Jeffreys Bay is a popular vacation and retirement destination in the Eastern Cape and is also known as South Africa’s surfing mecca! Situated just off the N2 Highway, roughly an hour’s drive southwest of the Port Elizabeth International Airport, this seaside town is nestled between the natural brilliance of the Gamtoos and Kromme Rivers, and the two estuaries of the Kabeljous and Seekoei.
Jeffreys Bay boasts the “best right hand point break in the world”, attracting local and international surf legends and enthusiasts to ride these incredible waves in a sun-filled paradise. The surf culture and vibe is alive and well in Jbay with surf shops on almost every corner as well as the Jeffreys Bay Surf Museum. If you are keen to fully experience the thrill of catching a wave there is no better place than JBay, and with excellent surf schools and instructors like Andrew Moon from Wavecrest Surf School, the only thing to do is get that wetsuit on and paddle out!
Images courtesy of Deon Lategan Photographics
JBay is blessed with an ever-changing, always magnificent display of sunrises and sunsets. The natural beauty of the area is breath-taking with the endless swell of the bright blue Indian Ocean, golden Blue Flag beaches, sparkling rock pools teeming with sea life, and distant views of mountains and wind turbines. Did you know that the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm is able to produce enough clean and renewable energy to meet the needs of 100,000 average South African households?
The area is rich in birdlife with numerous species of wader birds and migratory water birds. Dolphins can be seen almost daily, Southern Right Whales visit the bay from July to October every year and it’s not uncommon to see duiker, owl, blue crane, mongoose and many other wildlife in urban areas.
Image courtesy of Deon Lategan Photographics
THINGS TO DO
There are many eco-activities to be enjoyed in JBay besides surfing; you can go sand boarding, horse-riding on the beach, take mountain bike trails, go fishing; wind surfing, sea kayaking; give stand-up paddling a try or you can just take an easy stroll along unspoiled stretches of coastline. Check out Jeffreys Bay Tourism for more information.
This town is also great for “foodies” as it has an outstanding selection of restaurants. The quality of cuisine you will find in Jeffreys Bay is phenomenal, with huge focus on the freshest local and organic ingredients; there is also a generous catering for a vegetarian diet. There are so many excellent places to dine, but here are our top 6 recommendations (we just couldn’t leave one of these off the list to make a top 5):
InFood is an environmentally friendly restaurant with organically inspired taste sensations; their claim to fame is their world class artisan bakery and award winning coffee and baristas. You can expect excellent service, a creative and aesthetically charming setting and the most delicious, fresh, organic menu bursting with real flavours (Infood’s red velvet cake haunts my dreams!). This innovative deli also has two sister branches with the same exacting standards, green practices and exquisite fare; Infood Coffee Society at 10 Da Gama Road and Infood Blu, set beautifully on the waters of Marina Martinique.
Image courtesy of Infood
Kitchen Windows is situated on the beachfront and offers an outstanding menu (organic as far as possible) that is prepared to perfection, their calamari has got to be the best in the world, their ribs can be cut with a spoon and of course their seafood dishes are a must; let’s not even start on the Amarula cheesecake.
Ninas is a surfer hotspot located close to Supertubes and Point beaches, they have an extensive menu from Thai and Indian to seafood and burgers. You can expect tasty meals, creative surf inspired décor and a relaxed, laid back atmosphere.
The Greek serves excellent quality, fresh organic ingredients, prepared in the traditional Greek manner. The tiger prawns are out of this world with their special Mediterranean sauce that will make all future prawn dishes you taste thereafter disappointing by comparison.
Love Food is in the heart of the surf village and the perfect place to enjoy a delicious fresh and organic breakfast or lunch. The artisan cakes are mind-blowing and they have developed a brilliant system to reward local patrons for recycling by giving them “Free Love” in the form of a complimentary coffee or cake for bringing in 20 good used containers that they will reuse as takeaway containers.
The Bay Pasta Co. serves delicious pizza and generous portions of mouth-watering pastas on deck that encircles an old Milkwood tree, creating a unique ambiance. This venue also supports live and local music and knows how to host a party.
Jeffreys Bay is home to a number of thriving community upliftment based projects driven by passionate locals such as the JBay Recycling Project which is an inspired initiative where children exchange recyclable garbage for things they need. On any Monday some 350 kids exchange an average of 3 tons of waste for things like books, toiletries, stationary, blankets, food and toys. About 30% of the shops stock comes from the money earned from cleaning up the environment, the other 70% is donated by individuals and businesses in the community. Stitch Witches is a charity knitting group who knit/crochet items for the JBay Recycling shop.
Images courtesy of JBay Recycling Project
Another awesome initiative is the Supertubes Surfing Foundation which is a joint venture between the local surf clubs and surf industry in town; established in 1999. They work to preserve the waves and beaches of Jeffreys Bay to the benefit of everyone.
In season Jeffreys Bay undergoes a radical change from its zen-like pace; the town becomes a hub of activity, abuzz with an infectious festive spirit. The December holiday period is the busiest time of year, but the annual JBay Winter Fest attracts visitors from around the world. Drop in at J-Bay Bru Co. while you`re there and have yourself some award-winning craft beers and excellent street food.
Due to the diversity of attractions Jeffreys Bay is an ideal holiday destination for couples, groups and families in search of adventure or relaxation. It is no surprise that there are a number of lovely places to stay that cater for travellers and holidaymakers’ needs.
When choosing your accommodation, or buying anything for that matter, always remember to take the time to consider what you are supporting. We implore you to choose to support establishments that have eco-friendly and ethical practices in place so that you can help them to continue making a positive difference, thereby making a positive difference yourself.