Two pristine beaches that form part of the Garden Route National Park have recently been awarded Blue Flag status. If you’re planning a holiday along the south coast, don’t miss out on beach time at these scenic spots.

Every year the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) awards select beaches in South Africa Blue Flag status. This international eco-label recognises beaches that meet a standard of excellence for safety regulations, amenities, cleanliness, environmental information and management.

For an incredible beach experience, Blue Flag beaches are the cream of the crop – like Wilderness and Nature’s Valley beaches in the Garden Route National Park.

Wilderness Beach

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Pictures courtesy of SANParks, GRNP

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Picture by Arnold Ras

This long and winding stretch of pearly white beach – situated in the Wilderness section of the Garden Route National Park – is the stuff of dreams. For that unforgettable adventure, pack a picnic basket and head to the beach with a canoe from the Ebb-and-Flow Rest Camp. Yes, you can canoe on the scenic Touws River all the way to where the river flows into the warm Indian Ocean. Remember your hats and sunscreen!

Nature’s Valley Beach

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natures-valley

Many have dubbed the Nature’s Valley Beach, part of the Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park, a piece of heaven on earth. This year is Nature’s Valley fifth consecutive win of the coveted Blue Flag status. Make a weekend of it: book a stay at Nature’s Valley Rest Camp and discover the banks of the Groot River, the picturesque lagoon on the Indian Ocean and Tsitsikamma forest – a paradise for birders and hikers. Nature’s Valley Beach also marks the final stop of the world-famous five-day Otter Trail.

Did you know?

South Africa was the first country outside Europe to implement the Blue Flag programme.

Help protect our estuaries

Make a mental note of these handy tips and do your bit to not only safeguard South Africa’s precious estuaries, but also our oceans.

  • When gardening or landscaping, make indigenous plants your first choice to reduce watering and minimise the use of potential harmful fertilisers.
  • Fish sustainably by practising ‘catch and release’.
  • For environmentally friendly boating, obey speed limits.
  • View the SASSI list and make the right seafood choices.
  • Pet owners, walk your dogs in demarcated areas and steer clear of areas where birds might be breeding.
  • Don’t litter: leave with what you brought.

Source: SANParks

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