Blue Flag Beaches - Cape Town and Western Cape
The Blue Flag is a voluntary eco-label awarded to over 3450 beaches and marinas in 41 countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean.
The Blue Flag Programme is owned and run by the independent non-profit organisation Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).
The Blue Flag works towards sustainable development at beaches/marinas through strict criteria dealing with water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management, and safety and other services.
The Blue Flag Programme includes environmental education and information for the public, decision makers and tourism operators.
Bikini Beach is reputed to have received its name from the bikinis worn by female students from nearby University of Stellenbosch, for whom this beach has been special. Bikini beach is situated in the small coastal town of Gordon's Bay in the Western Cape. The beach lies at the foot of the Hottentot's Holland mountain range. The beach is tucked up against the Gordon's Bay harbour wall, sheltered from the southerly winds which often blow in the summer months. Due to its location and safe bathing area it is a popular destination for the locals and overseas visitors alike. The beach is sandy, the water is warm, and the locals are friendly. There are restaurants and hotels within a short walk from the beach with the nearest being located in the adjacent Gordon's Bay harbour area.
Lifeguards are on duty during the Blue Flag season (December to March). There is limited parking close to the beach but sufficient parking a short walk away.
Camps Bay beach, Atlantic Ocean
Camps Bay beach on the Atlantic coastline is well-known internationally for its pristine white sandy beach and blue tranquil waters. The world famous Table Mountain and Twelve Apostles mountain chain looms over the beach. The paparazzi hang out on this beach and the adjacent restaurants, keeping an eye out for the international stars that regularly visit this part of Cape Town during the summer months. The beach has a distinctly Mediterranean flavour and vibe. The wide beach is host to numerous events, e.g. international beach volleyball tournaments and the popular Summer Beach festival. Beach goers are serviced by local beach traders that supply refreshments. There are lifeguards on duty throughout the summer months. Parking is limited so come early and settle in to enjoy the beach. The beach is well sheltered when the southerly winds are blowing in the summer months. At the end of the day, walk across the beach and enjoy sun-downers in one of the many sidewalk restaurants and cafes. There are hotels and B&B's located within walking distance of this beach.
Clifton 4th beach
One of South Africa's most popular and sought after beaches. This popular beach in Cape Town, is visited by stars and the famous and could be described as the "in-scene". One of a series of small coves, 4th beach is on the Atlantic Ocean side of Cape Town near Camps Bay. Be warned, the water is always icy-cold. A popular beach when the southerly winds blow during summer as it is well protected. Parking is in limited supply so be prepared to walk from parking sites located on Victoria Road. There is no access to the physically disabled as entrance to the beach area is down winding, narrow stairs. Various environmental programmes, including interpretive signage and lifesaving training will be implemented on the beach. Lifeguards are on duty during the Blue Flag season (December to end March).
A typical Southern Cape sandy beach with good waves and usually pleasantly warm water. Very popular beach with locals and holiday makers. The beach can be reached by driving through the town of Hermanus, and as one is leaving the town (drive around a traffic circle) the beach is signposted off the main street of Hermanus. Hermanus is approximately 1 and a half hours drive from Cape Town. Lifeguards are in attendance throughout the season.
Environmental education projects include: Interpretive Signage, Employees Training, “Coastcare working for the coast” has eighty-two workers in the area controlled by the Overstrand Municipality. Environmental Education at all schools in the area. Outdoor classrooms on Grotto Beach are one of their initiatives. The beach has an interpretive education centre where members of the public can get information on local environmental issues and on Blue Flag. Local schools undertake coastal monitoring on Grotto Beach and the plaat through the Adopt-A-Beach programme.
There is a restaurant immediately behind the beach and plenty of parking.
There is a beach-friendly wheelchair in place for those with physical abilities to access the sea. Lifeguards are on standby to assist with access to the water.
The holiday village of Hartenbos is just north of the town of Mossel Bay as one heads towards the town of George.
The beach offers a camping and caravan site, holiday chalets, a large entertainment area for the whole family to enjoy. Adjacent to the beach is a heated indoor swimming pool and there are many restaurants and shops located close to the beach too.
The beach has been well designed to serve the needs of those in wheelchairs and access to the sand is facilitated by a number of ramps.
A lovely wide, sandy beach to enjoy a long walk on. There is lots to see and do in Hartenbos.
Hawston beach is tucked away in the little town of Hawston on the coast as one drives towards the town of Hermanus. A truly beautiful beach with views of the sweeping mountains along the Cape coastline and along the extensive dune system which stretches from the beach along the coast for some distance. Hawston beach has some of the safest swimming water in the sea along the Western Cape coastline. Treat the sensitive dune systems with care and walk along the designated board walk systems only.
There are picnic areas and braai/barbecue facilities in the back beach area as well as an Abalone restaurant adjacent to the beach.
Very rustic, very rural and worth a visit. Lifeguards on duty from 1 December through to 31 March 2009. Interpretive signage allows one the option to learn more about the unique vegetation and natural resources of the area.
A popular whale watching site during the winter months, Kleinmond beach is a natural, unspoilt beach set at the mouth of the Kleinmond Lagoon near Hermanus in the Western Cape. This beach is popular with South African holidaymakers and worth a visit by overseas tourists.
Conditions at the beach can be windy during the summer months. Lifeguards are on duty during the months of December through to March each year. The beach is sandy and wide and offers beachgoers excellent walking opportunities. Or to simply sit on the rocks and enjoy the scenery.
The beach can be reached by driving on the N2 out of Cape Town, over the Hottentots Holland mountains (Sir Lowry's Pass) and then taking the turn-off to Hermanus. The sign post to Kleinmond is well marked on the road to Hermanus.
Stilbaai ("Still Bay"), tranquil coastal town, three and a half hours drive from Cape Town. On the shores of the warm Indian Ocean, lies Lappiesbaai (the "Bay of Rags") beach. In the olden days, the locals used to dry their washing on the bushes along the dunes of the beach, giving this stretch of pristine coastline, its rather interesting name. Wild, and unspoilt, on this beach you will find Pansy shells, and experience the Gaukau River flowing directly into the sea. Peace, rest, silence, tranquility and an undisturbed safe beach await you at Lappiesbaai. And, of course, watching whales during the winter months which people from all over the world come to Stilbaai to do.
Interpretive signage helps explain some of the unique features of the rural beach and surrounding area. There is a lovely restaurant based right on the beach. The beach has a special beach-friendly wheelchair in place that will allow visitors with physical disabilities to enter the sea safely.
There is a beach-friendly wheelchair in place which assists those with physical disabilities to access the sea. Lifeguards will be on hand to provide assistance.
On the warm False Bay coastline, Mnandi beach is popular with local residents of Strandfontein and Khayelitsha. During the early summer, it can be particularly windy, and the currents treacherous.
Professional lifeguards are on duty throughout the season. There is plenty of parking, which is well situated so that one can sit in the car and watch the sea, whales and seals. The adjacent recreational area at Mnandi offers water slides, picnic areas and an enjoyable day in the sun.
Muizenberg beach, False Bay coast
Muizenberg has been a popular destination for beachgoers for hundreds of years when it was a popular destination for many people who spent the summer months on the coast. On this sandy, wide beach one can still see the characteristic and colourful, beach changing booths. Today, Muizenberg beach is popular with families as the Muizenberg Pavilion offers a waterslide, outdoor swimming pool and putt-putt (mini-golf) course. A 30 minute walk along the seafront walkway (Muizenberg to St James) enables visitors to enjoy the proximity of the shoreline sea-life and whale watching (June to November). There are numerous restaurants in the back beach area. Surfers Corner, at the end of the beach is an excellent spot for novice or beginners surfers and there are a whole range of interesting shops to explore in the back beach area. A number of local surf shops hire out boards an offer lessons.
Lifeguards are on duty during the Blue flag season (December to March).
A newcomer to the Blue Flag programme, Santos beach is located in the heart of the Southern Cape town of Mossel Bay. Ideally located close to a number of fine restaurants and local attractions, Santos beach is a wide, sandy beach with very safe bathing conditions ideal for families. Visit the local Museums and check out the famous Post Office tree.
Lifeguards will be on duty during the season (beginning November through to middle of January) and activities on the beach will keep the family entertained. There are many hotels, B&Bs and a popular backpackers destination in the immediate area of the beach.
There is plenty of parking and the beach is easy to find.
Strandfontein beach, False Bay coastline
Strandfontein beach is situated on the False Bay coastline and is well-known for having the biggest tidal swimming pool in the southern hemisphere. The beach is frequented by both local inhabitants as well as domestic and international tourists. Numerous events are staged at the beach which will appeal to the beachgoer. The beach is known for its safe bathing conditions and is guarded throughout the year by the voluntary lifesaving clubs based at the local NSRI and Strandfontein Lifesaving Club.
Witsand beach is new to the Blue Flag programme. This beach is a popular seasonal beach enjoying large numbers of visitors during the peak summer season. A wide, sandy beach based at the mouth of the Breede River in the Western Cape. The beach and surrounding area is unspoiled and one can “get away from it all” in the area. There is a small restaurant at the beach and plenty of parking. During the season, lifeguards and all services will be available on the beach.
The Blue Flag season is short covering the main holiday period in December and January.