South Africa is best known for its variety of wildlife and ecosystems. Here, you’ll find everything from deserts and beaches to cliffs and forests. This diversity in natural life makes it a top tourist destination. The country’s city life, scenic views, bright culture and adventurous spirit make it the perfect place to take a break. What one must not forget, though, are the spectacular beaches in South Africa.
The beaches in South Africa are one of the main tourist attractions in the country. They are the place to go to for rejuvenation. Imagine soaking up the sun with the waves lapping at your feet serenely. The soft breeze smells like salt and surrounds you. This is among the best experiences in South Africa’s many beaches. However, if you are of the lively spirit and wish to bond with your family at a famous beach, you can find that too. We present a list of ten beaches in South Africa. These are beaches recommended by everyone, and for good reasons at it.
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These beaches are frequented by locals and tourists alike. Each has various festivals which you should make sure to get to know about before you visit. Some beaches even offer lessons for surfing and scuba diving. The diversity in the culture of South Africa does extend to the beaches too.
Best Beaches in South Africa
1. Addington Beach
Located Durban’s Golden Mile, the Addington Beach in South Africa is perfect for all kinds of water sports. Precisely placed shark nets and the temperature of the water make it so. It is, making it less noisy and crowded. The sandy beach is lined with grassy patches which are right for sunbathing. This is one of the most popular beaches in South Africa for water sports and activities. This is why you will find locals and tourists in the same concentration.
Due to its proximity to the vibrant city of Durban, it is a popular choice for tourist getaways. The marine flora and fauna is breathtaking and deserves a visit. So, if you are fond of greenery and swimming, bring snorkelling or scuba diving gear along with you. Even children can participate in these activities since the water is guarded by lifeguards at all times. The sand is also quite convenient for volleyball, Frisbee and a refreshing jog. Picnics can be hosted here as well. In any case, finding food is no challenge since restaurants line the beach.
2. Santos Beach
City: Mossel Bay
This beach and bay are known for the views of dolphins and whales. The clear, warm water is good for swimming and water sports. A variety of flowers and plants along with a grassy terrace line the beach offering both shade and scenic views. They are also spots for children to play in safely. An assortment of marine riches like oysters and other rocks can be found in the waters here. Colourful fish swimming in the water makes for an impressive sight as well. So, bring along your gear to get up and close with these natural treasures. The beach also makes for a romantic spot during sunset. As the orange and pink bathe the sea, couples stop and fall in love all over again.
On the whole, the beach has a variety of things to look at. Rare souvenirs in the stores along the beach make it worth a visit as well. Rare sites, dating back to pre-historic times, can be found on this South African beach. So, if you are a fan of history, be sure to have a look at them.
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3. Boulders Beach
City: Cape Town
Entry Fee: Adults: R 152 (foreigners) R39 (South Africans)
Children: R 76 (foreigners) R 20 (South Africans)
To all the penguin lovers; this one is for you! Yes, this beach in South Africa attracts hordes of tourists all year round due to the penguins. This is the only place you can spot African penguins. The beach is also swimming-friendly and is a good place to visit with children.
Moving back to the star of the show; the penguins reside in quaint spots between boulders to steer clear of the stormy seas. They have been around since 1982, and are unfortunately classified as an endangered species. This is due to hunting and sudden changes in the temperature. However, the beach has made an effort to take care of them and keep them safe. Boardwalks have been built to ensure the safety of the birds and their chicks while allowing you to view them. Do note that this beach is quite popular. Therefore, parking is difficult to find and is likely to be crowded. So arrive a little early to get a proper look around.
4. Camps Bay Beaches
City: Cape Town
Clifton beach, along with the other shores of Camps Bay are popular due to their location. At a convenient distance of 6 km from the city centre, the beach lines one of the most luxurious residential areas of Cape Town. These villas make for a fascinating sight when placed against the white sand of the beaches, attracting aesthetic-loving tourists.
The beaches attract a variety of tourists due to the numerous features they boast. They offer facilities for water sports, adventures along the beach and scenic views. The fourth beach takes pride in its Blue Flag clean water. The water sparkles against the sun creating an enchanting view no one could ever forget. Bars, cafes and restaurants are placed all over the beach for your convenience. This beach is also known for its magnificent volleyball turf, so all sports enthusiasts ensure that you pay a visit. Prepare your gear before you visit and be early to mark your area before the beach gets too crowded.
City: Cape Town
Popular among kitesurfers and windsurfers, Bloubergstrand or Blouberg beach, is a white sand beach. It is known for the availability of black mussels in the rocky outcrops. The water is colder here, but it still serves for a picturesque view. This is one of the few beaches in South Africa to get such strong winds. After all, a white sand beach against the dark waters of the Atlantic Ocean is a site you cannot miss. Engrave it into your memory by visiting the beach which is graced by frequent winds. Surrounded by the wind and calming waves, this beach is ideal for the solo travellers who wish to relax.
The name of this beach translates to Blue Mountain Beach. And it does this rightfully. Sitting on the shore, or at any restaurant, you will be greeted by the view Table Mountain. This is symbolic to the name of Cape Town and the name of the beach.
A coastal town located in the north of Durban, Umhlanga is a popular beach destination. The coast is lined with a rocky shore across which waves crash noisily. But, this is what attracts the tourists. The towns buzzing ambience paired with the beaches camera-friendly make it the ideal tourist beach in South Africa.
The beach is also very clean and safe, under the constant watch of lifeguards. This makes it child and family friendly too. While the sand is not glimmering platinum, it is a dazzling gold and looks stunning across the cerulean blue of the ocean. The view of fishing boats and a lighthouse in the distance add to the scenery of this beach.
The beach is dotted with a variety of restaurants and eateries, so do not worry about getting food. Just sit back and relax for the day, letting your children enjoy the beach. Do be careful of the rocks though. They can be tricky to navigate and should be avoided by your little ones.
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7. Hobie Beach
City: Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality
A popular beach in Port Elizabeth, Hobie beach suits every visitor’s needs. Be it swimming, scuba diving or playing around, this beach has it all. It is an enthralling destination with its parks, adventurer friendly spots and diverse marine life. This is one of the rare South African beaches which is also ideal for concert and culture lovers. It is regularly graced by several festivals and cultural events. Each event is unique and memorable for the visitors. Located along Algoa Bay, this beach is quite close to the city centre in Port Elizabeth. That is another reason for its popularity.
Here, you can observe the locals on the beach; the fishermen do their work and go swimming in the Indian Ocean. If you do not wish to take a dip, feel free to visit the markets which sell traditional items at good rates.This golden beach is another family-friendly beach, with lifeguards roaming around regularly. It is pleasant to relax in and have a picnic, or lay in to sunbathe.
8. Diaz Beach
City: Cape Town
This secluded beach is popular among romance enthusiasts. It is an ideal spot for lovebirds to indulge in their feelings. However, ensure that you do not attempt to swim in the sea here. The currents are quite strong and are likely to do more harm than good. The beach is also popular among those who enjoy a little change in routine. This is due to the challenging twenty-minute walk you must endure reaching this beach. The lack of people here also makes it popular among those who indulge in photography as well. The raven rocks against the pallid, sandy beach make for a stunning visual. This beach does not offer much for children. So, choose to avoid this if you are looking to relax with your family.
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This beach is named after the city it is located in. Translating to Beach, Strand is a good beach for families. This beach is flat and not too crowded. Therefore, it is a child-friendly beach, preventing them from injuries and allowing you to keep an eye on them. It is also popular among those who enjoy water sports. The waters are warm and comfortable to delve into for a swim or surf.
Spread over five kilometres, Strand beach is nothing but pure bliss. The golden sands and blue waters are a blast for anyone who wishes to enjoy an ideal beach. It is also a good place for anyone who wishes to go on a romantic stroll or a simple relaxing jog. Pools, waterslides and other facilities are available for those who do not wish to enter the sea. This is one of the few beaches in South Africa to make such facilities available to those who want to dip into commercial pools.
10. North Beach
This beach is known for its nightlife and is popular among the youth and romantics of the city. It is a good spot to learn more about South Africa’s party culture and join in on it. The beach is quite popular during the holiday season (December) and is quite crowded then. Therefore, if you wish to work on that sun-kissed look, you might need to arrive early.
The warm waters are ideal for swimming at any time of the year. The water is good for water sports as well; however, the flags should be taken into consideration. The shark nets do not extend past them.
The boardwalk should also be paid a visit. It is brimming with bustling activity and is a sight for those who love observing city cultures.
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11. Bonus – Mpenjati Beach
One of the few nude beaches in South Africa this ranks among the top beaches across the world.
This beach is also known as a naturist beach and contrasts against the gorgeous Munster Beach. This one goes out for the naturalist enthusiasts. However, if the idea of being flashed by strangers makes you uncomfortable, feel free to stay away from this one.
These beaches are only a portion of the many that dot the South African scene. They have their charms and appeals and are memorable in their way. Whichever you choose to visit is up to you and your tastes.
P.S. One last thing, do not forget the sunscreen, shades and hats. A tan is fun, but sunburn? Not so much.