From the the most beautiful beaches in South Africa to the ‘Big 5’
South Africa is not just national parks, safaris, Cape Town, the wine route, the flower route … it is also about 3000 km of coastline. From southern Mozambique to southern Namibia, the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean border the country and offer a multitude of beaches, all as beautiful as the other!
South Africa: not only Safari but also …
The landscapes that line South Africa are wild or hospitable, abounding on paradisaical white sand beaches in a preserved natural environment.
I don’t know how, like some of you, you make a list of the five, ten, twenty most beautiful beaches in South Africa, depending on your tastes and affinities. Whether sporty or not, reckless or cautious, contemplative or adventurous, lover of photos or loneliness, I guarantee you will find it, the pearl of your dreams.
For athletes, many beaches are dedicated to them, South Africa is the ideal destination, just put on your surf suit or shorty and you’re ready to face the waves!
Ranking of South Africa’s most beautiful beaches
Cape Town’s trendy beaches
Boulders Beach, is without a doubt the most spectacular of the beaches with its colony of penguins that moves on the fine white sand. Since settling on the beach, the authorities have turned the place into a nature reserve, the beach is closed to the public to preserve the environment. To visit, there are wooden pedestrian bridges that allow you to observe the penguins without disturbing them.
Kommetjie beach is one of my favorites, its old lighthouse has a long history that will be revealed during a guided tour. You will be told why South Africa is one of the only countries in the world that still has lighthouse keepers. From the highest cast iron lighthouse in the country, the view of the beach is fabulous!
Muizenberg Beach, a long white sandy beach, a must for surfers, known to all for its beautiful and colorful beach huts. A place particularly popular with surfers of all levels, there are courses to tame the waves that make South Africa’s reputation.
And here, my big favorite, Llandudno Beach! Located in a beautiful and secluded cove, Llanduno is certainly not the best beach for swimming, but it is a paradise for lovers of surfing or surfing in an impressive setting with the Twelve as a backdrop. Apostles, lion’s head and Kalbonkelberg. A dream place that makes it without hesitation one of the most beautiful beaches in South Africa.
Camps Bay Beach is Cape Town’s most famous beach. Surrounded by palm trees and white cliffs, with its white sand, blue and turquoise water, trendy bars and restaurants and the Twelve Apostles in the background, it offers a magical setting, the sunsets are unforgettable. .
The most beautiful beach in Cape Town, with its stretches of fine white sand, is Clifton Beach, formed by four streams one after the other. Protected by towering rocks, these streams form a natural windbreaker against the wind that often breaks out on this side of the world.
The beaches of the garden route
The beaches of Buffalo Bay, near the city of Knysna, are very long and its fine sand is a delight for sun lovers, dolphin watching and, in season, whales. The place is suitable for surfing thanks to the strong waves.
Near Knysna, Noetzie Beach is original for the presence of three historic castles, a romantic setting that is appreciated by travelers fleeing mass tourism.
Plettenberg Bay and its beaches in the heart of the South African Gardens Route offer beautiful expanses of white sand surrounded by rugged coastlines. The bay is known for whale watching, especially during the winter months, when southern right whales visit it.
Grotto Beach, not far from Hermanus, is lined with rocks and vegetation, and is famous for its whales that you can observe during the migration season. The water temperature is relatively warm in summer.
The beaches of Transkei and Eastern Cape.
The beaches of the wild coast are wild, sometimes even intact, pure in nature where the waves give surfers an unforgettable experience. Here again, in this region of the country you will find the most beautiful beaches of South Africa, a brief description:
The most famous beach on the wild coast is Port St John’s. The cliffs of the coast that border the clear and clear waters of the lagoon make up a landscape of natural beauty.
Coffee Bay Beach is at the top of the list of beaches and surf spots on the wild coast. Its vast expanses of sand are breathtaking, if you have the soul of an adventurer, I advise you to swim through the “Hole in the Wall”, completely with only the only view of the Indian Ocean.
The wild beaches of Kwazulu-Natal
From Kosi Bay to St. Lucia, the huge white sandy beaches and the warm Indian Ocean year-round are arguably the best places for swimming enthusiasts.
In addition, there are excellent walks in the dunes, lakes and the coast and in season you can see dolphins and whales passing very close to the coast.
Kosi Bay Beach, located in the Kosi Bay Nature Reserve, is one of the best places to swim in warm, turquoise waters. For divers, the seabed will surprise you!
The beach of Cape Vidal in the Gran Caza de Santa Lucia Reserve, a huge national marine park, is well hidden in the dunes and offers small coves where you can bathe in water at a pleasant temperature, ideal for the cold.
Mabibi Beach, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful wild beaches of the elephant coast in north KwaZulu Natal, is one of the best dive sites in the country and, depending on the season, turtles lay their eggs there. .
Umdloti Beach, lagoon with many natural rock pools where swimming is safe for children; Part of the beach is open for surfers and it is not uncommon to see dolphins early in the morning and whales from July to November.
Some frequently asked questions
Yes, sharks are present on South African shores in both the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean. They rarely attack humans, but I advise you to be careful and respect the instructions posted on the beaches.
Red triangle, dangerous bath
Red and yellow triangle, beach supervised by lifeguards
Yellow triangle with black cross, it is allowed to swim 200 meters to the right and left of the panel.
The water temperature?
The southern end offers sublime beaches with ice water, as soon as you return to the northeast, the water becomes softer and allows you to swim. To swim in acceptable conditions, I advise you to choose the Maputaland region south of the Mozambique border.
The west coast of the Namibian border is wild, the water is cold, the waves are powerful and can be dangerous, we mainly practice surfing, kite surfing and sublime hikes.
I propose that you discover some beaches that extend from the Mozambique border in northeastern South Africa to the Namibian border in the north-west of the country, through the southernmost point of the country. Cape Aghulas, where the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic Ocean.
Contrary to popular belief, the Cape of Good Hope is not the southernmost point of Africa, but Cape Aghulas (Cap des Aiguilles) in the southeast of the country.
South Africa: an exceptional summary
Appearance of zebras and elephants in the mountains, Cape breezes, wild hills and dreamy beaches … South Africa offers the best of the continent with exceptional condensation: culture, history, wildlife, activities, landscapes, beaches. Gold…
3 reasons to go to South Africa
The varied and accessible parks and reserves are home to a wealth of wildlife. : rhinos, notable felines, buffaloes, elephants … The country also has some of the continent’s most stunning landscapes: spectacular peaks and formations in Drakensberg, ridge on the Cape Peninsula, hills covered with rondavels, uneven cliffs on the wild coast, waterfalls and rivers Tumultuous… The colors are ubiquitous: the hills of Namakwa are covered with wildflowers, the sunflower fields cover the lands of the Free State, the red dunes of Kalahari, the pink and orange valleys of southern Lestoho and the semi-arid plateau of Karoo.
Unique dining experiences.
South Africa offers the opportunity to experience incredible gastronomic experiences: gourmet safari, tasting in exceptional wineries, country festivals with rural markets, microbreweries in South Africa, braii on the mountain (barbecue).
Activities in the heart of exceptional landscapes.
South Africa is composed of vast wild spaces, paradise for walkers and fans of strong sensations: surfing, cage diving with sharks, canoeing, kloofing … In addition to these nautical activities, the destination proposes to fully immerse itself in its generous nature: hiking on the Garden Route, horseback riding, safaris, sandboarding, bush walk, pony hiking in the Lesotho mountains and grape harvest.
Kruger National Park
South Africa’s most famous park has 5,000 rhinos. It also offers true closeness to elephants!
Organize your adventure!
If you want to discover the beautiful beaches of South Africa, feel free to contact South African Travelers, an agency based in Cape Town, which has been specializing in bespoke destinations for over twelve years. In South Africa, our Rangers will be happy to advise you.
Below are some incredible South Africa safari holidays package for your references:
Best for budget travellers
Victoria Falls Big Five
Stretching for more than a mile, Victoria Falls are one of the world’s seven natural wonders. Three days at the elegant Ilala Lodge allows you plenty of time to see them, and maybe enjoy a sunset cruise on the Zambezi before flying to Hwange for a three-day big-game safari in Zimbabwe’s premier national park. Accommodation here is at Davison’s Camp, with expert guides to take you on game drives and bush walks. This seven-day safari costs from £1,855 per person, excluding flights, and also includes a complimentary dinner and tour of the Falls. Details from Zambezi Safaris & Travel Company (01752 878858; zambezi.com).
Best for big game with all inclusive package holidays package
Close up with the Big Five and startlingly beautiful natural scenery – from gargantuan lakes populated by hippos and visited by elephants; to the biggest curtain of falling water in the world, Victoria Falls; and the infinite vistas of one of the largest salt flats in the world. You’ll check off every imaginable African safari experience on this 21-day trip South Africa safari holidays package. Details from Inspiring Vacations Travel Company (1300 88 66 88; inspiringvacations.com).
Best for luxury
Tswalu, South Africa
Imagine a wilderness twice the size of Norfolk with just two luxury lodges, and you realise why Tswalu is South Africa’s largest private wildlife reserve. It is owned by the Oppenheimer family, whose dream is to restore this vast sweep of the southern Kalahari to how it used to be. Explore it by private vehicle with your own personal guide and tracker, looking for desert rhinos, black-maned lions, meerkats and sable antelopes. Seven nights from £7.023, excluding flights, with Journeys by Design (01273 623790; journeysbydesign.com).
Bonus: Top accommodation in/near Kruger National Park
Pestana Kruger Lodge **** Malelane, Mpumalanga, South Africa
Situated 700 m from the southern entrance to Kruger National Park and set in 22 hectares of unspoilt land, Pestana Kruger Lodge has luxurious, spacious rooms in an ideal location.
Pestana Kruger Lodge’s Deluxe rooms have large balconies where guests can admire the passing wildlife. Each accommodation has been furnished with air conditioning, high speed WiFi and satellite TV and guests are provided with complimentary bathroom amenities throughout their stay.
Guests can enjoy many modern facilities at the lodge, including indoor and outdoor swimming pools, massages at the lodge’s Camelot Health Spa, and free internet.
Pestana Kruger Lodge has several dining options including Buhlebethu Restaurant, which offers both a la carte and buffet service throughout the day. Guests can also request a breakfast pack to take with them on excursions.
The tour desk at Pestana Kruger Lodge is available to help organise a wide variety of trips and free private parking is available on site.
The Pestana Kruger Lodge’s Deluxe rooms have large balconies where guests can admire the passing wildlife.
Protea Hotel Kruger Gate **** Sabie River, Kruger National Park, South Africa
The 4-Star Protea Hotel Kruger Gate provides guests with great-value accommodation. Half-board is included and children under 12 stay for free with parents.
Each room has a view of the gardens with birds and wildlife. It also has a comfortable seating area. Children under 12 years old have free breakfast and half-price dinner.
There is an open-air Lapa Restaurant, where food is served under the stars. Protea Hotel also has a unique Tree House sleep-out, allowing you to sleep closer to nature.
Dee’s African Spa, situated on the banks of the Sabie river, overlooking the world-renowned Kruger National Park, offers a full range of beauty treatments.
Protea Hotel Kruger Gate offers bush drives in a Private Reserve and throughout the Kruger National Park, along with safaris and organized game trails.
Buhala Lodge **** Crocodile River, Overlooking Kruger National Park, South Africa
Located on the southern banks of the Crocodile River and bordering Kruger National Park, Buhala Lodge features elegant rooms, an outdoor pool and open deck spa.
The elegantly decorated rooms and suites at this colonial style, thatched roof lodge all have air conditioning and tea-and-coffee-making facilities. The rooms are located in the main building and the suites are separate and feature a private outdoor sitting area with views of Kruger National Park and the Crocodile River. All rooms feature en suite bathrooms with free-standing showers.
Breakfast is provided every morning. The restaurant and bar is situated at the main building. Meals are served in the dining room or on the veranda and dinner consists of a three course meal that changes daily. Alternative meals due to dietary requirements can be accommodated on request, with prior arrangement.
Mjejane River Lodge **** near Kruger National Park, Crocodile River, South Africa
Mjejane River Lodge is located within the Kruger National Park and offers 14 km of Crocodile River frontage. The lodge has an outdoor pool overlooking the river.
All suites at Mjejane have an en suite bathroom and feature views of the river and Kruger Park.
Meals are included in the rates and are served either in the dining room or on the outdoor terrace overlooking the gardens and bushveld.
Two daily safaris in an open safari vehicle are also included at Mjejane. Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport is 100 km from the property.”
“Perfect Stay in Mjejane River Lodge with an excellent game driver – we’ve seen the big five and twice times a leopard – the service was excellent – we had a perfect braai and the cook is a genius”
To the Zambezi Safari: Hwange, Bwabwata and Chobe for the an ultimate safari trip
A 100% wildlife safari trip in 3 countries: Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana.
Botswana will surprise you the first time, and you will want to go back there and delight your second stay some novelties.
Let’s start with Hwange in Zimbabwe. Very little frequented in April, the park and its campsites just for you! Around Robin’s camp, the “loops” of Little Tom’s and Big Tom’s allow you to observe wildlife in a pretty wild environment.
In any case, Hwange and its 60 permanent water points, thanks to the solar pumps, located near the slopes, allow to see the animals everywhere in the park.
On the side of Caprivi’s band, you’ll hold Mudumu and Bwabwata.
Mudumu is small but very beautiful with its small lakes and rivers covered with water lilies.
Bwabwata deserves to stay there for two days, because it is bigger, but also because it is easier to observe animals.
Then finally done with Chobe. The Savuti section is very wild and the sand tracks are quite technical, but the predators are on the date! Lyanti is more romantic with its waterfront. As for the sector of the river front, if it is more frequented because it is more accessible and close to Kasane, it is still a pleasure to cross it and attend the bath of animals.