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SSurfers visiting the Western Cape can choose between the Indian and Atlantic oceans, which meet at Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa. While the waters of this region aren’t known for their warmth, there are good swells and excellent surfing conditions throughout the year.
From Cape Town to Elands Bay in the west and Plettenberg Bay in the east, the Western Cape always has good waves for surfing. The reason for this is that regardless of the wind direction on any given day, there will be a decent offshore wind on either side of the peninsula.
If you are staying in Cape Town, you can check the wind direction forecast and plan your destination accordingly for good surf conditions. If there is a south-easter blowing, you should head for locations on the Atlantic side, such as Llandudno. If there's a north-westerly wind, Indian Ocean beaches such as Muizenberg are a better option.
Big wave surfers should try their skills at extreme surf spots such as Kalk Bay Reef on False Bay and Dungeons in Hout Bay. Such sections of water should, however, only be attempted by those who know what they are doing.
Beginners should head to Muizenberg, where surfing equipment can be rented. Various surf schools also offer lessons here. This village, 20 minutes from the Cape Town city centre, is famed for its relaxed atmosphere and surfing culture.
Along the West Coast, surfing locations to consider include Bloubergstrand, Melkbosstrand, Yzerfontein and Elands Bay. All of these destinations are within 2 hours' drive of Cape Town.
If you fancy a surfing road trip along the Garden Route, locations you should stop at include Stilbaai, Mossel Bay, Vic Bay and Plettenberg Bay, which is just an hour from the famous Jeffrey’s Bay. Vic Bay boasts a highly rated point break, which many surfers dream about.
Note that there are no shark nets in the Western Cape and that you should take note of any shark safety procedures at the beach you are visiting.
TTravel tips & planning info
Who to contact
Western Cape Tourism Authority
Tel: +27 (0)21 487 8600
Best time to visit
If you’re after big waves, visit between June and September. If you’re looking for more of a beach holiday vibe, visit between November and March.
Having your own vehicle is the best option, as you can chase the waves at your own pace. Most car rental companies offer roof racks as an optional extra.
What to pack
Regardless of where you are surfing in the Western Cape or the time of year, you will need a wetsuit. If you don’t own one, you can rent one.