South African beaches with a twist

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As the beach lovers we are, you know that sandy shores and ocean views will never bore us – but that doesn’t mean we will stop looking for that something special. So to you give you something a little more unique, we’ve had the arduous job of searching across South Africa’s extensive coastline to find you five incredible beaches, each with slightly more than your average bucket and spade.

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We don’t know about you, but snapping away on our camera or phone is second nature when we’re beachside (okay, it’s something we do wherever we are in the world). But rarely have we found ourselves more snap-happy than at the beautiful Boulders Bay in Western Cape. It’s a pretty sensational beach anyway, swathed in stones rising up from the shore, but from January to August is home to a colony of friendly penguins, who make this beach truly unique. Forming part of the Table Mountain National Park, this beach surprisingly never gets crowded and is fantastic for soaking in the rays and getting to know these beloved birds.

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Fusing beach life with the best of Durban’s buzzing city life, South Beach is one of South Africa’s real gems. There’s always a vibrant atmosphere on this sandy stretch, so immerse yourself in the throngs of it by day, then as the sun starts to dip head to Gino’s Sky View Bar. Here you can sit back with your favourite cocktail and take in panoramic views of the city set against glittering ocean. It’s downtown Durban at its most stylish, and the perfect way to round off a hard day on the beach.

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Head down to the charming port of Paternoster and you can expect to fishing boats docking with their freshest catch of the day.  If the beach comes number one on our list, food follows close behind… so seeking out a new culinary skill is a bonus and this is a place where you can learn how to shuck an oyster. But don’t worry, you will get to sample some of these fresh, local beauties too.  The Noisy Oyster, with its beachfront rustic charm and menu of juicy delicacies, is the perfect end to any day on the coast.

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Dramatic rocky coastlines, golden sands and ocean wildlife – we’ll leave the office for this any day. What sets Mossel Bay apart is its stunning hilly backdrop and the array of marine life that reside here. Cosy up on the beach anytime between June and November and look out for Killer Whales, bottlenose dolphins and the cape fur seals, who regularly rock up for a rest.

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Just in front of the striking clifftops of Hangklip, Rooi Els is the ultimate beach escape. Whatever your reason for getting away, this stunning seaside resort, which remains relatively unknown to most holidaymakers, is perfect for lounging on the beach or taking to the lagoon waters for swimming and shellfish diving. Oh, and you’ll be sharing the beautiful lagoon with the Cape clawless Otters, too.