Some of the best beaches in South Africa are located on one strip of coastline known as The Hibiscus Coast, stretching from Hibberdene in the North to Port Edward in the South. The perfect sub-tropical climate of the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, even in Winter, make sun-drenched days and year round sunbathing possible for holidaymakers.
Pristine golden beaches washed by the warm Indian Ocean, which rarely drops below 20 deg.C provide a tranquil haven of relaxation. The lush sub-tropical vegetation and green lawns at the ocean's door complete the ideal setting for a dream holiday.
The Hibiscus Coast boasts four of the 26 Blue Flag beaches listed in South Africa, with a further four in pilot status.
South Coast Blue Flag Beaches.
The award of a Blue Flag beach is based on compliance with 32 criteria covering the aspects of:
1) Environmental Education and Information
2) Water Quality
3) Environmental Management
4) Safety and Services
All Blue Flags are only awarded for one season at a time.
If some of the imperative criteria are not fulfilled during the season or the conditions change, the Blue Flag will be withdrawn.
Of the twenty six blue flag beaches in South Africa, the lower south coast has four, Margate, Ramsgate, Marina Beach/San Lameer and Trafalgar.
There are also several pilot status beaches which are Hibberdene, Lucien, Uvongo and Port Edward.
South Africa was the first country outside Europe to be awarded Blue Flag Beach Status, due to it's excellent standard of beach management and for providing beaches that offer the assurance of cleanliness and safety.
Other quality beaches on the Hibiscus Coast include Silver Beach Port Edward, Umtentweni Beach, Southbroom Beach and St.Michaels-on-Sea Beach, which has been regarded as one of KZN's premier surfing beaches. Shelly Beach and Ski-Boat Bay in Ramsgate are ideal Ski-Boat launch sites.
For more information on all the popular beaches on the Hibiscus Coast, click on the names listed in the South Coast Beach menu at the foot of the home page.
Blue Flag Beach Criteria.
The Blue Flag programme for beaches and marinas is run by the international, non-governmental, non-profit organisation FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education). The Blue Flag programme was started in France in 1985. It has been operating in Europe since 1987 and in areas outside of Europe since 2001, when South Africa joined. Today, Blue Flag has become a truly global programme with an ever-increasing number of countries participating in the programme.
The Blue Flag programme promotes sustainable development in freshwater and marine areas. It challenges local authorities and beach operators to achieve high standards in the four categories of: water quality, environmental management, environmental education and safety. Over the years, the Blue Flag has become a highly respected and recognised eco-label working to bring together the tourism and environmental sectors at local, regional and national levels.