Cape St. Francis, Eastern Cape

Cape St. Francis, Eastern Cape

Photo by NJR ZA (wikimedia commons)

The Best South African Beaches

Photo by Charlesjsharp (wikimedia commons)African penguin colony at Boulders Bay, Cape Town Photo by Charlesjsharp (wikimedia commons)

South Africa has two kinds of beaches, those you can sunbathe on, enjoy swimming and water sports, and those that you cant, because of strong tides, and…sharks!  

If you have a campervan hire or motorhome rental here’s a few to try for yourself.

Eastern Cape

The Eastern Cape has some beautiful wild and craggy coastline with some rough seas, great for surfing, and ones of a more gentle kind.

If you enjoy tropical undeveloped coastline head for Port St John's, it’s great for swimming and has a lovely costal lagoon.  

The protected waters of Port Elizabeth offer safe swimming and surfing beaches, two of the most popular are the Blue Flag beach of Humewood and Kings Beach.  

East London is a laid-back area with sand dunes, rocky outcrops and some great ocean.  There are lots of different types of beach here, the black rocks of Eastern Beach are great for photos, Orient Beach is ideal for swimmers, and Gonubie and Nahoon are beaches for some great walks along the shoreline.


This area is probably the busiest and most developed of the beach resorts in South Africa, but when you get here you’ll see why.

Cape Vidal is one of the best beaches in the whole country, the white sand goes on forever, and there are lots of rock pools.  If you are lucky enough to be here in October, this is also a good spot for watching humpback whales

Umhlanga Rocks is a family beach with safe swimming, tidal pools, and opportunities for wakeboarding and surfing.

South Beach is part of Durban’s ‘Golden Mile’, ideal for surfing and swimming.  This is also where you will find Africa’s largest Marine Park.  Discover why you shouldn’t swim in the sea here unless you know it’s safe!  


This is a really diverse coastline with beaches for everyone from penguins to nudists.

Camps Bay & Clifton
If you want to live like the jet set then make for these two areas, they are full of the beautiful people, film stars and models, and the locations used for film and magazine shots.  

Boulders Beach
Boulders Beach is home to the African jackass penguins, a must see beach and you can even swim here too.
This is where to come for some great whale watching, they even hold a spring festival here to celebrate the migration of the Southern Right Whales.

Western Cape/Garden Route

Part of the garden Route this area has spectacular beaches backed by lush forests parkland.

Plettenberg Bay
This is where you will find two of South Africa's favourite beaches, Robberg and Lookout.  Robberg is another beach which is great for whale watching, and Lookout has some wonderful views of the Outeniqua Mountains.  

Cape West Coast
If you are looking for something quieter, head out of Cape Town towards Namibia.  This is a much more dramatic coastline, but if you come here in spring the flowers are amazing, because of the amount of wind that this place gets it particularly popular with surfers.

The beaches of South Africa have something for everyone on a motorhome rental or campervan hire holiday, see for yourself.

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