Dolphin Beach, Jeffreys Bay, Eastern Cape
Did you know?
According to those in the know, Jeffreys Bay has the best right hand point break in world surfing.
Sandwiched between the Garden Route and the Sunshine Coast, Jeffreys Bay is the surf capital of South Africa, and a top 10 rated surf spot worldwide. Its main beach, Dolphin Beach, is made for chilling, tanning, surfing and shell collecting.
J'Bay, as the locals call this seaside town, is young, fun and casual. Even the weather takes it easy with a meagre 5 deg C difference between summer and winter average temperatures. J'Bay's laid-back attitude comes from is its famous surfing culture, nurtured since the early 1960s. Locals here have an unspoken policy to look after the little ones, help groms (novice surfers) and put any Big Kahuna (a respected surfer) wannabe's in their place. So embrace the vibe, respect the pecking order, and enjoy the beach holiday of a lifetime.
Dolphin Beach has lifeguards on duty all year, ablutions, showers and a ramp for otherly-abled access. Despite the fact that over December and January, the holiday makers grow in proportion to the amount of sunshine, the beach is spotless. In summer water temperatures are around 22 deg C; but chilly in winter (16 deg C) so a wetsuit is a good idea.
For the kids, Dolphin Beach Entertainment offers spiral waterslides, mini golf and quad bikes. Shell collecting is a great way to discover the diversity of the beaches in Jeffreys Bay. Professional surf schools abound, and anyone can learn to surf. ‘Kitchens' off Dolphin Beach produces good waves for less experienced surfers. Dune boarding, kite and windsurfing and horse riding are popular and possible all year round.
Nearby, visit the Shell Museum and the Surf Museum. The Shark Aquarium and Penguin Centre are a fun, educational look into the species living off our coast. From the Jeffreys Bay beaches, dolphins are sighted all year, and Southern Right whales appear between July and September.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Jeffreys Bay Tourism
Tel: +27 (0)42 293 2923
Fax: +27 (0)42 293 2924
How to get here
Most regional airlines fly to Port Elizabeth Airport. Hire a car or catch the Sunshine Express shuttle. Major inter-city buses stop in, or near J'Bay. The Baz Bus will practically drop you off in J'Bay.
Best time to visit
Winter, from June to August, is wave season in J’Bay, and everyone is on wave lookout duty! Summer is crowded and fun with great weather and lots of beach activities.
Around the area
Just 2kms away from Dolphin Beach, J’Bay’s famous Supertubes attracts surfers from around the world. At Kabeljous Estuary and Nature Reserve, swim, walk and fish; Noorsekloof has nature trails, and there is bird watching at Seekoei River Nature Reserve. Head west along the coast and explore the Garden Route.
Tours to do
Visit ‘shaper street’ in J-Bay, a street of surfboard shapers who will show you how they craft surf boards even if you’re not buying.
J'Bay is a small surfer-friendly town. If you’re loaded with beach kit, hitch a lift or use a hire-car. J'Bay metered cabs will take you anywhere.
What to eat
J'Bay's white gold – the best tasting calamari in the country.
The Billabong Pro surfing festival happens in July and the Shell festival in September.
J'bay is renowned for its surfing factory shops: Country Feeling, Billabong, Quicksilver and Ripcurl are all here. A custom-shaped surfboard or full wet suit aree surprisingly affordable.