Make a splash at these 8 Mzansi beaches this summer

Muizenberg Beach in The City of Cape Town is the perfect spot to cool off this summer. Picture: Unsplash

Muizenberg Beach in The City of Cape Town is the perfect spot to cool off this summer. Picture: Unsplash

Published Nov 3, 2023


With the South African Weather Service (SAWS) predicting extreme heat this summer, its safe to say that it should be all about doing activities to keep you cool.

Mzansi has been blessed with beautiful coastlines and pristine beaches, providing South Africans with the opportunity to travel and explore this natural beauty.

The beauty of South African beaches is that the oceans are safe to swim in and there are no entrance fees to access public beaches.

The beaches are also clean, well maintained and, during the summer months, there are lifeguards and security close by to make sure that you have a safe and pleasant experience.

Depending on your location, you can also participate in other water sporting activities like surfing, sailing, cruising, kayaking, snorkelling and even fishing.

So here are some of SA’s beautiful beaches awaiting holidaymakers:

Umzumbe Beach, KZN South Coast

Umzumbe Beach on the KZN South Coast. Picture: Supplied

Just an hour and half away from Durban, Umzumbe Beach, located at the mouth of the scenic Mzumbe River in the KZN South Coast, is characterised by dense coastal dune greenery, warm blue waters, and stretches of empty, sandy beach to explore.

The beach has also been awarded Blue Flag status and is a gem for its cleanliness, beauty, ecological value, and safety.

This gorgeous beach is safe for swimming and surfing; it is a popular spot at which to learn to surf, and there is also a tidal pool for folk with little ones that aren’t quite ready to hit the waves yet.

Thompsons Bay Beach, KZN

Thompson’s Bay Beach in Ballito. Picture: Facebook

An hour’s drive from Durban, Thompsons Bay Beach is situated just north of Ballito and near Chaka’s Rock, along Marine Drive.

The beach is perfect for those looking to escape the buzz of the city and is a popular beach for its safe swimming conditions since it is protected by shark nets and lifeguards.

You can also enjoy the Indian Ocean’s warm water and there is also a massive tidal pool, which is great for little ones to explore and the beach is also perfect for snorkelling too.

Wilderness Beach, Western Cape

Wilderness Beach on the Garden Route: Picture: Instagram

A marvel to the eye, Wilderness Beach in George on the Garden Route is an unspoilt, expansive and beautiful beach.

The Wilderness offers kilometres of white sandy beach ideal for long walks and for playing with your dogs or letting them run free, if leaving your pets behind when you go on holiday is not an option.

It’s also perfect for families, and kids will love the wide open space. And it’s safe to swim here. This beach is also an excellent spot for dolphin and whale spotting.

Santos Beach, Western Cape

Santos Beach in Mossel Bay on the Garden Route. Picture: Instagram

Also on the Garden Route in Mossel Bay, Santos Beach is a delightful beach frequented by holiday-makers and locals all year round.

Over the holiday season, December and January, lifeguards are on duty every day to keep a watchful eye on the throngs of people that descend on the beach.

There is also live entertainment and activities offered at this time which attracts the younger set and for this reason it is a popular beach for families with kids who have a great time here playing in the soft white sand and enjoying the safe bathing conditions.

There are also plenty of restaurants to explore here.

Silwerstroomstrand, Cape Town

Relax to the calming sound of the waves at Silwerstroomstrand. Picture: Instagram

Silwerstroomstrand is part of the West Coast Way Culture Route, which starts just 20 minutes after leaving the Mother City of Cape Town.

This Blue Flag Beach is about 60km from Cape Town, making it really accessible. The beach has shaded picnic and braai (barbecue) sites, as well as benches and toilet facilities making it a perfect destination for families.

In addition to splashing in the waves or bronzing up on the beach, visitors can also spend time in the warmer waters of the tidal pool or take advantage of the small rocky point (Wintersteen), where there aren’t massive waves.

This beach is also great for surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, fishing and boating.

Muizenberg Beach, Western Cape

Brightly coloured wooden bathing boxes at Muizenberg beach. Picture: Unsplash

This beautiful beach in Cape Town, with miles and miles of white sand and swells and swells of gently breaking sets, make it the perfect location to learn how to surf.

When the wind blows cross-shore, you can also practice kite-surfing, sure to give you a rush. The length of the beach also provides ample space for sunbathers and you can avoid bumping into those you would rather not bump into.

You can also enjoy a splash in the sea to cool off under the watchful eye of a lifeguard.

There are numerous brightly coloured wooden bathing boxes that you can hide behind until sunset and the kids will be so busy building sandcastles they’ll never notice.

Dolphin Beach, Eastern Cape

Dolphin Beach is a popular surfing hotspot in Jeffery’s Bay. Picture: Unsplash

Dolphin Beach is in the renowned surfing hotspot of Jeffrey’s Bay in the Eastern Cape. The beach is where Supertubes, known well to avid surfers, is situated.

Supertubes is acclaimed as one of the top five right-hand breaks on the planet.

In addition to fabulous swimming and surfing, it is also popular among those who simply want to stroll along the water’s edge and enjoy the magnificent views and you can also snorkel on the reef.

Nearby is the Jeffrey’s Bay Shell Museum, as well as a public information kiosk, and restaurants.

Shopaholics will not be disappointed, especially with the number of surf-style factory shops within walking distance of Dolphin Beach.

Kelly’s Beach, Eastern Cape

You might spot a whale or two when visiting Kelly’s Beach on the Sunshine Coast. Picture: Unsplash

Kelly’s Beach in Port Alfred on the Sunshine Coast has two viewing decks where you can view the beach, perhaps spot a whale or two and enjoy the most spectacular sunsets and sunrises.

The actual beach is at the Kowie River estuary mouth and attracts beachcombers to its fine sand and for its safe swimming.

The beach also has Blue Flag status and also offers good facilities making it a great destination for a lovely day out with the kids.

Don’t forget to take along your sunblock and plenty of water when making a splash this summer.