J-Bay (as it is commonly known) may be a small seaside town nestled away in the Eastern Cape but it has a big reputation around the world for the excellent surfing on offer. In fact, Jeffreys Bay is one of the top spots for surfing champions from various countries to test their skills and take full advantage of the best waves and the stunning weather. It has long been one of the legs for the annual Billabong Pro; where sportsmen like Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning compete for the coveted title of the best surfer in the world.
Of course, the beaches of J-Bay are also inviting for other watersports enthusiasts, as well as families that want to spend the day on the warm, white sands or splashing about in the waters of the Indian Ocean. This is a fabulous spot for kitesurfing, deep-sea fishing, hydrofoiling, surfing, kayaking, and stand-up paddling. The long stretches of sandy shores and rolling sand dunes are absolutely amazing to explore on horseback. The powerful, responsive horses love breaking into a gallop (if and when the rider is ready) and splashing in the sea.
Jeffrey’s Bay is a popular shopping spot for locals and visitors that love the big surf-world labels like Billabong, Rip Curl, and Roxy. There are a number of outlets (including factory shops with excellent prices) for leisure wear, wetsuits, bathing suits, and accessories.
Jeffrey’s Bay is flanked by the Indian Ocean on the south and relatively low mountains further inland. These mountains are fantastic for mountain biking, hiking, abseiling and kloofing. In addition, there are a number of rivers around this town. These include Seekoei, Gamtoos, Kromme and Kabeljous. Such stunning natural features create a serene vibe amidst breath-taking countryside for those that love the outdoors.
The Kabeljous Nature Reserve offers gorgeous wetlands, forests and dune thickets and is home to small antelope and about 100 recorded bird species. The estuary of the Kabeljous River is equipped with a picnic spot for visitors that want to relax on the river’s banks and drink in the views.
The African Dawn Wildlife Sanctuary is perched between Thornhill (Port Elizabeth) and Jeffrey’s Bay. It is home to a variety of animals; ranging from blue cranes, vultures and snakes to crocodiles, cheetahs and lynxes. There is a small restaurant and curio shop here, as well as place to enjoy a picnic on the grass, surrounded by the animals.
This part of the South African coastline is visited by southern right whales, humpback whales and killer whales every year between July and December. Spectators on the beach or on boats can watch these majestic animals as they surface for air, peep out at their human neighbours, and frolic in the waters.
Other nearby attractions include:
- Port Elizabeth and its airport are less than an hour’s drive from Jeffrey’s Bay.
- The Happy Hippo Play Farm
- The Jeffrey’s Bay Shell Museum is an icon of the town and showcases hundreds of shells.
- Jeffrey’s Bay Surf Museum
- Papiesfontein Beach horse rides offer a stunning exploration of the dunes and beaches from the comfortable saddle of a horse.
- Fountains Mall is a large shopping complex with plenty of chain stores (like Woolworths, Clicks and Mr Price), speciality shops and boutiques, restaurants, and entertainment facilities. It is a vibrant centre for friends to meet, and has a convenient play area for children while their parents shop.