South African beach getaways to enjoy while the warm weather prevails

One of the Paternoster beach fronts. Picture: Instagram.

One of the Paternoster beach fronts. Picture: Instagram.

Published Apr 3, 2024


South Africa is renowned worldwide for its breathtaking beaches, with the nation’s coastline stretching for thousands of kilometres.

From KwaZulu-Natal’s warm Indian Ocean currents, hidden ocean gems in the Eastern Cape and the Cape’s chilly Atlantic waters, each oceanfront has its own unique story.

Some locations are ideal for a family-friendly seaside gathering, others are a surfer’s paradise and then there’s the secluded, Instagram-worthy beach experience.

And while autumn has arrived in South Africa, there is still time left to enjoy these beach getaways before the cooler conditions settle in.

We have compiled a diverse list of some of the Mzansi coastlines you can enjoy before the cold conditions strengthen their grip.


One of the oldest fishing villages on South Africa’s west coast, Paternoster is situated between Saldanha Bay and St Helena Bay.

The local community adds to the charm of this vibrant small town, which offers a retreat from the rigours of fast-paced modern life.

It is also home to some of the most serene coastlines, such as the acclaimed Paternoster Beach and Mosselbank Beach, which are ideal for surfing, swimming, stand-up paddling, fishing and kayaking.

Despite its remote location, this part of the Western Cape has a wide range of accommodation options, including many quaint homes that are perched right on the edge of the beach.

While in Paternoster, some of the places you can stay at are the Nieuview Cottages, the Abalone Hotel & Spa and Oystercatchers’ Haven Guesthouse.

The view from The Oyster Box in uMhlanga, Durban. Picture: Instagram.


Apart from its beautiful blue waters and golden sands, this upmarket part of Durban is a tourist hot spot.

It has several highly-rated hotels and residential options, including The Oyster Box, an award-winning 5-star luxury boutique hotel and spa.

Its coastline also stretches for many kilometres, offering ample seaside options.

Much of uMhlanga’s appeal is also its abundance of restaurants, bars and clubs, many of which are situated near the seaside.

It is also home to Gateway Mall, one of the biggest retail outlets in KwaZulu-Natal.

And because of Durban’s warm climate, there is still much sunshine to enjoy in this part of the city this autumn.

The Indian Ocean’s warm current also runs through uMhlanga’s beaches, making a splash in its waters an enjoyable experience.

Apart from the beloved Oyster Box, you can also stay at uMhlanga Sands Resort and The Lazy Lizard Guesthouse.

One of the beaches in Port St. Johns in the Eastern Cape. Picture: Instagram.

Port St. Johns

Nestled in the heart of the Eastern Cape, Port St. John's beaches are regarded as a surfer’s utopia as they offer impressive waves for adrenaline junkies.

This small coastal town is situated along the Indian Ocean, which means that its beaches are warm and ideal for water-based activities.

This serene town is also a visual delight with its attractive beach fronts and its coastal forest backdrops.

Port St. Johns’ beaches are frequented by sharks and while visitors are urged to be cautious, the town offers many opportunities to get up close and personal with them.

There are shark tours where professional guides show you where to spot them as well as shark cage diving opportunities.

You can also safely catch a glimpse of sharks by snorkelling or going out on a fishing trip.

Recommended places to stay in Port St. Johns are the Umngazi Hotel & Spa, The Spotted Grunter Resort and the Tranquility Guesthouse.

A view from the Knysna ‘castles.’ Picture: Instagram.


This location along the Garden Route is yet another visual treat which transports you into an enchanting world.

The Western Cape province is home to some of the country’s most beautiful beaches, including the picturesque Noetzie Beach.

Originally known as Noetziekamma, a khoisan phrase for dark water, these sandy shores are found in the Sinclair Nature Area and offer a whimsical charm.

Scores of tourists flock here each year to catch a glimpse of the buildings which resemble castles alongside the sandy shore.

And if you aren’t living your fairy-tale dream near the “castles” or relaxing on one of the many pristine Knysna beaches - including Brenton on Sea, Buffalo Bay or Cola Beach - the town’s natural beauty and abundance of plants and wildlife provide a picturesque backdrop for hiking, birdwatching or sightseeing cruises on its peaceful waters.

Some of Knysna’s best accommodation options include the five-star Villa Castollini, the Pezula Nature Retreat and Breakwaters Haven Knysna.

A view of the sunset from Uvongo Beach Picture: Instagram.


This seaside resort town situated along the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast at the mouth of the Vungu River enjoys warm weather for most of the year.

It also has the warm Indian Ocean currents running through its many alluring beaches, which makes it ideal for an autumn seaside getaway.

From swimming, snorkelling, surfing and other water-based activities, there is so much to enjoy on Uvongo’s beaches.

For foodies and cultural enthusiasts, there are also museums, flea markets and a wide range of restaurants to enjoy in the area, making it an all-encompassing getaway for all tastes and preferences.

The KZN coastal town near Margate is also a nature lover's paradise as it is home to the breathtaking Uvongo 23-metre waterfall, which plummets into one of the deepest lagoons in the country.

This cascade of water is truly a sight to behold, with its rock escarpments and foliage sheltering the nearby Uvongo Beach.

Some of the best places to stay while visiting the town are the Uvongo River Resort, the St Michaels Sands Hotel and the Fairway Guest Lodge.