Turn on the Jack Johnson tunes, put on some sunglasses, relax and slip on a lazy smile. There … now you’re ready for “J-Bay”. The pace of life is as relaxed as the people in this sundrenched surfing mecca and it is a great place to unwind to the sound of crashing waves and appreciate the lighter side of life.
Jeffreys Bay is half an hour from Port Elizabeth, the start of the gorgeous Garden Route, which winds along the N2 to Cape Town through the lovely southernmost coastal towns of South Africa.
It is one of two South African seaside towns that host competitions attracting the world’s best touring surfers to SA’s shores. The Billabong Pro surfing competition is held in J-Bay every July, ensuring that it is known as one of the top 10 surfing spots worldwide, with its famous “Supertubes” reliably providing beautiful pipes and large swells.
The warm rollers of the Indian Ocean break onto J-Bay’s endless beautiful golden beaches, attracting holidaymakers year after year. Dolphin Beach has Blue Flag status (awarded to beaches with excellent environmental protection, facilities and safety). Holidaymakers will also enjoy the town’s excellent shopping and dining.
With a mild climate (winter lows of 7-10 degrees Celsius and summer highs of about 30 degrees) J-Bay will leave you totally delighted that you found such an appealing place to hang out.
Look out for
Surfing – J-Bay’s Supertubes is said to have one of the best right point breaks in the world and if Boneyards links up to the Point surfers may enjoy rides of up to a kilometre long. The Jeffreys Bay Surf School (JBSS) offers lessons and the J-Bay Surf Museum details the local surfing history.
Walking or hiking trails along the beachfront and through coastal bush range from three to 15 kilometres, with picnic spots and viewing points along the way.
Shell Festival – known for its fantastic array of seashells, J-Bay has for 20 years run an annual four-day spring festival with stalls, music, dancing and food. There is also a Shell Museum and a Shark Aquarium.
Dolphin and whale watching - bottle-nosed and humpback dolphins are seen all year round. Southern right and humpback whales can be seen between about June and December. Orcas and Bryde’s Whales are also occasionally seen.
Birdwatching and Nature Reserves – J-Bay’s vegetation ranges from dune and scrubland to the forests and ferns. Fynbos makes up about 80% of the local vegetation around Jeffreys Bay, and with 450 bird species in the Eastern Cape, J-Bay will give birdwatchers whiplash from all the excitement. Prime spots are the Sunday's River Estuary, Van Staden’s Wild Flower Reserve, Thunzi Nature Reserve, the Seekoei River Nature (especially good for water birds), Noorsekloof Nature Reserve, and the Kabeljous Estuary and Nature Reserve.
African Dawn Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary & Rehabilitation Centre – 28 kilometres from Jeffreys Bay – it is home to many animals and birds. It has a restaurant, bar, picnic area, barbecue facilities, hiking trails, game drives and ample camping accommodation.
Horse trails traverse the beach and dunes.
Fishing – between Gamtoos and Kabeljous River Mouths. Rock fishing from Kabeljous to Paradise Beach. Local fish include kob, grunter, elf, sharks, tuna, dorado, cob and salmon. Delicious local calamari is available at local restaurants.
Shopping – local surf brand Country Feeling started in a J-Bay garage and is famous for its clothes depicting local surf scenes and culture.
Other activities: 4 x 4 trails, diving, wind-surfing, sky-diving, kite-surfing, quad-biking, paintball, birdwatching, paragliding, game-watching, putt-putt, camping, and golf.