Coastline and beaches

We boast some of the most beautiful beaches in the world (pic: Cape Tourism)

The City of Cape Town is home to 72 beaches, eight of which are Blue Flag beaches and, with the exception of Boulders Beach, all eight are free to use. Each of them has something different to offer and you are guaranteed to find one that suits all your needs. Muizenberg is a great option at cooler times of the year, with warmer water and activities, including surfing and SUP lessons available.

Cape Coastline

Cape Town has over 300 kilometres of coastline, including two of the largest bays in South Africa – Table Bay and False Bay – and some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Our rich and varied landscapes, plants and creatures make it the perfect coast to explore; there are more than 70 beaches, tidal pools, rocky and sandy shores, coastal dunes, estuaries and more!

We have one of the most diverse marine ecosystems in the world, home to rare and endangered species – in 1991, South Africa was the first country to declare White Sharks a protected species.

Cape Town’s coastline also offers some of the world’s best whale-watching spots. The whales most commonly seen from shore are Southern Right Whales, which visit our waters between June and November each year. 

A Cape Town day made perfect for the beach (pic: Cape Tourism)

The warm Agulhas current that sweeps down the east coast and the cold Benguela current that flows up the west coast creates an incredibly rich and varied marine life. During summer, the west coast has an upwelling of nutrient-rich cold water that supports plankton growth. This then supports a variety of food webs, including shoals of ‘Pelagic’ fish like anchovies, pilchards and snoek.

Our rocky shores are especially species-rich because of their diversity of micro-habitats (smaller habitats). We also have breeding sites of seabirds and seals on offshore islands, while colonies of African penguin breed at Boulders Beach, Burgher’s Walk and on Robben Island.

Source: City of Cape Town