South Africa is an amazing country for sandboarding: the areas of Cape Town and the so-called Garden Route (comprising the towns of Knysna and Mossel Bay among others) both offer incredible sand surfing locations with coastal dunes of all sizes and challenge levels. The JBay beaches near Gqeberha (formerly known as Port Elizabeth) are another very popular spot with sandboarders. The northern part of the country shares part of the Kalahari Desert with the neighbouring country of Namibia, another sandboarding hotspot; and there are opportunities for practicing this sport on Mount Mayhem near Johannesburg.
Sandboarding in Western Cape
Atlantis Dunes – Cape Town
The Atlantis Sand Dunes offer what is possibly the best sandboarding in South Africa, just a few km north of Cape Town, in the so called “Lost City” within the Atlantis Nature Reserve. The white sand dunes stretch for around 32 km² and are a hotspot for sandsports including off-road tours, quad biking and sand duning on jeeps and 4×4 vehicles. There are different dune slopes and steepness levels that are not too overwhelming and ideal for beginners. Enjoy breathtaking views of Cape Town and Table Mountain from the tallest peaks!
Betty’s Bay Dunes – Cape Town
Approximately a one hour drive up the East Coast from Cape Town, you can grab your sandboard and have some fun on the dunes of the little seaside village of Betty’s Bay, in a site called Silver Sands. Some of the dunes here are incredibly tall (as high as 250m!). Make sure to also pay a visit to the penguin colony at Stony Point while you are there!
Hout Bay Dunes – Cape Town
The dunes at Hout Bay are less touristy and mostly cater to locals who go there to sandboard bringing their own equipment.
Dragon Dune – Mossel Bay
Together with the Atlantis Dunes, the Dragon Dune in Mossel Bay is one of the top sandboarding spots in South Africa. Dragon Dune is the tallest and longest dune in the country so you are in for quite a ride. There are three slopes that can be boarded, each with different lengths: “Baby Dune” (100m), “Big-Boy Dune” (180m) and “Dragon Dune” (350m).
Knysna Dunes – Knysna
Another sand surfing spot in the Garden Route is located near the town of Knysna. The site is filled with golden sand dunes and also popular with kayakers.
Sandboarding in Eastern Cape
Jeffreys Bay Dunes – Jeffreys Bay
The beaches all around Jeffreys Bay are very popular with sandboarders. The town is also very accessible from Port Elizabeth, about one hour drive to the east. Jeffreys Bay is also one of the world’s top five surfing locations (ranked second on one “best in the world” list) and holds the annual World Surf League (WSL) event at Super Tubes in July.
Alexandria Dunes – Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth)
Sundays River Adventures offers sandboarding tours in the Alexandria Dune Field near Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth).
Sardinia Bay Beach – Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth)
Locals like to slide down the beach slopes of Sardinia Bay using cardboard, sleds and whatever they can use as a sandboard.
Nahoon Beach – East London
You can sandboard near East London on the small coastal dunes of Nahoon Beach.
Sandboarding in Northern Cape
Witsand Dunes – Kalahari Desert
This is the only place where sandboarding can be practiced on desert dunes in South Africa, within the Witsand Kalahari Nature Reserve. These are actual desert dunes and as such, some of the biggest you can find in South Africa, including one which is known as “The Dune of Certain Death“… brace yourselves for quite the adrenaline rush!
Entrance fee to the Witsand Nature Reserve is R60 per person, and from the Visitor Center you can rent a sandboard and some wax for R150.
Sandboarding in Gauteng
Mt. Mayhem – Boksburg
Sandsports are known for pushing the limits of snowboarding and surfing by testing out different types of terrains: Mt. Mayhem is technically a mine dump, not a real mountain, but this leftover site of an older gold mine is the main sandboarding spots in landlocked Gauteng. Situated in Boksburg, just outside of Benoni in the Johannesburg East Rand, this is also the closest sandboarding spot to Joburg city.