What is a Blue Flag beach?
A Blue Flag is an international award given to beaches, boats and marina’s that meet EXCELLENCE in the areas of safety, amenities, cleanliness and environmental standards. The strict criteria of the programme are set by the international coordinators of the Blue Flag campaign in Europe, the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).
In South Africa, the programme is managed by WESSA (the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa), along with participating local authorities. South Africa was the first country outside of Europe to win Blue Flag accreditation for its beaches. Many beaches in the Western Cape of South Africa has had Blue Flag status since 2000.
How is the Blue Flag Awarded?
The Blue Flag is awarded to beaches that comply with the Blue Flag criteria and there are four main areas:
–> Water quality
–> Environmental education & information
–> Environmental management
–> Safety and services
Blue Flag Beaches in the Western Cape
- Bikini beach (Gordon’s Bay)
Bikini Beach is reputed to have received its name from the bikinis worn by female students from nearby University of Stellenbosch, for whom this beach has been special.
- Brenton-on-Sea (Knysna)
Locals claim that one of the most wonderful beaches on the globe lies right on the other side of the Knysna Western Heads, at Brenton-on-Sea.
- Buffalo Bay Beach (Knysna)
Buffalo Bay beach is about half way between Knysna and sedgefield. Offers unspoiled seaside scenery, safe swimming and conditions. Dolphins are frequently spotted and Southern Right whales visit this section of the Cape coast annually between November.
- Camps Bay beach (Cape Town)
Camps Bay beach on the Atlantic coastline is well-known internationally for its pristine white sandy beach and blue tranquil waters. The world famous Table Mountain and Twelve Apostles mountain chain looms over the beach.
- Clifton 4th beach (Cape Town)
One of South Africa ‘s most popular and sought-after beaches. This popular beach in Cape Town , is visited by stars and the famous and could be described as the “in-scene”. One of a series of small coves, 4th beach is on the Atlantic Ocean side of Cape Town near Camps Bay.
- De Bakke Beach (Mossel bay)
De Bakke beach is located to the west of Mossel Bay harb our, just a kilometer or two outside of Mossel Bay’s CBD. It is located in close proximity to the De Bakke municipal chalet park and the beach is within walking distance of one of Mossel Bay’s other Blue Flag beach namely Santos beach.
- Grotto beach (Hermanus)
A typical Southern Cape sandy beach with good waves and usually pleasantly warm water. Very popular beach with locals and holiday makers. The beach can be reached by driving through the town of Hermanus , and as one is leaving the town (drive around a traffic circle) the beach is signposted off the main street of Hermanus.
- Hartenbos beach (near Mossel Bay)
The holiday village of Hartenbos managed by the ATKV is just north of the town of Mossel Bay as one heads towards the town of George.
- Hawston Beach (near Hermanus)
Hawston beach is tucked away in the little town of Hawston on the coast as one drives towards the town of Hermanus. A truly beautiful beach with views of the sweeping mountains along the Cape coastline and along the extensive dune system which stretches from the beach along the coast for some distance.
- Keursboomstrand (Plettenberg Bay)
Lying on the other side of Keurbooms River from Plettenberg Bay, Keurboomstrand or beach lies on an enviable part of the Garden Route, highly popular for swimming. But don’t let the idea of the holiday crowds deter you durin the off season, as the views and beach at Keurbooms Strand are very spectacular.
A popular whale watching site during the winter months, Kleinmond beach is a natural, unspoilt beach set at the mouth of the Kleinmond Lagoon near Hermanus in the Western Cape.
- Lappiesbaai (Still Bay)
Stilbaai (” Still Bay “), tranquil coastal town, three and a half hours drive from Cape Town . On the shores of the warm Indian Ocean, lies Lappiesbaai (the ” Bay of Rags “) beach.
- Llandudno Beach (Cape Town)
Situated between Camps Bay and Hout Bay, Llandudno is undoubtedly one of Cape Town’s most picturesque beaches. Motorists driving along the main road above get only a glimpse of greenish waters, white surf and grey monolithic rocks.
- Lookout Beach (Plettenberg Bay)
Look Out Beach is a sandy beach. It was in the programme but had lost its status due to the 2009 floods. Everything is in place; Lifeguards and their equipment. They have a wooden gentle ramp which is used for the disabled to access the beach and have 2 disabled ablutions.
- Mnandi beach (False Bay coast, Cape Town)
On the warm False Bay coastline, Mnandi beach is popular with local residents of Strandfontein and Khayelitsha. During the early summer, it can be particularly windy, and the currents treacherous.
- Muizenberg beach (Cape Town)
Muizenberg has been a popular destination for beachgoers for hundreds of years when it was a popular destination for many people who spent the summer months on the coast many of whom would have travelled over land to get to Muizenberg.
- Natures Valley (Plettenberg Bay)
If you are looking to surf, sunbathe, swim, paddle or even stargaze, this beach is for you!
- Preekstoel Beach (Still Bay)
The beach is known for the “Preekstoel” (Preaching Pulpit) rock formation, it is located near Still Bay
- Robberg 5 Beach (Plettenberg Bay)
Robberg 5 beach located in Beachy Head Drive (south of the Beacon Isle Hotel towards the Robberg Peninsula ) in Plettenberg Bay is a beautiful stretch of beach linking the central Plettenberg Bay beaches with the Robberg Peninsula .
- Santos Beach (Mossel Bay)
A newcomer to the Blue Flag programme, Santos beach is located in the heart of the southern Cape town of Mossel Bay . Ideally located close to a number of fine restaurants and local attractions, Santos beach is a wide, sandy beach with very safe bathing conditions ideal for families.
- Silwerstroom Beach (Melkbosstrand)
Silwerstroomstrand, named after the ‘silver stream’ to the north, is a coastal resort situated along the West Coast approximately 13 km north of Melkbosstrand and 10 km west of Atlantis.
- Strandfontein beach (False Bay coast)
Strandfontein beach is situated on the False Bay coastline and is well-known for having the biggest tidal swimming pool in the southern hemisphere. Here one can swim very safely under the watchful eyes of the lifeguards.
- Wilderness Beach (Eden District)
Wilderness beach is unspoilt, safe and breathtakingly beautiful. Warm Indian Ocean waves break onto this golden sandy beach that stretches for seemingly endless kilometres.
- Witsand Beach (Breede River mouth)
Witsand is new to the Blue Flag programme and joins Blue Flag in December 2010. This beach has been a well-kept secret for many years and many holiday-makers have spent excellent beach holidays in this very undeveloped area of the South African coastline.