The Transkei is an unspoilt, rural area of the Eastern Cape of South Africa, North of J-Bay, South of Durban. A temperate zone between the sub-Tropics of KwaZulu-Natal and the more Mediterranean climes further to the South. Here there are few roads and even fewer bridges connecting the rolling hills, meaning that there is no easy access to many of the beaches. The mythical waves of Lwandile, a fast, right handed point break that unfurls and races across its reef like an African freight train, in a similar fashion to that most famous of African point breaks, Jeffreys Bay, a few hundred kilometres back down the road. Lucky for you, Lwandile is often empty. and for good reason. First it’s hard to reach. Although just across the river mouth and in the next bay from a small tourist area, the drive will take 3 to 4 hours on the cattle tracks, winding over the hills, through the valleys and across the rivers, to spill you out on the hill overlooking this gem. A short boat trip is the easiest way to access the wave, but good luck finding a boat in this part of the world if you don’t bring your own on the tow-hitch of your Landcruiser. The other thing that keeps the crowds down in Lwandile, beyond the inaccessibility, is the every present thought of sharks. Big ones. The Transkei is far enough South to make a chance encounter with a Great White possible, and far enough North to mean that you could also bump into a short tempered Zambezi, Bull or Tiger shark. Overcome that particular neurosis, crest the hill and watch the corduroy lines fold into the bay, as the first wave of a 6 foot set detonates mechanically over the perfectly shaped reef, delivering another 150 meter ride. Come on in, the water’s fine.
Our Lwandile boardshort gives honour to Lwandile.