The Best Surf Spots in Africa

The Best Surf Spots in Africa

With over 18,000 miles of coastline facing the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, Africa is a surfer’s paradise with an incredible diversity of world-class waves. You’ll find everything from powerful barrels and legendary point breaks to rippable walls and beginner-friendly beach breaks scattered across the continent.

From the powerful barrels of Skeleton Bay to the accessible waves of Cape Town, you’ll discover Africa’s premier surfing destinations and learn why they rank among the best surf spots in Africa. The variety of conditions, setups, and swell windows create a cocktail for surfing bliss.

Surfers flock to Africa seeking uncrowded lineups surrounded by mesmerizing wilderness and raw natural beauty. Let’s dive deep into some of the top surf destinations in Africa that should be on every surfer’s bucket list.

West Africa

West Africa - surf
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West Africa picks up a blend of groundswells and wind swells year-round that make it a consistent and diverse surfing region. Surfers are rewarded with empty lineups and warm tropical waters.

Senegal

With its exposed position on the far western edge of the continent, Senegal gathers swells from the North Atlantic to deliver one of the most reliable surf zones in West Africa. Miles of coastline harbor an array of beach breaks, points, and rivermouths that work on all tide and swell sizes.

N’Gor Island

Located just off the bustling city of Dakar, N’Gor Island features peeling waves year-round thanks to light offshore winds. Two pinnacle rocks divide the island into N’Gor Right and N’Gor Left which link together to form long rides across multiple sections.

The consistent breaks work for all levels and the island has a cool laid-back surf village vibe. But don’t be fooled, the island’s offshore reefs can churn out thick, hollow barrels on a good swell that attracts experienced locals.

Wave Type: Beach breaks and points that barrel heavily at times.

Best Season: November to April for smaller crowds and glassy conditions.

Local Surf Culture: Relaxed welcoming surf community open to visitors.

Yoff

Just north of N’Gor, Yoff pipes against an outer reef when the swell hits, serving up hollow walls and the occasional thick barrel. More finicky than N’Gor, but well worth it when the conditions align. Shallow reef demands expertise at high tide.

Wave Type: Shallow hollow reef break.

Best Season: December to April for clean conditions and light winds.

Local Surf Culture: Popular break with locals who dominate the lineup. Not beginner-friendly.

Cap Skirring

A fun right-hand point break wrapping along a sheltered bay near the small town of Cap Skirring. Sand bottom breaks offer long, playful walls breaking over the sandy bottom. You can even surf the derek, a small constructed jetty in the bay.

Wave Type: Sand bottom point break.

Best Season: Winter for ideal winds.

Local Surf Culture: Mainly tourists and expats.

Gambia

Because the Gambia River meets the Atlantic Ocean, river mouth breaks and hidden sandbar setups can arise along the coast, especially during the rainy season.

Batokunku

Beach and reef break fronting a popular fishing village. Provides fairly consistent lefts and rights when conditions permit. Great spot for beginners before the crowds arrive.

Wave Type: Sandy beach and reef break.

Best Season: December to April before the rains.

Local Surf Culture: Sleepy fishing village with fledgling surf tourism.

Sanyang

This developing area known as the “Coconut Beach” contains varied reef and rock bottom breaks wrapping down the shoreline from the Point. Punchy walls and fast hollow sections await.

Wave Type: Rocky reef and point breaks.

Best Season: November to March.

Local Surf Culture: Mainly tourists. Watch for the rocky bottom.

Ghana

Ghana picks up a blend of swells and offers a friendly welcoming surf culture. While the waves may not be world-class, the vibes make up for it.

Busua Beach

One of Ghana’s most popular surf towns, Busua Beach features punchy beach breaks that pick up swell fairly consistently. Friendly local culture combined with decent waves make it a great option. The town of Busua has a vibrant surf scene and numerous boards for rent.

Wave Type: Beach break with mixed reef and sand bottom.

Best Season: June to August is most consistent, but it can be surfed year-round.

Local Surf Culture: Welcoming surf community centered in Busua town.

Cape Three Points

After an arduous 4×4 trek down remote roads through fishing villages, huge land walls and long fast lefts can be had at this sleepy fishing village when conditions align. Rocky black bottom so booties are a must. Rips and currents require caution.

Wave Type: Beach break over rocky lava bottom.

Best Season: April to October.

Local Surf Culture: Sleepy fishing outpost. Bring your own provisions.

Dixcove

A rare left point break peels over a rocky shelf, offering long rides when the wind and swell cooperate. Shallow rocks make this spot for experienced surfers only.

Wave Type: Left point break.

Best Season: June to September.

Local Surf Culture: Sleepy fishing village.

Ivory Coast

Thanks to its curved shoreline, Ivory Coast picks up a variety of swells and consistent surf. The sandy beach breaks are great for beginners.

Grand Bassam

Named after its bustling capital city, Grand Bassam’s sandy beach breaks pick up groundswells for punchy lefts and rights. It can get crowded with locals on weekends, but the historic colonial quarter provides a vibrant backdrop.

Wave Type: Sandy beach break.

Best Season: March to October.

Local Surf Culture: Mostly weekend crowds of local surfers.

Assinie

A rare reef pass in eastern Ivory Coast that offers hollow left barrels breaking over shallow reef. Accessible only by boat, it is protected from the crowds.

Wave Type: Barreling reef pass.

Best Season: March to November for wrap-around swell exposure.

Local Surf Culture: Boat access limits crowds.

Benin

Though surf tourism remains undeveloped, Benin has various beach break options thanks to its unique geographic location receiving swells from multiple angles.

Grand Popo

Located near the border with Togo, Grand Popo features a nice left-grind over sand and occasional rivermouth right. When conditions are small, the nearby pointe can offer punchy peaks.

Wave Type: Sandy beach break with rivermouth.

Best Season: April to October.

Local Surf Culture: Sleepy palm tree-lined beaches.

Nigeria

Though Nigeria has not developed into a major surf destination yet, consistent beach breaks and increasing surf tourism hold promise.

Lekki Beach

The center of surfing in Nigeria, Lekki Beach features fun peaks, especially at high tide. Watch out for rocks and strong rip currents at low tide. It gets the most consistent swell and winds in the region.

Wave Type: Beach break with occasional reef/rock sections.

Best Season: April to October.

Local Surf Culture: Small but growing local surf scene near Lagos.

North Africa

North Africa - surf
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Thanks to swells originating in the northern and southern hemispheres, the diverse waves of North Africa can be surfed year-round by visiting different regions. Offshore trade winds groom many spots into epic surf.

Morocco

With various setups, Morocco is one of Africa’s premier surf destinations. Waves range from soft crumbly points to fast hollow reefs.

Anchor Point

This famous right-hand point break in Taghazout features tubing sections that barrel heavily on the proper swell. Works best on a low to mid-size swell with light offshore winds. Expect crowds at the famous wave.

Wave Type: Point break over rock/reef bottom.

Best Season: Winter for offshore winds.

Local Surf Culture: International crowd and surf schools. Gets very crowded.

Devils Rock

A heavy shallow reef break only for experts. Powerful, intimidating walls throw thick barrels over barely covered rocks. Strictly invite only from the intimidating local crew who dominate the lineup.

Wave Type: Heavy shallow reef break.

Best Season: Winter with a large SW groundswell.

Local Surf Culture: Watch the local rippers closely. Visitors must earn respect.

Banana Point

Peels along the edge of the Banana Village lagoon just north of Taghazout. Fun for all levels, especially at high tide. It offers non-threatening waves that are great for beginners to build confidence.

Wave Type: Sand-bottom point break.

Best Season: Year-round consistency.

Local Surf Culture: Popular spot for surf schools and lessons.

Draou Left

A hollow and thick left-hander breaking off the point into the harbor. Needs a solid long period WNW swell to start working. Very fast with a shallow reef.

Wave Type: Hollow harbor point break.

Best Season: Winter and spring on mid to large swell.

Local Surf Culture: Crowded harbor break dominated by locals.

Western Sahara

With offshore tradewinds, giant winter swells, and miles of uncrowded waves, the Western Sahara is a desert surf oasis.

Boilers

This heavily hollowed-out left-hander breaks over a shallow rock ledge in the waters off a tiny fishing village. It throws thick, gaping barrels so is for advanced surfers only. Breaks in a remote desert 100km north of Dakhla.

Wave Type: Heavy shallow reef/ledge break.

Best Season: Largest winter groundswells.

Local Surf Culture: No crowds or amenities given its ultra-remote desert location.

Egypt – Red Sea Coast

Thanks to year-round offshore winds, plenty of swells, and its unique setup along the deep Red Sea, Egypt offers a multitude of surf options from reef passes to points.

St. John’s

Fun, rippable lefts peel along the reef at St. John’s north of Hurghada. Sheltered conditions offer a more relaxed vibe for intermediates and slow-rolling walls for longboarders.

Wave Type: Left-hand reef break.

Best Season: Year-round, but smaller summer crowds.

Local Surf Culture: Mainly tourists on dive boats or liveaboards.

El Gouna

Located north of Hurghada, El Gouna was built as a tourist resort town. Offers a variety of reef breaks and points to cater to beginners as well as experts at sites like Mangroovy Beach.

Wave Type: Multiple beach and reef breaks.

Best Season: Smaller summer crowds.

Local Surf Culture: Mainly tourists and expats.

East Africa

East Africa - surf
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Thanks to exposure to the South Indian Ocean, East Africa harbors a variety of setups including points, reefs, and beach breaks that can turn on year-round.

Kenya

Kenya has a well-developed tourist infrastructure combined with decent surf that attracts visitors from around the world.

Vipingo Ridge

A rare left point located north of Mombasa that can get heavy and barrelled on larger S swells. Shallow reef demands expertise to tackle this fast left close to hotels.

Wave Type: Left point break over sharp reef.

Best Season: April to October for S swells.

Local Surf Culture: Private beach resorts host competitions when conditions permit.

Malindi

Located north of Mombasa, Malindi is protected by the fringing reef that also offers surfable passages when the swell is right. Caters to all levels.

Wave Type: Various reef passes and points.

Best Season: March to November.

Local Surf Culture: Well-developed tourist town.

Tanzania

Tanzania offers swell consistency along its coastline with offshore winds grooming waves into fun surfs. Zanzibar provides ideal beginner conditions.

Paje Beach

A fun rights and lefts beach break located on the east coast of Zanzibar. The beautiful white sand bottom makes it great for all levels. The reef is forgiving for beginners.

Wave Type: Sandy beach break.

Best Season: March to October.

Local Surf Culture: Lively surf scene with surf camps ideal for newbies.

Mikadi Beach

Just south of Dar es Salaam, Mikadi features an enjoyable mix of beach breaks and a left point over rock ledges spread over a large bay.

Wave Type: Diverse setups along a large bay.

Best Season: Year-round consistency.

Local Surf Culture: Relaxed welcoming crowds.

Southern Africa

Southern Africa - surf
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With exposure to the massive swells coming up from Antarctica, Southern Africa boasts some of the heaviest waves breaking along the mighty Atlantic coastline.

South Africa

Thanks to its geographic position, South Africa picks up swells year-round from both the southern and eastern hemispheres across its vast coastline.

Supertubes, Jeffreys Bay – One of the Best Surf Spots in Africa

Regarded as one of the world’s most perfect point breaks, Supers offers long fast walls and spitting barrels when Southern Ocean swells pulse up the coast. Home to the Corona Open JBay.

Wave Type: Epic long fast point break.

Best Season: May to August.

Local Surf Culture: The heart of surfing in South Africa.

Dungeons, Hout Bay

An intimidating reef break where the backwash often surges over the shallow rocks. Thick, barreling walls break in the center with challenging takeoff for experts.

Wave Type: Shallow reef break.

Best Season: Winter swells.

Local Surf Culture: Intense local crew. Observe etiquette.

Victoria Bay, George

Regarded as one of the longest left point breaks in the world. Smooth walls peel over 1 km down the point from the main takeoff. Bring a longboard.

Wave Type: Long peeling point break.

Best Season: Year-round.

Local Surf Culture: Isolated break attracting only committed surfers.

Namibia

Namibia‘s remote rocky Skeleton Coast attracts adventurous surfers seeking thrill ride waves and solitude.

Skeleton Bay

Home to arguably one of the longest left barrels in the world, Skeleton Bay can offer a ride stretching nearly a kilometer down the sand bank point. Strictly for well-prepared experts.

Wave Type: Epic long barreling sand bottom point.

Best Season: August to September when it turns on.

Local Surf Culture: Remote wave, limited to committed surf adventurers.

Islands

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Thanks to their remote locations surrounded by deep water, the scenic islands of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans produce powerful and tubing waves.

Cape Verde

The volcanic Cape Verde islands harbor reefs, points, and beaches on par with Indonesia and Hawaii’s endless options to explore via boats and charters.

Ponta Preta

On the island of Maio, fast lefts and punchy rights break over an outer reef in crystal waters. A renowned stopover for surf charters exploring the islands.

Wave Type: Hollow fast reef break.

Best Season: November to April.

Local Surf Culture: Scattered empty islands far from crowds.

Seychelles

Over 115 islands make up this island nation in the Indian Ocean, providing secluded surf spots accessible only by boat.

Tamarin Bay

Epic right-hand barrel breaking over sharp granite reef and shallow bay. Heavy, thick, and extremely fast for well-seasoned surfers. Boat access only to this pristine wave surrounded by jungle.

Wave Type: Heavy, shallow fast barreling reef break.

Best Season: April to October with S swells.

Local Surf Culture: No crowds due to challenging boat access.

Takeaways

Africa offers an incredible diversity of world-class surf spots, from the powerful barrels of Skeleton Bay to the welcoming waves of Muizenberg. There are perfect waves for every skill level across the continent. The variety of conditions, setups, and swell windows create ideal surfing destinations scattered along thousands of miles of coastline.

There are endless setups still untouched and new spots waiting to be pioneered across the continent. Africa remains the ultimate frontier with a lifetime’s worth of surf exploration.

West Africa picks up ample swell for uncrowded tropical surfing. Northern Africa’s waves range from crumbling points to fast reefs thanks to offshore winds. The expansive East Coast provides options for all abilities. Southern Africa withstands heavy swells churning up from Antarctica for some of the heaviest waves in the world.

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