South Africa's brilliant beaches
The Love South Africa group on Flickr is constantly updated with fantastic images taken all over the country. Why not share your pictures, too?
Each week we choose images from this group to share on our blog. This week we are celebrating the brilliant beaches along our country's coast.
One of the most popular beaches in Cape Town is Muizenberg, with its brightly coloured Victorian bathing huts that are popular with photographers. These huts helped identify South Africa as the location for the movie Free Willy: Escape from Pirate's Cove, filmed here in 2010.
Muizenberg is also a Blue Flag beach, which means that it adheres to strict health and safety standards. It's very popular with surfers but can be windy at times. If you are planning a trip to this popular beach on a wind-free day, be sure to set out early so that you can find a lovely spot on the sand.
At Boulders Beach close to Simon's Town, African penguins have right of way as this is one of only two places on the mainland that these endangered birds nest. If you're wondering how the beach got its name, then a visit here will surely answer this question for you (there is also a big clue in the background of this photo).
On Cape Town's Atlantic seaboard, you'll find Clifton and its four beaches, an area where only the very wealthy can afford to live but one that is open to all beach-goers. Clifton's Fourth Beach is the largest and most popular of the four beaches to be found on this stretch (Third Beach is pictured here). Although the icy Atlantic means that swimming here is only for the really hardy, it is sunbathing central and the place to people-watch. If you're not too worried about squeezing into that itsy-bitsy bikini, be sure to buy at least one ice cream from a roving ice cream seller.
Diaz Beach in the Cape Point Reserve has waters so brilliantly coloured they seem almost unreal. This secluded beach is for the nature lover. Here you can watch a wild Cape storm roll in, with possibly only the company of a few baboons and the sound of the sea.
The Eastern Cape is also famous for its beautiful beaches. One of them is St Francis Bay on the Sunshine Coast where there's a rehabilitation centre for African penguins. St Francis is just around the corner from the legendary surfing spot known as Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay.
The warmer waters of the Indian Ocean make the beaches of KwaZulu-Natal the ultimate destination for beach lovers. Most beaches in South Africa have local vendors walking the warm sand selling beautiful African wares and essential beach gear.
Trained lifeguards will ensure that an afternoon on the beach with your family remains fun and safe. Durban's beachfront has many attractions, and one of our favourites has to be the joyful laughter of beach-goers enjoying the waves and the warmth of the sea.
Scottburgh lies south of Durban on the Umdoni Coast. Over and above the magical waters, this beach is close to some of the world's best dive sites and excellent golf courses. It's also a fantastic day out for avid surfers.
Perhaps one of KwaZulu-Natal's most secluded beaches is at Mabibi where, as the photographer says, the 'emptiness and solitude ... always makes me long to return'.
Spring is upon us and the summer months are fast approaching, so be sure to book a trip to visit South Africa's brilliant beaches, where you can take some amazing photos and create special memories.