With March fast approaching, April will be upon us soon enough too, and with April comes 2 things. Firstly it is the most holiday-saturated month on the South African calendar, with school holidays finishing on the 7 April, and then the Easter weekend 2 weeks later (18-21 April), followed by the Freedom Day weekend (26-28 April). Secondly, it is the last month of summer, with things turning chilly in May. Knowing what we do about April, it seems like the ideal way to spend it is by taking a trip to the coast. After all, only in April can you get an 11 day holiday by taking only 5 days leave!
With South Africa’s vast coastline we have more than a few choice coastal destinations, so here’s a sample of beaches where you can enjoy the last of the summer sunshine.
Strand is a small town about 50 kilometres outside of Cape Town. The beach is 5 kilometres long, and being on the False Bay coastline, is warm and protected. It is often noted for being one of South Africa’s safest swimming beaches, and its setting, with False Bay in the foreground and the Hottentots Holland Mountains in the background, makes it a deserving favourite on the South African beach scene.
The Garden Route
If you’ve spent any time in South Africa, you’ve probably heard of the Garden Route, the scenic stretch of coast which runs between the Western and Eastern Cape. It is dotted with small towns and some lovely beaches, like the one at Wilderness with its lagoon, the Plettenberg Bay beaches with their varying vibes, from compact and concentrated to long and empty, and Nature’s Valley, with its thoroughly nature-y feel and the gorgeous nature reserves which flank it on either side.
The Eastern Cape
Granted the ‘Eastern Cape’ covers quite a lot of coastline, but there are a couple of spots along it which are vastly different from one another, but each equally deserving of some attention. The Wild Coast is an ideal spot if you fancy your beaches isolated and unspoilt, while Jeffreys Bay is surfing mecca and places like Kenton-on-Sea are renowned as family destinations.
KwaZulu Natal’s North Coast
KZN’s North Coast, which consists of beach towns like Umdloti, La Mercy Beach, Mtunzini and Ballito is popular for the same reasons as the South Coast. The subtropical climate provides consistently ideal beach weather and the sea tends to be warm and inviting. The chances of spotting dolphins are excellent too and there are plenty of rock pools to paddle in and explore.
KwaZulu Natal’s South Coast
The South Coast is home to towns such as Umtentweni, Amanzimtoti, Hibberdene and Shelly Beach. These beaches make for lovely beach walks, warm and pleasant swimming conditions and for underwater fundi’s the Aliwal Shoal, a rocky reef and one of South Africa’s most popular dive spots, is easily accessible by boat.