Africa’s Five Best Secret Surf Spots That Probably Aren’t on Your Radar
Toto didn’t have the entire story: God also blessed the waves down in Africa. Most notably; Supertubes in South Africa’s Jeffreys Bay, which has been called the best righthander in the world and was the unveiled star in the cult surf movie of the sixties, “The Endless Summer”. Surfers around the world froth for its perfect sets.
Since then, other great breaks have also been discovered and risen to prominence. With six long, left-hand pointbreaks, Namibia’s Skeleton Coast is renowned for providing some of the best barrels in the world. It’s one of the most rewarding places to surf in Africa but the water is icy, the current is fierce, the tubes can be relentless and it’s a huge mission to get to. In other words; it’s the ideal hard-core surf adventure. Still, there are many other drool-inducing waves in Africa that are less well-known and just as worthy of attention. Here are five;
Word on the water is that Senegal is Africa’s new surfing hotspot. Although surfing has a long history there, the scope of its waves are only now becoming truly understood. It has all it takes to become a genuine surfing destination: a laid-back atmosphere, good food and contagious joie de vivre.
Dakar lies on the Cape Verde Peninsula, a surf-rich isthmus that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. It’s dotted with reefs and points that receive both southern and northern hemisphere swells, or "hemi-swells", allowing beginners and pro surfers to find good waves all year long. The crown jewel is Oukam, an A-frame reef that’s really defined and reliable and serves up the juiciest waves around.
Situated just off the coast of South Africa, Madagascar has a rugged coastline of 4,828 km, where new surf discoveries are made all the time and is rated as possibly one of the world’s last unspoiled surfing destinations. Some of the best surfing spots are found near Anakao, where the first-class waves break several kilometers offshore on an outer reef. The road to reach that stretch of coastline is rough, which has led to the rise of surf crews hiring catamarans and travelling along the southwestern coast in style.
There have been whispers of Robertsport waves for a while now. Lying 50 km north of Monrovia, Liberia’s capital, the port town enjoys stretches of deserted beaches with world-class waves rolling in in season. “In the DIY spirit of an emerging surf scene,” says Surfer Magazine, “Liberian surfers apparently even knit homemade leashes for their hand-me-down boards.”
The Left, Angola
Sharing similarities to its southern neighbor, Skeleton Bay, this unnamed wave needs huge swells to roll in from Antarctica to get going and has a heavy current. On its day, it produces incredible tubes with the entire wave about three kilometers long. It came to the surfing world’s attention in a series of short video clips in 2013, but due to the infrastructure in Angola it’s still pretty much undiscovered.
The African Kirra, Mozambique
Named after a wave on Australia’s Gold Coast due to its warm waters and blue barrels, The African Kirra is a fast wave that can be tricky to ride even for experienced surfers. It only lights up on cyclone swells that bounce around the Mozambique Channel between January and April. Like most of Mozambique’s sandy pointbreaks, the wave also requires a low tide and disappears when the tide fills in. So it’s fickle, but when those beautiful barrels hit, there’s nothing quite like it.