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 2015/16.

At the launch of the 2015/16 Blue Flag season, it was announced that 39 beaches, 9 boats and 6 marinas have achieved full Blue Flag status, and a further 30 beaches have been awarded pilot status. Western Cape is leading the pack with more than 30 full Blue Flag status beaches followed by Kwa-Zulu Natal and then the Eastern Cape. 

Blue Flag beaches are awarded seasonally, and can be withdrawn at short notice should qualifying criteria not be fulfilled.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 29 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 2015/16 are as follows:

 Eastern Cape

·         Boknes Beach, near Port Alfred

·         Dolphin Beach, Jeffrey's Bay

·         Humewood Beach, Port Elizabeth

·         Kariega Beach, Kenton-on-Sea

·         Kelly's Beach, Port Alfred

·         Kings Beach, Port Elizabeth

·         Middle Beach, Kenton-on-Sea

·         Kleinemonde Beach


·         Alkantstrand, Richards Bay

·         Lucien Beach, South Coast

·         Marina/San Lameer Beach, South Coast

·         Southport, South Coast

·         Trafalgar Beach, South Coast

·         Umzumbe (Pumula) Beach, South Coast

 Northern Cape

·         McDougalls Bay Beach, Port Nolloth (Richtersveld)

 Western Cape

·         Bikini Beach, Gordon's Bay

·         Brenton-on-Sea, near Knysna

·         Buffalo Bay beach, near Knysna

·         Camps Bay Beach, Cape Town

·         Clifton 4th Beach, Cape Town

·         De Bakke, Mossel Bay

·         Gouritsmond, near Mossel Bay

·         Grotto Beach, Hermanus

·         Hartenbos Beach, Mossel Bay

·         Hawston Beach, near Hermanus

·         Keurboomstrand, near Plettenberg Bay

·         Kleinbrak Beach, near George

·         Kleinmond Beach, near Hermanus

·         Lappiesbaai Beach, Stilbaai

·         Llandudno, Cape Town

·         Mnandi Beach, Cape Town

·         Muizenberg Beach, Cape Town

·         Natures' Valley, near Plettenberg Bay

·         Preekstoel, near Still Bay

·         Robberg 5th, Plettenberg Bay

·         Santos Beach, Mossel Bay

·         Silwerstroom, Cape Town

·         Strandfontein Beach, near Cape Town

·         Strandfontein Beach, Vredendal, West Coast

·         Wilderness Beach, near George

·         Witsand Beach, mouth of the Breede River

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Blue Flag South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)33 330 3931

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