Sally Kirby Surfing Africa

Surfing Africa: surf’s up all over the continent

My first African surfing experience was a few years ago in Cape Town, an afternoon spent wiping out at Muizenberg. I was terrified of the white waves, and of the sign warning of great white sharks. And yet, despite the fear, the regular nasal cleansing, and the washing machine effect of repeated tumbles in the chilly Atlantic Ocean, I absolutely loved it. Our local partners, Escape & Explore, provided an expert team of surf instructors to line up waves and provide valuable confidence boosting tips.

Escape & Explore are now partnering with Tropicsurf, pioneers of what they call ‘luxury surfing’ worldwide. They offer an extensive portfolio of surfing options, from a day’s private tuition in Cape Town to SURFari’s along South Africa’s 1800-mile long coastline. Their itineraries cater for everyone from experienced surfers looking to discover secret spots from Jbay up to Mozambique, to families looking to rent beachfront surf houses and immerse themselves in the laid-back surf culture and warm waters of the Indian Ocean. In KwaZulu Natal there’s also the opportunity to combine waves with wildlife safaris, in the same day!

Further north, in East Africa, you may be surprised to hear that the tropical island of Zanzibar, known for its palm-fringed, picture-perfect white beaches, also offers surf spots for beginners and intermediate surfers. A handful of surf spots dotted around the island, they’re still discovering more. Empty waves, and curious fishermen await; surfing is still new to the island. From December to March, the cyclones further east in the Indian Ocean, throw some ground swell and larger waves their way. Time to get barrelled.

I read the other day that Liberia and Senegal in West Africa are also opening up to surf tourism, where it’s common to find waves of up to 3 metres. Something to work towards. My surf career was put on hold for a while after the Muizenberg session, the fear of the waves had got the better of me. Pleased to say that I’ve finally overcome that, and am currently catching beautiful green waves at the opposite end of the African continent, in Morocco. Learning to surf has taught me that sometimes the only way to overcome to fear is to just do it. See you on the next African wave.

If you would like to travel to Africa, and perhaps include surfing as part of the trip, please get in touch with one of our destination specialists.

Sally Kirby Surfing

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