During this current season of lockdown one thing has become certain to me. I need the beach! Yes, there are a multitude of people and places I am missing, but to talk a long walk along a stretch of sand is right at the top! I can’t wait to look out across the ocean at the horizon, to breathe in the fresh, salty air and to feel the icy cold seawater on my toes! I am sure I am not alone! Who else needs to be besides the seaside? It might be a while longer until we can enjoy this simple pleasure, but when we can I’ll be visiting every chance I can – and never taking it for granted again!
To remind us of the best South African beaches we have on our doorstep and beyond, I have rounded up a list of the Top 10 Beaches in South Africa – according to local and international travel bloggers!
10 Best Beaches in South Africa for Families
Robberg Beach, Plettenberg Bay
Nominated by: Claire Stokes from Stoked to travel
Plettenberg Bay, affectionately known as Plett, is one of the most popular places for South Africans’ summer holidays and as a stop on a road trip down the Garden Route – for good reason. Home to huge stretch of soft white sand, and beautiful turquoise waters, it’s the perfect beach holiday. It also offers incredible hiking in the adjacent Robberg Nature Reserve, which has different trails from easy to difficult. From any of the routes, you might spot seals, dolphins and whales frolicking in the waters. Plett is just 30 minutes from Knysna, making a great twin-centre destination with dozens of family friendly activities located between the two.
Bollard Bay, Knysna
Nominated by: Rachael Gunn from Champagne on Arrival
The Garden Route town of Knysna has many fantastic beaches, one of which is Bollard Bay, located in sleepy Leisure Island. Along with a super view of the infamous Knysna Heads, this beach is great for kids as it is actually in a lagoon, which means calm, warm and shallow waters. There is also water sports equipment for hire and a short walk into the island will take you to a couple of lovely cafés for refreshments.
Shark Bay, Langebaan
Nominated by: Janine Avery from 5 Star Stories
The tranquil, sleepy town of Langebaan is one of my favourite places to visit – mainly due to the epic kitesurf conditions found here. The more protected flat water of Shark Bay provides a great kiting spot away from the strong winds of main beach. However, this beautiful beach really comes into its own for families when there is no wind at all. Warm water that stretches for eons and only ever reaches waist deep, provides a playground for fishing, sand castle building, sand shark spotting and stand up paddle boarding!
Umhlanga Beach, Durban
Nominated by: Rai from A Rai of Light
The coastline of Durban is scattered with golden sand, secluded bays, warm water, rock pools, and some amazing beaches. One of the best amongst them is Umhlanga Beach. This long stretch of golden sand caters to everyone from those looking to tan on the soft sand to the ocean lover looking to surf, body-board, and kite-surf. It is also ideal for families who want tranquil waters to swim in and the added comfort of lifeguards on hand. A stroll along the promenade provides expansive views of the Indian Ocean and should not be missed when in this area.
Camps Bay, Cape Town
Nominated by: Oksana & Max from Drink Tea & Travel.
Camps Bay Beach has everything you need to enjoy a day at the beach with your family. It is one of the most picturesque and well known beaches in Cape Town which draws in locals and holidaymakers to its soft white sand. The beach is a frenzy of activity and very swimmable with lifeguards on duty and natural rock pools to enjoy. Plus, it makes backs onto a vibrant strip of restaurants and shops which make grabbing a midday bite easy.
Kraalbaai, West Coast
Nominated by: Lauren from thetravelmanuel.com
Within 2 hours drive of Cape Town along South Africa’s west coast, lies one of the best-kept secrets for beach lovers. One my favourite beaches countrywide is kraalbaai and its neighbouring beach ‘Preekstoel’ within the West Coast National Park. With water reminiscent of Mediterranean turquoise. stand-up paddleboarders, wake-boarders and sun-worshippers all unite on its powder-white sands. With braai facilities, houseboats for rent and no waves, this is a perfect family beach.
Grotto Beach, Hermanus
Nominated by: Marco Santos from Travel-Boo
Who doesn’t love a long walk on the beach, watching the sunrise or set with the waves crashing and the wind in your hair? Well, that’s exactly what we do every year when visiting beautiful Hermanus for our summer holidays. Our beach of choice, Grotto Beach, is located only a short drive from the town centre and is absolutely gorgeous, one of our all-time favourite beaches in the area. The long and expansive beach, with its soft white sand, is framed beautifully by the mountains in the background. It is a firm favourite amongst both locals and holidaymakers alike. There’s ample room for the kids to run around, play beach games or simply splash about in the waves. At sunrise as well as sunset many families, outdoor enthusiasts and dog walkers choose to watch the sunrise or set whilst walking along the beach that stretches for kilometres on end. Facilities at the beach include toilets, showers and during the summer months also have lifeguards on duty as the ocean can get quite choppy at times. If you prefer to sit back and enjoy some sundowners, then the well-known Dutchies restaurant, located right on the beachfront edge, is the place to be. During the summer holiday months, a makeshift beach bar is usually installed and is a great way to relax, sit back and enjoy the stunning scenery!
Bloubergstrand, Cape Town
Nominated by: Sanne Wesselman from Spend Life Traveling
Bloubergstrand is a beautiful beach located just north of the city of Cape Town. Some even call Bloubergstrand one of the best beaches in the world. What makes Bloubergstrand so special is it’s white sandy beach combined with a spectacular view of Table Mountain. On a sunny day, the beach is full of life. Families having picnics, dogs running and children playing in the waves. The beach is also a popular place for kite surfers and if you are lucky you might even spot seals here! Bloubergstrand is a perfect place for a relaxing day with the family and to take a few great pictures of Table Mountain.
Lookout Beach, Plettenberg Bay
Nominated by: Mariza from Hoponworld
Few South African beaches can match the sheer beauty you’ll experience at Lookout Beach. Located in the beautiful seaside town of Plettenberg Bay, Lookout Beach is a tranquil escape and one of the most scenic beaches along South Africa’s Garden Route. Besides taking a dip in the calm waters of the Atlantic ocean, surfing and kayaking are other favorite pastimes here. When your belly starts to rumble, grab a take out at the Lookout Beach Restaurant and head to the Whale Tail Lookout Point from where you can admire the entire coastline and even spot whales during whale season!
Boulders Beach, Cape Town
Nominated by: Claire Stokes from Stoked to travel
Just an hour or so outside of Cape Town, on the stunning Cape Peninsula drive is the popular Boulders Beach. Famous for its huge penguin population, a visit to this beach offers the unique opportunity to see the penguins in their natural habitat. At the adjacent beach, called Foxy Beach, you can even swim and sit near (but not too near) the penguins as they relax and play between the boulders. It’s magical!
So which of these South African beaches is YOUR favourite? Or do you have one that’s not on this list? Let me know in the comments below!