Surfs up! 5 of Africa’s best surfing spots

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Surfing in Africa
00:53 - Source: CNN

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The global surfing industry brings in approximately $50 billion dollars a year

Africa has the potential to be the world's next top surfing destination.

CNN  — 

A recent study estimates the global surfing industry pulls in around $50 billion dollars a year, and some African countries are keen to tap into this economic growth.

Although the surfing industry on the continent is still relatively young, with a coastline of over 19,000 miles, it has the potential to become the world’s next top surfing destination.

Africa’s surf spots have become an attraction to surfers who desire less crowded waves, with South Africa leading the charge.

South Africa

With a variety of waves and a relatively developed surf culture, South Africa is a huge attraction for surf tourists around the world.

One of its many surf spots, Jeffery’s Bay, is ranked as one of the top 10 surfing spots in the world with a swell consistency of 96% and an average swell height of 12ft.

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Catching waves with top-ranked African surfer
08:23 - Source: CNN

South Africa’s 2,000 kilometres of waves and relatively warm weather conditions have earned it the tag of “surfers paradise.”

However, shark attacks have been known to stop some surfing activities. The country has a reputation of having the world’s third highest shark attack rate with a total of 790 incidents since 1900.


waves ghana

Although the surfing scene in Ghana is still relatively small, its uncrowded 550 kilometres of coastline, is an attraction to tourists around the world.

There are many surf spots in the country, however, the small fishing village of Busua, west of Takoradi, has slowly becoming the country’s surfing capital. Surf camps, schools, shops and the likes are springing up across the village. Only a handful of surfers in Ghana are locals with most being tourists from around the world.

Its swells range from two to six feet reaching its highest at eight feet typically around April to September.

Other surf spots in Ghana like Dixcove, Takoradi, Mutrakni are relatively empty even though they boast of swell sizes of about three to five feet.


Students of the Rip Curl Surf Club Ngor surf school walk on the Almadie beach on May 23, 2015 in Dakar.

In Sengal surf spots are uncrowded despite seeing north and west swells between two to 10 feet. Some of it’s popular surf camps like N’gor and Malika surf camp make an average of $125,000 annually.

The geographic location of Dakar, Senegal exposes it to northern and southern hemisphere swells patterns, which ensures that the city sees decent waves all year round.

N’gor Island, one of its popular surf spots sees swell sizes of three to 5 feet with its highest at 16 feet and above.

It also has a swell window of 370 degrees which about 100 local and ex-pat surfers riding its waves every year.


Morocco Surfing Dakhla

Over the years, Morocco has transformed to a surfing scene thanks to the influx of surfing tourists from around the world.

Taghazout, Morocco its most popular surf spot has metamorphosed from the fishing village it used to be to become something of a surfer’s mecca.

Many tourists are attracted by its waves which go as high as 15 feet especially between October and March.

The country has over 300 days of sunshine a year and sees swell sizes of up to 15 feet in its winter months


Emiliano Cataldi surfs in Angoche, Nampula Province, Mozambique.

The southern African nation of Mozambique has a coastline of over 2500km but its waves are relatively unexplored save for Imhambane and Ponto d’Ouro.

The country gets waves through out the year with peaks from June to August at wintertime and stable sea temperatures of 25-25°C all year round.

Some of the more popular surf spots in the country are Barra beach, Guinjala Bay, Tofinho and Ponta d’Ouro.