During South Africa's summer months, the four Clifton beaches in Cape Town attract sun lovers from all corners of the globe. It is the ideal location for sunbathing, beach sports, people-watching and relaxing.
From these beautiful beaches, patrons can gaze out across the sparkling waters of the Atlantic Ocean, as well as up to the majestic mountain peaks such as Lion’s Head and the Twelve Apostles that tower above Camps Bay.
On windy days, Clifton two and three are the best beaches to visit. Because of the cove formation around them, they remain largely unaffected by the wind.
Because of Cape Town’s extended daylight hours in summer, you can tan until as late as 6.30pm, while it only gets dark much later.
Popular beach sports at Clifton include volleyball, touch rugby, Frisbee and beach bats (hitting a tennis ball back and forth with small, round bats).
The waves along this beach, although relatively small, are better suited to more experienced surfers. Bathers can however walk fairly far out before the sand shelf level drops, provided they can handle the chilly waters.
Those looking for a more relaxing time can get a professional massage on the beach. This service is usually offered on weekends during the summer months.
The local refreshment vendors you will meet on the beaches of Clifton are some of the most amusing characters imaginable. Some sales pitches you are likely to hear include: “How about a lolly to make you jolly?” “How about a coke for your bloke?” “I’ve got cool drinks to make your liver shiver and your knees freeze!”
Come and find out why the Lonely Planet rated Cape Town as the world’s second best beach city for 2011, as well as why so many filmmakers and photographers choose Clifton for their projects.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Cape Town Tourism
Tel: +27 (0)21 487 6800
How to get here
Clifton’s beaches are less than five km from the Cape Town city centre. Parking can be quite scarce during summer months (November to April), so taxis are often the best option from the CBD.
Best time to visit
The warmest months of the year in Cape Town are October to April.
Around the area
Camps Bay, which is just down the road from Clifton, boasts several world-class restaurants, bars and night clubs.
What will it cost
A house in Clifton could cost you as much as R80 million, but a cool drink from the friendly beach vendors only costs around R10.
What to pack
While it is great to walk barefoot along the beach, flip-flops are essential for walking on the pavement above the beach on hot days.
Where to stay
For luxury accommodation in Clifton contact Cape Town Tourism about accommodation options in the area. If you are on a budget or in a small group, it would be more economical to stay at a backpackers in the Cape Town city centre.