town in the Eastern Cape, South Africa

Jeffreys Bay is located within the Cacadu District on the Sunshine Coast of South Africa. Also known as J-Bay, the town is famous for surfing, white sand beaches and an abundance of sea shells. The town became popular with surfers after the 1966 movie Endless Summer.

Understand edit

Super tubes

The Jeffreys Bay region is renowned for its gorgeous beaches, never ending summers, plentiful shells and is best known as “the Surf Mecca of the World”. The beautiful beaches are safe for bathing and provide endless excitement for water sports.

2 km south of JBay is Marina Martinique, a development on 5 km of man-made saltwater canals. 2½ km north, is the beautiful valley of Kabeljousriver with its waterfall. These are good places to stay if you like a bit more peace and quiet than accommodation in town can offer. Aston Bay borders on Marina Martinique and if you cross the causeway over the lagoon of the Seekoi River, you come to Paradise Beach.

Paradise Beach is relatively undeveloped with 6 km of unspoiled beach all the way to the Kromm River which separates it from St Francis. It is not recommended to swim across the river.

Ocean temperatures are around 23°C in summer.

Tourist office edit

1 Jeffreys Bay Tourism, Da Gama Street (Shell Museum Complex), +27 42 293-2923, .

Get in edit

Map of Jeffreys Bay

By car edit

Follow the N2 West from Port Elizabeth (75 km) or the N2 East from Garden Route and use the turn off to Jeffreys Bay. Jeffreys Bay is 876 km from Durban and 356 km from East London.

By bus edit

The BazBus stops on its way from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth in J-Bay and there are a number of intercity bus companies stopping in Humansdorp (drop-off for St Francis) and Jeffreys Bay.

Minibus taxis depart from the corner of Goedehoop and St francis street going to and from Port Elizabeth. one hour. R50.

Eldo Coaches have buses from Jeffreys Bay going to Cape Town and East London. The fare from Jeffreys Bay to Cape Town is R360, and the fare from Jeffreys Bay to East London is R310.

By shuttle edit

By plane edit

The nearest airport is the Port Elizabeth International Airport, which is approximately 75 km away. Despite its name it only has domestic services, but you can fly in from other world cities with a change of planes in Johannesburg or Cape Town. The latter is approximately 650 km away and you can travel that trip overland if you have time and want to see more of southernmost Africa.

For general aviation, there is a good gravel airstrip - 1300 m for small planes in Paradise Beach.

Get around edit

You can easily walk around in town. Most places you want to be are centered around Da Gama Road, the main beach and Supertubes. Car rental, taxi, and bike rental are also available.

See edit

Sun and sea is what the town is all about
  • 1 Jeffreys Bay Surf Museum, 24 Da Gama Rd (inside the QuicksilverShop), +27 84 240-1741. The history of surfing in Jeffreys Bay is displayed by way of newspaper clippings, articles, old magazines, ancient surfboards and lots of other interesting objects.
  • 2 Jeffreys Bay Shell Museum, Da Gama Street, +27 42 293-1945, . M-Sa 9AM-4PM, Su 9AM-1PM. J-Bay is well known for the huge quantity and the quality of shells that can be found on the beaches. A good book to use as a guide is The Sea Shells of Jeffreys Bay by Douw and Elise Steyn (ISBN 0620240083, Eldolise Publishers, There is an annual Shell Festival in September and a lovely Shell Museum on the corner of Drommedaris and Da Gama Roads.
  • 3 Aston Bay (between Jeffreys Bay and Paradise Beach). This area offers long stretches of untouched sandy beaches surrounded by protected nature reserves. Sightings of small buck, tortoises, a large variety of birds, rabbits and mongoose are part of every day life in this nature conservancy and the creatures are much loved by local home-dwellers.    
  • 4 Paradise Beach. A wide and uncrowded beach, good for windsurfers and kite boarders with a nice breeze most of the year.    
  • 5 Noorsekloof Nature Reserve (in the north of Jeffreys Bay). A small conservation site, more like a park. It's made up of valley bushveld and home to over 50 bird species.

Do edit

Surfing in Jeffreys Bay

The best beaches for sunbathing and swimming are Dolphin Beach (the main beach) and Kabeljous-on-Sea. The best surfing location is the 1 Super Tubes. Other spots include the Boneyards, Kitchen Windows, Magna Tubes, Point and Albatross. The area offers kite surfing on the Seekoei and Kabeljouws rivers, regular kite flying, canoeing, sea kayaking, scuba diving, and some great angling from the rocks or out at sea. Game drives, mountain and quad biking and are but some of the other options to consider.

Surfing edit

Be a spectator at the annual Billabong Pro surfing competition, watch surfers at Supertubes all year round or hit the waves yourself. With numerous surf schools, surf shops and surfboard manufacturers based in the town, there is no excuse not to learn.

  • 3 Ubuntu Surf Co., 8 Cherry Street, +27 42 296-0376. Offers excellent surf lessons with the Andrew Moon & Wavecrest Surf Academy. Guided surf tours are available for the JBay & St Francis area, plus longer trips going as far as Cape Town and the Garden Route. from R200.

Fishing edit

A number of companies offer deep sea fishing charters. Most of the boats operate from nearby St Francis.

Golf edit

Horse, hiking & mountain biking trails edit

There are a few small nature reserves in the area, such as the Kabeljous Nature Reserve, which is a walk-about reserve with a safe beach for swimming and excellent fishing spots, as well as bird watching. The reserve includes a 4-km hiking trail and its own flock of pink flamingoes (when in season). Nature lovers can also enjoy the Noorsekloof Nature Reserve, which runs through a popular residential area. Here you can look out for small buck and many birds while walking the 3-km trail running alongside the stream, while breathing in the magnificent fragrances of indigenous fynbos. The Seekoei River Nature Reserve, situated on the Seekoei River estuary, is a bird watcher’s paradise with hides overlooking the river. For the energetic, Jeffreys Bay can also be explored from the seat of a rented mountain bike. There are some exciting places to visit of which the waterfall, located just outside of town, is perhaps one of the best. The natural pools are refreshing to say the least, while the waterslide and cliffs from which to jump off is perfect entertainment for the more adventurous.

Other edit

You can also ride (sort of) the dunes

Buy edit

Most shops and businesses are along the main road (Da Gama Street) or concentrated around the small main town area.

  • 1 Fountains Mall. 9AM-6PM. The Fountains Mall outside of J-Bay had lots of the major shops, e.g., Game, Clicks, Mr Price, Woolworths.

Supermarkets edit

Surf gear edit

J-Bay is a good place to have a custom board shaped, as a number of surfboard manufacturers have made the town their home.

Clothing edit

There are many shops selling surfer wear and this is the place to buy an exclusive Billabong or Quicksilver outfit. Apart from the retail stores, there are also surf brand factory stores where you can find great surf gear at bargain prices.

Gift shops edit

Eat edit

J-Bay from further away

Budget edit

  • 1 Spence's Pies, Seaview Pick 'n Pay Centre, St Francis Rd, +27 42 293-0630. Try their breakfast pies, filled with scrambled eggs, bacon and tomato.
  • 2 In Food (corner Jeffrey St and Schelde St). The in place and serves the best breakfast and coffee in town just opposite Fruit&Veg.
  • 3 Die Vismandjie, 110 Da Gama Rd, +27 42 293-1241. Probably the best fish takeaways in South Africa.
  • 4 Debonairs Pizza, 30 Da Gama Rd, +27 42 293-3398. Part of the Steers group. American-style pizzas so don't expect a thin base, but their toppings are good. Free delivery
  • 5 Die Kospot, 110 Da Gama Rd, +27 42 293-4320. Homestyle cooked meals, seafood.
  • 6 Steers, 30 Da Gama Rd, +27 42 293-1919. A South African burger chain. Very good value for money. Try their hero steakrolls.

You can have almost all fast foods delivered by making use of special delivery services.

  • J Bay Transporter, +27 83 6111-003. Operated by J Bay Cabs. Available 24/7, see website for on-line menus and services.
  • Mr D Food (formerly Mr. Delivery), +27 42 293-3004. They will accept food orders and deliver it to your door from most fast food outlets and restaurant that do not deliver themselves. Pick up one of their booklets from most fast food outlets. R10 in Jeffreys Bay to R15 in Kabeljous.

Mid-range edit

  • 7 Aston Arms (Lions Den), Dolphin Dr, +27 42 292-0792. Grocery shop with restaurant, the latter named Lions Den. Excellent Portuguese fare. Have a beer with Manual.
  • 8 Cafe Dulce, 126 Da Gama Str (Spar Centre), +27 42 296-2078. Ice cream and coffee bar.
  • 9 Kitchen Windows, Ferreira Street cul de sac, +27 42 293-4230. Tu-Su 11:30AM-2PM and 6PM till late. Specializing in seafood, but they also have steaks and pizza.
  • 10 Potters Place, 18 Oosterland Str, +27 42 293-2500, . M-F 8AM-4PM; Sa 9:30AM-4PM; Su 9AM-3PM. Restaurant and gift shop.
  • 11 Tampa Bay Spur, Time Square Building, +27 42 293-4206. A South African restaurant chain, good steaks.
  • 12 Tapas Lapa Seaside, On the beach at Marina Martinique, +27 83 321-8508. Despite the name, the restaurant seems to mostly serve steaks and also some seafood dishes.

Splurge edit

  • 13 De Visvijf, 55 Diaz Rd, +27 42 293-3921. M-Su 9AM-3PM and M-Sa from 5PM till late. Seafood and steaks.
  • 14 Walskipper, Clapton Beach, Marina Martinique, +27 42 292-0005, . Dig your toes into the sand and look out over the ocean while enjoying a seafood platter. Walskipper is very popular during South African holiday seasons; best to phone and book the day before. During most other times of the year you can just walk in and sit down.

Drink edit

The main swimming beach, Dolphin Beach, is an alcohol-free zone.

There are many pubs and two nightclubs in town.

  • 1 The Mexican, 19A Da Gama Rd (Above Country Feeling Surf Shop), +27 42 293-2966. Tu-Su noon till late. A Mexican-themed restaurant. Live music and the party can get quite intense with people ending up dancing on the tables by early morning.
  • 2 Upstairs @ Havana, Da Gama road (Above the Spur in the Time Square building). Lively nightclub next to the beach. Moved from their old location to this spot.
  • 3 Sovereign, Da Gama Rd. Sports bar and nightclub.

Sleep edit

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Under R500
Mid-range R500 to R1000
Splurge Over R1000

J-Bay caters for all kinds of accommodation. Backpacking hostels, caravan and camping, bed and breakfast, self-catering and hotels can all be found.

Budget edit

  • 1 Jeffreys Bay Caravan Park, 85 Da Gama Rd, +27 42 200-2241.

Mid-range edit

Moonlight over the sea

Splurge edit

Stay safe edit

Beach at Cristal Cove

Robberies of tourists and less careful locals are becoming more frequent. Be careful when walking alone on the beach, or while walking in town at night. Do not leave valuables visible in your car.

Be careful when travelling along the road between Jeffreys Bay and Aston Bay at night, as pedestrians do cross without warning between the small informal settlements on both sides of this road. Also watch out for stray animals on the road.

  • At the closest airport, get directions and information from marked information counters
  • Stay alert and keep an eye on your valuables and luggage at all times
  • Use only registered and qualified tour guides. Contact tourism offices for a list of qualified tour guides

Important phone numbers edit

Stay healthy edit

Connect edit

For contact details for food and groceries, vehicles, home services, liquor, medical practitioners, nurseries & garden services, pharmacy, professional, cleaning, legal services, photography, security, timber decks, housing, health and beauty call the local or international telephone directory.

Local telephone directory: 1023

International telephone directory: 10903

There are a number of internet cafes in town. Some offer wifi access and some are equipped for Skype calls. Places to sleep often also offer free wi-fi, and mobile operators have 3G networks (see South Africa#Connect).

Cope edit

  • 6 Cornerstone Laundromat & Coffee Shop, Magna Towers / Checkers Centre, Da Gama rd, +27 42 296-0732.

Churches edit

Go next edit

Nearby edit

Humansdorp is a short drive to the west

Not far from Jeffreys Bay lies the charming town of St Francis Bay. It is known for its endemic white houses with either black tile or thatch roofs blending together with the Sardinian-style red tile roofs. Approximately half of the town is built around the largest web of manmade canals and waterways in Africa. Adjacent to St Francis Bay is the pastoral fishing village of Cape St Francis with its outstanding beach and historic Seal Point Lighthouse while Port St Francis is the harbour.

Visit Oyster Bay, a town that caters for those who enjoy quiet time and relaxation. Explore this district with its beautiful beaches, rich wildlife and adventures - surf the waves or swim with dolphins, there is something for everyone in this picturesque and breathtaking Jeffreys Bay area.

  • 1 Humansdorp, +27 42 295-1361. The pleasant town of Humansdorp can be found en route to Plettenberg Bay from Port Elizabeth. The Kouga Cultural Centre is a famous attraction due to its symbolism and portrayal of the African Renaissance.    
  • 2 Oyster Bay. What started off as a coastal farm before 1956, has since evolved into the small coastal town called Oyster Bay. Found 14 km west of St Francis Bay, activities such as swimming, as well as rock, deep sea and surf fishing can all be enjoyed in this seaside town.    
  • 3 St. Francis Bay. The charming holiday town of St Francis Bay is known for its endemic white houses with black roofs, either tile or thatch, together with Sardinian-style red tile roofs. It is set around the astonishing Marina canals, offers a delightful escape from the pressures of daily life, in a haven of peace and tranquility. Enjoy the glorious beaches, excellent water-sports, a leisurely lifestyle and the magical beauty of its unspoilt surroundings.    
  • 4 Cape St Francis, +27 42 294-0076. Cape St. Francis is renowned for its peace and tranquility. Nonetheless, surfers from all over the world flock to this coastal village in hopes of surfing a wave at the popular Seal Point. There are a number of nature reserves in the area, and another key attraction, is the lighthouse, which was established in 1878 and has since been declared a national monument.    
  • African Dawn Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary, Lot 13 Strandfontein, Thornhill, +27 42 286 0710. View several species of wildlife on the reserve 20 min from J Bay.
  • Visit Hankey and see the grave of Sarah Baartman just outside the town and the largest sundial in Africa (36.4m in diameter).
  • Take a relaxing drive to Patensie and have breakfast at Tolbos.

Further away edit

The main attraction of Addo Elephant National Park

Wildlife and game viewing is only a short drive away

This city travel guide to Jeffreys Bay has guide status. It has a variety of good, quality information including hotels, restaurants, attractions and travel details. Please contribute and help us make it a star!