J-Bay is a laid-back beach town on South Africa’s Eastern Cape coast, featuring glorious beaches, perfect waves and plenty of wildlife spotting opportunities.
Jeffrey’s Bay is famous for surf, sand and shells. Ride world-renowned waves, relax on long stretches of unspoiled beach, explore scenic walking trails and see diverse marine life. Jeffrey’s Bay is at the heart of the Sunshine Coast on South Africa’s Eastern Cape. The easy-going ambience of this surfer’s paradise makes it popular with backpackers, families and outdoor adventurers.
The town’s biggest lure is its beautiful beaches, which offer safe swimming, warm water and plenty of room for watersports. Jeffrey’s Bay Beach is a collection of beaches that stretch along the Indian Ocean coast. Collect shells on the family-friendly Dolphin Beach (also known as Main Beach). Try surfing, kitesurfing and stand-up paddle boarding at Kitchen Windows. Watch experienced surfers riding the big waves at Supertubes or escape the crowds at Paradise Beach. See dolphins playing in the waves. From June to December, spot migrating whales swimming close to the shore.
Stroll around the unhurried streets of downtown Jeffrey’s Bay to discover cafés, bars, surf shops and museums. See displays of precious stones and colorful shells at the Jeffrey’s Bay Shell Museum. Learn about the town’s surfing heritage at the Jeffrey’s Bay Surf Museum. Check out St. Croix Street, known as Shaper Street because of its surfboard-making factories. Visit one of the many seafood restaurants to sample locally caught calamari, referred to by locals as white gold.
Enjoy more outdoor recreation at the nearby nature reserves. Follow scenic trails around Noorsekloof Nature Reserve and Seekoei Nature Reserve to see native birdlife and buck. Hike beside a river estuary in the wildlife-rich Kabeljous Nature Reserve. Ride on horseback over sand dunes, through woodland and on the deserted beaches at Papiesfontein.
Jeffrey’s Bay is about a 1-hour drive west of Port Elizabeth and can be reached with intercity buses. The town is a popular stopover for visitors traveling on South Africa’s Garden Route. It’s also a gateway to game reserves and national parks such as Addo Elephant Park and Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve. The consistently moderate temperatures and range of outdoor activities make Jeffrey’s Bay a great place to visit year-round.