14 Fun Things to Do in Jeffreys Bay (+Photos)

When someone recommends that you visit South Africa, chances are they’ll tell you to head straight for Cape Town or a game reserve. I know this because I’m one of them. That said, I also know that South Africa has some worthwhile hidden gems on the table. Having grown up living in Cape Town, one of my favorite childhood destinations was a small town on the East Coast of South Africa called Jeffreys Bay.

Today, Jeffreys Bay—or J-Bay, as the locals call it—is a growing surfers’ paradise that draws in the world’s best athletes. It’s home to one of the best right-hand point breaks in the world, rightfully named Supertubes. Every time I visit, the town has expanded with more restaurants, shops, or beachside accommodation.

Aside from the impressive wave that tunnels along the coastline, Jeffreys Bay is home to many other coastal delights. As a yearly visitor to the town, I’ve collected a few of my favorite things to do while on vacation in Jeffreys Bay.

Learn How to Surf

Learn How to Surf

First and foremost, Jeffreys Bay is a surfing town. There’s a high chance you’re reading this article as an avid surfer hoping to ride some of the best waves in the world. If this is the case, I must urge caution, J-Bay is a localized surf spot.

While most locals who surf here are friendly and welcoming, a few can make the experience unpleasant. Do yourself a favor and only paddle out at Supertubes, The Point, Tubes, or any advanced spots if you’re a capable and confident surfer. As long as you know the rules of a point break lineup and proceed with surfing etiquette, you’ll catch the longest barrel of your life in no time.

If you’re a beginner surfer, learning to surf in J-Bay is a much more easygoing experience. The main beginner’s beach is called Kitchens Windows, and there are a few surf schools where you can rent a soft top board and learn the basics of the sport alongside some of the best surfers in the world.

Walk the Length of the Beaches

Jeffreys Bay Beaches

This might sound obvious, but there is no better way to spend a morning or afternoon in Jeffreys Bay than on the beach. The coastline is long and sandy, with plenty of space to walk alongside the rocks. I recommend walking from the Supertubes Boardwalk towards Kitchens Windows (north) or heading south towards an isolated beach called Albatros.

Pro Tip: While walking, look for the resident pod of dolphins that cruise the lineup daily.

Visit During the World Surf League Surfing Competition

World Surf League Surfing Competition

The most popular seasons to visit are in winter and summer. Summer draws a big local crowd from the north of the country, who come for the sunshine, beach, and dry heat.

Winter attracts an entirely different crew, with surfers from as far as Hawaii, Europe, and Australia making their way to J-Bay for the epic surf conditions. The town is pretty quiet between seasons, which is when I recommend non-surfers visit. While the waves might not be as good or consistent, there are also fewer crowds off-season.

However, if you’re big into surfing or keen to be in town for a huge international event, visiting during the J-Bay Open is a must. During these two winter weeks, the town comes alive with surfing events, music performances, and specialty events organized by the town as part of the annual WinterFest. It’s busy but well worth it for the festive vibe.

Go Sandboarding or Sand Biking

Sand Biking

When the waves aren’t cooperating, there are other ways to get your activity fix in. Just north of the town is a mountain range of neverending dunes.

Set along the wild Indian coastline, the dune fields are the perfect setting for sandboarding. There are sandboarding trips that depart from the town just about every morning. All ages are welcome, and all equipment is provided with Sandboarding Jeffreys Bay. A guided two-hour tour costs around $10 per person.

Bungee Jump off Bloukrans Bridge

Bloukrans Bridge

An hour and twenty-minute drive from Jeffreys Bay is a dramatic bridge home to the highest bungee jump in Africa. While I haven’t taken this plunge myself, tourists flock from across the world to jump 216 meters into Bloukrans River Gorge below.

The bungee is open year-round, depending on weather. You need to be at least 14 to jump, and no prior certification is necessary! They also have a skywalk option where you can get views of the bungee without plummeting yourself into the gorge below.

Reserve a spot on the jumping roster, which costs around $55 per person. For the best experience, wear closed shoes and tight-fitting pants.

Dine and Kayak on the Marina

Ninas Marina Martinique

There are a handful of restaurants worth checking out in Jeffreys Bay, but my favorite has to be Ninas Real Food. Owned and run by a local surfing family, the restaurant has a menu bigger than the town, with options ranging from Thai to Italian to poke to surf and turf. You name it, they’ve got it.

Without over-exaggerating, every dish that leaves Nina’s kitchen is five-star. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s incredibly cozy and affordable, too.

The main Nina’s is across the road from Supertubes in the heart of the town. However, the restaurant has recently expanded to a second location at the Marina in Paradise Beach. Just a twenty-minute drive south of the town, Ninas Marina Martinique is set on the peaceful water of this gorgeous estuary, surrounded by active birdlife and residential homes.

Vegan food at Ninas
Vegan food at Ninas

One of my favorite things to do here, other than eat, is to rent a kayak and explore the Marina by water. Nina’s has boogie boards, kayaks, SUPs for rent, and a sandy beach to relax on on a sunny day. They’re open daily between 7 am and 10 pm.

Take a Day Trip to the Tsitsikamma National Park

Tsitsikamma National Park

Besides being a mecca for surfers, J-Bay is a popular stopover town just past the famous Garden Route drive between Cape Town and the Western Cape/ Eastern Cape border.

Thirty minutes south of J-Bay, Tsitsikamma National Park is one of the best places to take a day trip to, famous for its wild coastline, dramatic cliffs, reefs, rivers, and beaches.

Practically crawling with wildlife, it’s one of the best spots to watch dolphins, spot cape clawless otters, and search for some of South Africa’s rare endemic bird species. Part of the Garden Route National Park, entry to Tsitsikamma costs around $3 for residents and $7 for non-South Africans.

Go to the Shell Museum

Shell Museum

Within a few short moments on the beaches of Jbay, you’ll likely have collected a bag of shells. The beach is famous for its beautiful, colorful shells and urchin skeletons, many of which wash up over the rocks unscathed.

With this in mind, it’s not hard to believe that J-bay has a museum dedicated to shells. It’s a fun place to visit with kids, with plenty of animals and artistic scenes artfully designed and made using different shells.



Watch a Rugby match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Gqebera (Port Elizabeth)
Have you ever heard a South African talk about ‘gees’? Loosely translated from Afrikaans to mean ‘spirit’, this word is commonly used to describe the energy and atmosphere felt at a rugby game in the country.

South Africa is known for its rugby scene, and if you know anything about the sport, you know they won the past two World Cup championships back-to-back. The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is just a 40-minute drive north of Jeffreys Bay in Gqebera (the nearest city and airport to J-Bay).

During rugby season (between June and November), the stadium comes alive with activity as it welcomes the best of the world’s rugby stars. Game tickets range from $7 to $40.

Visit the St Francis Lighthouse

St Francis Lighthouse

Another worthwhile day trip, St Francis is a small holiday town 30 minutes south of J-Bay. It’s famous for its waterways, canals, and summer boating scene, but it also has a wild coastline with epic surfing conditions and a few great restaurants.

I recommend heading straight to Nevermind, a sunny restaurant tucked away under the St Francis Lighthouse. The restaurant is casual yet serves classic breakfasts and fine-dining inspired small plates and tapas for lunch and dinner.

Eat on the Beach at Die Walskipper

Die Walskipper is another one of my favorite places to dine in J-Bay. This coastal restaurant is as beachy as it gets. Freshly caught seafood is cooked over open fires and served family-style as you sit with your toes in the sand. On top of the atmosphere, a main portion of king prawns costs less than $20. It’s a coastal dining experience like no other.

The restaurant is open Monday through Thursday from 11 am to 8 pm and until 9 pm on weekends.

Stay at African Perfection

African Perfection Guesthouse

If you’re looking for a place to stay, there is no better spot than the African Perfection Guesthouse. With two bed and breakfasts, a hostel, and multiple houses available for rental, African Perfection’s properties offer the best views of the ocean and are managed by world-class staff.

Prices range from $40 per night for a private room in a shared house to $300 per night for the premier self-catering penthouse that can sleep four guests.
View from African Perfection

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