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What to do in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa

Jbay is one of those truly special places for us. It’s a tiny, seaside town where Vaughan lived for one year and where we started dating. I would do regular bus commutes up from Cape Town to Jbay which took a good twelve hours.

If you are a lover of small towns, the beach, ocean side retreats and holidays of not doing too much, then Jbay is sweet little town that you would love and really find enjoyable. Surfers looking to surf themselves into a stupor, couples looking for down time, backpackers wanted to rest from their action-filled holidays and families with kids really need to visit Jbay too. Here’s a few of the things we suggest you do here:

  • Vaughan loving his hometown of 2009.

  • Like all Jbay locals- everyone is always ready to surf.

1. Surfing

Having arguably one of the world’s best right-hand breaks in the world, surfers come from around the globe to get barrelled here. Especially during the winter months when there’s an offshore westerly wind and the waves perform at the best, the Winter Fest takes places and this otherwise sleepy town hosts a surfing competition bringing the world’s best including some of our homegrown to battle it out. Bring coffee in a flask, warm clothing and enjoy watching the surfing from the boardwalk or on Supertubes beach.

Sean Holmes. Photo Credit: Gaftels on Flickr.

You really have your pick of beaches to choose from, each with their own appeal and offering waves for surfers of all abilities.

Supertubes (and Tubes):
This is only for really advanced surfers who know their way around a wave, even a barrel and strong paddling ability to be able to paddle out the gulley ( watch locals to see where this is) to the break. Timing is essential here so watch the locals as you can get hammered before even making it to the lineup. Do not attempt these waves if you are even slightly unsure, instead try Point, which is right next door. Either way wait your turn, be respectful to the locals and other surfers and you could catch some great waves. Works best on a South West wind.

Point produces some pretty powerful waves too but intermediate surfers could definitely get by and enjoy the waves here. As a beginner I went out here and felt quite out of my depth. Lovely clean waves on a good day but again you need to be good enough to navigate to the right away from the sharp rocks. It’s quite tricky getting out here, so best wear booties to avoid cutting your feet.

Kitchen Windows (or Kitchens):
Just to the right of Main beach is where this small reef break is situated. A light South Wester brings some lovely waves around here especially for Upper-beginners. Being able to stand up relatively comfortably on a long-board and turn to the right, I love this wave as it has a little more power than the beach break (doesn’t dump) and gives you an opportunity to ride the wave for a little while.

For more info on these beaches and surf conditions:

Sunrise over Surfer’s Point, J Bay. Photo Credit: Rian Saunders.

2. Learn to Surf:

Even if you’ve never surfed before, there are quite a surf schools here who would teach you and your kids to surf. Most surf schools operate on Dolphin (Main) Beach where there’s a beach break. It’s not always great as on bad days the waves just dump quite heavily. In December this beach fills up with holiday makers with their umbrellas, towels and families ready to swim and have fun in the ocean.

Main Beach is the perfect place to rent a board, grab a surf lesson and try out the waves. Photo Credit: Jochem Koole.

3. Boat Cruises:

Enjoy a boat cruise along the canals of Marine Martinique in Jbay. Boats hold a maximum of 10 people and between April-September the boat leaves at 17:00 and between October and March it leaves at 18:00. The boat leaves from Marina Martinique B&B.

4. Horse Trails or Riding Lessons:

Visit Featherfoot Horses in Kabeljouws on the eastern side of Jbay for horse riding on the beach, riding lessons, parties and more.

5.Beach Dune Safari, Wetland Walks, Hikes.

From R300 per person enjoy birding, whale watching and sundowners on the coastal reserve of Oyster Bay Lodge or opt to enjoy the property on foot with a guide to show you the woodlands, wetlands, fynbos and river deltas with it’s wealth of bird life. Enjoy one of their many hiking trails for various fitness levels, gallop along their private beach or explore the property by kayak or bike.

Endless sand, ocean views, aloes and sunshine. Photo Credit: Julien Carnot on Flickr.

6. Sandboarding

Whatever age, you can truly have fun trying your hand at sand boarding and sliding down the dunes on the beach at Marina Martinique. Skilled instructors await to teach you how to do it or there are also boards for hire. Email for more info.

7. Skydiving

From 19th December- 2 January you can try a thrilling tandem skydive with EP Skydivers. This is a busy period so make sure you book before hand and opt for a beach landing if this is your thing.

8. Simple Things

Aside from all the things mentioned above, Jbay is really one of those places to enjoy the simple things in life. Lazing on a beach with a book, playing with your kids in the water, star gazing by night and watching hundreds of dolphins swim into the bay during the day. If you’re going during December or January, make sure you book accommodation early and best get accommodation right near the beach or with a view. Either way, the perks of this small town is that the ocean will always be a short drive or walk away.

  • Beach walks are splendid here in any weather.

  • Where it all began for us; or at least where we started dating 🙂

9. Dolphin Beach Kids Entertainment

There is much fun to be had or kids at Dolphin beach front such as mini golf, quad biking and spiral mini slides.

10. Where to eat:

This is a great option for dining with kids. They have animals for the children to look at such as geese, pigs, chickens and rabbits and a wonderful garden with an al fresco and indoor dining area.

Tasty Table
Overlooking Main Beach and another favourite for beachside dining.

With multiple locations in and around JBay.

Photo Credit: Jochem Koole on Flickr

To find accommodation in Jefffrey’s Bay, Visit

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