Ride the peak swell season in the surfing Mecca of South Africa
This six week South African Road trip, situated in peak swell season, is the perfect way to see all that the South African coastline has to offer. The stretch of coast from Cape Town to Durban boasts hundreds of world-class waves, some right on the road and others off-the-beaten-track. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced surfer, you'll leapfrog your surfing to a new dimension and gain a deeper insight into this wonderfully diverse country. The epic combination of world-class waves, seasoned local guides and professional surf coaches make for an unbeatable South African road trip experience.
However, it's not all about the surf, as you'll also have time to explore the best of what each location has to offer travellers, including a spot of bungee jumping, a hike up Table Mountain or a safari game drive.
Riders also help out with several carefully selected projects, meaning you'll get the chance to give something back to the local community and gain more insight into South Africa at the same time. Rest assured that Ticket to Ride always supports sustainable projects, with a focus on the long-term benefits, so expect to get involved with schemes for the underprivileged youth in South Africa, as well as pressing environmental and medical issues.
What to Expect
On this trip the main focus is surfing! July through to August is the best time for swell in South Africa, as there are big groundswells that march up the coast. You'll get coached by some of South Africa’s best coaches, including two national coaches, ensuring that your surfing continuously improves. The coaches will use both in-water and beach coaching, and the range of perspectives you get from the different coaches will help to ensure that all aspects of your surfing are covered.
This trip is not exclusive to surfers with experience, as you'll always be coached to your ability thanks to our deep pool of resources in South Africa.
Master the basics
- Paddling / wave catching
- Negotiating the lineup to get to the back
- The “Pop Up”
- Speed control & trimming
- Basic turning
- Surf etiquette
- Linking turns and generating speed
- Developing style and flow
- Introduction to different types of breaks
- Introduction to more advanced surfing
- Video and photo analysis
- Swell prediction course
- Beach and ocean safety
- Surf fitness
- The opportunity to climb Table Mountain
- Time with the Boulders Beach Penguin Colony
- The chance to conquer the world’s highest bungee jump
- A tour of a surfboard factory
- The chance to ride the Flow Rider
- Safari game drive
- Wine tasting tour
Surf Camp Accommodation
Trip Leaders For Duration
Video Surf Analysis
All Surf Lessons
Surf Guiding To The Best Beaches
All Surf Transport
Involvement In Community Projects
Photos Of Your Surfing
Additional Excursions And Activities
Optional Food Add On
Here you'll find a day by day breakdown of your course.
Cape TownSettle in, master the basics of surfing and help out in the townships.
Jeffreys BaySurf world-class waves all day and help with environmental projects.
Get out of the town and start to explore the fringes of the Wild Coast with its many waves and breathtaking scenery.
Coffee BayGo back in time and enjoy simple South Africa.
DurbanEnjoy the buzz of South Africa’s ‘Surf City’ and its invitingly warm waters.
BallitoEnjoy the raw power of the North Coast, refine your surfing for the future and start to reflect on your trip.
What past riders say
I had a wicked time and even extended my trip by adding on three weeks in Mozambique. The staff are all awesome! Ticket to Ride have a great team and the people we met along the way were all amazing as well. Loved the surf, loved the stops and will miss it for sure!Tia Seymour
I was totally bored of working a normal 9-5 office job in cold, wet England, so I decided to have a look at learning some new skills while traveling. Ticket to Ride seemed to provide me with my dream trip, so I signed up straight away. Traveling a beautiful wave filled country like South Africa has been insane. It didn’t just live up to my expectations, it smashed them to pieces. I made friends with some of the best people (and a few animals) I've ever met.
Along the way, I learnt a lot about the crazy world and myself. This trip has genuinely changed me and given me two new qualifications I never really thought I’d ever have! The guys and girls I’ve met and those who work for Ticket to Ride are beyond incredible and I hope they’re proud of the ‘lekker’ work they’re doing. Thank you!Ryan Webb
The level of coaching was world-class and my surfing improved a huge amount. Thanks!Tim
The team, trip and course genuinely ticks all the right boxes for me. A dream come true.Lily
JBay is such an awesome place. We stayed right on the beach, so we’d just wake up and go for a surf at sunrise, hang out with a few dolphins, head back to the hostel, knock back a few cheeky drinks and then have another surf in the afternoon.
Etienne, our surf coach was amazing! He knew exactly what you needed to do to improve and I found myself standing up on waves that I thought would always be out of my reach.
I definitely want to go back one day, perhaps take on the super tubes with the pro surfers! It was an epic trip and one that I will never forget!Lauren Barlow
The best decision I ever made! A truly amazing experience and now I have a job as a surf instructor in Cornwall.Alex Douglas
After working three jobs for five months, I can honestly say that ten weeks with Ticket to Ride in South Africa was the best way to spend my hard earned money. Starting the trip as a complete beginner was daunting at first but I can't recommend it highly enough now. The trip has it all and I've enjoyed everything from catching the wave of my life at The Bluff (with Ryan Ribbink close by) to getting to know South Africans in the townships and at the backpackers.
Each location had its memories and two stand out examples would be Jeffreys Bay for its partying scene and Coffee Bay for its insane morning surfs. I not only overcame my fear of heights on this trip by jumping from the world's tallest bungee jump, but also learnt valuable life saving lessons as part of the first aid course. While the instructor element of the trip saw us really come together as a group, as we practiced giving each other surf lessons and helped each other through surfing two lefts and two rights.
I've only been back a week and already feel deprived of surfing. I can't wait to get back in the water as a newly qualified instructor! I can't thank Ticket to Ride enough, especially the Trip Leaders, as it really was a once in a lifetime experience. The best ten weeks of my life.Phoebe Tomlinson
The surf was great, food was great and everyone was super friendly. I've definitely come back with a different perspective on South Africa and on Africa as a whole, and if you have the chance to go to Mozam as well, don't hesitate - go for it! I caught this one wave, it was like 100 metres long, and it sounds ridiculously cheesy but that was when I thought, I'm a surfer now!Ronan Collins
I had barely surfed before joining the trip and I can honestly say that I'm now hooked. You can't really describe the feeling of surfing, once you're riding the face - it's unbelievable. It's what gets people hooked and I'm sure you will be if you join the trip too. The trip exceeded all my expectations and even though it may seem like a big decision to head out here by yourself, once you arrive and meet the group, they'll be like your family from day one. Definitely worth doing!Charlie Darby
I'd done minimal surfing before doing the trip and it's actually incredible how fast you progress by surfing every day, visiting different surf spots and waves. It's been hard work but I've enjoyed it immensely. I've loved being in South Africa and while I was a little concerned about safety before coming out here, I can honestly say I never felt unsafe at any point. All the locals were really friends and everywhere we stayed, we were made to feel very welcome.
The Mozambique leg was completely different to the South Africa part, and I'm so glad I decided to do as it definitely enhanced the trip. It had a raw feel to it and a much more adventurous vibe as you're going around in a 4x4s, checking out new surf spots and waves for the final three weeks.
If you're umming and ahhing over whether or not to book on, then don't - just go for it! The experiences you'll have and the friendships you'll make will be just priceless.Ben Howarth
Ticket to Ride is the ultimate experience for everyone who loves surfing, nature and adventures! I've had an incredible time in a stunning country, and enjoyed every single trip stop along the beautiful coastine of South Africa.Jana Keller
I was a little worried about money before I came on the course - you never really know for sure if it's going to be worth it. I had the best time of my life, met some amazing people, did some pretty incredible things and now I can surf. (Still working on it.) No videos or pictures will ever do it justice, you just gotta experience it!Sam Bass
Book your flight to Cape Town International Airport and leave from Durban Airport (also known as King Shaka International Airport).
The surfboard hire is included for the first couple of weeks (i.e. Trip 1 - Cape Town). After this the group goes to Lifestyle Surf Shop and purchase boards (please budget £200-£300 for this). By this point the team have seen you surf and can help with the choosing process, to ensure you're on the best board for you.
Surfboards are much cheaper in South Africa, so worth buying out there with the team. If you don't want the board at the end of the trip, you can probably sell it for around the same price you bought it as it's worth more at home. However, most people get quite attached :)
When we get to Durban we also have a tour (included) of the Clayton Surfbard Factory, including a talk with shapers, it's really interesting and you learn a huge amount about boards.
Wetsuits are included in Cape Town as well, but we reccommend bringing your own (3:2mil will be best). Wetsuits are cheaper at home (so the opposite to boards). If you need one then I'd suggest looking on www.surfdome.com. Having your own is far nicer than using a rental as well.
Minimum a week and maximum two weeks, long enough to start to feel at home, but short enough that you'll wish for a few more days at each stop!
The South Africa Rand (ZAR), which is a relatively stable but weak currency means that drinks and eating out will be cheap for most people.
As with anywhere in the world, and worse than some, South Africa has its fair share of crime. That's why you have your Trip Leaders with you, as they know the ins and outs of all the areas we visit to ensure your safety. Once in South Africa it won't even cross your mind.
This of course varies from trip to trip, with the maximum being 25. Saying that we generally have around 15 people including two Trip Leaders, which means you can really get to know each other and don't crowd out the surf spots at the same time!
This also varies from trip to trip, as we have quite a few people who are on their gap years, as well as various people in their twenties and up to their early 30's, who are looking to improve their surfing and travel around South Africa.
For most countries South African immigration will issue you with a holiday visa on arrival. This visa is free of charge and valid for 90 days. If you will be staying longer than 90 days, please inform us early on so we can help you apply for your extension in Cape Town. The 90 day holiday visas are only issued on the grounds that you have proof of return/onward travel out of South Africa. Please do double check with your embassy before departing for South Africa and check out the latest Foreign Travel Advice by going to www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Before you leave for South Africa please go and see your local GP, to get the appropriate vaccinations. It is important to do this in good time and we would suggest sorting this at least four weeks before you leave. For more information, please check out the following websites Fit for Travel – www.fitfortravel.nhs.co.uk and The World Health Organisation – www.who.int. If travelling to Mozambique you will need malaria medication.
For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check http://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.