My Favorite Surfing Spots In Cape Town

The surfing in Cape Town, South Africa is phenomenal. As I previously discussed, there are a number of great surf spots in South Africa, offering up a variety of conditions and atmospheres. Now that I have left Cape Town, I have had time to reflect on some of my favorite surfing locations in Cape Town. Here are my 5 favorite surfing spots in Cape Town, South Africa.

1) Long Beach

After four months of Cape Town surfing, I would call Long Beach, located in the surf town Kommetjie, my “home break.” It has a very consistent beach break, which is great for those that are new to the area. Located on the right side, there is a steep and fast short break, which ideal for the more advanced surfers; on the left side there are much more manageable breaks as well. The locals are nice at Long Beach, making for an extremely enjoyable surf. There are also some spectacular views of Chapman’s Peak here as well.

2) Big Bay

It was not until about a month and a half left in my trip that I had the opportunity to surf Big Bay, but it quickly became one of my favorite spots. Located just 20 minutes on the other side of Table Bay, the views overlooking Cape Town are truly spectacular. Big Bay also has beach break with multiple peaks. While the location is very crowded on the weekends, if you get there on a weekday morning, you will find the water nearly empty. When it is time to take a rest, there is a lively shopping center located right on the beach, with surf shops and restaurants, perfect for a post-surf beer or coffee.

3) Dunes

While it is a long journey to reach, Dunes is a regional classic for South Africans. After parking your car at Noordhoek Beach, you will then have to head another 30 minutes down the beach to Dunes. Once you are there, you will know it. It takes a fair amount of swell to get going, but when the conditions are right, the waves is a perfect and powerful: A-frame breaking to the left and the right.

4) Victoria Bay

I had the opportunity to surf Victoria Bay one time while we were doing the Garden Route road trip. Victoria Bay is a 3-hour drive up the eastern coast from Cape Town. Victoria Bay has a right point break that works consistently. There is a tough take off spot over shallow rocks, but once you are up it is a great long right.

5) Witsand

Located on the other side of Kommetjie, Witsands is somewhat of a last resort break. Although the waves aren’t usually the best, the water is crystal clear and there are great views of Misty Cliffs. Witsands is also rarely crowded, so it is nice to have some space and not worry about other riders.

 

Table Mountain Sunrise Summit

Table Mountain Sunrise: Mack Prioleau

Last week a group of my Vanderbilt friends and I hiked Table Mountain for sunrise. We took the Platteklip Gorge route, which overlooks the Cape Town for the whole hike. The hike was tough and long (about 1.5-2 hours) but was well worth it once at the top. We summited right at 5:30 in time for first light and enjoyed the breathtaking views for a few hours before taking the cable car down. Thankfully the cable car was running this time.

The Platteklip is the most direct route to the top of the mountain, making it extremely difficult. However, the path is well constructed, with stone steps and anti-erosion gabions. But this route is by far the most steep, so it is recommended to give yourself some time to get up. The views while ascending the mountain are spectacular, which certainly makes it worth your time to stop and take in your surroundings.

Witnessing the views from the top of Table Mountain for the sunrise was certainly worth the effort. Watching the city of Cape Town begin to wake up and come to life while looking down from above is a pretty surreal experience.

Table Mountain is an amazing hike at any time of the day, as it provides amazing views of both the city, coastline, and the unique plants to the area. To put it in perspective, there are more plant species on Table Mountain then there are in the entire United Kingdom. While hiking up the mountain, you are likely to encounter rock hyraxes, colorful lizards and a variety of birdlife.

Check out some of the pictures of our hike up Table Mountain below.

  • Table Mountain Sunrise: Mack Prioleau
    Table Mountain - Mack Prioleau
    Table Mountain - Mack Prioleau

  • Table Mountain - Mack Prioleau
    Table Mountain - Mack Prioleau
    Table Mountain - Mack Prioleau
  • Table Mountain - Mack Prioleau
    Table Mountain - Mack Prioleau
    Table Mountain - Mack Prioleau
  • Table Mountain - Mack Prioleau
    Table Mountain - Mack Prioleau
    Table Mountain - Mack Prioleau
  • Table Mountain - Mack Prioleau
    Table Mountain - Mack Prioleau
    Table Mountain - Mack Prioleau
  • Table Mountain - Mack Prioleau
    Table Mountain - Mack Prioleau
    Table Mountain - Mack Prioleau

Garden Route: South Africa

The Garden Route: Mack Prioleau

The Garden Route is the stretch of land that goes from Cape Town all the way up to Port Elizabeth. It is known for its scenery along with all the activity opportunities on the way.

We started our trip late Wednesday morning and drove four hours to our first stop, Mossel Bay. Because we got there relatively late in the afternoon we did not do much other than check out the town and the beach. We stayed at a hostel called Santos Express, which is actually an old train that has been stripped and made into a hostel. For dinner we ate at a braai restaurant called Kaai 4, where we all got meat platters and had a great meal.

Thursday was Heritage Day in South Africa, which is the reason we did not have school. We woke up on Heritage Day and drove to Wilderness, a town about 45 minutes east of Mossel Bay. In Wilderness, we rented canoes to go “kloofing” for the day. Kloofing is an African term for canyoning, which is pretty much canoeing up a river canyon, cliff jumping, swimming, etc. We canoed up the Touws River for 45 to the Cappuccino Canyon where we hiked to a swimming hole where we swam and cliff jumped. When we finished our kloofing trip, we drove to Sedgefield and surfed a little bit at sundown at the beach outside our hostel, Afrovibe. For dinner we celebrated Heritage Day, which is also National Braai Day by having a braai at the hostel.

Friday morning I woke up at sunrise and drove to Victoria Bay to surf. Victoria Bay is a nice little beach community that has a great right point break. When done surfing, I went back to the hostel to pick people up and drive to Jeffreys Bay, the surfing mecca of South Africa. It was a two and a half hour drive from Sedgefield and once we got there we went straight to SuperTubes, the location of the Billabong Pro, to check out the waves. I got in the water but unfortunately slashed my foot open on a mussel and immediately got out of the water in fear of white sharks after seeing what happened to Mick Fanning literally at the same place. The cut on my foot ended the surfing aspect of the trip for me and I was unable to surf J Bay, which was what I was most excited about.

Saturday we woke up and went to Bloukrans Bridge to bungee jump, which is the highest bungee bridge in the world at 216 meters. We all jumped and enjoyed the great views from the bridge. in the afternoon we went to an elephant park where we played with the elephants for a little bit before driving to Knysna for the night. We stayed at an Airbnb at Knysna before waking up early Sunday to make the long trip back.

Bungee Jumping: Mack Prioleau

All of the activities on the Garden Route were great such as surfing, bungee, and kloofing, but the drives we had were just as great. It seemed like we drove through different seasons and countries as there were so many different beautiful landscapes on the way from alpine forests to mountains to beaches to fields. The views were amazing and always changing.

Victoria Falls & The Gorge Swing

Victoria Falls: Mack Prioleau

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls, also known as Mosi-oa-Tunya, is a waterfall located in South Africa on the Zambezi River. It is truly one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world. Measuring up to 107 meters in height and dropping an average of 550,000 cubic meters of water every minute, the thunder from the falling water is loud, expressing its power to all of those in the surrounding area. The waterfall is 1,708 meters wide, making it the largest curtain of water in the world.

The falls has been declared a National Park and a World Heritage Site, which has helped preserve the area from excessive commercialization or destruction.

We visited Victoria Falls during September, which is when the dry season begins to take effect. The dry season lasts until January and during this time the islets on the crest become wider and more numerous.

When flood season comes around, it is impossible to see the foot of the falls and most of its face. The spray from the falls rises to a height of over 300 meters and sometimes as high as 600 meters.

Gorge Swing – Victoria Falls from Mack Prioleau on Vimeo.

While visiting the falls, we went to the Gorge Swing which is suspended across the gorge. It is about a 70 meter free fall into a 85 meter long pendulum swing. It was an incredible adrenaline rush and offered a unique perspective of the river and the gorge.