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AAt the heart of the Eastern Cape’s Sunshine Coast, Jeffreys Bay is rated one of the top 10 surfing spots in the world, but that’s not all this beautiful town has to offer.
Jeffreys Bay, less than an hour's drive from Port Elizabeth, is a surfer’s haven on the Sunshine Coast. South Africa’s premier wave is at Supertubes, a right-hand point break that is internationally famous for its consistency and length of ride.
But Jeffreys Bay, with its beautiful beaches, has more attractions to offer than just surfing.
If all you want is to unfurl your towel on the sand then head for Dolphin Beach, a stretch of sand and surf awarded international Blue Flag status – an eco-grading given to beaches or marinas that meet the highest safety and environmental standards. Here there are always fully trained lifeguards on duty, making it a place where the family can spend a glorious day in the sun.
With its many surf shops and restaurants, Jeffreys Bay is also a great place to simply hang out and indulge in a bit of retail therapy. Or get active and take part in a multitude of outdoor activities such as learning to surf, stand-up paddle-boarding, kitesurfing, sandboarding, whale and dolphin watching, diving or horse rides on the beach.
At the Kabeljous Nature Reserve (as you enter J'Bay from PE side) you can go for a self-guided nature walk alongside the Kabeljous River estuary or take your mountain bike to the J'Bay bike park, which has 7 trails on offer (you'll find it between Port Elizabeth and Jeffreys on the R102 near Thornpark).
If the weather isn't playing along, you can visit the Shell Museum, which houses the largest collection of seashells in South Africa, and a Surf Museum that focuses on the history of surfing in J'Bay (upstairs in the Quiksilver Building).
For kids, the Penguin Centre in nearby Cape St Francis is a popular attraction. Close to Paradise Beach near Jeffreys, you'll also find the Happy Hippo Play Farm, which includes a touch farm for kids and is the venue of a regular Saturday market where you can buy food, arts and crafts.
If it's a township tour you're after, the Island Vibe backpackers can arrange a tour to the nearby Tokyo Sexwale township, where you can see how life unfolds in a small formal settlement. Make sure to look out for the barber shop where only 2 people can stand inside.
TTravel tips & planning info
Who to contact
Jeffreys Bay Tourism
Tel: +27 (0)42 293 2923
How to get here
Jeffreys Bay is less than an hour from Port Elizabeth. Port Elizabeth's airport offers domestic flights and is about 70km from Jeffrey's Bay. Cape Town's International Airport is about 750km from Jeffreys Bay.
Best time to visit
Wave season runs from June to August, but good waves can be had as early as April or as late as September.
Length of stay
That depends on whether you're into surfing or not...
Where to stay
There are a host of accommodation options from backpacker lodges to luxury guest houses. Needless to say, the budget Surf Packers, situated near the beach, is popular with surfers. There is also well-priced accommodation at Ashton Bay, Kabeljous and Jeffreys Bay Caravan Park. One of the best guest houses in town is Supertubes, appropriately named in a town famed for this great wave.
What to pack
Don’t forget to bring your board and a good wetsuit if you’re coming at the end of the season.
Things to do
Dolphin Beach is also favoured by body boarders and windsurfers.