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Relaxing beach location in Western/Eastern Cape, South Africa

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Nov 8th, 2011, 07:21 AM
  #1
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Relaxing beach location in Western/Eastern Cape, South Africa

Hi,
I'm planning a circular trip from Cape Town to Addo/Shamwari via the winelands, Route 62 to Oudsthoorn, and the Garden Route and then retracing our steps through the Garden Route and back via Swellandam, Betty's Bay, Overberg.

We would like to have a few days in one or two beach areas to relax and have a break from being on the road. We like to swim/body board in the sea and, being British are used to fairly cold water! Our trip will be in February. Your suggestions on low-key, not overly touristy but not too isolated, beaches to stay at would be very helpful, please. We're mostly staying in B&B/Guest houses but would be interested in possibly self-catering by the beach. There will be just 2 of us.

Thanks
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Nov 8th, 2011, 08:28 AM
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The ocean front accommodations at Storms River might be what you are looking for. Check it out at sanparks.org in the Garden Route section.
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Nov 8th, 2011, 01:37 PM
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Thanks, Christabir. Have had a look at Storms River and it certainly looks like a beautiful spot. I haven't been able to find out much about swimming there, other than a reference to a pool and small beach. We will certainly visit there on our journey but wonder if anyone else has suggestions or more info about good beaches for swimming, please?
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Nov 8th, 2011, 01:47 PM
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Hello Sollyuk,

Check out Mossel Bay, located on coastal Rt. 2, perfectly positioned between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. A perfect beach, and on the way to Stellendam. There is also history, but the beach - you will love it. Google it to see the beach!!

Enjoy your planning, sounds like a fabulous trip!!
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Nov 8th, 2011, 05:53 PM
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I keep forgetting that I'm one of just a few people in the world who hates to lay on the beach. I prefer watching the ocean from a balcony. I also misread your post and thought you said snorkeling (I must be tired).

I would check out surf spots. Some of the best surfing in the world is in the 'hood, and I think it would be a hoot to watch them. I would seek out Jeffrey's Bay - just east of Port Eliz. Then walk down the beach for fewer people if that's a problem. There I go again - I don't just lay on the beach. (I live 20 minutes from ocean and bay so I can go any time - and I do - usually off season). The Indian Ocean is warm.
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Nov 9th, 2011, 06:59 AM
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I'm with you Christaabir in that I definitely don't like to sunbathe on a beach. I prefer to sit on a balcony in the shade with a lovely seaview but I do like to swim and bodyboard too. Have had a look at Jeffrey's Bay area and like the look of Paradise Beach. Any comments anyone, please?

Also, would like a beach to stop at for a few days nearer Cape Town. Same requirements, if anyone can help please.
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Nov 9th, 2011, 08:39 PM
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About 3 hours from Knysna along the N2 is Witsand in the Overberg region, it's also about 3 hours from Witsand to Cape Town
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Nov 10th, 2011, 02:06 AM
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Hi Sollyuk.
Unfortunately you don’t mention how long you are planning to stay. The climate makes South Africa is a great place to visit any time of the year, but the Winelands and Garden Route in February is magical.
• Starting with the wine route, your holiday will kick off with breathtaking scenery of picturesque farmlands truly unique to the Western Cape. You can visit the Franschhoek Wine Valley and Robertson Wine Valley. The Robertson Wine Valley is a great area to explore, with many wineries. It also hosts the Hands-on-Harvest festival 24 – 26 February 2012.
• Stop over at Montagu to relax in a hot mineral spa straight from the earth!
• Driving on Route 62 to Oudtshoorn and visit the Cango Caves and an ostrich farm.
• Then take the road to George, on the N2 to Knysna. May I say that you MUST visit the Knysna Elephant Park where you can interact with elephants (feed, riding) and even spend a night with them in their lodge?
• Plan your way from Knysna to Port Elizabeth. You should have travelled ±1,000km’s when you reach Port Elizabeth.
• Go to Addo as per your plan.

Accommodation;
Self-catering is the best option, but it also expensive the closer it is to the beach area. Try a place further away, it won’t break the bank.

On your way back on the coastline – Beaches
• February month will be relatively quiet, as it is out of SA’s holiday season, but will be busy enough.
• For your own safety: try and avoid quiet beaches, swimming alone or too early or too late. Remember to keep within the marked areas; each beach will have an area marked for swimming. Also don’t take valuables to the beach.
• Plettenberg Bay is a main attraction, good beaches.
• Jeffereys Bay is the surfing mecca, nice waves.
• Victoria Bay outside of George is a small beach and community and very beautiful, so is Glentana.
• Mossel Bay – what can I say – it is South Africa’s own paradise! It has a couple of beaches, of which Santos and Diaz are the most visited, but Hartenbos is also nice with a long stretch of boardwalk for a sundown stroll….. In Mossel Bay you can also do cage diving to see the white sharks in its natural environment, and do a boat trip around the seal island in the bay. And if you are still alive, you can try your luck in the casino!

Mossel Bay is also exactly between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, so you have another 400km’s to cover.

You can either stay on the national road to Swellendam, or you can take a detour and visit places like the most southern tip of the continent of Africa - Cape Agulhas, where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. It is dry and totally different from the green Garden Route, you will also see some ship wrecks on the way. Close-by is Arniston or Waenhuiskrans, where you will see a fishermans village that is declared a museum as a whole.

Another village not to miss because of its cuisine, fine art and typical South African style is Napier, also in the same area.

Let us know what your itinerary will look like, I am so in a mood for a holiday right now!!

PS: Remember to take the maximum sun protection and cover yourself from day 1, the South African sun is so nice that you even tan in a shady area…!

braaiseason - jou naam sê alles!
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Nov 10th, 2011, 04:24 AM
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Braaiseason Witsand looks great and a definite possibility.

Cadnama thanks for spending the time to give amazingly detailed suggestions. Will do some more research based on your suggestions. Meanwhile, wonder if you know Paradise Beach near Jeffrey's Bay and if you would consider that a quiet beach to avoid?
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Nov 10th, 2011, 05:05 AM
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Hi Sollyuk

I have actually walked on Paradise Beach. It is a long sandy beach situated between Jeffreys Bay and St Francis Bay, and as far as I can remember, there are many self-catering spots. Being in the area of Plettenberg Bay - it can also be expensive and overpriced.

My suggestion is to look at beaches with "Blue Flag Status" - it gives visitors the knowledge that their beaches are clean, environmentally sound and adhere to international safety and other tourist standards. At least you will find a decent toilet and other facilities, it also have life guards on duty during the summer season. And also, to keep the status, they must do an effort to attract tourists, maybe contact the tourist board of each town?

You will find a list of all the beaches with blue flag status on the internet,
http://www.southafrica.info/travel/s...lagbeaches.htm

I forgot to mention that Mossel Bay also have a Wildlife Sanctuary named Jukani that is home to the big cats such as lions, cheetahs, Bengal tigers, leopard. It is on the N2, I think 5 minutes outside Mossel Bay and is worth a stop. www.jukani.co.za/

Hope it helps!
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Nov 10th, 2011, 05:44 AM
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The Blue Flag website is very interesting and a useful source. Thanks
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Nov 10th, 2011, 05:45 AM
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So do you think we'd feel safe at Paradise Beach in February?
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Nov 11th, 2011, 12:18 AM
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It is a nice beach, almost 6 km's but still relatively undeveloped. It will be safe, but if it was me I would make sure that I go to a place where there is a lifeguard on duty, near shops and restaurants and other facilities.
You can find out more from Jeffreys Bay Tourism, +27(0)42 293-2923 ([email protected])

Can I suggest you check out Jeffreys Bay itself? After all, it is called the Surf Mecca of the World. Or the charming St Francis Bay?

How long do you plan to stay?
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Nov 13th, 2011, 07:44 AM
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OK. Have decided to stay at St Francis Bay on way to Addo and Jeffrey's Bay on way back. Still looking at options between George and Cape Town.
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Nov 14th, 2011, 09:27 PM
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So many options! Let me know what you're thinking about doing from George to Cape Town, I will then share more ideas.
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Nov 15th, 2011, 08:52 AM
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Bookmarking for January 2013 trip.
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Nov 18th, 2011, 08:00 PM
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cadnama - "jou naam sê alles!" Thanks :0)
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