Beaches in South Africa – White Sands and Surfing
With soft white sand, beautiful blue waters and clear blue skies, South Africa boasts some of the best beaches in the world. The country enjoys some 2 798 kilometers of striking coastline which is dotted with warm sandy beaches and interesting rocky shorelines.
The South African coast is visited by two very different oceans. The coastline starts on the north-west coast where South Africa meets Namibia, so much of the landscape is sandy, hot and inhospitable. This is the home of the infamous and treacherous Skeleton Coast where the icy waters provide a direct contrast to the hot and sandy conditions found a short distance inland. Here the icy waters of the South Atlantic Ocean have made sailing near the coast a dangerous occupation that has been claiming lives for centuries. As you follow the coastline further south to Cape Point, you will find that the water warms up to almost bearable but still icy temperatures. A walk to this, the furthest point of the country’s most south-westerly promontory, will have you staring at the ocean where the waters of the Atlantic and Indian oceans seem to clash and fight for dominance as they roar up against the rocks below you.
However, be warned that, while this is said to be the meeting point of the two oceans, it is not the meeting point of the two currents that straddle South Africa’s coastlines. That point, where the cold Benguela current and the warm Agulhas current meet, can be more accurately found a little further south at Cape Agulhas. And this is the point where you can start to enjoy more bearable water temperatures at the various beaches in South Africa. From this point, the beaches become more sandy and the waters get progressively warmer until they eventually arrive in the north-easterly part of the country where KwaZulu Natal borders Swaziland. Durban and Richard’s Bay are known to have the warmest waters in the country – in fact, the waters are so warm here that few find them terribly refreshing.
South African waters are home to five species of turtle, each one unique and fascinating in its own right. These include the Leatherback Turtle, the Loggerhead Turtle, the Green Turtle, the Hawksbill Turtle, and the Olive Ridley Turtle. All of these species are threatened by human activities such as overfishing and plastic pollution. As a result of these threats, the number of turtles in South African waters has been steadily declining. Despite this, there is still much that can be done to help protect these incredible creatures. By taking part in beach cleanups or becoming involved with conservation efforts, you can help make a difference for these species and ensure that they continue to thrive in South African waters for years to come.
Most of South Africa’s major beaches are closely monitored by certified lifeguards and, in areas where sharks have been a worry in the past, shark nets and shark monitors have been set up to ensure the publics safety. So pack in your swimming gear and get ready to enjoy some of the best beaches in the world!