found in the winter months, which extend from May to August. This is mainly due to the cold fronts that sweep up the coast from the Cape, bringing solid six- to eight-foot swells.

Did you know? Not to be missed is surfing in the world famous Jeffreys Bay. This legendary right-hand break is by far the most consistent and well known surf spot in South Africa.

In summer, the swell tends to be a bit smaller, with fun surf available at the many beach breaks. Some hot surf spots in and around the main metropolis of Durban are at New Pier, Bay of Plenty, Cave Rock, St Mike's, Margate, Umdloti, Ballito and Alkanstrand.

The Eastern Cape is home to some of the finest and most beautiful surfing beaches in the world. Port Elizabeth and East London have warm water and awesome waves that attract millions of water sports enthusiasts. Some hot surf spots in Port Elizabeth include King’s Beach and ‘pipe’. The surf in Port Elizabeth is rather small, but there are days when freak swells hit the coast and make for excellent surfing. In East London, be sure not to miss the legendary Nahoon Beach. Port St Johns is also a lovely and unspoilt stretch of tropical coastline a little further north.

Jeffreys Bay is, undoubtedly, the Eastern Cape’s gem in terms of surfing. In fact, this is a world-renowned stretch for some of the finest surfing available. It is no wonder that it hosts one of the legs of the annual Billabong Pro™ surf event, in which the planet’s top surfers compete for the title. This legendary right-hand break is, by far, the most consistent and well known surf spot in South Africa. Fans from all over the world come to experience the famous breaks around this area, as well as in nearby St Francis Bay.

In Cape Town and the Western Cape, surfers will discover awesome sandy beaches. Camps Bay, Llandudno, Clifton, Bloubergstrand, Langebaan, Hermanus and Muizenberg all offer fantastic waves and picturesque scenery. Penguins and dolphins might join you too. The water on this side of South Africa is cold, but the great waves make surfing the Cape worth your while.

The Garden Route is known for its natural beauty along with its spectacular beaches. Plettenberg Bay is one of South Africa's favourite surfing playgrounds. It is home to two incredible beaches, Robberg and Lookout. The Wilderness promises furious seas and awesome waves. Also, be sure not to miss out on Victoria Bay just outside The Wilderness, where the fantastic waves have been host to many great surfing competitions.

South Africa showcases numerous pristine beaches and outstanding waves; its coastline promising dazzling views and marine life. This combination makes for an awesome surfing destination.

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Where to enjoy Surfing

South Africa. Explore. Experience. Stay® has been assisting travellers with their South Africa travel plans since 1999, and is the largest, independent online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German.