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EEveryone loves a little beach time and it’s even better if you don’t have to share it with a crowd. Book a trip for the family and try one of these “secret” spots.
Hamburg, Eastern Cape
At the mouth of the Keiskamma River in the Eastern Cape, you will find Hamburg which was first settled on by British-hired German legionnaires, which explains how it got its name. Today it's just a sleepy little hollow on the coast, about 90km from East London, with a pristine beach and river, and where the local backpackers offer guided canoe trails, hiking, fishing and chilling.
Strandfontein, Western Cape
Not to be confused with a beach of the same name in False Bay within the precincts of the City of Cape Town, this tiny village up the West Coast is something of an undiscovered jewel. Its chief attraction is a beautiful curve of beach to stroll along at sunset. It is about 280km from Cape Town, and about 7km up the coast from the only marginally larger Doringbaai.
About 140km north of Durban lies the town of Mtunzini close to the Umlalazi Nature Reserve. With its beautiful lagoon, dunes and sandy beach, it's a little piece of paradise where nature holds sway. The town was declared a conservancy in 1995 and has strict conservation rules. It is also famous for having a colony of rare palm-nut vultures that live in the raffia palms, which were planted here near the railway line. There is a timber boardwalk through the swamp forest that will get you closer to the palms.
In general, the area is considered something of a bird watchers' paradise. Other special birds to look out for are the African finfoot, Narina Trogon and African cuckoo-hawk. Consider visiting during the Mtunzini Birding Weekend held each year in June/July and remember to pack those binoculars.