Best Beaches in South Africa

The weather is definitely warming up, and we could not be more excited to throw on our baggies and head down to the beach.

Best Beaches in South Africa

Whether you are a surfer, one who likes to cycle the promenade, or simply spend the morning lounging on a towel in the warm, summer sun next to the shore, South Africa has some of the best beaches for you to enjoy.

East to West and back again

The West Coast, East Coast and down to the very southern tip, each beach has its own special qualities, but each is as amazing as the next.

Some are suited to the surfers – offering the best waves and quiet beaches, some have sprawling lengths of sand that are perfect for setting up a blanket and umbrella and perching yourself for the day.

Different beaches offer different animal sightings as well – you could spot a whale, get friendly with some penguins or come across the sardine run.


Best Beaches in South Africa

Durban Beach is one of the most famous in South Africa. The promenade is incredible to explore – either on foot or on a bike. The beach is great for swimming and there is enough sand for everyone to sit back and laze about.

Ushaka Marine World is right next to the beach and has many shops, restaurants and a famous waterpark on offer. Wahooz restaurant is open onto the promenade and often has live music for everyone to enjoy.

Durban beach echoes the sentimentality of Durban – vibey and unique.

Camps Bay

camps bay

Cape Town always loves to shine, which is why its Camps Bay beach is arguably one of the best beaches in South Africa.

Restaurants, ice cream stalls, and shops adorn the beachfront and are a stone’s throw away from the actual beach.  The beach is backdropped by the 12 Apostles, which look upon the Atlantic Ocean.

While the water may not be as warm as the beaches on the East Coast, it is a hub of trendy activity, tourists and great sight-seeing.

Gordon’s Bay

gordons bay

Gordon’s Bay has two beaches to offer visitors. The wide, flat beach is immaculate and perfect for families looking to spend the day paddling in the water.

Bikini Beach is more for the younger crowd. Students from nearby universities frequent the beach and it is quite the local hangout spot.

Both beaches are safe and in pristine condition.

Sodwana Bay

Sodwana bay

KZN’s North Coast is just breathtaking. The endless dunes and forests make for the most incredible landscapes. The wide, sprawling views of the sea are awe-inspiring.

Sodwana Bay is a getaway, a chance to escape the busy city. The site is popular for family vacations, fishermen and those looking for some intense 4×4 trails.

The sand beaches backed by sub-tropical forests capture the beauty of South African beaches and is a definite must-see for adventure seekers.


clifton beach

Clifton beach is incredibly photogenic. The sun sets that are on display all year round are just angelic, and the tumbled boulders leading into the water frame the picture perfectly.

Clifton beach is actually broken up into four different beaches, 1st 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.

Capetonians love this beach because, during particularly windy days, the beach stays fairly wind free.

If you are anywhere nearby, you need to stop by and pay this beach a visit.

Santos Beach

Santos Beach

Mossel Bay keeps this little gem hidden well away – Santos Beach. It is seeped deep in history and even has a little tram to transport visitors and locals around. An old Victorian pavilion is fairly popular among sightseers and gives a more tranquil, dated feel.

The long stretch of sand is quite flat and offers up the perfect destination for a game of volleyball before stepping into the warm, inviting waters.



Muizenberg is pretty incredible. It is wide, flat and full of white sand. It is different to most of the other beaches found in South Africa and almost makes you feel like you have taken a trip to another country.

The waves break small, making it perfect for kids to waddle in, but surfers can enjoy the larger waves further out.

If anyone is looking for some proper surf lessons – head to Muizenberg!


Paternoster beach

A fishing village on the West Coast, Paternoster has a few beaches.

It is quaint and comfy, the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday madness. The beach is lined with old style but beautiful Cape houses and it is long, flat and pretty empty.

For some peace, quiet and relaxtion, you will find Paternoster two hours out of Cape Town, and you won’t regret it.


Gonubie beach

Gonubie isn’t your traditional beach. It is opened at the mouth of the river Gonubie. Surrounded by hills of vegetation and rocky shores, it is a beach that is underappreciated. Take a walk along the boarded promenade and breathe in the fresh, salty air of the warm Indian Ocean.

See also – 10 Beaches You must Visit Outside Cape Town

What to remember when visiting a beach

Always follow the lifeguard’s instructions or obey beach signs – lifeguards and warning signs are there for a reason. Do not swim in areas that are not safe – lifeguards know more about the ocean than you do and are there to save your life.

Keep your belongings close – as beautiful as our beaches are, there are at times unsavoury lurkers looking to snatch up your wallet or bag the moment you close your eyes for a nap or run to the ocean for a dip. Either have someone guard your belongings if you are in the ocean or lock them away in the car.

Wear sunscreen – we have gorgeous sunshine in South Africa, but you need to protect your skin. Especially in the summer months, the sun’s rays can be increasingly harmful to your skin. Make sure you are applying sunscreen often, and keep your kids out of the sun as much as possible.

There you have the best beaches in South Africa, from coast to coast. Why not try to visit them all – they would make for some epically amazing postcards!

About the author

Rebecca Brown