Surfing in South Africa is one way to enjoy South Africa’s scenic coastline. A whole world of water sports is waiting, including activities such as sailing and diving. South Africa’s facilities include training for beginners in all these disciplines, as well as international competitions for the more experienced.

Did you know?

South Africa boasts nearly 3000km of coastline.

Come and surf South Africa’s best-known beaches, or discover new, virtually un-surfed waves elsewhere along the coast. Beginners can take surfing lessons at one of the many dedicated surf schools in coastal cities. Many backpacker hostels around the country are also geared up for board rental and escorted 'surfaris'.

Some of the best surf in South Africa include Jeffreys Bay Supertubes along the Eastern seaboard, Bruce’s Beauties in Cape St Francis, Bay of Plenty in Durban, Noordhoek in the Western Cape, Victoria Bay along the Garden Route, Kalk Bay in Cape Town, and Elandsbaai on the West Coast.

If surfing is not your thing, the country also boasts awesome windsurfing and kite-surfing spots. Langebaan, near Cape Town, is internationally recognised as one of the top boardsailing venues in the world. Another way to experience the sea is in a specially designed sea kayak. There are escorted trips around Cape Town, Hermanus, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and Durban.

For a bit more of a challenge, try surf-skiing. Surf skis are fast and responsive and there is a whole series of races throughout the year all along the coast.

The South African coastline a great place to learn to sail – there are sailing schools in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban – and South African’s sail in all the major round-the-world races. There are loads of local races, too, and the Cape to Rio is one of the most accessible ocean crossing races in the world, attracting a large cruising contingent.

Diving is hugely popular with locals and visitors. The underwater environment is as varied as it is beautiful and we have lots of wonderful diving sites, with magnificent marine life to be spotted on the KwaZulu-Natal and Cape coasts. You can also learn how to dive at one of the many dive centres in South Africa.

Travel tips & Planning info

How to get here

Much of South Africa’s coastline is easily accessible by road.

Best time to visit

The temperate climate means water sports are available all year round. The surf, however, is best in the winter months from April to September.

Around the area

You’ll be spoilt for choice. Most of South Africa’s coastal towns and cities offer plenty of activities to keep everyone busy.

Get around

Self-drive is best though many beaches are served by taxis and buses while tour operators can organise specific trips.

What will it cost

Prices vary depending on the amount of equipment or lessons needed. Prices are generally affordable. For example, surfboard hire can be as little as R70 a day.

What to pack

Don’t forget to bring plenty of sunscreen and a hat along with any other paraphernalia you may need for your chosen activity.

Where to stay

The coastal regions of South Africa have a range of accommodation options to suit every budget.

What to eat

When at the sea, eat fresh seafood.

What's happening

There are a huge variety of international and national surf and sail competitions held annually.