Did you know?
When South Africa joined the Blue Flag beach campaign in 2001, it was the first country outside Europe to do so.
Blessed with warm water, robust waves and seemingly endless stretches of sandy beaches, you'll soon understand why Durban (eThekwini) is everyone's favourite seaside playground.
Warm and sunny 320 days a year, Durban's beaches offer public amenities, protective shark nets, beacons to indicate safe bathing, and lifeguards on duty for most of the day.
Premier beaches in Durban include bodyboarding hotspot, North Beach and swimmers' delight, South Beach, while Bay of Plenty and Dairy are top surfing breaks. Swimming takes place at all of these beaches, closer inshore.
Addington Beach is close to the harbour entrance and, being at the southern end of Durban Bay, is more protected, with smaller waves and a flatter contour that lends itself to those learning how to surf.
On the other side of the Bluff which marks the harbour entrance the coastline receives the full force of ocean swells which makes for powerful surf at Cave Rock, Brighton and Anstey's.
About 15 minutes' north of Durban, Umhlanga Rocks beach is lined with luxury hotels and apartments. This is a fun spot with a permanent holiday vibe. Umhlanga's village teems with restaurants, sidewalk cafes, pubs and clubs. Umhlanga's Bronze Beach is quieter and more secluded if you're after a quiet patch of sand, or head further north to the family friendly beaches of Umdloti, Salt Rock and Zinkwazi.
Down the South Coast you'll find Blue Flag-rated beaches such as Hibberdene, Margate, Marina, Umzumbe, Ramsgate, Lucien and Trafalgar.
For some of the most pristine stretches of sand in the world, places like Kosi Bay, Cape Vidal and Sodwana Bay (part of the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park World Heritage Site) offer unspoilt beaches and plentiful fauna and flora. Sodwana has the added bonus of being the prime diving spot in South Africa, sometimes referred to as 'South Africa's Barrier Reef'.