Exploring the coast of South Africa’s Eastern Cape is something every adventurer has close to their hearts, either they have it in fond memories and tales plentiful or they have yet to come across this sacred land and live in hope for the chance to bear witness and experience it for themselves.
Jefferys Bay is at the start of this adventure or at the end, depending on which side you start at. This quaint seaside village rich in fishing heritage and Afrikaans culture has become incredibly diversified and popular in recent years – so much so that the town had to add a traffic light, yes, one traffic light. This surge in popularity is due, mainly, to its penchant for consistently producing some of the best waves in the world as well as its pristine beaches and location. A Weekend Stop-Over in Jeffreys Bay!
Fishing at, either the Gamtoos (to the East) or the Kromme (to the West), river mouths is likely to yield an excellent dinner of Cob, Steenbras, Grunter or other local fish.
If you are feeling a little adventurous and would like to get into the mountain for an afternoon then a great place to go to is ‘The Waterfall’ this is located just a few minutes outside the town on a farm which you drive to. The owners ask a pittance for entry and the trip is well worth it. When you complete the short journey on foot it you are presented with a crisp mountain pool 28 meters deep, surrounded by rocky landscape. There is a zip-line that is loads of fun and two different jumps. A six meter one and, for the brave, a 13 meter one. Best to pack a picnic as the fun can leave you famished!
Of course the Billabong Factory Shop, almost as famous as the town’s perfect waves, is also located in Jeffrey’s Bay for a great shopping experience. Keeping along those lines, the relatively new Fountains Shopping Mall has been completed and is home to a plethora of shops from any kind of souvenir to supermarkets and cinema’s. So if the weather isn’t permitting you to do anything outdoorsy then why not grab some popcorn and watch the latest film.
There are schools that can teach you how to dive, kite board and, of course, surf. The beaches are perfect places to have picnics and you may even be lucky enough to catch the thousands of dolphins crossing the bay almost every day. The surrounding towns of Aston Bay, Paradise Beach, Humansdorp and St Francis Bay make for stunning half day exploring trips.
In the town itself you have a variety of restaurants to choose from including the popular and favourite In Food where you will find live music playing every Sunday afternoon. For the kids, or for adults unwilling to let the kid within escape, there is a skate park near the billabong factory shop where they can play until their hearts are content.
Quad biking, paintballing and sand boarding are available for the extreme sport types. Not to go unmentioned, and for a completely different taste, are the Papiesfontein beach horse rides which are available in two routes – a 13km trail for beginners along a trail, over dunes and back along the beach. The more advanced riders will follow the same route but navigate a further 2km’s alongside the Gamtoos River up until the mouth meets the ocean and then head back along the beach.
It’s hard to believe this little town can offer so much, and that is exactly why it is so special.