South Africa’s Most Searched For Beaches

Posted on 7 November 2023

South Africa’s coastline is a treasure trove of diverse beaches, each with its own unique allure. From penguin colonies nestled among ancient boulders to expansive golden sands that stretch to the horizon, the country’s shores invite explorers, surfers, families, and solitude-seekers alike. This guide takes you on a journey to the most searched-for beaches in South Africa, places where the sun’s warmth is matched only by the vibrancy of the surrounding communities and the cool embrace of the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Let’s dive into the sandy retreats that capture the heart of every beach lover.

1. Boulders Beach, Western Cape

Situated on the Cape Peninsula near Simon’s Town, Boulders Beach is a world-renowned haven where nature’s ingenuity is on full display. Enveloped by ancient granite boulders that have been sculpted by time, the beach is also a conservation success story, giving visitors a rare glimpse of the endangered African penguin in its natural habitat. The nearby swimming beach, with its clear, calm waters, makes for an ideal family outing.

2. Jeffreys Bay, Eastern Cape

Warning of shark activity due to whale carcass in Jeffrey's Bay

As a world-renowned surfing destination, Jeffreys Bay captures the spirit of the ocean with its relaxed vibe and perfect waves. The warmer waters welcome swimmers and shell collectors alike, while surf shops and casual cafes offer a community feel. Whether you’re there to catch the break at Super Tubes or to soak up the coastal charm, “J-Bay”

3. Sodwana Bay, KwaZulu-Natal

Sodwana Bay. Photo from

Recognised as one of the finest beaches in South Africa, Sodwana Bay is an adventurer’s paradise. The beach is a gateway to activities such as snorkeling in natural rock pools, embarking on diving expeditions, and participating in exhilarating fishing charters. While the shopping options may be limited, the discovery of quaint spas and coffee shops at local diving outfits offers a different kind of indulgence, one that can be enjoyed with family members of all ages.

Also Read: 10 Secluded Beaches in South Africa Perfect for a Quiet Escape

4. Paternoster Beach, West Coast

Paternoster, Western Cape

Source: Facebook / @ Visit Paternoster

A quick swim at Paternoster Beach can easily turn into an enduring family memory. The clean, welcoming waters are ideal for younger swimmers, while the town’s immaculate beauty charms visitors with its West Coast allure. The beach, sprawling and never overcrowded, ensures a spot for everyone to relax under the sun. Surrounded by delightful restaurants, it’s a perfect cap to a day of seaside leisure, highly recommended for those seeking both solace and a taste of local cuisine.

5. Hole in the Wall, Coffee Bay

The iconic Hole in the Wall is always worthy of a visit. Image: SA Tourism

The enchanting estuary and beaches near Hole in the Wall are nothing short of spectacular. With trees providing shady spots for picnicking and local cattle adding to the scenic landscape, the area is a striking blend of pastoral and coastal settings. The clean air and invigorating waters, even in the cooler winter months, are a refreshing escape for swimmers and nature lovers. The beach’s unique geology and accessible river crossing at low tide add to its charm, inviting visitors to explore with a sense of adventure.

6. Noordhoek Beach, Western Cape

I took this image at Dunes, in Noordhoek. Noordhoek is arguably one of the best surfing spots in South Africa- a perfect getaway spot for all surfers. – By Dean Bannatyne, Cape Town
Canon 100D, Canon 75-300mm f/4-5.6, ISO 100, f/4.5, 1/2000 sec

Driving south on the picturesque Chapman’s Peak Drive, Noordhoek Beach appears as a panoramic dreamscape. The pearly white sands and varying shades of blue waters seem to beckon visitors from afar. However, the journey to its embrace requires a traverse through wide shallows and across a stretch of deep sand. But the destination justifies the journey, offering a majestic setting where the sun’s descent colors the horizon and promises a serene retreat from the hustle of city life.

7. Umhlanga Rocks Beach, KwaZulu-Natal

Umhlanga Rocks Beach is a bustling hotspot known for its wide sandy stretches and the iconic red-and-white lighthouse that stands as a sentinel over the lively beachfront. The promenade is a pulsating strip where cafes, restaurants, and shops vie for attention, offering resplendent views of the ocean. Early mornings here are magical, with opportunities for an invigorating run, a surf in the welcoming waves, or a snorkel in the vibrant tidal pools.

8. Clifton Beaches, Western Cape

Cape Town Suncreen

Clifton Beach: Picture: jbdodane/ Flickr Commons

Clifton Beaches form a quartet of coves, each with its unique character, but all sharing powdery white sand and crystal-clear waters. From sunbathing enthusiasts to surf seekers, these beaches cater to all. The granite boulders partitioning the coves create intimate spaces for visitors to enjoy the Blue Flag waters, while the chance to witness dolphins playing offshore adds to the allure of this picturesque locale.

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Also Read: Discover a new world of natural beauty: 5 secret beaches in Cape Town

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