Summer is upon us and that means long days, even longer braais and, if you live along the coast, long walks on the beach with our favourite companion. Most dogs love the beach, and it’s easy to understand why. Beaches offer almost endless space for active dogs to run, play, chase balls and interact with friends. But depending on where in South Africa you live, it can be tricky knowing whether your best friend would be welcome. This is especially true if you are thinking of taking your dog with you on holiday and want to be sure they enjoy the summer holiday as much as you do.
There are so many amazing dog friendly beaches on the south African coastline, it would be impossible to create a comprehensive list. Instead we thought we’d take a journey from the West Coast to the Dolphin Coast and highlight some of our favourites. Please note the images we’ve used in this article are simply for enjoyment and are not of the specific beaches mentioned.
YZERFONTEIN, WEST COAST
We start on the West Coast, which has many pet friendly beaches such as Elands Bay and even certain areas of Langebaan. However, the beautiful seaside town of Yzerfontein really stands out. Just 70 km northwest of Cape Town, Yzerfontein offers 25km of uninterrupted beach where dogs are welcome to roam and enjoy themselves. The beach stretches from the town all the way to the West Coast National Park and is perfect for long walks with your best friend. The town and surrounding area are also full of pet friendly accommodation. From a host of options, we thought !Khwattu deserved a special mention. This cultural centre has wildlife roaming freely but still allows well behaved dogs. They offer dog friendly accommodation as well the chance to take your dog on walks with a leash on their trails.
CLIFTON FIRST BEACH, CAPE PENINSULA
Cape Town has so many beaches that welcome dogs, it would be quicker to list the one’s where they aren’t allowed. Some of the most associated with dog walking include Long Beach in Simon’s Town and Noordhoek Beach across the peninsula. However, our vote goes to Clifton First, one of the smaller beaches in the area but one set aside specifically for animal lovers to enjoy the sun and the waves with their best friend. Unlike other beaches where dogs are welcome in certain seasons or times, Clifton First is always open to dogs. We think it’s amazing that one of the trendiest areas in the Mother City has a beach set aside for dog lovers.
WILDERNESS BEACH, GARDEN ROUTE
Easily one of the most beautiful beaches in South Africa, Wilderness Beach has many areas that are open and welcoming to dogs and dog owners. It is important to do your homework though as pet friendly areas are marked using the colours red, yellow and green, to indicate prohibited, leashed and welcome respectively. If you are planning a holiday in Wilderness or the surrounding areas, you can find out more about which areas are dog friendly here.
SARDS BARK PARK, EASTERN CAPE
As we move into the Eastern Cape dog friendly beaches become a lot harder to find. Most of the popular holiday destinations such as St Francis Bay, Port Alfred and Oyster Bay either prohibit dogs entirely or have a leash only policy for walking dogs. This isn’t because the Eastern Cape doesn’t like dogs, but is instead due to the fact that so many of these beaches fall into Nature Conservation areas and contain sensitive biomes that can be upset by unruly canines. Instead of a beach we are going to recommend a safe and environmentally responsible option, Sards Bark Park in Sardinia Bay is one dedicated area that offers a space where dogs can roam freely off the leash.
USHAKA BEACH, KZN
All dogs on beaches in the eThekwini Municipality need to be on leashes. This doesn’t mean that you and your furry friend can’t enjoy yourself even if the fun is restricted by a leash. Durban and surrounding areas offer some of the most beautiful beaches in South Africa. We’ve chosen uShaka Beach simply because there is always something happening in the summer months. And while Durban might not have the most welcoming beaches for your dog it makes up for it with a multitude of pet friendly dining options just off the beachfront. We found this great guide to pet friendly dining spots to help you find that perfect lunch or dinner spot.
CHRISTMAS BAY, DOLPHIN COAST
Situated 10 km north of Ballito, Christmas Bay is one of the quietest beaches on the Dolphin Coast. It is mainly visited by fisherman, divers and people walking their dogs. Christmas Bay is one of the few beaches in the area where you can have the beach largely to yourself with only the occasional passer-by.
As we mentioned at the start of the article, there is no way we can cover every beautiful dog friendly beach in South Africa, but we would love to continue to grow this list in the future. If you have a favourite dog friendly beach you believe we should include in a future article why not send an email to Steve on [email protected] and we’ll include it in a future article.
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