South Africa

South Africa: Surfing Jeffrey’s Bay

The southern tip of Africa awaits the arrival of dramatic swells. Jeffrey’s Bay, located on the Eastern Cape where the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic, is ideally positioned to ensure that swells form perfect waves. Emerging as a surfing community for the first time during the ’60s and ’70s, today, Jeffrey’s Bay is one of the five most famous surfing destinations in the world, featuring long, fast rides of up to 800 meters in length. The area continues to grow as locals, surfers, and tourists venture to Jeffrey’s Bay for the beautiful beaches, endless summers, relaxed atmosphere, and legendary waves.



Just an hour’s drive from Plettenberg Bay, a visit to Jeffrey’s Bay is a perfect addition to the Garden Route itinerary. Alternatively, fly to Port Elizabeth, where you will collect your rental car and drive one hour south to J-Bay.

On your first morning, you will be provided with wet suits and boards if needed.  After determining your skill level, you will head out with your instructor for your first two-hour surf lesson. Each of the next seven days will include another lesson, customized to suit your skills as they progress.



Beginner surfers will start out at the beach break with “learn to surf” lessons. As you progress, you will move further out into the surf break. The ultimate goal for beginners this week is to paddle out to a gentle intermediate break, “Kitchen Windows,” and ride open faced waves.

For intermediate surfers, the instructor will paddle out with you during your first lesson and assess your ability. Based on this assessment, a plan, with learning and practice goals, will be set as the basis of your lessons for the remainder of the week.

After your second lesson, enjoy a relaxing lunch before heading off to your afternoon activities.

Later, you can choose between a number of optional activities, which may include snorkeling, swimming, hiking, kayaking, and fishing.

With the conclusion of your second day, head back to your beach front hotel and take some time to relax and freshen up before heading out to dinner at one of the many great restaurants in the area.



Today, you will meet your instructors and continue with another two-hour lesson that will build your skills in riding the perfect wave.

After your morning of surfing, head back to your hotel to shower and change before heading into town, where we will provide you with recommendations for a delicious seafood lunch.

Later, you will visit the Jeffrey’s Bay Museum, where you will get a sense of the area’s history, and discover why South Africa has become a quintessential place for surfers from around the world.

The rest of the afternoon is yours in which to relax, shop, or explore before heading back to your room to freshen up before you head out for dinner.



By your fourth day you will have your surf legs back or will have sprouted them, depending on your level of skill.  Each day, your instructors will push you even more to make sure you have as much fun out on the water as possible.

More advanced surfers may be taken to another fantastic break to experience a different location for catching waves.

After lunch, you may want to explore one of the area’s three small nature reserves; each with its own unique personality, flora and fauna. Self guided hiking trails are provided at all reserves.

Tonight for dinner, head into town to sample local fare and a bit of live music and dancing before returning to your hotel.



On your fifth day, you’ll wake with an itch for surf. For novices, you will almost be at the point where you can go out and catch an open faced wave, while the more advanced will set off to another new locale today.

After your lesson, you will walk towards the local Surfboard Shaper, stopping for lunch along the way. After your meal, continue on to the store, where you’ll gain some great insight into what goes into creating a surfboard, and begin to understand the logic behind varied surfboard lengths and shapes.

Return to your hotel or to the beach to relax before dinner tonight.



After breakfast, make your way down to the beach to meet your instructor.  Today, you will spend more time in the water on your own, enjoying the feeling of freedom that comes with surfing.

The rest of the day can be spent either on land or sea. Choose from several hiking options, or head back out into the water to snorkel around the bay. You also have the option of scheduling a mountain biking excursion on your own.

At the end of the day, return to your hotel in time for dinner and a good night’s sleep before your last day of surfing.



Head to the beach this morning to enjoy your last day of surfing with your instructors as your training comes to an end.  Test your newfound surfing abilities today, keeping in mind everything you’ve learned over the past week.

After your final lesson, enjoy lunch with your instructors, reflecting on the week you’ve shared.

This afternoon, you may wish to continue surfing at your own pace at any one of the different breaks you haven’t experienced throughout the week. When you’ve tired yourself out, watch the sunset from your hotel before your final dinner in town.



After an early breakfast this morning, drive to Plettenberg Bay or Port Elizabeth to continue on to your next destination.




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