South Africa Beaches

South Africa beaches are accessible year-round and offer a variety of things to do along with the traditional opportunities for sunning and swimming. Along Cape Town and the Western Cape, beachcombers will enjoy strolling through the sand at Long Beach or observing African penguins at Boulders Beach, and for free spirited vacationers, the unofficial nudist beach at Sandy Bay is worth a visit.

A South Africa beach labeled by the locals as "millionaire's row" is Clifton, and visitors may see film crews, movie stars, and international models at work at this popular beach location. The rock-laden landscapes, cool lagoons, tidal pools, and expanse of white sand makes for some of the best beaches in South Africa, which are popular with residents and vacationers alike.

South Africa Beaches
South Africa Beaches

One of the best beaches in South Africa is South Beach, located along the Golden Mile of the city of Durban, which is itself located on the KwaZulu-Natal coastline. At South Beach, not only are swimming and surfing popular pastimes, but the area is lined with vendors selling original Zulu beads, handcrafted baskets, and woodcrafts.

Finding a beach in South Africa for surfing is easy as both Port Elizabeth and East London provide good water conditions for surfing and boogie boarding; the best options for these activities are at Kings Beach and Humewood Beach in Port Elizabeth and at Orient Beach in East London. Near Durban, Umhlanga Rocks has opportunities for swimming and surfing, as well as rock and tidal pools to see.

Eastern Beach in East London is the perfect South Africa beach for exploring and photographing the black-rock outcrops. For any travelers who are interested in photography, two South Africa beaches that are good choices for taking pictures and strolling along the sand are Nahoon Beach and Gonubie Beach, both of which are relatively close to Eastern.

South Africa is known for its wildlife, but the sights aren't limited to safaris and trips to the country's many game reserves. An interesting ocean sightseeing opportunity is possible at two Western Cape South Africa beaches: watching dolphins and humpback whales. Dolphins are in residence year-round, and the humpbacks can be seen from the beach at Walker Bay in Hermanus and from Robberg Beach at Plettenberg Bay, from around October into January.  

The best beaches in South Africa for families and young people are Margate Beach and Umhlanga, located along the KwaZulu-Natal coastline, and Muizenberg at the Western Cape. The beaches are family destination locations during the summer and school holidays providing easy access to swimming, picnic areas, and nearby restaurants. The Wild Coast, located in Port St. John, is another beach in South Africa that provides a good place to swim—it's mostly undeveloped and boasts a lagoon and an enticing tropical atmosphere.

A South Africa beach with a clear view of history is Blouberg Beach in Western Cape Bloubergstrand. The beach not only has views of Table Mountain but also of Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent 20 years in prison. The island is a popular tourist attraction among visitors to Cape Town; tickets for tours are available at the V&A Waterfront.

Visitors seeking a beach with spectacular surroundings should consider Camps Bay in the Western Cape. This popular beach in South Africa offers views of Lion's Head peak and the Twelve Apostles range; visitors will witness beautiful sunsets and discover plenty of restaurants and bars, which makes Camps Bay a favorite destination for discerning vacationers.

Also in the Western Cape area, Boulders Beach, which is part of the Table Mountain National Park, is a sanctuary with swimming and home to the African penguins. There is a small fee charged to access the sanctuary, but it is well worth the price of admission to see the national park and the resident penguins.

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