Witsand Beach, Western Cape
Did you know?
Witsand's sand is particularly white because underground water leaches the red iron oxide coating from the sand on the beach.
Witsand Beach, recognised under the international Blue Flag programme for excellent safety, cleanliness, provision of amenities and maintenance of environmental standards, is a popular seasonal beach at the mouth of the Breede River in the Western Cape.
This Blue Flag beach is characterised by four kilometres of wide, sandy beaches and the Breede River estuary, where this large river flows into the sea.
As many activities take place around the Breede River mouth as on the beach. As well as being a birdwatchers’ utopia, this picturesque estuary provides safe swimming, windsurfing, rock and surf angling, deep sea fishing and snorkelling.
Witsand is also known as Southern Africa’s whale nursery. Each year, between June and November, record numbers of southern right whales migrate to St. Sebastian, making this beach one of the best land-based vantage points from which to view the whales in the bay, between May and October each year.
Witsand Beach also has fantastic rock pools to explore, filled with sea creatures like octopus, starfish, sea urchins and crabs. It is situated within the Cape Floral Region World Heritage Site with its incredible variety of indigenous plant life.
Along with its very white sand, beautiful views and rich assortment of bird, sea, and plant life, the beach is also known for its ‘brulsand’ or roaring sands, which are eerie rumbles that can be heard from time to time when the dunes are disturbed.
Its Blue Flag status just confirms what experience suggests, which is that Witsand Beach really is among the best in the world.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Tel: +27 (0)28 537 1010
How to get here
Witsand Beach is about 300km from Cape Town along the N2 and a further 35km along the R322.
Best time to visit
The summer and spring months are best as the Western Cape experiences extensive rainfall during winter.
Around the area
Witsand Beach is within easy reach of Malgas’s Pont, De Hoop Nature Reserve, Swellendam, Heidelberg, Bontebok National Park, the RobertsonWine Route and Montagu, making it a good base from which to explore the area.
Tours to do
Moodies Well Walk follows the sandy eastern sweep of St. Sebastian Bay for 4km, to a well dug by a Scotsman in the 19th century. The walk should be done at low tide. It is about 8km long and it should take about three hours to complete.
What to pack
The usual beach essentials and binoculars for whale watching.
What to eat
There is a small restaurant at the beach.
Shopping at Nella's se Winkel for just about anything you might need is a treat.