From the “Cape of Storms” in the south to the strong "Alizée" trade winds in the north, it’s no surprise that Africa, encompassing a coastline just shy of 20,000 miles, is blessed with its fair share of kitesurfing destinations. Each of the places listed below are ideal spots to enjoy the freedom of harnessing the power of the wind, skimming across glittering water and being lifted ridiculously high up into the air. Consistent winds, warm weather and readable waves (or perfect flat water – depending on your preference) are all essential, but Africa also offers dreamy beaches and fascinating out-of-water experiences.
Whether you’re just starting out, looking to progress your tricks in ideal conditions, or a seasoned kiteboarder searching for world-class waves, there’s something on this list for everyone.
Known as Morocco's windy city, Essaouira is a combination of spectacular beaches, great sea and almost-constant tropical trade winds. These factors have transformed the city from a hardworking port into a truly superb destination for windsurfing, kitesurfing and other exhilarating watersports. The bay is protected from strong winds by the small island of Mogador, but some fun waves do manage to make their way through. The sandy, four-kilometre-long beach is vast and, with its long gentle waves, is the perfect place for beginners.
Red Sea, Egypt
With its pyramids, markets, Nile cruises and world-class dive spots, Egypt is on the wishlist of many intrepid travellers. And for kitesurfers, it’s right at the top. There’s a choice of windswept destinations lining the Red Sea coast such as El Gouna, Safaga, Soma Bay and Hurghada. While each has its own personality, they all offer flat water bodies, spacious sandy beaches and big winds, which are excellent for beginners to find their feet on. You won’t have to travel far to find glamorous chic resorts or basic backpacker accommodations, allowing you to lodge wherever you (and your budget) are most comfortable. The wind is up every day from May to October, but Egypt is known for its steady winds, and you can find good conditions any time of the year.
Cape Town, South Africa
Strong winds and big waves have seen Cape Town establish itself as the destination for advanced surfers during Europe’s winter months. Due to the extreme nature of the conditions, it’s only for intermediate to advanced kitesurfers who can deal with the hectic conditions. The Blouberg area, a 30-minute drive from central Cape Town, is where most of the kitesurfing happens and where you’ll bump into pretty much all the kitesurf pros on a daily basis as it’s the one and only winter destination. Langebaan, around an hour and a half from Cape Town, is a charming seaside village that sits on a vast flat-water lagoon. And with 95% wind reliability during South Africa’s summer months, it’s one of Africa’s hidden gems.
Paje, on the southeast coast of Zanzibar and fringed by a coral reef, is the place to be. It’s a quality kitesurfing spot with consistent side onshore winds and flat-water lagoons. It’s more casual and less touristy than the northern half of the island, but still has an excellent choice of high-end accommodation and allows visitors to combine luxury with adventure. With palms swaying on shore and ancient dhows sailing in the distant big blue, Paje is a very special place to throw up a kite. Zanzibar has two kite seasons: from mid-June to late September and from December to late February.
Le Morne, Mauritius
Mauritius has around half a dozen excellent kitesurfing spots scattered around its coastline, but Le Morne is the pick of the bunch. There’s a huge flat-water lagoon for beginners inside of a reef to cut their teeth on and also a variety of wave-riding opportunities further out. The scenery is spectacular and the wind reliable. And because the windy season – between May and November – coincides with the low-tourism season, you can also find great deals on some of the best luxury hotels in the world.