Top Beaches to visit in South Africa

by Lexa Pennington /
Lexa Pennington's picture
Jul 30, 2014 / 0 comments

South Africa is a coastal wonderland with endless kilometres of shoreline as it fronts both the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. Beaches abound resulting in a nation that mostly spends its holidays along the beachfront, given the great weather on offer and the superb quality of the country’s beaches.

The Indian Ocean beaches are more popular than the Atlantic Ocean beaches, as they are warmer. These are mostly either north or south of Durban, the main city along the incredibly long KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) coastline.

Blue Flag is an international beach grading organization, and South Africa was the first country outside of Europe to be awarded Blue Flag status for some of its beaches. Standards include the presence of lifesavers, clean ablution facilities, and environmental awareness including pollution control. Currently, South Africa has around 40 Blue Flag beaches.

South of Durban along the ‘South Coast’ are a host of fine beaches with broad sweeping horseshoe bays and rocky outcrops to protect the beachfront. There are shark nets and drum lines to protect against predators.

Anstey Beach, Durban

Anstey Beach, Durban. Wikimedia Commons: PhillipN


In Margate, there is Lucien Beach within a quick walk of Margate. Further south, there is the picturesque Marina Beach with a fine restaurant on the beach and a tidal pool, and also Trafalgar Beach further south. North of Margate is Southport Beach which is very pleasant and also Umzumbe Beach, both a little more remote but really well maintained and pretty.

The last Blue Flag beach in KZN is Alkantstrand Beach in Richard’s Bay. Other fine beaches in KZN are Ramsgate Beach just south of Margate, which is great for families, and Umhlanga and Umdloti beaches north of Durban.

The Western Cape has a good number of Blue Flag-approved beaches, the most popular of which are Camp’s Bay Beach, Clifton Beach and Llandudno Beach, all of which are legendary beaches in South Africa. Outside of Cape Town is Muizenberg Beach, popular with windsurfers.

Camps Bay Beach, Cape Town.

Camps Bay Beach, Cape Town. Wikimedia Commons: Nithin bolar k


Along the Garden route are a number of fine beaches including Wilderness Beach, Klein Brak Beach, and Hartenbos Beach, all with Blue Flag status, while Buffalo Bay, Nature’s Valley, and Brenton Beach are also very attractive and popular in the province.

In the Eastern Cape are some fine beaches too, including Kariega, Kenton on Sea, and Kings Beach, all of which have Blue Flag status. Humewood Beach and Dolphin Beach, too, offer the required standards of a good beach.

Of course, many fantastic beaches have not received Blue Flag status. Durban, the South Africa mecca of beaches and surfing with 320 sunny days per year, has some great beaches on offer along her Golden Mile. Starting with the Blue Lagoon fishing spot in the north, there are several great beaches ending down south at Vetch’s Pier, with generally body boarding taking place on the north beaches and swimming on the south beaches. Bay of Plenty Beach and Dairy Beach are the top surfing beaches.

In the Zululand area are some pristine natural beaches like Kosi Bay, Sodwana, and Cape Vidal, with Sodwana being particularly popular amongst scuba divers. Jeffrey’s Bay too is a fabulous place for surfers and beachgoers alike.

Are you ready to make a trip out to one of these gorgeous beaches? Stock up on some outdoorsy equipment while in South Africa and begin your adventure well prepared.  


South African Beach.

Durban. Wikimedia Commons: Simisa