Rich natural beauty, vibrant diversity, and massive waves a just a few of the things that make South Africa a wonderful country to travel to. Aside from the beautiful scenery and huge variety of wildlife, South Africa is a country with a rich history and home to Nelson Mandela, one of the most influential people in history.
However, South Africa is also known for the magical coastline and great waves surrounding the country. It’s no wonder it has become a surfing hotspot, with many local surfers devoting all their time and energy into triding these mind-blowing breaks. We have explored the country to find the best surfing spots that you definitely need to visit once in a lifetime.
There are many great coastlines all over the world, but surfing in South Africa can easily compete with the best of them. Home to an abundancy of scenic coastlines, surfers from all around the world make the long trip to tackle the country’s legendary waves. Without further ado, here are the top 10 best surfing spots in South Africa you have to see for yourself:
1. Jeffrey’s Bay
Voted as the second best wave in the world, the break just outside the small town of Jeffrey’s Bay plays host to many great surfing competitions. The town is also known for the safe beaches and it offers many rides of up to 800 meters (2,600 ft) long. You will also find handcrafted clothing stores devoted to surfing that make for unique memorabilia.
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 a well-exposed point break, but the scenery is beautiful and many people simply visit to enjoy the combination of ocean and nature. Ntloyane, or Breezy Point, is one of most well-known surfing spots on the Wild Coast and it is best surfed in summer when the area is dry and warm.
3. Dungeons (Hout Bay)
Dungeons is a legendary surfing spot that is only recommended for brave and experienced surfers. The swells here can reach 6 meters (20 ft), and the Dungeons can only be reached by boat. Surfers are towed in and left on the water that is around 2.5 meters (8 ft) deep with no one knowing what is going on underneath. The destination is even one of the legs in the Red Bull Wave Competition and many top surfers love visiting the coastal town.
Durban is one of the top vacation destinations in South Africa. No matter which side of the city you venture to, you will surely find surfing fans. The more gentle swells can be found in Umhlanga, while up north you will find bigger ones.
What makes Durban such a great place is the favorable conditions. Should you visit Dairy Beach, you will find out where surfing champion Shaun Tomson learned his trait. uShaka Marine World is also one of the top aquariums for tourists to visit in the summer months.
5. Big Bay
Between Melkbosstrand and Blue Berg Strand, you will 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 looking to sell you great surfing memorabilia.
Llandudno is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Western Cape, but also one of the most dangerous and 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, the Surfer’s Corner beach still offers a great place for you to relax and tackle the waves. You could bring your family here, and staying in a pop-up tent would be a great experience for the whole family. You could use this place as a training spot as well.
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). The city is a surfing hotspot and the best time to visit is during winter months. There are also beautiful beaches here that 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 shore breaks in the country and has become a top surfing destination. Long Beach can be surfed throughout the year, but winter is generally the best time to visit the Western Cape Province.
10. Elands Bay
Last but certainly not least, we have Elands Bay, which is a 3-hour drive up the shoreline from the city of Cape Town. The area is also known for the rocky boulders and towering mountains, which makes it a little more suitable for intermediate surfers. 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 cut your teeth and learn the ins and outs of surfing.
If you have never visited South Africa or you love surfing, you should definitely make the trip at least once in your lifetime. The top surfing areas like Dungeons and Jeffrey’s Bay are widely renowned for the quality of the waves and the surfing traditions.
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