South Africa’s beaches boast prestigious blue flags
South Africa is a country of diverse beauty, but its soft sandy stretches of beach are the tale of many a postcard and picture. Although the festive season may be a thing of the past for most, summertime has only started around the beautiful coastlines of South Africa, especially along the East coast. And if the beach you visit sports a blue flag, here’s why you need to slap on some sun cream, pack out your picnic and catch some rays.
Blue Flag is an international annual award which focuses on the environmental management of our coastline and coastal waters to assist with tourism growth and development. South Africa was the first non-European country to be granted Blue Flag accreditation and has been awarded the coveted Blue Flag status for more than 17 years.
It has become an international symbol of quality not only for beaches around the world, but also for boats and marinas that meet the standard of excellence in the areas of safety, amenities, cleanliness and environmental information and management. More than 46 countries participate in the programme world-wide and there are almost 4400 Blue Flag beaches, boats and marinas across the globe. The programme offers many benefits including improved tourism facilities, better management of coastal ecosystems, increased awareness and efficiency of coastal municipalities.
Awarded annually after being reviewed in a rigorous multi-stage approval process including national and international assessments, South Africa is proud to fly 62 Blue Flags in the 2017/2018 Blue Flag season at 44 beaches, 7 marinas and 11 sustainable tourism boats. The Western Cape boasts the highest number of Blue Flag sites with 28 beaches, 11 boats and 6 marinas flying blue, an improvement from previous years. KZN has 9 Blue Flag beaches while the Eastern Cape has 7 Blue Flag beaches and 1 marina, both remaining the same as the previous year.
Lazy days on sandy beaches are not exclusive to the December holidays anymore, and now is the perfect time to capitalise on the best rays of summer, even if it only means on the weekends. And with a list of these pristine beaches just below, there is no excuse not to keep the holiday-vibes alive for a few months longer…
Western Cape Beaches:
Silwerstroomstrand, Clifton 4th, Camps Bay, Llandudno, Muizenberg, Strandfontein, Mnandi, Bikini Beach, Melkbosstrand, Fish Hoek, Kleinmond, Hawston, Grotto Beach, Witsand, Preekstoel, Lappiesbaai, De Bakke, Hartenbos, Klein Brak, Buffalo Bay, Brenton-on-Sea, Robberg 5, Keurboomstrand, Nature’s Valley, Lookout, The Dunes, Singing Kettle, Struisbaai
Eastern Cape Beaches:
Dolphin Beach, Humewood, Kings Beach, Hobie Beach, Hamburg, Kariega, Kelly’s
Marina, Trafalgar, Lucien, Southport, Umzumbe, Ramsgate, Hibberdene, Westbrook, Ushaka