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December 30, 2010

How to stay safe in the sun on Cape Town’s beautiful beaches

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The beach is the place to be in Cape Town this summer. Photo: Cape Town Tourism

Known for their immaculate beauty, the beaches of Cape Town attract many visitors during the South African summer. But between the ocean waves and the throngs of people fighting for their patch of sand, the beaches can be a tricky place to negotiate.

Here are a few tips to help you to maximise your fun in the sun and enjoy the long days at some of the most beautiful beaches in the world:

• Always wear flip-flops or sandals when you wash the sand off your feet. There are more than 10 000 daily visitors to Cape Town’s 70+ beaches – you don’t want to catch something funky from their dirty feet!

• Stay off the beach when the south-easterly blows.  On these days it’s best to catch a movie rather than taking a long walk on the beach. When the wind blows at full force you could be injured by an out–of-control umbrella, or even get severe windburn.

• Don’t surf and turf! When on your surfboard, feel free to wave at your mates, but ride the wave with both legs!

• If the water is too cold for swimming, build a sand castle instead.

• Don’t get taken for a ride by the rhyming vendors, who’ll try to hypnotise all your money out of you with witty verses like “Get a Coke for your bloke!” or “Some water for your daughter?”

• Many visitors to the beach love to get active in the hot sun. If you’re not the sporty type, be aware of stray frisbees and volleyballs (unless you’ve been targeted on purpose by a potential love interest).

• It might be a good idea to make friends with someone who lives close to the beach so you can have somewhere conveniently close to park your car.

• Many of Cape Town’s beaches are dog friendly. Bear this in mind when digging for shells.

• If you are too cool to carry your own umbrella, make sure you get to the beach at sunrise to be first in line to rent an umbrella as they usually run out by mid-morning. Alternatively you could bury your umbrella in the sand the day before. (Again, be careful when digging as someone’s dog may have been there before you.)


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