Surfing in South Africa and Mozambique


South Africa

Sitting directly in the path of the Roaring 40s this is one of the most consistent areas in the world. Split into three main areas, the western Cape Town side, the south facing side which includes J Bay and the Garden Route, and the eastern side around Durban where the city beaches can produce epic, glassy barrels. The area has been surfed since Durban locals discovered the belly board in the 1920s.

Winter is the most consistent and waves here can rival any in the world for size. Two oceans, the Atlantic and Indian meet here with one being cold and the other tropical. Sea-life is abundant as are sharks and many of the main beaches are netted but attacks do happen. Sea temps vary between 57 and 72 degrees. The coastline of South Africa is the oldest shoreline on earth, and aeons of erosion have created an underwater topography ideal for creating good waves.
This has made South Africa home to some of the best mid-latitude surf you’ll find anywhere in the world. The irregular shoreline of the Cape Peninsula, along with its 180° swell window, allows it to offer the best density of varied spots in the whole country.
South Africa hosts many events with the Hout Bay Annual Int. Big Wave Event at Dungeons in April/August and the World Championship Billabong Pro at Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay in July being the major ones.

The Tigersmilk Surf Classic just outside of Cape Town (Muizenberg Corner) usually runs in June for surfers, SUP’ers and longboarders.


Barra Island

South Africa’s neighbor to the north-east, Mozambique, has roughly 2,500 km (1,560mi) of coastline, most of which receives ample, seasonal swell and almost no crowds. If you’re after a surf explorer’s paradise then Mozambique could fit the bill perfectly. Famous breaks like Ponta D’Ouro, a fabulous right point nestled up against the South African border, or Ilha de Inhaca, an island right near the capital, Maputo, both suffer from inconsistency and isolation. For the travelling surfer after quality and consistency, the best area to focus on is probably Inhambane province, a 6hr drive from Maputo.
Inhambane town is situated at the end of a long peninsula. On one side is a sheltered lagoon with many mangroves and traditional wooden dhows ferrying people and goods to and from Inhambane’s little port. On the swell exposed side, there are a series of beaches and coves with plenty of consistent waves. The stunning Barra Beach is a long swathe of palm backed white sand with good quality accommodation hidden behind the trees. The wave here is often little more than a closeout but sometimes it throws up a quality beach break right at low tide. It faces north so is consistently offshore. At either end of the beach are a couple of mediocre sand points that can give long rides on the right day.

Comments are closed.