Hostelworld Guide for Jeffreys Bay

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A surfer's paradise in the Eastern Cape, Jeffrey's Bay is a funky little seaside town. Each year Supertubes (pictured here) plays host to the Billabong Pro surfing competition, which is attended by many of the world's top surfers. Dolphin Beach is the top beach in town as it boasts a Blue Flag, and if you're lucky you might catch a glimpse of passing dolphins or whales from this popular bathing area. If you're more interested in shopping than outdoor activities, you'll find plenty of opportunities to exercise your wallet here as Jeffrey's Bay is home to a plethora of cut-price factory shops from big brands including Quiksilver and Rip Curl. After you've shopped, surfed and seen the sights, you'll be able to enjoy a delicious meal and some colourful cocktails at one of the many restaurants along the town's main drag, Da Gama Road. Jeffrey's Bay is well-loved by the locals and by the large numbers of visitors who come to take advantage of the superior swells, beautiful sandy stretches and laid-back atmosphere.



In this Guide...      

Useful Information
After Dark
Places to Eat
Top Attractions
Budget Tips
Where to Shop

 The Essentials


Getting There

By air: The closest airport to Jeffrey's Bay is located in Port Elizabeth. This airport is served by domestic flights from numerous destinations in South Africa including Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

Port Elizabeth is about a 1-hour drive from Jeffrey's Bay. Shuttle services operate between Port Elizabeth Airport and J-bay, and are provided by a number of companies including J-Bay Cabs.

By bus: Jeffrey's Bay is serviced by a number of South Africa's major bus companies including Baz Bus, Intercape and Greyhound.

These bus routes connect Jeffrey's Bay with plenty of different cities and towns throughout South Africa, including Port Elizabeth, Durban and Cape Town.

Getting Around

On foot: J-bay is a pretty small spot so lots of the main attractions can be reached on foot.

However, if you want to head out to Marina Martinique, Fountains Mall or other spots just outside of town, you'll need some form of transport.

At night, it's better to walk in a group or avail of one of the options mentioned below.

By taxi: Private taxis offer a quick and easy way to get around town, especially at night.

By car: Having a car is really handy for getting around J-bay especially on hot summer days or on days when you want to head a little further afield than the main drag.

Europcar South Africa, which has an office at 98 Da Gama Road, offers car rental services here.

 Jeffreys Bay facts

Name: Locals generally tend to refer to Jeffrey's Bay as J-bay or Jay Bay.

Population: Today, approximately 25,000 people live in and around Jeffrey's Bay.

Thanks to its location in the Eastern Cape, Jeffrey's Bay has what is referred to as a subtropical climate. Summer days tend to get pretty hot, seeing an average of at least 25ºC with temperatures sometimes climbing substantially higher than this. Winter days don't get very cold here in J-bay and average temperatures tend to hover somewhere between 15ºC and 19ºC. On average, Jeffrey's Bay sees just over 400mm of rain over the course of a year. Due to the town's coastal setting, it can get pretty breezy here, which is definitely appreciated on those hot summer days.

 Good to know...

Languages: Xhosa, English and Afrikaans.
Currency: Rand.
Electricity: 220V/230V, 50 Hz.
Area code: +27 (South Africa), 042 (Jeffrey's Bay).
Emergency codes: Ambulance/Fire 10177, Police 10111.
Time zone: South African Standard Time (GMT +2).
Central Post Office: 9 De Reyger Street.
Main Tourist Office: Shell Museum Complex, Da Gama Road.
Price of a meal: R60.
Price of a beer: R15.
Price of a coffee: R15.

Embassies and Consulates

USA: +27 (0)12 4314000*
Canada: +27 (0)21 4235240**
Australia: +27 (0)12 4236000***
New Zealand: +27 (0)21 6968561**
UK: +27 (0)41 3638841****
Germany: +27 (0)12 4278900*
Spain: +27 (0)21 4222415**
France: +27 (0)21 4231575**
Italy: +27 (0)21 4873903**
Ireland: +27 (0)12 3425062*

*Embassy in Pretoria
**Consulate in Cape Town
***High Commission in Pretoria
****Consulate in Port Elizabeth

Hostelworld Guide for Jeffreys Bay

 Cheap Eats

 After Dark

Café Kima, 32 Diaz Street Just moments from beautiful Dolphin Beach, Café Kima is a popular spot with surfers and swimmers who come here to fill up. Big breakfasts, tasty lunches and delicious dinners are all offered here, including everything from omelettes to pasta dishes and steaks to seafood platters. Open Mon-Sat 8am-9pm, Sun 8am-6/7pm.

The Greek, Cnr Da Gama & Beverland Str Unsurprisingly, the menu here features plenty of traditional Greek dishes along with fresh seafood. And if you do choose the fish, you'll be able to catch a glimpse of the ocean where it was caught while you eat as the restaurant is close to the beach. Open Mon-Sat 9am-10pm, Sun 9am-8/9pm.

Wax Café, Cnr of Da Gama & Good Hope Street Along with breakfasts, Wax Café offers wraps, salads, sandwiches, burgers and more. Daily specials are written up on the chalk boards, and the smoothies and shakes are the perfect way to cool down on a hot day in the Bay. Open Tues-Sat 7am-3am, Sun 8am-2am, closed Mon.

 Three not-so-little fishies...

3 Fat Fish, 27a Da Gama Road Top-notch service with a smile is just one of the things that make 3 Fat Fish such a well-liked eatery. The laid-back atmosphere is complemented by a menu filled with delicious, reasonably priced dishes including the calamari pictured here. Open Mon 4pm-close, Tues-Sat 10.30am-close, closed Sunday.

Trawlers, 19 Da Gama Road A J-bay institution, Trawlers is a much-loved take away place handily situated on the town's main drag. Best-known for its delicious selection of fish and chips, Trawlers also serves up filling burgers, hot dogs and more, all at really affordable prices. Open daily 9am-7.30pm/8pm.

Tapas, Marina Martinique With sand on the floor and a tempting array of drinks at the bar, Tapas is a great choice for an enjoyable night out. The friendly atmosphere is a hit with both locals and visitors, providing a good mix of punters to chat with while you drink. Open Mon-Fri 5.30pm-10pm, Sat-Sun 11.30am-3pm & 5.30pm-10pm.

 Lounging it in style

Moroccan Lounge, Corner of Da Gamma & Good Hope Street This intimate little bar above the Wax Café is popular with a younger crowd who come here to perch on the comfy window seats looking out over Da Gama Road. Serving up cocktails, beers and more, the bar itself is often decked out with amusing signs such as the one seen here. Open daily 6pm-1am.

The Mexican, 19a Da Gama Road Cocktails aplenty are on the drinks menu at this well-liked restaurant and bar. Not only are these colourful concoctions delicious but they're great value too. Tequila shooters, beers and plenty more can all be purchased here from the sociable staff. Open daily 12pm-9pm (low season), 12pm-11pm (high season).

The Lounge, 122 Da Gama Road In high season, this is a great spot to head to if you're looking to hear some live music as bands can often be found entertaining the crowds inside this large bar. Happy hour here lasts from 8pm to 9pm, with numerous drinks specials including deals on shots. Open daily 10am-2am (low season), 10am-3am (high season).

Fountains Cinemas, Fountains Mall, Cnr R102 Humansdorp & St Francis Drive If you're not into bars or just feel the need for a break from drinking, head to the Fountains Cinema to catch a movie. Watching one of the new releases being shown is a great way to spend a night out. Opening times vary with movies being shown; check listings for details.

 Don't Miss

 Jeffrey's Bay for Free

Shell Museum, Shell Museum Complex, Cnr of Da Gama & Drommedaris Home to a colourful selection of shells from the beaches of Jeffrey's Bay and other sandy stretches all over the world, this museum displays around 600 shells from a wide variety of different species. Open Mon-Sat 9am-4pm, Sun 9am-1pm; admission free.

Surfing, various locations Not just an activity, surfing is a way of life here in J-bay. It's hardly surprising that the town draws in avid surfers from all over the globe given that it sports some of the best breaks in the world. Experienced surfers can be found enjoying the waves at Surpertubes, while a number of agencies in town also offer lessons to beginners looking to ride their very first wave.

 Surfing with a difference

Jay Bay Sandboarding, Marina Martinique If you want to keep your feet on dry land but still want a surf-like thrill, go sandboarding out in Marina Martinique with Jay Bay Sandboarding. Their enjoyable daily trips include board rental and lessons. Open daily, time vary depending on bookings; admission 150R for 2 hours.

Skate Park, Quiksilver Store, Fountains Mall, Cnr R102 Humansdorp & St Francis Drive It might be a bit strange to see a skate park inside a shop but that's exactly what you'll get here. Both locals and visitors make use of the park, especially on rainy days when you'll find plenty of skateboarders showing off their skills. Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 9am-3pm; admission free.

Factory shops, various locations Shopping is becoming almost as popular as surfing in Jeffrey's Bay as a result of the numerous factory stores in town. Surfing gear, clothing and plenty more are sold at discounted prices. Some of the shops include Billabong, Roxy, Rip Curl and Country Feeling.

Spend some time at Supertubes Supertubes, which is a favourite haunt of experienced surfers, is an attractive spot for lots of other reasons. As well as watching the surfers catch wave after wave, you can walk along the beach and check out the rock pools or pick shells from the huge numbers washed up along the strand.

Check out Dolphin Beach This top-quality beach has been awarded a Blue Flag and it's not hard to see why. Boasting a long, pristine stretch of sand, Dolphin Beach is often filled with sun worshippers laying about in the hot sun and swimmers taking a dip to cool down. If you're lucky you might spot some dolphins or even whales from the beach.

Watch the surf lessons at Kitchen Windows Lots of the surf schools operating in J-bay hold their lessons at a spot called Kitchen Windows just down the strand from Dolphin Beach. Lessons begin on the sand, and as you pass by you might hear talk of 'rails' plus lots more. When you're done watching the beginners tackling their first waves, go for a stroll along the sand.

Visit the quirky Surf Museum J-bay's quaint Surf Museum is located upstairs in the Quiksilver Store on Da Gama Road. Wander around and have a look at the large collection of surfing memorabilia on display including pictures of local surfers riding the waves, surfboards and plenty more. Open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-2pm, Sun 9am-1pm.

 It's another J-bay sunrise

Enjoy a spectacular sunrise Try and get up early at least once during your stay and head down to the beach to watch the sunrise. African sunrises and sunsets are noted for their beauty, and J-bay is no exception. Watch as the sun climbs and sends streaks of gold across both sea and sky.

Hostelworld Guide for Jeffreys Bay