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Trav­el­ asked trav­ellers what they thought were the best beaches in South Africa. Here are the 20 re­ceiv­ing the most votes from the sun, sea and sand wor­ship­pers

20: Umh­langa

One of KZN’s most pop­u­lar beaches for lo­cals and hol­i­day­mak­ers, the warm In­dian Ocean draws mil­lions the world over to Umh­langa’s gor­geous golden sands. It doesn’t hurt that the town has great nightlife, ho­tels and shop­ping too!

19. Ho­bie Beach

Port El­iz­a­beth has a wealth of stun­ning beaches and Ho­bie Beach is one of the best, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing its lo­ca­tion, near to all the most pop­u­lar restau­rants, the casino and ho­tels. The flat beaches of “the Windy City” are hugely pop­u­lar with sail­ing en­thu­si­asts with the Ho­bie Cat be­ing a firm favourite here.

18. Blou­bergstrand

Home to one of the most iconic views in the world, Cape Town’s Blou­bergstrand is a lovely spot to ogle at one of the New 7 Won­ders of the world – Table Moun­tain. The long beach has gen­tle waves, lots of beau­ti­ful white sand and many restau­rants and bars nearby to sip a sun­downer and kiss your wor­ries good­bye.

17. Gonu­bie

East Lon­don is not the first place you gen­er­ally think of when look­ing for a great beach town, but the Buf­falo City and sur­round­ing towns are full of stun­ning sandy stretches. The town of Gonu­bie is set on the river with the same name, and the beach can be found at the mouth of the river as it en­ters the warm In­dian Ocean. With hill­sides cov­ered in lush vege­ta­tion and only a few houses peek­ing through, you would hardly know that you were a mere 10km from the city.

16. Plet­ten­berg Bay

Okay, so while Plet­ten­berg Bay doesn’t have just one beach, this Western Cape Town does of­fer a lot for a range of dif­fer­ent in­ter­ests. Beaches like Keur­boom­strand and Rob­berg of­fer long quiet walks while Cen­tral Beach is great for fam­i­lies with life­guards on duty in sea­son and loads of ac­tiv­i­ties to keep ev­ery­one busy.

15. Buf­fels Bay

An­other Western Cape gem, this of­ten for­got­ten about beach is just a stone’s throw from busy Knysna and is a great place to es­cape the stresses of daily life. The long beach stretches some 5km be­tween the vil­lage of Buf­fels Bay and Bren­ton on Sea and is part of the Goukamma Na­ture re­serve. Keep a look­out for dol­phins in late win­ter and spring!

14. Dur­ban, South Beach

An­other great one which needs no in­tro­duc­tion, Dur­ban’s South Beach is right in the heart of the city’s fa­mous beach­front, and is a great spot for swim­ming or just laz­ing about peo­ple watch­ing.

13. Strand

What could be bet­ter than a beach sim­ply called “beach”? Well, meet Strand, tech­ni­cally a sub­urb of Cape Town, the town it­self looks like a mini-Dubai with its sky­scrapers and its own Burj al-Arab looka­like. The beach is won­der­ful for kids, its in­cred­i­bly flat and the wa­ter is of­ten un­usu­ally warm for Cape Town.

12. Pater­nos­ter

Also home to a few beaches, this West Coast fish­ing vil­lage is the def­i­ni­tion of quaint. Pop­u­lar with Capeto­ni­ans look­ing to es­cape the hec­tic­ness of their lazy craft-beer swig­ging city lives, Pater­nos­ter is just about 2 hours from Cen­tral Cape Town. The beach is long, flat and usu­ally de­void of much hu­man life mak­ing it ideal for un­wind­ing and catch­ing your breath.

11. Bal­lito

KZN’s Dol­phin Coast may be rock­ier than the Hi­bis­cus Coast in the south but what it lacks in big open space it makes up for in fes­tive at­mos­phere and prob­a­bly more im­por­tantly great surf con­di­tions – no won­der then that the an­nual Mr Price Pro surfing con­test is held here.

10. Diaz Beach, Mos­sel Bay

Come De­cem­ber there may be more peo­ple on this beach than are left in the whole of Gaut­eng, Mpumalanga, North­west, Lim­popo and the Free State com­bined, but they come for a very good rea­son! The amaz­ingly warm wa­ter, the flat, rock-free beach and gen­tle waves make Diaz a firm favourite for many.

9. Sod­wana Bay

North­ern KZN is some­thing spe­cial, those long wild swathes of cop­pery sand flanked on one side by lush sub-trop­i­cal for­est-cov­ered dunes, and on the other by the balmy In­dian Ocean. Sod­wana is prob­a­bly the crown jewel in the prov­ince’s rib­bon of beau­ti­ful beaches and is ever pop­u­lar with 4x4ers, fish­er­man and re­ally any­one want­ing to get as far away from the bright city lights as one can get in KZN.

8. Muizen­berg

No sur­prises here! Muizen­berg’s wide, flat, white sandy beach is pop­u­lar with all sorts of peo­ple. It’s great for kids since the waves which break on the shore are rather small, it’s great for surfers too as fur­ther out some big­ger waves break and the town has grown quite the rep­u­ta­tion as one of the best places in the world to learn how to surf.

7. Cape Vi­dal

An­other North­ern KZN beach and Cape Vi­dal re­ally is a mighty sight to be­hold. This wild beach right next to Lake St Lu­cia and is an ad­ven­ture lover’s dream.‘Nuff said!

6. Gor­don’s Bay

Gor­don’s Bay has 2 main beaches and of­fers some great va­ri­ety for vis­i­tors. The beach in the cen­tre of town is wide, flat and great for kids want­ing to wade or pad­dle in the warm wa­ter (warm for Cape Town). The sec­ond beach is Bikini Beach, next to the naval har­bour; it’s smaller but more pop­u­lar with stu­dents com­ing down from Stel­len­bosch – there are plenty of bronzed beach bod­ies to check out here!

5. Clifton

Cape Town’s fa­mous Clifton beach is ac­tu­ally a set of 4 beaches, cre­atively named 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th. This is a great re­treat when the wind is howl­ing else­where on sum­mer days and it’s al­most wind­free. It’s a great spot to watch the sun set, both in sum­mer and in win­ter.

4. Na­hoon

You may be sur­prised to see this East Lon­don beach at num­ber 4, but there’s a rea­son it’s the city’s most pop­u­lar beach. Whether it’s laz­ing on the soft sand, swim­ming in the warm In­dian Ocean, surfing some of the epic waves or tak­ing a stroll on the board­walk through the dunes, this is a beach which won’t dis­ap­point

3. North Beach, Dur­ban

Body­board­ers, beach bums and skaters, Dur­ban’s North Beach is what it is: the king of hol­i­day beaches.

2. San­tos Beach, Mos­sel Bay

Yes, an­other Mos­sel Bay beach, and it’s at num­ber 2. This one is hugely pop­u­lar with lo­cal tourists. Why? There’s quaint lit­tle tram, you can stay in a train car­riage on the beach, there’s an old Vic­to­rian pavilion and a won­der­ful stretch of sand slung across a bay which is warm and great for a nice long swim.

1. Camps Bay

If Dur­ban’s North Beach is the King of Beaches, Camps Bay would be the Em­peror, get­ting into num­ber 1 spot with a land­slide of votes, there are plenty of rea­sons why this is SA’s most pop­u­lar spot. Sip on a cock­tail at one of the trendy spots like the Caprice Bar, grab an ice-cream at Sin­ful and gawk at the bod­ies play­ing vol­ley­ball on the sand. Sand­wiched in be­tween the 12 Apos­tles and the At­lantic Ocean, the post­card pic­ture im­age of Cape Town, is Camps Bay.

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