South Africa's Blue Flag beaches are on par with the best beaches in the world. These beaches, located along the extensive 3 200-km-long coastline, are operated according to strict ethics that honour the environment as well as the visitors who make use of the facilities.

Did you know?

The Blue Flag programme is active in over 42 countries around the world – and there are now almost 4 000 official Blue Flag beaches.

Blue Flag beaches in South Africa are a very real feather in our tourism cap. To date, there are 41 beaches that have been awarded Blue Flag status, and several others are in the pilot phase.

To achieve Blue Flag status, 33 main criteria covering four aspects of coastal management have to be met. These four aspects are water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management, and safety and services.

Conceived in France in 1985, the Blue Flag programme is a recognised international accreditation initiative that acknowledges excellence in maintaining the highest standards of environmental management, safety, services and amenities.

South Africa was the first country, outside of Europe, to introduce the Blue Flag programme, in November 2001. Locally, the initiative has grown from just three beaches in the first year to 41 beaches in 2013/14.

Aside from the 41 beaches, five marinas, two whale-watching boats, one commercial boat and one private boat have also been awarded Blue Flag status.

Blue Flag beaches are awarded seasonally, and can be withdrawn at short notice should qualifying criteria not be fulfilled.

In South Africa, the programme is run by WESSA (the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa) in participation with municipal authorities. The Blue Flag website is extremely informative and offers information on each beach's location, number of lifeguards, parking, average water temperature, special birds or animals that can be seen, and facilities.

The Blue Flag Programme has been running internationally for 27 years and has been implemented in South Africa through WESSA since 2001. The programme is designed to raise environmental awareness and increase sound environmental practices among tourists, local populations and beach management.

Beaches with Blue Flag status for 2013/14 are as follows:

KwaZulu-Natal

1. Alkantstrand Beach

2. Umzumbe Beach

3. Southport Beach

4. Lucien Beach

5. Trafalgar Beach

6. Marina Beach

Eastern Cape

7. Kleinemond Beach (provisional)

8. Kelly’s Beach

9. Kariega Beach

10. Kenton‐on‐Sea Middle Beach (provisional)

11. Boknes Beach (provisional)

12. King’s Beach

13. Humewood Beach

14. Dolphin Beach

Western Cape

15. Nature’s Valley Beach

16. Keurbooms Beach

17. Robberg V Beach

18. Brenton Beach

19. Buffalo Bay Beach

20. Wilderness Beach

21. Klein Brak Beach

22. Hartenbos Beach

23. De Bakke Beach

24. Santos Beach

25. Gouritsmond Beach (provisional)

26. Lappiesbaai Beach

27. Preekstoel Beach (provisional)

28. Witsand Beach

29. Grotto Beach

30. Hawston Beach

31. Kleinmond Beach

32. Bikini Beach

33. Mnandi Beach

34. Strandfontein Beach

35. Muizenberg Beach

36. Llandudno Beach

37. Camp’s Bay Beach

38. Clifton IV Beach

39. Silverstroom Beach

40. Strandfontein Beach

Northern Cape

41. MacDougall’s Bay Beach

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Blue Flag South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)33 330 3931
Email: blueflag@wessa.co.za