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Top 5 Beaches in the Eastern Cape (South Africa)

Posted by Jody on October 2, 2012

Today’s Featured Writer is Roseanna McBain

Surfer at Sunrise (ReeSaunders/Flickr)

Top 5 Beaches in the Eastern Cape, South Africa

The long, lush coastline of the Eastern Cape has plenty of wild floras around, opportunity for bird watching, wonderful cuisine, and more than a few activities to keep you occupied when you’re not working on your tan.

Jeffrey’s Bay – it would be remiss not to place this surfing nirvana first on the list. The Billabong Pro Surfing competition is held here annually, and almost year-round you can expect to find surfing gurus dotted about the water. The long stretch of pristine beach means families and couples gather here often during the warmer months. Make sure you book accommodation in this area well ahead of your arrival, as the majority of Jeffrey’s Bay accommodations are booked several months in advance.

A sunrise at J-Bay (Photo: ReeSaunders/Flickr)

Eastern Beach – situated in central East London, this beach is opposite Marina Glen and the main attraction here is the large collection of black rocks which make for some stunning photographs –if you have children they’ll have an absolute blast scrambling over these boulders! There are several changing rooms, restaurants and takeaway options, so if you don’t feel like packing a picnic make sure to stop off at one of the popular places along the way. A word of warning: don’t visit this beach over the New Year period, especially on New Year’s Day, as it’s one of the most popular local spots
around and can become tightly packed.

Relaxing in Style (Photo: FlickreviewR/Wikimedia Commons)

Coffee Bay – this stunning area has a very unique rock formation dubbed “Hole in the Wall” – it is attached to a cliff which juts into the sea. The Xhosa call it “iziKhaleni” – meaning place of thunder– as the water rushing through the hole can be heard from quite far away. A romantic Xhosa myth about how the hole was formed goes as follows: There was once a fair maiden who visited this shoreline, and a sea man saw her and fell in love. He begged her father to let her come away with him, but the father refused. The merman enlisted the help of a giant fish, who battered down a portion of the cliff (the hole) through which the sea man and his friends swept through and took the fair maiden away. The warm waters, soft sand, and picturesque scenery make this a must-see destination.

Humewood – this was the first blue flag beach in South Africa, and it is still very popular with locals and tourists alike. There is plenty of shade for when the sun becomes a bit too warm. There is a very family friendly vibe here, due in part to the beach being adjacent to Happy Valley, which offers some fun children’s entertainment. There are lifeguards on duty for six months of the year (November to April), and there are great opportunities for water sports, including fishing, snorkeling, surfing, swimming, and water skiing.

The lovely beach stretch of Port St. Johns (Photo: garethphoto/Flickr)

Port St Johns, Wild Coast – referred to locally as the Jewel of the Wild Coast, Port St. Johns beach seems to have it all: soft sand, warm waters, and long sun-drenched days. Take your camera with and get a picture of Thesiger and Sullivan, the twin mountains on either side of the river mouth leading to the ocean. A laid back community inhabits the town, and backpackers are frequent visitors to this area.

Author Bio: Roseanna McBain works for the Eastern Cape accommodation and booking website, TravelGround. She enjoys exploring the world around her, finding new eclectic shops, watching science fiction series, and herbal teas.

5 Responses to “Top 5 Beaches in the Eastern Cape (South Africa)”

  1. Really great! Thank you for your ideas on the site Top 5 Beaches in the Eastern Cape (South
    Africa) Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches, they are generally rather
    helpful! I really enjoyed checking out your post.

  2. Jody said

    Great post, Roseanna! Such wonderful sounding choices and helpful tips!

  3. Great article Roseanna. What a compliment to Nelson Mandela Bay!!!

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