When traveling or revisiting South Africa, local tour brochures and travel advisers alike will give you lots of different advice when it comes to the best places to visit or things to do in South Africa.

These will always include compulsory visits to some of our finest cities (like beachfront Durban or varied Cape Town), touring national or provincial landmarks and a host of other wonderful local boasts, either natural or man-made, but it is our beaches that will leave you breathless and that you cannot afford not to enjoy.

1) Baby blues… life’s a beach

Across South Africa, there are several amazing beaches, which have been awarded Blue Flag Status, an international accreditation you might have heard of.

In being awarded Blue Flag Status, the beaches are all deservedly recognized for their excellent cleanliness, safety and environmentally-friendly/abiding standards.

The Top 6 from 2015 selection included the following beaches (which are all certainly worth a visit):

  • Humewood Beach (Eastern Cape) – Gold Award
  • Grotto Beach (Western Cape) – Gold Award
  • Marina Beach (KwaZulu-Natal) – Silver Award
  • Ramsgate Beach (KwaZulu-Natal) – Silver Award
  • Clifton 4th (Western Cape) – Silver Award
  • Bikini Beach (Western Cape) – Silver Award
Best South African beaches to visit

Pictured above: Port Elizabeth’s Humewood Beach (photo credit: @the9thsky on Instagram)

2) Fabulous local picks

In 2014, Travelstart South Africa asked their Facebook fans to vote for what they thought were the ‘Best Beaches in South Africa’. They received wonderful feedback and in particular, 20 fine beaches made the cut and arose as clear favorites.

KZN picks:

Umhlanga Beach, one of KZN’s most popular beaches for both locals and visitors alike, came in at 20. With the allure of the warm Indian Ocean, this beach draws hordes of beach-goers to its golden sands every year. An added bonus is that the town also offers great shopping, hotel accommodation and buzzing nightlife to enjoy.

Another KZN beach that requires no introduction is Durban’s South Beach. Located in the pulsating heart of the city’s world-famous beachfront – which saw a remarkable revamp both before and during the lead-up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup – this beach is a prime spot for swimming or relaxing… take your pick.

Yet it is Durban’s North Beach that is the king of holiday beach destinations, drawing beach-goers, skaters and body-boarders alike to its stunning shores.

Best South African beaches to visit

Pictured above: Durban’s North Beach (photo credit: www.nationalgeographic.com/travel)

Cape Coastal Gems:

Although Cape Town and the Western Cape at large were fortunate to have several beaches – including Blouberg, Strand Beach, Paternoster Beach, Clifton and Gordon’s Bay (both Bikini and Main Beach) – rank in this list’s Top 20, there is one that inevitably stands out and it is: Camps Bay Beach.

This beach effortlessly secured the list’s No. 1 status and certainly deserves this worthy award. For with its crisp, aqua-blue waters, smooth white sands, huge granite boulders and amazing mountain views of the 12 Apostles, Lion’s Head and even Table Mountain (from behind), this Atlantic Ocean-lying beach is loved by all and sundry, whether they be world-famous celebrities or keen locals in need of a stroll or swim at this beautiful beach.

Eastern Cape Elegance:

Although it may seem like KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape holds all the best beach gems, this is not entirely the case as two of the most beautiful South African beaches are found in the Eastern Cape province.

The town of Gonubie, which lies on the river by the same name, offers a lovely, unique beach in Gonubie Beach. Found at the mouth of the river, as it enters the warm Indian Ocean’s waters, this stunning sandy beach will make you forget that you are a mere 25km from East London.

Then there’s Hobie Beach in Port Elizabeth. Situated near to the most popular PE restaurants, hotels and the casino too, this is certainly one of the Windy City’s best beaches so don’t miss it!

3) Shhh… it’s a secret (beach)!

South Africa even has a few, relatively ‘secret’ beaches for you to enjoy and they’re spread across its coastlines so you can explore the country while you’re out beach hunting.

These so-called secret beaches run as follows (though there are many more besides to discover):

  • Preekstoel Beach (West Coast, Western Cape)
  • Water’s Edge (Simon’s Town, Western Cape)
  • Koppie Alleen (De Hoop, Overberg Region, Western Cape)
  • Victoria Bay Beach (Victoria Bay, Garden Route, Western Cape)
  • Mtunzini Beach (Umlalazi Nature Reserve, South Coast, KZN)
  •  Pebble Beach (Port St Johns, Wild Coast, Eastern Cape)
Best South African beaches to visit

Pictured above: The Garden Route’s Victoria Bay Beach (photo credit: Claire Said on Instagram)


Now, with this sunshine dose of Blue Flag Beaches, popular locals’ picks and a few secret beaches to boot, you have new coastal gems to seek out and enjoy in these fine beaches, with yet another travel idea added to your itinerary, and don’t forget: there are so many more beautiful South African beaches besides!

To rent a car and road trip to some of these incredible South African beaches, book online with Around About Cars. See, Car Rental South Africa for more information.

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