South Africa: An American’s Perspective, Week 2


I’m back with another post about my time as an American in South Africa.  Due to Wi-Fi and website issues, I’m a bit behind as we are now finishing our third week here, so expect another post soon to catch us up!

For this post I thought I’d focus a bit on the beaches of South Africa.

In Washington the beaches are very cold and often very rocky.  While there are exceptions at Long Beach and Ocean Shores, generally they are not very relaxing or enjoyable, rather something to appreciate for its beauty.  We tend to long for the warm beaches of southern California where everybody is wearing bikinis and surfing.

Cape Town

Blouberg Strand in Cape Town. Photo by Jeff.

The beach in Cape Town is a lot like Santa Monica or Los Angeles.  You have your outdoor dining across from the beach where people are playing or wind surfing and the sand is soft and comfortable.  The water in Cape Town, however, is cold.


Six hours to the east of Cape Town is Buffels Bay near Knysna. This is a popular beach area with soft fluffy sand. People come out here to bodyboard, surf, and ride the waves. We went out 30-50 feet off the beach and rode 6-10 foot swells. What a blast!


shores of Seaview. Photo by Jeff

Moving on toward the east you’ve got places like Sea View, St. Francis Bay and Jeffreys Bay.  These are vacation spots with nice homes and shops that cater to the surf crowd.  The beaches themselves are unbelievably beautiful! The water crashes against giant black or brown rocks that jut out of the water like spears. They are certainly a sight to behold and some of my favorite spots in the country.


Jeffer’s Bay. Photos by Jeff

Further east is Port Elizabeth.  There are two currents that meet in this area: the cold Benguela current from Antarctica that reaches into the Atlantic Ocean and the warmer Agulhas (Mocambique) Current from the Equator.  The water is much warmer in this area.  They are also very popular, as you’ll see lots of families, usually blacks, frolicking in the waves or lounging in the sand. The sand itself here is like very fine sawdust powder, very soft and fine.

St. Francis Bay

St. Francis Bay shores. Photos by Jeff.

I recently took a dip in the waters of Port Elizabeth and was quite surprised. I went on a cloudy and drizzly day. In Washington, on a day like this, there would be NO WAY you’d want to jump in the water, as it would be FREEZING! In Port Elizabeth, despite the drizzle, the air was warm and the water, while slightly cool, was quite comfortable.

Port Elizabeth

Hobie Beach in Port Elizabeth. Photo by Jeff.

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