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Surfing the Wild Coast, Eastern Cape

The Wild Coast is famed in the South African surfing community for being home to some of the most remote (and best) surfing spots in the entire country. So much so, that many surfers who have been surfing this incredible stretch of coastline for many years, still say that there are a few secret, hidden-gem spots that they’ve yet to surf.

For travelling surfers, the Wild Coast presents a number of challenges. Firstly, it is one of the most remote parts of the country, and generally requires a 4×4 to successfully navigate. Secondly, this is shark country. Surfers will need to have an above average tolerance for scary sea-creatures if they wish to enter the waters here.

That said, it is a surfers dream to surf thick, clean barrels in uncrowded, remote spots, and so the Wild Coast is without a doubt the surfing adventure of a lifetime.

Shark’s Point

The wedges that combine with the main waves here create some nice, zippy little barrels. It is generally uncrowded for most of the year, and although it is fairly hard to get to, there are enough locals around to show you the way.

Presley’s Bay

This little Wild Coast gem has nothing to do with Elvis Presley, but is home to some rocking surf. It boasts a clean, left break that pounds off the northern rocks, but waves are generally close-out. Presley’s Bay is a big backpacking community, which should suit surfers just fine.


This spot has potential to be world-class, and some who have surfed here have even called it ‘the best wave in the whole wide world’. It works best in the early morning in the winter months, where a true high-performance wave throws some big barrels at certain sections. Keep your eyes peeled for sharks though, as there is a river nearby.


This spot is popular with travelling surfers, as it is a fairly intermediate wave and there are lots of backpacking places nearby. It is an ideal place to learn to surf, and is best surfed in the winter months.

Whale Rock

Just around the corner from Mdumbi, Whale Rock is no beginners surf spot. The pounding swell makes for some heart-in-your-throat take offs over a shallow, rocky section. The reward of a clean barrel are worth the challenge, the biggest of which is not to get splattered all over the reef.

Coffee Bay Point

Coffee Bay doesn’t always have consistently good swell, which isn’t a problem because the place is so beautiful that surfers will have no troubles relaxing here on ‘off’ days. It is a popular backpacking spot, and many backpackers come here to have some fun and learn to surf. There’s a surf culture here, but it’s more about the vibe than the swell.

Ntlonyane (Breezy Point)

This is without a doubt the best wave on the entire Wild Coast. But it’s seen more shark-attacks than most of the other spots put together, which unfortunately makes it quite a high-risk surf spot. It’s the one spot on the Wild Coast that, much to the surfer’s drooling dissatisfaction, is probably not a good place to surf.

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