There’s no question that surfing is one of the most thrilling and exhilarating sports in the world. Not only does it provide a great workout, but it also offers a chance to experience the power and majesty of the ocean first-hand. And thanks to its growing popularity, South Africa has been discovered as one of the world’s best places to surf.  

The coastline of South Africa stretches for more than 3,000 kilometers (1,860 miles), making it one of the longest in the world. And because it offers a wide selection of surfing spots, there is something for everyone – whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer.

So without further ado, here are some of the best places to surf in South Africa:

1. Jeffreys Bay

Jeffreys Bay is one of the most popular surfing destinations in South Africa, and for good reason. The waves here are world-renowned, and the town has a laidback surfer vibe impossible to resist. Jeffrey’s Bay is in the Eastern Cape province, about an hour’s drive from Port Elizabeth.

Jeffrey Bay’s Supertubes are world-famous for their long, perfect waves, which make it a mecca for professional surfers from all over the globe.  

If you’re not quite ready for Supertubes, don’t worry – there are plenty of other waves in Jeffreys Bay more suitable for beginners. One quick search on the internet and you’ll find a whole host of surf schools in Jeffreys Bay that can help you get started.

How to get here: Fly into Port Elizabeth Airport (PLZ) and then rent a car for the drive to Jeffreys Bay.

The 10 Best Places to Surf in South Africa
Early morning surf at J-Bay | @deonlateganphotographics

2. Dungeons (Hout Bay)

Dungeons is a surf spot in Hout Bay, just outside Cape Town. The wave here is generated by a large rock offshore, and it’s considered to be one of the most challenging waves in South Africa.

It’s not for the faint of heart, but if you’re up for the challenge, Dungeons is a great place to test your surfing skills. The best time to surf here is during the summer months from December to February, when the waves are at their biggest. However, be aware that the water can be very cold and the waves can be huge, so it’s crucial to be prepared.

How to get here: Fly into Cape Town International Airport (CPT) and then take a taxi or rent a car for the drive to Hout Bay.

Catching a wave at Dungeons | @alanvangeysen

3. Wild Coast

The Wild Coast is a stretch of coastline in the Eastern Cape province. This region is home to some of the best – and most untouched – waves in South Africa. Many surfers come here in search of the perfect wave, and they’re often rewarded with empty lineups and pristine conditions.

The Wild Coast is the place for both beginner and experienced surfers. There are plenty of waves to choose from, and with a bit of exploring, you’re sure to find a spot that suits your level.

If you are searching for an authentic surf experience away from the crowds, the Wild Coast promises to deliver. The most popular is Coffee Bay on the Wild Coast. It is a perfect place for beginners, as the waves here are smaller and more manageable. But even if you’re a pro surfer, you’ll still enjoy the challenge that Coffee Bay offers.

How to get here: Fly into East London Airport (ELS) and then take a taxi or rent a car for the drive to the Wild Coast.

The 10 Best Places to Surf in South Africa
Mazeppa Bay on the Wild Coast | @nomfundo_travelnomi

4. Durban

Durban is the largest city in the KwaZulu-Natal province, and it’s also one of the most popular surfing destinations in South Africa. The city is located on a beautiful stretch of coastline and offers a wide variety of different surf spots to choose from.

One of the most notable waves in Durban is the “Point” wave, which is located just outside the city center. The point wave is ideal for professional surfers since they will surely experience a fast and powerful ride.

However, if you’re looking for a more relaxed surfing experience, Durban offers several great beaches that are just right for beginners. These beaches are usually in the north of the city, and they offer smaller and more manageable waves. Otherwise, you can always take a lesson from the many surf schools in Durban.

No matter what your level is, you’re sure to find a wave that suits you in Durban. The city is a surfer’s paradise, and it’s the perfect place to catch a wave or two.

How to get here: Fly into King Shaka International Airport (DUR) and then take a taxi or rent a car for the drive to Durban.

Endless stretch of beach at the Durban seafront | @i.am.gerhard

5. Muizenberg

Muizenberg is a small town just outside of Cape Town. It is best known for its long stretch of beach, perfect for surfing activities or other water sports.

Muizenberg is excellent for beginners, as the waves here are usually manageable. So if you’re interested in learning how to surf, Muizenberg is the place to start. The town is home to several surf schools that can help you get on those waves. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can test your skills on some of the more challenging waves that Muizenberg has to offer.

When you’re in Muizenberg, you’re sure to enjoy its laid-back sessions. The town is a mecca for surfers, offering a wide variety and levels of waves. So come on down and catch a wave or two.

How to get here: Fly into Cape Town International Airport (CPT) and then take a taxi or rent a car for the drive to Muizenberg.

The 10 Best Places to Surf in South Africa
Colourful beach huts and ocean swell at Muizenberg Beach | @philippheigel

6. Long Beach (Noordhoek)

Long Beach is a surf spot in Noordhoek outside of Cape Town. The wave here is long and perfect for beginners. Surfers usually have a long ride on this wave, and it’s also a decent place to learn how to surf.

Nonetheless, Long Beach is not ideal if challenge seekers. The waves here are very mellow, and they often close out. So if you’re looking for a more difficult level, you can always find better waves elsewhere.

How to get here: Fly into Cape Town International Airport (CPT) and then take a taxi or rent a car for the drive to Noordhoek.

The 10 Best Places to Surf in South Africa
The view over Long Beach from Chapman’s Peak | @slickmickza

7. Plettenberg Bay

Plettenberg Bay is a small town located on the Garden Route, in the Western Cape province. The town is famous for its beautiful beaches and the waves here are commonly known to be some of the wildest in the country.

Plettenberg Bay is a place for both beginner and experienced surfers. Several spots in the bay offer long and gentle waves but some of the outer reefs can also be tough to catch. But no matter what your level is, you’re sure to find a wave that suits you in Plettenberg Bay.

How to get here: Fly into Plettenberg Bay Airport (PBZ) and then take a taxi or rent a car for the drive to the town center.

The 10 Best Places to Surf in South Africa
Exploring Plettenberg Bay | @ltjvanrensburg

8. Victoria Bay

Victoria Bay is a small town in the Western Cape province. Surfers often flock to this town because of the waves.

Victoria Bay is usually uncrowded, and it’s the exact place for those who want to avoid the busy beaches. The waves are also fast and impressive, and they can be swell even for experienced surfers. The waves here are sure to give you a ride of a lifetime.

There are several great surf spots to choose from in Victoria Bay, but the most renowned is Paradise Beach located on the outskirts of the town. This beach guarantees a smooth ride, perfect for those who want to catch a wave or two in an uncrowded setting.

How to get here: Fly into George Airport (GRJ) and then take a taxi or rent a car for the drive to Victoria Bay.

Aerial view over Victoria Bay, George | @gavman.18

9. Green Point

Green Point is a surf spot directly located in Cape Town. The wave here is also generated by a large rock offshore, similar to the one in Dungeons. It checks off the list of the most challenging waves in South Africa. There were days when you find perfect 10-foot barrels, but it’s not uncommon to see 6-foot waves here.

Green Point is locally recommended for professional surfers with its powerful and dangerous waves, not suitable for beginners. So if you’re just starting, it’s best to find another spot that’s convenient for your level. Nonetheless, Green Point is an excellent place to test your skills and see how far you’ve come as a surfer.

How to get here: Fly into Cape Town International Airport (CPT) and then take a taxi or rent a car for the drive to Green Point.

Green Point, Cape Town | @instacptguy

10. Eland’s Bay

Eland’s Bay is a small town in the Western Cape province. This small isolated town has some of the most consistent waves in the country, and they offer both long and short rides.

To make the most of the waves in Eland’s Bay, surfers make sure to bring a shortboard. The waves here are fast and hollow, making it the perfect place to hone your surfing skills.

How to get here: Fly into Cape Town International Airport (CPT) and then take a taxi or rent a car for the drive to Eland’s Bay.

Eland’s Bay | @schrimer_shoots

Which Is The Best Place To Surf According To My Skill Level?

Most of the waves in Eland’s Bay are suitable for beginner and intermediate surfers. However, there are also some reef breaks that only experienced surfers should attempt. But overall, this is an excellent place for those who want to catch a few good waves.

Locals recommend the following surf spots for beginners:

  • Muizenberg
  • Long Beach
  • Plettenberg Bay
  • Victoria Bay
  • Eland’s Bay

And for those who are looking for a more challenging wave, they recommend:

  • Green Point
  • Dungeons
  • Jeffrey Bay’s Supertubes

Tips and Tricks When Catching Waves

Catching waves can be tricky, but with a little practice, you’ll be riding the waves in no time. Here are some tips and tricks that might come in handy:

  1. Start by paddling out to the lineup. This is where all the surfers wait for the perfect wave.
  2. Once you’re in the lineup, keep your eyes peeled for the right wave. The right wave should have a good shape and it should be breaking evenly.
  3. When you see the right wave, start paddling towards it.
  4. Pop up on your board when you feel the wave starting to push you.
  5. Ride the wave all the way to the shore.

With these tips, you’re sure to catch a few good waves in no time. Just remember to have fun and enjoy the ride.

Let’s Go!

Now that you know all about the best surf spots in South Africa, it’s time to catch some waves. Make sure to pack your sunscreen, your swimsuit, and your surfboard, and you’re good to go. Travel in the most convenient way possible by renting a car with Sixt. South Africa offers a wide range of vehicles to choose from as well so that you can find the perfect spot for your needs.

It is also necessary to do your research on what and what not to do based on the current surf conditions. Get updated information from locals or fellow surfers about the best waves to catch on that day.

Don’t wait any longer, let’s catch some waves and have a great time surfing along the beaches in South Africa!