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30 Best Beaches in South Africa | Complete Guide

Havana Dauncey
30 Best Beaches in South Africa | Complete Guide

If South Africa is known for one thing, it has to be its world-class beaches. From the rocky west coast shorelines and the pristine beaches of Cape Town to the golden sands of the Garden Route and untouched shores of the Wild Coast and Kwazulu Natal — you can’t help but want to visit them all!

Get your weekend plans in order, because there is fun in the sun to be had. Here’s a list of the best beaches in South Africa, so that no matter where you are, you can find the perfect beach near you!

Find the top beaches in:

Cape Town

Cape Town is the best place to start a trip to South Africa, there is a lot to see and do and the beaches are breathtaking! Here are some of the top must-visit spots in the Western Cape.

Llandudno Beach

Best Beaches in South Africa

Location: Llandudno, Cape Town

Dog Friendly: Yes

Main Attraction: Hugged by magnificent cliffsides on either side, Llandudno is known as one of the top surfer and sundowners spots in Cape Town.


Windmill Beach

Best Beaches in South Africa

Location: Simon’s Town, Cape Town

Dog Friendly: Yes

Main Attraction: It’s a stunning snorkelling hotspot and a well-known family beach with its safe shallow waters and beautiful views.


Clifton 2nd Beach

Location: Clifton, Cape Town

Dog Friendly: No

Main Attraction: Avoid the crowds of the other Clifton beaches but enjoy the same soft, white sand and gorgeous views.


Boulders Beach

Best Beaches in South Africa

Location: Simon’s Town, Cape Town

Dog Friendly: No

Main Attraction: The penguins, obviously!


Bloubergstrand Beach

Location: Blouberg, Cape Town

Dog Friendly: Yes

Main Attraction: The iconic view of Table Mountain and Cape Town’s city bowl.


West Coast

A short drive up the coast and you're on the West Coast! This rugged landscape has some of the best hidden gems when it comes to beach escapes. Don't miss the opportunity to take a Sunday drive up this way.

Kraalbaai Beach

Best Beaches in South Africa

Location: Langebaan, West Coast National Park

Dog Friendly: No

Main Attraction: Situated on Langebaan Lagoon, the calm, shallow, turquoise waters make it the ideal swimming spot, dotted with houseboats and perfect for watersports.


Shark Bay Beach

Best Beaches in South Africa

Location: Langebaan, West Coast National Park

Dog Friendly: Yes

Main Attraction: Perfect for fishing and kite surfing.


Paternoster Beach

Best Beaches in South Africa

Location: Paternoster, West Coast

Dog Friendly: Yes

Main Attraction: Quiet fisherman beach with white sand and old, brightly painted, wooden fishing boats, perfect for sundowners.


16 Mile Beach

Best Beaches in South Africa

Location: Yzerfontein, West Coast

Dog Friendly: Yes

Main Attraction: The longest uninterrupted beach in South Africa, with its 16-mile (25 km) long shoreline and distant view of Table Mountain.


Paradise Beach

Location: Langebaan, West Coast

Dog Friendly: Yes

Main Attraction: Located right next to Club Mykonos, this is a popular resort beach with crystal blue waters and several activities such as fishing, surfing and sailing.

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Garden Route

Heading in the other direction, you'll come across some of the most stunning seaside towns and sandy beaches! Bonus - the water also gets warmer and warmer the farther east you go!

Santos Beach

Best Beaches in South Africa

Location: Santos Bay, Mossel Bay

Dog Friendly: No

Main Attraction: White sands, warm waters and whale-watching! Plus, this blue-flag beach is right across the road from restaurants and stores.


Cola Beach

Best Beaches in South Africa

Location: Sedgefield

Dog Friendly: Yes

Main Attraction: As the only off-leash dog-friendly beach in Sedgefield, Cola Beach is perfect for the whole family and never gets too crowded even in peak season.


Buffalo Bay Beach

Best Beaches in South Africa

Location: Buffalo Bay, Knysna

Dog Friendly: Yes

Main Attraction: A popular vacation beach for locals and foreigners for its golden sand, safe waters and range of activities including surfing and SUPing.


Keurboomstrand

Best Beaches in South Africa

Location: Keurboomstrand, Plettenberg Bay

Dog Friendly: No

Main Attraction: One of the quieter beaches in Plettenberg Bay, situated right at a river’s mouth and iconic for Arch Rock — a natural archway on the shore.


Nature’s Valley Beach

Best Beaches in South Africa

Location: Nature’s Valley, near Plettenberg Bay

Dog Friendly: No

Main Attraction: Well-known as the end of the 5-day Otter Trail, this beach has been declared one of the most beautiful beaches in South Africa and a popular picnic and star-gazing spot.

Eastern Cape

Hobie Beach

Best Beaches in South Africa

Location: Summerstrand, Gqeberha ( Port Elizabeth )

Dog Friendly: No

Main Attraction: Not only are there rock pools and access to the Boardwalk and Shark Rock Pier, but it is also the home of the annual “Splash Festival”, beach volleyball and world boardsailing championships.


Maitland Beach

Best Beaches in South Africa

Location: Uitenhage Farms, Gqeberha

Dog Friendly: Yes

Main Attraction: Surrounded by 250 hectares of the Maitland Mines Nature Reserves and majestic sand dunes that are prime for sandboarding and tobogganing for kids, as well as peaceful beach strolls.


Dolphin Beach

Best Beaches in South Africa

Location: Jeffrey’s Bay

Dog Friendly: No

Main Attraction: This is a child’s heaven with Dolphin Beach Entertainment Park write on the beach which includes waterslides, mini golf and quad biking for kids. It’s also the home of the annual Billabong Pro surfing competition.


Nahoon Beach

Best Beaches in South Africa

Location: East London

Dog Friendly: No

Main Attraction: As the most popular beach in East London, Nahoon Beach is the hotspot for surfing competitions, kayaking, river fishing and scenic walks.


Gonubie Beach

Best Beaches in South Africa

Location: Gonubie, Near East London

Dog Friendly: No

Main Attraction: One of East London’s best-kept secrets with a raised boardwalk that leads down to a stunning tidal pool and protects the vegetation on the soft white sand dunes, perfect for dolphin and whale watching.


Wild Coast

Second Beach

Best Beaches in South Africa

Location: Port St Johns, Wild Coast

Dog Friendly: Yes

Main Attraction: A beautiful beach for a stroll with the dogs, some sunbathing, and even some beach cricket. However, swimming and surfing are at your own risk, as it’s known for its high population of great white sharks.


Hole in the Wall

Best Beaches in South Africa

Location: Coffee Bay, Wild Coast

Dog Friendly: No

Main Attraction: It’s a bit of a hike to get there, but it’s totally worth it when you reach the most iconic landmark of the Wild Coast — the legendary rock formation of the Hole in the Wall.


Mkambati Nature Reserve

Location: Pondoland, Wild Coast

Dog Friendly: No

Main Attraction: Glimpse unspoilt nature and wildlife with its forested ravines, a swamp forest and splashing waterfalls, including one of the few in the entire world that falls straight into the sea.

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Morgan Bay Beach

Best Beaches in South Africa

Location: Morgan Bay, Wild Coast

Dog Friendly: Yes

Main Attraction: Perfect for a family beach day with lots of activities for the whole family, including swimming, fishing, kite flying, body boarding, surfing, beach soccer, dog walking, sand castle building and even horse riding.


Bulungula Beach

Best Beaches in South Africa

Location: Bulungula, Wild Coast

Dog Friendly: Yes

Main Attraction: Situated in the heart of a traditional Xhosa village, enjoy one of the world’s most beautiful untouched beaches with daily activities run by the locals.


Kwazulu Natal

North Beach

Best Beaches in South Africa

Location: Durban Central

Dog Friendly: No

Main Attraction: The golden sands lay on the shore of the Golden Mile, Durban’s much-developed boardwalk, making it the buzzing centre of family fun on Durban’s coastline.


Thompson’s Bay Beach

Best Beaches in South Africa

Location: Ballito, Durban

Dog Friendly: No

Main Attraction: As the main beach in Ballito, it’s beloved for its safe and warm waters outside of the hustle and bustle of the city.


Trafalgar Beach

Best Beaches in South Africa

Location: Trafalgar, south Kwazulu Natal

Dog Friendly: Yes

Main Attraction: This safe, quiet and clean blue-flag beach is popular for swimming, body-boarding, stand-up paddling, and snorkelling.


Sodwana Bay Beach

Best Beaches in South Africa

Location: Sodwana Bay, Kwazulu Natal

Dog Friendly: No

Main Attraction: A popular destination for both locals and tourists, the beauty found at Sodwana Bay Beach is unmatched, whether you just want to bath in the sun or take part in some fun kite-surfing, snorkelling, spear-fishing and body-boarding.


Cape Vidal Beach

Best Beaches in South Africa

Location: St Lucia, Kwazulu Natal

Dog Friendly: No

Main Attraction: Part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site, Cape Vidal Beach offers a unique experience where you can get the best of the bush and beach, taking leisurely strolls across the beach and maybe going on a game drive while you’re in the area!

Conclusion

One fact is as crystal clear as South Africa’s waters — South Africa has the best beaches in the world. Now all you have to do is go out there and explore! Whether you’re looking for a surf spot, a peaceful sunbathing safe haven, a snorkelling paradise, a playground for your pups or a family day out — take your pick. We’ve got them all!

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