From the Cape West Coast on the desert border with Namibia to northern KwaZulu-Natal, the South African coastline stretches more 2,500 kilometres and boasts some of the most beautiful beach landscapes in the world.
Everything from popular blue flag beaches to secluded sandy stretches seemingly untouched by the modern world, South Africa’s beaches have something for everyone and every taste: surfing, fishing or relaxing.
Here are captivating images of just a small portion of the majestic South African coastline.
Hobie Beach: When in Port Elizabeth, check out Hobie Beach. Situated in the vicinity of The Boardwalk, the beach hosts the annual Splash Festival, which has great shopping and entertainment. The beach, which is a favourite for swimming, sunbathing and body surfing, also offers sheltered rock pools with interesting inter-tidal sea life. It also includes a launching place for sailing and rubber ducking. (Image: Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism)
Jeffreys Bay: South Africa’s home of surfing is a laid back hamlet that always opens its arms to tourists. Try your hand at surfing or just relax with a drink at the Jolly Dolphin pub. (Image: South African Tourism)
Kei Mouth: The small seaside village of Kei Mouth is less than 100km from East London. With a comfortable climate and uncluttered beaches on the western bank of the Great Kei River, the area is a popular fishing spot and for those looking for a slower pace. (Image: Wikipedia)
Morgans Bay: Just an hour’s drive from East London, this little resort town has been the Eastern Cape’s best kept secret for its frequent visitors until recently. Now, it graces must-visit lists. Don’t be surprised if the beach is packed in December. Book early. (Image: Morgan Bay Hotel)
Nahoon: Nahoon is a popular East London beach, and is one of the region’s top surf spots with almost perfect waves. Watersports, safe swimming and fishing are also big attractions for locals and tourists alike. (Image: Shamin Chibba)
Umhlanga Rocks: Meaning “the place of reeds” in Zulu, Umhlanga Rocks makes for a fine getaway for those looking to do some shopping and fine dining. And if you want to stay in luxury with a great view of the ocean, The Oyster Box Hotel should be your first choice. (Image: Caelus Aerial Photography)
Boulders Beach: Boulders Beach, near Simon’s Town, Cape Town, is renowned for its penguin population and picture-postcard family-friendly beaches. Boardwalk tours through the penguin colony give visitors a close-up view of the endangered African penguin. (Image: South African Tourism)
Christmas Bay: Situated in Ballito Bay, it is here that the wreck of the Phoenix can be spotted. (Image: Tourism KwaDukuza)
Camps Bay: As one of South Africa’s most famous beaches, Camp’s Bay attracts tourists and locals alike with pristine white sand beaches, favourable summer weather and one-in-a-million views of the majestic Table Mountain. (Image: Wikipedia)
Hermanus: Hermanus is a coastal town on the southern coast of the Western Cape, renowned for its perfect whale-watching experience. Humpbacks and blue whales can be spotted along its coast from June to December. (Southern Destinations.com)
Noordhoek: As one of the Cape’s best kept secrets, Noordhoek hides in the shadow of Chapman’s Peak. Its picturesque and sandy shoreline is popular with horse riders and families. (Image: Noordhoek Tourism)
Paternoster: Paternoster is one of the oldest fishing villages on the west coast of South Africa. (Image: Audley Travel)
Santos Beach, Mossel Bay: As one of South Africa’s most recent blue flag beaches on the Garden Route, Santos is becoming a popular destination for families and young people in the region.
Coffee Bay: Coffee Bay is a rustic beachcomber village, close to Port St Johns on the Eastern Cape coast, offering fishing, swimming and diving for visitors looking for a tranquil but adventurous ocean experience. (Image: Pank Seelen, Flickr)
Hole in the Wall, Coffee Bay: Situated on the Eastern Cape’s Wild Coast, The Hole is part of a natural rock formation that connects the ocean to the Mpako River. The booming waves against the rock give it its isiXhosa name ‘esiKhaleni’ – the place of sound. (Image: Rodger Bosch, Brand South Africa)