Surfing in South Africa

Surfing guide to South Africa,

South Africa has 9 main surf areas. There are 128 surf spots . Go explore!

Overview of surfing in South Africa

South Africa, a massive country situated right at the bottom of Africa (hence the name). This country is situated perfectly to be a surfer’s paradise, with insane exposure to the Atlantic, Southern, and Indian Ocean which pump swell to the region year round. The country is very culturally diverse (we won’t get into it’s history here), but know that there is a large number of different ethnic groups that call this are home. This lends the nickname “Rainbow Nation” to the country. South Africa does not have the longest history in surfing, although it is one of the most storied African countries in the sport along with Morocco. It first came on the map for most when watching Endless Summer, which filmed a perfect right point leaving surfers dreaming of walls around the world. Now there is a large surf scene centered around Cape Town and Durban, as well as smaller surf meccas like Jeffery’s Bay along the coastline. So pack your bags and start looking at flights, South Africa has everything you could ask for for your next surf trip.

The Surf

South Africa, being such a large country, also has a bunch of different waves for all levels. There is everything from deep water big wave pits to small gentle rollers. South Africa is known for it’s plethora of top quality right hand points, but there are also very high level reefs and beachbreaks spread throughout the country. Beyond this due to the exposure of the coastline there are waves year round. Of course it is more consistent in the Southern Hemisphere’s winter, but even in the summer you will find good waves to rip into. Wave size varies greatly. You could be paddling into a massive Dungeons double up, or cruising on soft beachbreak ankle slappers. The choice is yours.

Top Surf Spots

Jeffreys Bay

Jeffery’s Bay is one of if not the best right hand point break on the planet. It’s long walls and offshore breezes are known around the world. Most regular footer’s have this wave on their bucket list for good reason. Barrels, turns, and air are all possible making this a must surf spot. Learn more here!

Green Point

On it’s day this is the best point break in KwaZulu-Natal. This break will offer up long performance walls on a good South swell, rivaling its more famous brethren to the south. The water is warmer and it tends to garner less crowds, especially on the weekdays. Learn more here!

Elands Bay

Eland’s Bay is a little off the beaten track, north of Cape Town. This spot is a left hand point with rippable walls and chill locals. It tends to be on the more approachable side more than not, which is great for progressing surfers. The water is colder here but the surf epic! Learn more here.

Accommodation Information

South Africa will have a wide range of options for your stay. Especially near the urban centers or more built up surf towns there will be resorts and luxury spots around. In those areas there will also be budget friendly accommodations such as surf hostels and camps. As you enter into the more rural side of things there will be less available and you will most likely be looking at hostels and camping as your two options. Most areas offer surf rentals and amenities, however, which takes out a lot of the planning needed.

The Good
Diverse surf spots
Rich Culture
Natural Beauty
The Bad
Water temperatures
Limited accessibility to some spots
Sign up for all the latest travel info from Yeeew!

Getting there

Surf Regions

South Africa can be divided into three distinct areas. These are the Nothern/Western Cape, Eastern Cape, and KwawZulu-Natal. The Nothern/Western Cape descends from the northwest border and includes Cape town as well as part of the south facing coast. The Nothern/Western Cape, before you hit Cape Town, is ultra remote and a surf explorer’s dream. There are spots here that are still not widely known, and require a good 4×4 and map skills to reach. As you hit Cape Town you’ll find many waves in and around the city to satiate your needs. As you continue on the coastline opens up and you’ll begin to find some of the incredible points that South Africa is known for. The Eastern Cape is home to some of the best waves in Africa, including the famed Jeffery’s Bay. There are many more lesser known quality spots and the coastline here tends to be small towns interspersed among breathtaking landscapes. KwaZulu-Natal is the Eastern side of the country. Here the water gets warmer and the waves can be more user friendly than other parts of the country. This coastline also includes Durban, which is the largest surf mecca in the country.

Access to Surf and Location

Within the cities of Durban and Cape Town you could get away with using public transportation. It is also not the worst idea to use bus lines to get to smaller towns along the coast. However the king of transport here will be the car. This will get you to spots far and wide. Unless you plan on going to the remote western coast of the country you won’t need a 4wd. Some of the more remote spots will also require a hike in. There are international airports at multiple parts of the country, so if you are arriving by air pick the one closest to your final destination.

Visa and Entry/Exit requirements

Most countries are allowed to enter the country visa free for up to 90 days. Make sure to check with the South African Government’s website in order to confirm that you are good to go before your arrival.

The 128 best Surf spots in South Africa

Overview of surfing spots in South Africa

Jeffreys Bay (J-Bay)

Right | Exp Surfers
1000m long

Eland’s Bay

Left | Exp Surfers
300m long

Black Rocks

Peak | Exp Surfers
100m long

Hondeklip Bay Reef

Peak | Exp Surfers
100m long

Langberg Point

Left | Exp Surfers
500m long

Port Nolloth Reef

Right | Exp Surfers
150m long

Suicide Reef

Left | Exp Surfers
200m long


Right | Exp Surfers
200m long

Surf spot overview

Lineup Lowdown

For most of the country locals are kind and accommodating. This can change at a couple spots in Durban and Cape town as well as Jeffery’s Bay. Here there are certain areas that a foreigner will be asked to leave the water. Take care and make sure you are coming and going with a smile while respecting surf etiquette.

Surf seasons and when to go

The best time of the year to surf in South Africa

Surf Seasons

The best time for waves will be during the winter months here, June to August. During this time long period energy marches into the coastline with high consistency. This lights up all of the classic spots. The summer months will still see surf, but it will be less consistent and powerful. Make sure to check the water temperatures of where you are going as this will determine the thickness of the wetsuit you need.

Ask us a question

Something you need to know? Ask our Yeeew expoert a question
Ask Chris a Question

Hi, I’m the site founder and I will personally answer your question within a business day.

By submitting this question you agree to our privacy policy.

South Africa surf travel guide

Find trips that fit a flexible lifestyle

Activities Other Than Surf

South Africa is a treasure trove of activities beyond the surf. It’s a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, offering iconic safari experiences where visitors can encounter the Big Five (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros) in their natural habitats. For those interested in cultural exploration, the country’s rich history is on display in its diverse townships, world-class museums, and historical sites that narrate its past, particularly the struggle and triumph over apartheid. Adventure-seekers are also well catered to, with opportunities for paragliding off scenic cliffs, hiking through breathtaking landscapes like the Drakensberg mountains, and mountain biking along rugged trails. The country’s wine regions, like Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, offer a more relaxed but equally enriching experience, with world-renowned vineyards and gourmet cuisine. In essence, South Africa’s array of activities caters to every taste, combining natural beauty, rich history, and thrilling adventure.


South Africa’s linguistic landscape is as diverse as its cultural fabric, with 11 official languages reflecting its multi-ethnic society. English is widely spoken and understood, serving as the primary language in business, politics, and the media, making it easy for international visitors to communicate. However, the nation’s linguistic diversity is a cornerstone of its identity. Visitors might hear languages like Zulu, Xhosa, or Afrikaans spoken in various regions. Surfing in South Africa also offers a unique opportunity to pick up local surf slang, a colorful and expressive part of the surfing culture. This linguistic diversity enriches the travel experience, offering a deeper insight into the country’s multifaceted character.


The South African Rand (ZAR) is the currency of the land, and understanding its value is crucial for planning a budget-friendly trip. South Africa is known for offering value for money, especially for visitors from countries with stronger currencies. Accommodation, food, and activities can be quite affordable, with options ranging from luxury to budget-friendly. Dining out, experiencing local attractions, and even adventure activities can be enjoyed without breaking the bank. However, prices in tourist hotspots and for certain activities like guided safaris can be higher. It’s advisable to budget for daily expenses, keeping in mind the cost of traveling to different surf spots, and perhaps allocate a little extra for those unique South African experiences you won’t want to miss.

Cell Coverage/WiFi

In South Africa, staying connected is generally straightforward in urban and popular tourist areas, where cell coverage is strong and reliable. Most accommodations, from luxury hotels to budget hostels, offer WiFi access, though the speed and reliability can vary. In remote surf spots or rural areas, cell coverage can be less reliable, and WiFi might not always be available. For those needing consistent internet access, purchasing a local SIM card for data use is a practical option. It’s also worth noting that in some remote surfing locations, disconnecting from the digital world is part of the charm, allowing visitors to immerse themselves fully in the natural beauty and tranquility of South Africa’s coastal landscapes.

Start Planning!

South Africa presents a compelling destination for surf enthusiasts and travelers alike. Its allure lies not just in the world-class waves that cater to every skill level, from novice to professional, but also in the rich cultural tapestry, breathtaking landscapes, and diverse wildlife. Surfing in South Africa is more than a sport; it’s an entry point into an immersive experience that combines adventure, relaxation, and cultural enrichment. Whether it’s riding the perfect wave, encountering a lion in the wild, or savoring a glass of fine South African wine, the country offers an array of experiences that resonate long after the journey ends. This unique blend of surfing and diverse attractions makes South Africa an unmissable destination for travelers seeking an extraordinary adventure.

Sign up for all the latest travel info from Yeeew!

Explore nearby

82 beautiful places to go

  Compare Surf Holidays