When you think of South Africa, the first thing that will spring to mind is safaris and Kruger National Park. However, it’s also a beach bum’s paradise. With more than 1,700 miles of coastline, there’s every type of beach here. From resort-centric family-friendly beaches to quiet stretches of sand you might have to yourself, you will find a beach to perfectly suit your mood in South Africa. Hey, there’s even one with penguins!
In this post, we’ll take a look at ten of the best beaches in South Africa. Then, it’s over to you to decide which one you want to visit first!
Camps Bay Beach, Cape Town
Widely regarded as the best beach in South Africa by many (it’s certainly the most popular) Camps Bay Beach is set in an affluent neighbourhood of Cape Town. View it from the ocean and it’s truly stunning. Not only can you see the backdrop of the 12 Apostles Mountain Range from those turquoise waters, but Table Mountain is in your eye line too. There are loads of bars, restaurants, and cool things to do so you’ll never be bored here either.
Muizenberg Beach, Cape Town
Another Cape Town Beach, it’s a little easier to find a spot on the sand at Muizenberg… or in a multi-coloured hut! Waves on the beach here are pretty small, which make it great if you want to try stand up paddle boarding or surfing. In fact, it’s regarded as one of the best places in the world to learn how to surf!
If you don’t want to get wet, enjoy a game of volleyball or a stroll along the flat white sands.
Humewood Beach, Port Elizabeth
There are several beaches in Port Elizabeth, but Humewood is almost everyone’s favourite. Not only is it one of the best beaches in Port Elizabeth, but it’s also the oldest Blue Flag beach in South Africa. Its warm and calm waters make it ideal for a spot of swimming or taking a stand up paddle board out and paddling across the generally flat water.
Robberg Beach, Plettenberg Bay
It may not be the oldest Blue Flag beach in South Africa, but Robberg Beach is certainly one of the finest in South Africa. Located along one of the country’s most popular holiday destinations, the Garden Route, winter is one of the best times to visit this beautiful beach. While you might notice it’s a bit chillier and windier, it’s also your best time to see whales from the shore as southern right whales are prevalent in the area in the colder months of the year.
Kraalbaai, West Coast National Park
Located in the West Coast National Park, it’s not the beach itself that you should get excited about in Kraalbaai but the lagoon just off the shore. The flat turquoise water is perfect for a range of water sports, including swimming, stand up paddle boarding, and kayaking. Back on the shore, you can make the most of hiking, birdwatching, and admiring the fynbos – plants that are found nowhere else in the world but the South African coast.
Thonga Beach, KwaZulu Natal
Another contender for the most beautiful beach in South Africa, the white sands of this eastern beach stretch out for miles and miles in front of you. Wildlife watchers will struggle to find a better South African beach than here – on land you have a coastal dune forest, while the best snorkelling and scuba diving can be found in the azure waters of the Indian Ocean. Visit at the right time of year, you may even see turtles laying their eggs on the beach. What more could you want?!
Llandudno Beach, Cape Town
Named after a windy Welsh town, Llandudno in South Africa has more to offer than the amusement arcades and ice creams of the north Gallic coast. It’s quieter than many of the Cape Town beaches, but it’s still utterly stunning – set against the backdrop of a mountain and homes built into the side. In some sections of the beach, locals and tourists enjoy games such as beach rugby and volleyball. However, in others, they’re prevented by the huge boulders that scatter the sands!
Langebaan Beach, Western Cape
Based in the Western Cape, Langebaan is a long beach with powdery white sands. With numerous cross-shore winds, it’s a haven for water sports including surfing and kite surfing. With one of the most temperate climates, you’ll never be too cold or too hot here. A curious fact about Langebaan beach is that it boasts the largest oyster shell deposits in the world. So, keep your eyes peeled for a pearl!
Boulder’s Beach, Cape Town
Located along the Chapman’s Peak Drive, there’s one reason above all else that you’d visit Boulder’s Beach. Penguins! Here, you’ll find one of the largest penguin colonies in South Africa and you can get up close and personal with these cute and friendly birds. This is a really popular beach, and it’s very easy to find tours from the capital if you’re not sure how to get their on your own.
Coffee Bay, Wild Coast
Last but not least is one of the most popular spots for backpackers in South Africa. Coffee Bay Beach is in the heart of the Wild Coast overlooking the Indian Ocean. One of the most recognisable Coffee Beach monuments is a natural arch in the rock called the Hole in the Wall. You can actually swim through it! This rugged part of the coastline is one of the most stunning parts of South Africa and well worth a visit.