News Room

2018 Town Of The Year – Jeffreys Bay!

Author: Jason Snyman
Date: 2018-06-20
The laid-back Eastern Cape surfer town of Jeffreys Bay has won the coveted Kwela Town of the Year for 2018! Here’s why…
Every year, popular KykNet show – Kwêla – hosts a competition to find the best town in South Africa. Previous winners of the coveted title include Hentiesbaai, Graaff-Reinet, De Rust, Sabie, Fouriesburg, Middelburg and last year’s winner, the idyllic Mossel Bay. This year, the 2018 Kwêla Town of the Year title went to none other than the easy-going Jeffreys Bay. The seaside surfer’s paradise won the Eastern Cape leg of the competition early in May. It beat out the province's Rhodes and Lady Grey. In the finals, J-Bay went up against Fochville (Gauteng), Wakkerstroom (Mpumalanga), Modimolle (Limpopo), Montagu (Western Cape), Upington (Northern Cape), Parys (Free State), St. Lucia (KwaZulu Natal) and Mariental (Namibia). Winners are determined by the voting of South Africans via SMS. The winning town receives free publicity on national television to the tune of a cool R1 million. Kwêla will also host a huge festival in the town, featuring top entertainers, sometime in September. Located on the southern coast, just about 75km west of Port Elizabeth, you’ll find this humble Eastern Cape gem. It is well worth a road trip, so we put together some of our favourite J-Bay highlights.
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The Surfing – Of Course!

You don’t need to be a pro to take on some of the best waves in the world. In fact, if you’ve ever wanted to learn how to surf there’s probably no better place in the world than Jeffreys Bay. There are a number of good surf schools around time to get you standing up on a board in no time. Jeffreys Bay is rated as the second best surfing hotspot in the entire world. According to CNN Travel:
“The best right-hand ride in the world, according to our panel of Surfing Magazine editors, Jeffreys Bay offers long, fast barrels off an intense point break. The bay is divided into sections, so there are plenty of choices – Kitchen Windows, Magna Tubes, Boneyards and, gnarliest of all, Supertubes. Expert surfers flock here for rides up to 300 meters long.”
If surfing isn’t quite your vibe, don’t worry – there’s still a ton of other things to look forward to.  

Dolphin Beach

Dolphin Beach is the most popular Blue Flag beach in town. It is home to the world-famous Supertubes and the centre of huge entertainment. If you’re not interested in taking on the waves yourself, just watching the surfers do their thing is a relaxing way to spend the sunny afternoon. There’s also a swimming pool and opportunities for a bit of snorkelling in the off-shore reef. Other activities around town include the 216m bungee jumping from Bloukrans Bridge, horseriding on the beach, sandboarding in the dunes, fishing and tons of shopping. Mini golf, quad biking and spiral mini slides are available to entertain the kids. No matter your budget, there’s something for the entire family.
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The Jeffreys Bay Winterfest

The Town of the Year announcement could not have come at a better time. J-Bay is currently gearing up for the much-loved Winterfest – returning to town from the 2nd to the 17th of July. The festival attracts some of the biggest names in surfing and swimming from all over the world. Sport enthusiasts aren’t just treated to the thrilling competitions, but can also kick back and enjoy the beaches, the super-chilled vibes and the friendly hospitality of the locals. If that’s not enough for you, there are also fantastic eateries to enjoy – try the calamari at Kitchen Windows, thank us later – whales to watch and nature reserves to visit. Bring coffee in a flask, some warm clothes and enjoy the show.  

Marina Martinique

This neighbourhood has been built around saltwater canals famous for swimming competitions. There’s also kayaking and sailing to look forward to, and stand-up paddle boards are a popular activity.  

Jeffreys Bay Shell Museum

This town is big on sea shells. All over town, you’ll find little stores to buy various creations and jewellery crafted from sea shells. It makes for a perfect little keepsake to take home with you. With a shell collection so massive, the Jeffreys Shell Museum offers offer 600 shells from all over the world. These include sea urchins, cone shells, paper nautilus and the cowrie.