September 27, 2012
Come to Cape Town, where life’s (really) a beach
What happens when you ask about 800 000 seasoned globetrotters to vote for their best beach destination in Africa? Naturally, Cape Town comes out tops.
Voted the favourite beach holiday hotspot on the continent, and with good reason, Cape Town’s sandy shores are renowned for their global appeal. But just what is it that makes Cape Town’s coastline so charming?
The surf, for one
Earlier this year, National Geographic named Muizenberg as one of the world’s best surf towns. It’s easy to see why. The long coast’s warmer waves attract surfers all year, and the beach promenade offers visitors an array of things to do and buy – from home-made ice-cream and baguettes to surf gear and adventure tours.
Tamsyn Jethro, a I Love Cape Town Facebook fan and lover of all things Cape Town, voted Surfer’s Corner, Muizenberg, as her favourite. “Rain or shine, day or night someone is there. From what seems a million surfers to a heartbroken lady alone in her car. The train comes and goes. Majestic Cafe with its endless stock of ice-cream that will drip when it’s hot and will drip when it’s cold and windy. Knead, the hub of the hippy/yuppy, munching on baked goods and sipping expensive coffee. Dots of jolly drunkards and sad druggies all watched carefully by the ever-present police. Talking about drugs, another gem selling heavenly hash (well it's my drug) – yum yum ice-cream – is Sinful. When I leave I'm always barefooted and sticky from the salty wind. My favourite!”
Lee-Ann Van Niel agrees. She posted this on our Facebook page: “I simply love Muizenberg. Just the scenic drive along Baden Powell Drive all the way to Muizenberg and fresh sea smell makes it awesome.”
The sunny sightseeing
There’s something to be said for a beach with an open view – think Camps Bay, Llandudno and the views from Lion’s Head. A popular stopover on Cape Town’s CitySightseeing route, Camps Bay’s flat, wide beach is frequented by beach volleyball enthusiasts and hundreds of sun lovers each year.
Facebook fan Carlos Rocha Cardoso lives in Portugal but has visited Cape Town several times. He votes Camps Bay tops, saying: “It’s absolutely lovely and my favourite. Congrats to Cape Town city. Lovely place, lovely people.”
Clifton Beaches (1, 2, 3 and 4) are also known for their gorgeous views (and stunning sunbathers). Here you might catch a glimpse of a surfing seal or two. Kayla Pretorius (on Facebook) votes Clifton 4th beach as her top spot. “The white sand between your toes.... That feeling is irreplaceable. The fresh smell of the sea breeze, and the freezing cold water is enough to give anybody a wake-up call!”
Home to a colony of African penguins, Boulders Beach near Simon’s Town is one of Cape Town’s hidden gems. A super secluded spot where visitors can watch penguins from close, and eye the mountain from afar, Boulders was voted one of TripAdvisor’s 10 truly unique beaches.
Western Cape local Tony Samuels votes Boulders his best, sharing this on our wall: “I love the penguins, baboons etc.… makes for an interesting day at the beach!”
Bloubergstrand, which translated means “blue mountain beach”, is a long stretch of beautiful coast. It’s a perfect playground for paragliders and kitesurfers, largely due to the Cape’s blustery southeaster winds that blow the sandy shore. The kitesurfing at Blouberg is among the best to be had in the world.
He says: “The surf is good but the kitesurf is better! Water temperature is about 12 degrees, but air in summer is around 30 degrees. Wind is about 20 knots SSE…”
From Melkbosstrand to Llandudno, a glorious array of beaches – each boasting aqua-green sea, white sand and temperate sun – make Cape Town a highly sought after summer holiday destination.
Facebook fan Lisl Anthea Nelsen spells it out it nicely when sharing her love of local beaches. “Head to Camps Bay for the atmosphere, Miller’s Point for the memories, Muizenberg for the flea markets, Gordon’s Bay for camping, Boulders beach definitely and Hout Bay for memories too, lol.”