6 Of The Best South African Beaches
We love any road trip that ends by the water. Pull up by 7:30am at family-friendly locations, or 10am at party spots, where crowds don’t arrive until midday.
Try these great places, recommended by the surf and beach culture gurus at wavescape.co.za.
Durban, Bay of Plenty beach
Durban’s beachfront is undergoing a revival. From the scabbiness of the last decade, the promenade has been upgraded with restaurants and coffee shops. Hire a chopper bicycle and ride for five kilometres, stand along the pier, and watch the surfers in action from a birds-eye view. You’ll understand why it’s still the surf capital of South Africa. Even in winter, the water is warm. If you’re not up for swimming, you can dive into other outdoor beach stuff, like the Durban International Festival and the Wavescape Film Fest. And, after you’re done surfing or body-surfing, pop into the bar at the Bluewaters Hotel – all waiters in white shirts and bow-ties, sunken booths and velvet – for a pucker frozen margarita or a beer.
The Point at Elands Bay
The most famous left hand wave in the country and one of the best spots to watch surfing, you can sit comfortably amongst the rocks, sand, kelp and oyster-catchers. It’s an amazing place to chill for the day and watch the sunset. Because it’s on the west coast the sunlight falls at the back of the waves making the sea look green and luminous while the offshore wind caresses the swells just the way surfers like it. Walk west for an hour along the beach and discover massive unspoiled dunes. At Eland’s you’re right by the mussel beds so collect dinner (but get a permit).
This beach is incredible because of the amazing space it offers. You’ll find everything from guys riding horses, families and surfers walking down to the Kakapo or to the Hoek. Kakapo, the skeleton of a ship is a long walk halfway between Noordhoek and Kommetjie. From there you can watch the horses and the sunset, look across to the Sentinel and Chapman’s Peak mountains and as the sun goes down you’ll have the Kommetjie lighthouse winking at you.
The Venus Pool, Cape Point
Enter Cape Point Nature Reserve, and park at Buffels Bay. Walk about one kilometre along the coast to the Venus Pool, a big natural sun-warmed tidal pool deep in the fynbos. It’s a great place to swim, explore on the trails of the ancient San and come across Cape Clawless Otters. Far from the crazy tourist crowds you’ll have the opportunity to chill, explore, or walk the coastal paths in peace.
A great Transkei beach, you get the complete rural Transkei package with cows on the beach, sangomas cruising by, rolling green hills and the southern most mangrove swamp in the world (ask a local to take you on a canoe mission). Sangoma cruise by. There are great walks to other amazing beaches in the area like Lwandile. Pack essentials include a surfboard, a fishing rod and Tabasco for oysters. You’ll get some of the freshest seafood of your life.
Kosi Bay, Kwazulu-Natal
Pine trees running onto a pristine beach, mangrove swamps, estuaries, beaches of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, another of SA’s World Heritage Sites, Kosi Bay is the ultimate activity spot with ridiculous natural diversity and outdoor options. Experience diving the equal of Mozambique’s, fish, swim with rays, explore, if you get bored here then you should stay at home for life.