blog5 Must-visit underrated beach destinations in South Africa

Posted on:March 25, 2019

Kylee Ryers shares her beautiful impressions of favoured beach areas to visit in South Africa. You guessed it, the pristine Northern KwaZulu-Natal choice destination of Thonga Beach Lodge is proud to be on this list!

Image courtesy of Cal Bailey from Mountain Leon

During 2018, 46 beaches along the South African coastline were awarded Blue Flag status. While earning such a prestigious accolade is without a doubt something to be proud of, many of the country’s more underrated yet equally as spectacular beaches, remain achievement-free. Spending a day at a tourist hotspot such as Umhlanga Rocks or Camps Bay is undeniably exhilarating. If you are, however, looking for a romantic getaway with someone special, it may be a better idea to journey to one of the countless secluded beaches that are scattered along the South African shores. From Noetzie Cove near Knysna to the remarkable Thonga Beach Lodge in KZN, here is a closer look at just 5 of the most underrated beaches in the country.

Noetzie Cove

The Western Cape definitely does not have a shortage of underrated yet spectacular beaches. Approximately 10 minutes to the East of Knysna lies a secluded cove, known as Noetzie, that boasts a peaceful estuary, an amazing ecosystem filled with a large variety of indigenous fauna and flora, and a beautiful beach. The cove is home to a number of beach houses ranging from classic to regal in design yet remains somewhat underrated and untouched. Noetzie has a long and colourful history and to this day it remains known as the perfect romantic location for everything from intimate picnics to wedding proposals.

Smitswinkel Bay

Cape Town has always been known for its spectacular beaches and the secluded Smitswinkel Bay is no exception. Hidden beneath the road that leads to the Cape Point Nature Reserve from Cape Town, Smitswinkel Bay offers visitors breath-taking views of both Table Mountain and the bay. While there are a few houses adjacent to the bay, the area remains mostly undeveloped, making it the ideal spot for a romantic picnic right on the beach. Despite its remote location, there is a footpath that will lead you directly to the unspoilt beach where you can enjoy nature at its best. Just remember to pack light as you will have to haul everything down to the water yourself.

Thonga Beach Lodge

The Maputaland Coast in KZN boasts some of the most pristine beaches in the whole of South Africa. If you have been dreaming of a romantic getaway to a secluded beach location, the Thonga Beach Lodge should be at the top of your bucket list. The luxury lodge that boasts 24 beds, is situated on one of the continent’s last remaining unspoilt wilderness beaches. The rooms are all fabricated from natural material and are nestled right in the heart of a spectacular natural forest. Not only will you be able to enjoy quality time with your loved one but you will also experience the best gifts nature has to offer, ranging from mesmerizing birdsong to magnificent views of the surrounding landscape.

Diaz Beach

Another Cape Town gem, Diaz Beach is just one of many gems found in the Cape Point Nature Reserve. Situated at the base of an impressive 200 meter high cliffs, the beach may not be ideal for swimming, but it sure makes for the perfect setting for a romantic walk. The beach itself is approximately 20 minutes from the main road by foot but the pretty wooden walkway will make the trek feel like a breeze. As isolated as the beach may be, it is reminiscent of a celebrated tourist destination such as the Galapagos or Maldives, complete with white sand, turquoise water, and an abundance of marine life.

Umzumbe Beach

Situated at the mouth of the charming Mzumbe River in KZN, the blue-flag Umzumbe beach is by far one of the most underrated romantic destinations in South Africa. Access is strictly via a rather steep walkway but the physical effort is undoubtedly worth the reward. The beach boasts warm, pristine water, dense coastal dune greenery, and a tidal pool that is enjoyed by adults and children alike. Although there are lifeguards on duty, the beach remains virtually untouched as locals and tourists alike seemingly prefer the busier beaches elsewhere on the coast.

Spending time at the beach is always enjoyable. When you get to spend time with a loved one a secluded beach, however, you are bound to make beautiful memories that will last a lifetime.


This wistful image by Adrianna Calvo


Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

Our Lodges

Packages & Travel Ideas

Our Story