Globetrottergirls Quick Guide to Surfing in South Africa

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With over 1,700 miles (2,800km) of coastline and two oceans meeting at Cape Point near Cape Town, South Africa is a surfer’s paradise, and in addition to great waves, it has enough attractions to offer to keep you busy for months: city life along the coast in vibrant metropoles like Cape Town and Durban, incredible wildlife ranging from whale watching to the ‘Big Five’ in the National Parks, stunning landscapes that beg to be explored, and famous sights like Table Mountain or the Garden Route.

Plus, South Africa is still much more affordable than popular surf spots such as California, Hawaii or Australia. You can get world-class tourist experiences for less than ZAR200 (US$16), for example wine tastings for as little as ZAR50 (US$4) or a visit to the 20,000 penguins at Boulder Beach for ZAR60 (US$5). For more ideas, here is a list of 10 Things to Do in Cape Town for Under R200.costa caparica surfRead on to find out what the top five surf spots between Cape Town and Durban are, when is the best time to surf and other things you need to know before you go:

Top Five Surf Spots in South Africa

  • Cape Town
  • Plettenburg Bay and the Garden Route
  • Jeffrey’s Bay
  • Coffee Bay
  • Durban

Cape Town

Cape Town has several famous surf beaches, but Muizenberg is probably the most popular one for beginners and long boarders. There are ten beaches around Cape Town that are worth checking out, all very different in their conditions – you can find a full list of them here, including who they are best for. The best time for surfing around the Cape is in the winter months – June, July and August – with strong swells and yet warm water temperatures.rockaways surferPlettenberg Bay

Plettenberg, often only referred to as ‘Plett’, is famous for its long sandy beaches and the beautiful 20 kilometer coastline of the city has caused many South Africans to buy summer residencies here. There are several surf beaches to choose from, with up to 12-foot waves. Plett is also home to South Africa’s best known wedge wave, making it a bodyboarder’s paradise.

Plett is part of the Garden Route, a 156 miles (250km) stretch of coast along the south eastern side of South Africa, from Storms River in the Eastern Cape to Mossel Bay in the Western Cape. As the name indicates, it covers an area of outstanding natural floral beauty thanks to a mild climate where temperatures never drop below 10°C, and rarely climb over 28°C in the summer. This makes the Garden Route popular for hikers and other nature-related tourism, but surfers love this area because of its many right point breaks and the ability to combine surfing with wildlife excursions, hikes and other activities.

Other popular surf spots along the Garden Route are: Mossel Bay, Still Bay, Knysna and Victoria Bay, one of the most famous surf spots in all of South Africa, thanks to its stunning long wave and most consistent right point break (300meters) along the Garden Route.mirissa beach surferJeffrey’s Bay

Jeffrey’s Bay, or short just ‘J Bay’, is often named as the absolute best surf spot in South Africa, even though the town itself isn’t the prettiest place. It belongs to a number of popular surfing bays along the Cape south coast (east of Cape Agulhas). The other bays are Stil Bay, St Francis, Mossel and Algoa-Port Elizabeth, all of which are worth a surf if you’ve got the time to stop there.

Coffee Bay

Tiny Coffee Bay (population: 258 people) sits on South Africa’s Wild Coast, 250 kilometers south of Durban. Coffee Bay is a hot spot for beginners, since waters here are warm and prices for surfing lessons are a fraction of what they are along the Garden Route or in Cape Town. The chilled vibe of the small town and the tight-knit surfing community make this a place where some surfers end up spending weeks in!nosara waveDurban

Looking at the density of surfers in Durban, one can say that Durban has become the unofficial surf capital of South Africa! The best time to surf here is between April and September, and the best waves can be found around Bluff Peninsula, along the 6-kilometer long Golden Mile, with Dairy Beach being the main surf beach. In addition to surfing, Durban is one of the most vibrant cities in South Africa, well worth exploring beyond the beaches. You can find some ideas on what to do in Durban in this article.

Other surf spots in South Africa

If you’d like to spend more time in South Africa, there are many more surf spots to check out! Some of the best ones include: Cape St Francis, Ballito, Strand, Elands Bay, Bluff, East London, Buffels Bay and Hout Bay.haifa surf

What else to do

If you are not strapped for time and would like to experience some of the attractions that are unique to the coastal area of South Africa, here are some additional ideas for what to see and do in South Africa:

  • Go on a safari in the Garden Route Game Lodge
  • Go cage shark diving in Mossel Bay
  • Go whale watching at the Eastern Cape
  • Visit the ostrich capital of South Africa, Oudtshoorn
  • Visit the Elephant Park in Knysna and feed elephant orphans
  • Climb Table Mountain in Cape Town

How to get to South Africa

The best cities to fly into are Cape Town or Durban. Ideally, you’d fly into one of the two, and out of the other, and check out all the best surf spots between those two cities. WikiTravel has a comprehensive overview on driving in South Africa, plus information on public buses and trains.

How to get around in South Africa

The best way to get around is by car. The scenery is absolutely spectacular, with views over the rugged coastline and mountains rising right alongside the cliffs and beaches.

Rates for a rental car at Cape Town Airport start at US$12/ ZAR150 per day.haifa surfers

When to go to South Africa

South Africa is a good surf spot year-round, but during the summer season (December – February) beaches can get pretty crowded, plus the swell is bigger the rest of the year, especially between March and September (on average 6-15ft / 2-5 meter swells).

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The Wonder of Sabora Tented Safari Camp

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The following post is brought to you by The Luxury Safari Company, one of the leading tour operators of luxurious safaris throughout Africa. 

The Serengeti in Northern Tanzania is considered one of the most remarkable places for wildlife spotting in the world – if you are dreaming about going on safari in Africa, this is the place you should consider doing it in. Serengeti translates to ‘Endless Plains’ in the Maasai language, and these two words describe the vast bushland of this part of Tanzania (and Kenya) perfectly.

Serengeti Sunset
Serengeti Sunset by Anita Ritenour on

The spectacular annual migration of hundreds of thousands of herds of zebras, gazelles and wildebeest – all followed by their respective predators – is one of the most impressive natural events that happen on our planet. The best way to experience this unforgettable natural event is by actually staying in the Serengeti, where you find a number of luxurious Tented Camps. Waking up and going to bed right in the middle of the savannah, surrounded by wildlife, looking out at the grazing giraffes while having dinner on an open terrace, is something that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Read on for our two picks for where to stay during your safari in the Serengeti:

Luxury Tented Camps in Tanzania

Sabora Tented Camp in the Serengeti might just be one of the most unique luxury safari camps in Tanzania. Located in the Western Serengeti on the famous Singita Grumeti Reserve this lodge is magical. It has been built in the middle of the short grass plains with views of the ridges and mountains in the distance, the plains are always populated with game – zebra and wildebeest graze happily around the camp and often there are also buffalo. In the height of the Wildebeest Migration (July) this area is heaving and one can often watch predators from the comfort of camp.

Serengeti Sunrise
Lions in the Serengeti by Anita Ritenour on

The short grass plains lend themselves perfectly to the hunting techniques of both cheetah and lion. Sabora is furnished with antique campaign furniture which was used by the first great explorers through Africa, as a result the camp is incredibly romantic and you can really get into the spirit of colonial Africa. Your suite is enormous with a roll top bath and outdoor shower, and wonderfully comfortable four poster single or double beds. Each suite adjoins another and has a luxurious library in between each room. They make perfect family rooms, but are far enough apart that one could simply take one tent and not have too much to do with your neighbors.

Antique wrought iron beds have been placed on the plains under acacia trees and offer the most heavenly place to read in between game drives. From here one can enjoy day and night game drives with an expert guide, or take riding safaris, galloping across the plains before stopping for lunch. Singita Grumeti is famous for it’s pioneering conservation work and you can learn more about the ins and outs of trying to protect wildlife by becoming involved with the team there for a day or two.

Serengeti Safari Camp

Sabora also has sister camps which combine beautifully to make the perfect wild Serengeti safari. Faru Faru River Lodge is located in the South of the reserve on the Grumeti River and is designed like a Zanzibari style beach lodge, it’s very quirky and offers a fantastic contrast to Sabora. Singita Mara River Tented Camp is located in the Lamai wedge of the Serengeti and offers the best game viewing of all – here you are on the Mara river and there really is a predator around every corner. The Serengeti holds a magic which is unrivaled anywhere else, and by getting into these more remote corners you get a better feel for the wild and raw Africa which we all love.

Elephants - Serengeti National Park safari - Tanzania, Africa
Elephants in the Seregeti by David Berkowitz on


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Top 15 Things to Do in Sharm el Sheikh

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You can easily spend a few weeks in Sharm el Sheikh and never run out of things to keep you entertained. The resort is one of the most vibrant places in Egypt, so here are 15 of the best things to do there, in no particular order:

Hurghada, Egypt
Beach in Egypt by Nikki Buitendijk

1.  St. Catherine’s Monastery – A trip here to the foot of Mount Sinai is an absolute must – it’s a truly extraordinary religious site as it’s the place where Moses is said to have received the 10 Commandments from God.

2. Coloured Canyon Formed over millions of years, the walk through this canyon in Sinai takes about an hour. Afterwards, you can cool off in the Red Sea if you remember your swimming costume.

3. Aqua Park City A huge water park with lots of fun water slides and pools.

4. Ras Mohammad National Park This is one of the best diving sites in the whole of Egypt. The waters are crystal clear and you’ll be able to see an amazing variety of sea life including parrot fish, as well as colourful coral.

Scene  at Little Brother, Red Sea, Egypt #SCUBA
Scuba Diving in Sharm by Derek Keats

5. Beach Parties Terrazzina beach is a great place to party, starting at sunset and long into the night. Top DJs regularly play here and there are often amazing fire shows.

6. Water Sports – Dare devils can try their hand at numerous water sports activities including parasailing, kite-surfing and jet skiing.

7. Beaches – All the beaches in Sharm are simply beautiful.

8. Camel Ride – There are various opportunities to ride a camel in Sharm and it’s worth doing at least once, even if it’s just so you can tell people that you’ve done it.

Camel in Sharm
Camel in Sharm

9. Glass Bottom Boat – An exciting excursion for anyone who wants to discover sea life without getting wet.

10. Turkish Bath – If you fancy a bit of pampering in the afternoon, you’ll love visiting a Turkish Bath here. Your skin will never have felt better.

11. Clubbing – Naama Bay is a great place to enjoy a night out and have a dance into the early hours of the morning with plenty of nightclubs and bars. Pacha is an experience that’s not to be missed!

12. Quad Biking – Speeding around the Sinai desert on a quad bike is a huge adrenaline rush. The best time to visit is either at sunrise or sunset as it’s a bit cooler then.

Across the desert
Quad Biking in Sharm by Boggin

13. Old Town – Hanging out here is a great way to soak up the atmosphere of the vibrant Old Market and experience daily life in the country.

14. Stargazing at the Bedouin Desert – One of the highlights of a visit to Sharm is a trip to the desert for a spot of stargazing. The constellations are incredible here and perfect for some unique photos if you have a good camera.

15. Shopping in Dahab – Traditional Egyptian goods can be found here with everything from leather and jewellery to pictures and perfumes.

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