South Africa’s coastline stretches for a remarkable 1,770 miles, so it comes as no surprise to discover that the country boasts some of the best beaches on the entire African continent. Split between the tropical Indian Ocean and the wild South Atlantic, the array of stunning beaches have something to offer everyone from honeymooners to adrenaline junkies. Here, we round up the six best beaches in South Africa.
Clifton 4th Beach
Best for: VIP sunbathing
Clifton is one of the most affluent areas in Cape Town and has four imaginatively-named beaches: 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th. The glittering white sand and surrounding mountains make any of the beaches an ideal spot for an impromptu Instagram shoot.
Although the four beaches are only separated by granite boulders, they attract surprisingly different crowds. Clifton 1st is usually dominated by surfers. Clifton 2nd is frequented by locals who don’t need the amenities while Cilfton 3rd is popular with the gay community. Clifton 4th is the best all-round beach as it is surrounded by trendy bars and cafes.
Clifton 4th is the only of the four to have Blue Flag status, which is only awarded to beaches that meet high environmental and quality standards. Be warned, however, as Clifton is located on the Atlantic side of Cape Town, meaning the water is always icy cold no matter what time of year.
Best for: Bathing in warm waters
Although only an hour’s drive away from Clifton, Muizenberg Beach is a completely different experience. Forming part of the long stretch of coastline along False Bay, Muizenberg Beach is one of Cape Town’s Indian Ocean beaches, meaning the water is usually a full 50°F warmer than at Clifton 4th and pleasant to swim in during the summer months.
The colorful changing beach huts are an Instagrammer’s dream and the calmer waves make it a popular spot for novice surfers. There are a variety of restaurants to frequent in the nearby town while a lively bar scene means the fun can continue long after a picturesque sunset snap.