Jeffrey’s Bay- The town made for the beach addicts
Are you ready to hear about more amazing places in South Africa besides Cape Town and Johannesburg?
You might not have heard of a small town called Jeffrey’s Bay before, but prepare yourself to fall in love with another South African city. This warning especially applies to people who love the beach, surfing and relaxing.
Jeffrey’s Bay is situated an hour drive away from Port Elisabeth, which is one of the bigger cities in South Africa. Port Elisabeth is an another beautiful option to visit on your road trip. Jeffrey’s Bay is however a cute little town with around 15,000 inhabitants. You don’t want to miss this warm and cosy place for the world!
J-Bay is situated in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa and known for its ivory sands and sparkling surf. It’s also a shopaholic’s paradise with its factory outlet wonderland.
In J’ Bay people can sleep in luxury villas, several backpackers or under the stars in a large camping site called Jeffreys Bay Caravan Park. It’s possible to stay in all of those accommodations with very reasonable prices.We chose camping.
I hadn’t camped in ages even though I really enjoy the idea of a hotel without walls. The campsite was situated on the breathtakingly beautiful beach, just a short 5-minutes walk away from the centre. We stayed there for a week and had access to all the facilities needed. The electricity, laundry room, clean showers and toilets were provided by the campsite. In fact, they had so many good facilities on the campsite that even a Finnish girl like me could stay there without any problems, and actually enjoy it.
The best place to start the day in J-Bay is in one of the cute and cosy coffee places. Santa Fe has an amazing selection of sweet or salty pies and mouth watering coffee milkshakes. The healthy ones can go with the large and tasty fruit salads, organic teas and self-made lemonade.
A bakery-restaurant called In Food has relaxed live music, peaceful decoration and a delicious collection of organic homemade products like different flavored jams. Both of these awesome places are situated next to the main street Da Gama Road.
Jeffrey’s Bay is a mecca of surfing in South Africa. It’s well-known for it’s sensational waves and each July the best of the best gather there for a famous surf competition, Billabong Pro Jeffrey’s Bay. I started a couple of my mornings by either running on the beach or surfing. And so did the rest of the sporty town. The beach was packed with people running, surfing or walking. And smiling!
If you want to rent a surf board, it costs around 1,5€ per hour. Taming the waves is totally worth trying, even if you are a beginner. J-Bay has good rookie waves, and the best place to rent a board is the Rip Curl store on Da Gama Road.
Whether your mission is to try paddling for the first time or checking out the angel haired surfing professionals- Jeffrey’s Bay is the number one hotspot in South Africa.
The soft shiny sand is a shell collector’s dream. It is full of shiny, perfect-shaped shells in every imaginable color. A couple of the gift shops on the main beach sell beautiful, polished shells as souveniers but nothing beats showing off your own collection with your peeps back home.
One of the most calorie burning spare-time activities in J-Bay was shopping in several factory outlets. The quality of the brands is good, and the prices are as low as a budget shopaholic can only dream. You can get over 70% discounts from the retail prices. I don’t consider myself the “shopping type” but I still somehow managed to spend several days in these outlets.
If for some reason shopping and tanning don’t sound like a good enough time to you, don’t sweat, there is more on offer.
The land lovers can choose their daily activities from horsebackriding on the beach, sandboarding, jumping off the world’s highest bungy bridge or visiting national parks nearby. Addo Elephant national park is a two hour drive away and coming here was the highlight of my road trip in South Africa. We saw packs of elephants, buffalos, wild birds, pigs, turtles and tons of other animals in their natural environment.
So whether your goal is to relax, get the adrenaline rush or shop till you drop, Jeffrey’s Bay is the place to stop on your travel adventure.
Text, Photos Rita Maria