10 Of The Best SA Beaches To Escape The Crowds

Following hot on the heels of our article about the 20 best beaches in SA, as voted for by our Facebook followers which almost set off civil war, we decided to dig deeper into your suggestions, and have uncovered some of the best untouched beaches in South Africa to escape the holiday crowds. 10 is almost certainly too short a list, so before you set fire to our offices and unleash the best of your ‘News24esque’ commentary, accusing Helen Zille or Julius Malema of being behind the creation of this list, if you think we’ve left some out, please add them in the comments below or let us know on Facebook.

Chintsa

Chintsa Beach - 10 best untouched SA Beaches

Source: DJPM2011

This is an incredible beach, about an hour up the coast from East London. Situated at the river mouth, there’s a quiet lagoon and a broad stretch of sand ideal for horse-back riding and learning to surf. This is a rustic spot, free from the regular distractions of tourist trafficked spots.

Kogel Bay

Kogel Bay - 10 best South African beaches to escape the crowds

Source: Christopher Griner

This beach is just outside of Cape Town’s south-eastern most corner, Gordon’s Bay. On the famous “Clarens Drive” (R44) towards Rooi Els and Hermanus, you’ll find virtually no buildings, save for the those at the camping resort. There is 1.9km of pristine sandy beach sandwiched between the spectacular mountains and icy False Bay – also a popular spot for brave surfers. On certain nights you can witness an amazing natural phenomena where the waves light up with the gentle blue of bio-phosphorescence.

Struisbaai

Struisbaai beach - 10 untouched South African Beaches

Source: PuppyChat

A beach on the Southern tip of Africa! It’s about as far as you can get from the urban hustle and bustle in SA. Struisbaai is the first big beach on the Indian Ocean, less than 10km from Cape Agulhas and is long, wide and flat with gorgeous white sand and vivid, azure waters.

Tietiesbaai

Tietiesbaai beach - 10 best untouched South African beaches

Source: Roelf Vorster

No giggling, okay? This unusually named beach is for those of you in the Western Cape who find even Paternoster too fast-paced. This is really where you’ll be getting away from it all with a stunningly located campsite on the crescent-shaped bay complete with white sand and unusually calm water for the West Coast.

Natures Valley

Nature's Valley - 10 best untouched beaches in South Africa

Source: Surfari Stories

While it may be an obvious choice, Natures Valley offers a wonderful escape from the craziness of nearby Plettenberg Bay. Just 35 km away you’ll find this gorgeous, wide, golden beach with its small town of less than 500 people somewhat cut off from the outside world by thick forest and steep mountains.

Coffee Bay

Cows on the beach at Coffee Bay - 10 best beaches to escape the crowds in South Africa

Source: Otti Ditrich

Cows on a beach, beat that! Another Eastern Cape gem, this beach is all about getting away from it all. Famous for being the “biggest” village near to the even more famous Hole-in-the-Wall rock formation, you’ll find endless opportunities to be alone with your thoughts on this spectacular bay. Warning: you may never want to leave.

Kosi Bay

Kosi Bay Beach - 10 best becaused in South Africa to avoid crowds

Source: Andrew Ashton

Beyond the reach of many, this beach is so far north in KZN that it may as well be in Mozambique. The lake, which goes by the same name, is something amazing to witness; rich in fish, the Tsonga people still catch them using traditional reed traps. The beach at the mouth of the estuary is wild and broad with it’s swirls of sand and clear water making for a mesmerising spectacle.

Morgans Bay

Morgan Bay - 10 best South African beaches to escape crowds

Source: garethphoto

About an hour from East London is Morgan Bay, a beautiful village set atop dunes and hills overlooking the expansive sandy beach. Many travellers who visit this gorgeous spot have been doing so for generations, returning year after year and it’s not hard to see why! It’s got everything you need: a big beach for walking and sunbathing, warm water to swim in, a calm lagoon to canoe on, fishing, mountain-biking, horse-back riding and no big shops, nightclubs or bars. In a word: Heaven.

Mazeppa Bay

Mazeppa Bay - 10 beast South African beaches to escape the crowds

Source: Andrew Ashton

About 3 hours up the coast from East London is a little slice of paradise called Mazeppa Bay. If the village of Morgan Bay was too “big city” for you, this should hit the spot. With only a small huddle of buildings overlooking a small, quiet beach, Mazeppa also has it’s own island, connected to the mainland by this quaint little suspension bridge.

Noordhoek

Noordhoek Beach - 10 best crowd-free beaches in South Africa

Source: Ian Usher

How can a beach just 40 minutes from Cape Town’s city centre be a crowd-free beach? Well, simple: it’s just so massive. At over 8km long and somewhat hard to reach by most of the tourists in regular hotel zones, by virtue of the fact that it’s accessible only via one of 2 mountain passes or a winding coastal road, there’s plenty of space to escape the crowds. The village of Noordhoek is extremely popular with the horse-riding community and so there’s no shortage of riding jaunts you can take on the beach either.


Got a beach you think we missed? Put away your pitchforks and add your suggestion in the comments below:

Our Readers Comments

  1. I would like to know how does work and what shuld you do to become a member

  2. these besches are good choices

  3. Llandudno should be added. It is a blue flag beach and near the city. There is only parking for 35 cars. You are not allowed to park on the pavement, so this 200m beach never gets crowded.

  4. Betty’s Bay, Kleinmond Palmiet and Pringle Bay.

    • Totally agree, the Western Cape beaches can be amazing.

  5. Kleinemonde, Eastern Cape – miles of beautiful unspoilt beaches = Paradise

  6. Double Mouth just over the hill from Morgan Bay makes Morgan Bay seem touristy. Pristine beach and beautiful river mouth which can be crossed at low tide to Bead beach where remains of pottery and beads can be found washed up from the shipwreck.

  7. Bushman’s River Mouth – all the way to Boknes and on.

  8. Christmas Bay; approximately 600m from the last Sheffield Beach in KZN (about 7km’s North of Ballito). Once down the access stairway to the bay itself, a quick walk left around the corner and you have the MOST beautifully wild and untouched walk along a white stretch of serene beach towards Tinley Manor. Honestly the most gorgeous way to meditate without being disturbed. The bay itself can get ‘busy’ in December, I have probably seen about 50 people there at its busiest, but the walk towards Tinley hardly has another person in sight.

  9. Kidds Beach, Eastern Cape !! SA’s best kept secret !!

  10. Die Plaat at Walker Bay is in a protected Nature Reserve. Located between De Kelders and Hermanus, it’s approximately 18 km of pure beauty – surf & sand & solitude!

  11. Zinkwazi beach…it is a small beach on the North coast of KZN… It has a lagoon which leads into a long winding river… It has beautiful rock pools which stretch far into the ocean at low tide. There are many fish eagles that reside there. Definitely one of SAs best kept secrets.

  12. Hole-In-The-Wall, near to Coffee Bay. One of the most picturesque in SA.

    (Ps. As someone who had a holiday home there and grew up in the Transkei, I believe your pic of “Coffee Bay” is actually of Second Beach in Port St Johns. The little outcrop on the left of the pic is known as “The Gap”)

  13. You just have to add Gwegwe and Msikaba beaches at Mkambati on the Wild Coast.

    • Pitty Gwe Gwe is being broken down as we speak…..But you are right…these two are gems.

  14. Sardinia Bay, Port Elizabeth

    • Agree with Sardinia Bay!

  15. The beach at Keurbooms River, should be added to these, its never crowded and very near to Plett., just +/- 8K’s notth of Plett.

  16. For joburgers who don’t want to go far, there’s always suncity. Talk about getting the best of both worlds.

  17. Fantastic choises, I have been to 7 of these beaches, here is another suggestion. drive from Elands Bay past Baboon point there you will find a pristine white sand beach 14 Km long with no-one there. Do yourself a favour go there if you can or Google Earth it.

  18. Do add Boggoms Bay, sandwiched between Dana Bay and Vlees Bay. Beautiful open beach, small village with only about 45 permanent residents, most beautiful flora…on the Garden Route. Tranquility and peace are found here.

  19. Zinkwazi in Dbn.

  20. Sardinia bay and Schoenmakerskop in PE. Wonderful nature walk along beach and fynbos

  21. Cape St Francis

  22. Pity Coffee Bay is over run by a few hundred spaced out reprobates getting in touch with their inner moron every long weekend and over New Years in particular….

  23. Kenton on Sea and the mouth of the Kariega River. Best time is April – no wind.

  24. Any of our beaches! Have Blue Flag status for Kariega Main Beach, Middle Beach and Boknes. We would suggest SHELLEY BAY which is one of the most beautiful and popular between the Kariega and Bushmans Rivers.

  25. Blue Horizon bay, Port Elizabeth

  26. Dwarskersbos beach on the West Coast-north of Velddrif.

  27. ZINKWAZI BEACH — its so Unique!!

  28. We proudly started our company [Southern Staying] 6 years ago in Struisbaai. We have offices also in Blouberg and Stilbaai. We are extremely proud of Struisbaai’s Blue Flag Status. It is long overdue.

  29. Kleinemonde East beach, 16km outside Port Alfred, Eastern Cape (travelling towards East London). Been going there since I was a child. Beautiful, clean,unspoilt beach, river for boating and swimming, and “crowded” means there are 20 other people on the whole stretch of beach! Amazing!

  30. I grew up in the Eastern Cape, our holiday cottage is at Qora Mouth /Kob Inn, we walk to Mazeppa periodically, a pleasant 6km coastal walk. My last Mazrppa visit was in 2014, the beaches at Qora are superior to Mazeppa. They are safer for swimming too. Qora. Has never had a shark attack, sadly it has had the odd drowning, generally the drowned bather was inebriated swimming in an outgoing tide with a rip current. And the beaches between the two are exquisitely beautiful. Llundudno should be added for it’s beauty and Clovelly for it’s safety !

    • Hi Debbie,

      I’ve seen some pics of Qora Mouth absolutely beautiful and very science. Makes for a lovely holiday to enjoy nature, relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings 🙂

  31. ahahhahahahaha – got to be kidding me, I would never put my un-spoilt quiet beach’s name up here, then everyone would know where it is and it would become less unspoilt and less quiet. At least by looking at this post there are so many lovely unspoilt beaches we can get to and chill. I tell you what, I’ll give you one beach that is consistently available to me and unspoilt, eMdloti Beach!!!

  32. The peacefulness and serenity at coffee bay and especially Hole in the wall is something worthwhile everyone has to experience.

    • Hi Joey,

      So true. It should be on everyone’s bucket list of places to visit 🙂

      Very beautiful and so tranquil.

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