Let's face it: South Africa boasts some of the most incredible beaches in the world! With a 3 200 km-long coastline, featuring no fewer than 41 Blue Flag-status spots, beach-going South Africans are blessed with a multitude of breathtaking spots – year-round. Our coastlines are dotted with exotic and hidden gems which not even most locals are privy to. We’ve managed to uncover a treasure-trove of spectacular (almost) secret beaches around the country.
1. Hole in the Wall ? Coffee Bay
This secluded area is surrounded by vast stretches of unspoiled coastline. Hole in the Wall beach is situated in the idyllic village of Coffee Bay in the Eastern Cape. The pebbled beach is an epic surf spot, and its remoteness lends itself to not just tranquillity, but bird watching, nature walks, hiking trails and great fishing spots.
2. Hluleka Beach – Wild Coast, Transkei
Along the rocky coastline of the Wild Coast, lies Hluleka Beach – a virtually flawless cove that’s surrounded by lush vegetation and coastal forests. This little-known spot is situated 20 km south of Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape, and is nestled within the Hluleka Nature Reserve. The beach is the perfect location for romantic strolls, fishing, picnics and most especially dolphin- and whale-watching.
3. Diaz Beach – Cape Town
The Cape Point Nature Reserve boasts a number of unspoilt secret beaches, including Diaz Beach - a sprawling stretch of white sand with turquoise water. This pretty-as-a-picture spot is a 20-minute walk from main roads, and is an ideal and secluded surfing haven for enthusiasts.
4. Buffels Bay Beach – Cape Town
Yet another hidden treasure within the Cape Point Nature Reserve, Buffels Bay Beach is a relatively sheltered strip of beach, complete with numerous tidal pools. It’s also a favoured picnic spot, and rolling green lawns just outside of the beach area provide cyclists with ideal terrain for a bike ride after a quick swim.
5. Preekstoel Beach – West Coast, Western Cape
Preekstoel means “preaching pulpit”, and this rock formation located near Stilbaai in the Western Cape overlooks the 25-km stretch of turquoise water which some locals consider to be a little slice of “paradise”. It also boasts a rusted shipwreck and is known for its rich selection of wild flowers – year-round.
6. Water’s Edge – Simon’s Town, Cape Town
One of the town’s most well-preserved secrets, this off-the-beaten track beach lies between Seaforth Beach and Boulders Beach. Water’s Edge features a beautiful bay and is filled with rock pools which are home to hundreds of majestic starfish. The beach is also a favoured snorkelling spot and swimmers enjoy jumping off the looming boulders into the crystal-blue waters below.
7. Noetzie – Knysna
A remote and secluded cove boasting a pristine beach, Noetzie has remained unspoilt by prying tourists over the years. Housed in a quiet estuary with a dark lagoon, and surrounded by a multitude of indigenous flora and fauna, the beach is a much-loved feature of this coastal town. The delightful collection of classic beach houses and modern castles situated along its shore also lends it an old-world charm.
8. Gerickes Point – Sedgefield, Garden Route
Weathered sandstone cliffs, rock pools filled with sea crabs, sea urchins and a rocky landmark in the sea which resembles a lion’s head – these are just some of the features one can experience at the idyllic Gerickes Point. Popular with locals, adventurers and nature-lovers the beach is one of the Garden Route’s best-kept secrets.
A photo posted by @cozetteweyers on
9. Gonubie, East London
Gonubie Beach is a small piece of paradise along the East London coast. Lying just 20 km north east of the bustling metropolis and along the Gonubie River it features a sparkling lagoon. Access to the beach is along a wooden walkway overlooking the lagoon and tidal pools below. It’s also a wonderful spot for watching dolphins and whales, and is a favoured surfing and windsurfing location.
10. Umzumbe ? KZN South Coast, Kwazulu-Natal
This blue-flag beach is fringed by a dune forest and can only be accessed by a steep walkway. But the walk is more than worth it. The unspoilt beach is surrounded by golden sand and dense coastal vegetation and is an ideal swimming spot. There’s also a huge sandstone-chiselled rock pool for kids to spend hours frolicking in.