The Bluff is situated just south of Durban in the province of
KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
"Bluff" means peninsula or a neck of land which protrudes
out into the ocean. The bluff has the Indian Ocean on its one
side and the Durban harbour on the other, hence the name Bluff.
There two swimming beaches on the Bluff. Ansteys Beach and Brighton
Beach. Ansteys Beach is the safest beach to swim at as there are
not as many rocks at Ansteys as there are at Brighton Beach. Surfing
on The Bluff has always been very popular, at both swimming beaches
as well as between the two swimming beaches where you will find
a very well known surfing spot called Cave Rock. Here a reef break
can be found, which on a good day, can produce some of the best
waves in the country.
Sub-tropical KwaZulu Natal is sandwiched between the Indian Ocean
to the east, the Drakensberg mountains to the west, tropical Mozambique
to the north and the Cape to the south. Hot and humid in summer,
warm and dryer in winter, Natalians live in a sub-tropical paradise.
The surf is generally characterised by hollow beachbreaks and
exposed reefs best surfed in glassy offshore conditions early
or late in the day. In winter, southern storm swells must travel
further to influence this coast. While you get fewer winter swells
than the Cape, the swell is often cleaner and more orderly. The
greater the swell travels, the cleaner and more orderly it becomes.
In summer, the KwaZulu Natal coast has surf almost every day,
especially spots exposed to the ocean. There are perhaps four
reasons for this. The continental shelf comes right up to the
coast in parts, which means the deep ocean is nearby. Prevalent
NE winds brings plenty of sloppy wind swell. Then there are fairly
regular groundswells from the south.
However, the big bonus is the prevalence of numerous cyclone
swells in summer. Between November and April tropical cyclones
form off the east coast of Madagascar. When they track south,
they often push in seriously big swell, often confined to the
Mozambique and KwaZulu Natal coast. A lot of spots are at their
best in these Easterly swells. Generally, the best time to surf
is early or late in the day, when gentle land breezes blow. During
summer months, offshore days are rare due to the NE onshore wind,
which is caused by high pressure cells in the Indian Ocean. These
systems create wind swell, depending on the length and strength
of the NE wind.
In winter, fronts pass closer to the area, and there are regular
south swells, with SW to W offshore winds more common. Many beachbreaks
don't like too much wind. Generally, the dawn patrol remains the
best option, especially in summer. However, many point breaks
and protected reefs go off consistently in winter. Best time is
March to October. The coast can be sharky, particularly on the
rural north coast. The Natal Sharks Board (NSB) is efficient at
maintaining shark nets at populated beaches. The NSB has developed
the Shark Pod, proved 100 percent effective in keeping sharks