Cape Town - All dog lovers have been there. You pack your beach gear,
lather up the sunblock and put snacks and drinks in the cooler for a lovely
beach trip. Just as you’re about to get out the door, a despondent heap of fur
lies at the front door, looking up at you with all the sadness of the world in
Their eyes cry ‘don't leave me’, and has the power to
make you feel like you are committing a crime against all dog-kind.
WATCH: A day in the life of a ranger's dog
Luckily, South Africa has an abundance of dog-friendly
beaches where your pooch can live out their wolf-fantasies and run wild, or
trot next to their best friend for a delightful walk as they try very hard to
ignore that seagull that is clearly mocking them.
Here are the dog-friendliest beaches in SA to soothe your
Wilderness Beach, which forms part of the Garden Route
National Park, has various segments where dogs can enjoy themselves, and in
Plettenberg Bay dogs can run free in
the Poortjies Lagoon Area and on Lookout Beach. In Knysna they are allowed on a
leash on Brenton-On-Sea and Buffelsbaai, but note that during the
December-January holiday period they are only allowed before 09:00 and after
SEE: New dog-friendly areas allocated in the Garden Route: What you need to know
Yzerfontein has a 16-mile beach where dogs can be their best
selves, but have to be on a leash in the swimming area just before it. Elands
Bay is also happy to welcome dogs, and in holiday hotspot Langebaan you can
walk your canine friends between Pearly’s Restaurant and Club Mykanos. Just make sure they don’t
chase after the kite surfers.
SEE: #VisitWestCoast: Exploring from Saldanha to Langebaan
Cape Town & Cape Peninsula
Cape Town has various demarcated zones where dog owners can
take their pets for a beach trip, but there also many beaches that don’t allow
dogs. Some of the coolest beaches where both dog and human can enjoy themselves
include Clifton 1st near Camps Bay, the loveliness that is Long
Beach in Simon’s Town and you can also take on a long walk on Kommetjie’s Long
Beach all the way to Noordhoek Beach.
SEE: Find your lifetime travel partner at the dog hotel + 5 travel things dogs love too!
If you want to take your dog for a surf jol, Durban has a
couple of beaches that are open to tail-waggers, like uShaka Beach, though be
aware of the nurdles problem that they are dealing with. Trafalgar Beach,
between Margate and Port Edward, is a little quieter than the city beaches for
your dog, and up north Alkantstrand in Richards Bay will also give them a
chance to wet their paws.
SEE: Exploring KZN: The long and short of Durban road trips
Southern Cape Coast
Also known as the Cape Whale Coast, your dogs can dig their
hearts out on Hermanus’ Grotto Beach and Kleinmond’s coastal walk, but only up to the Palmiet River
mouth. In Betty’s Bay, you can go on an adventure with your canine buddy on the
Denys Hessom Trail which starts in Jock’s Bay and will take you past the main
swim beach to Stony Point. Just make sure your dog doesn’t make an oystercatcher
its next meal.
SEE: 5 SA coastal spots for an inspiring weekend break
You and your dog can get your wild on at Bonza Bay, which
has a special walkway for canines through a coastal forest before a long walk
on the beach. Haven Beach between Coffee Bay and Mazeppa Bay also got your back
with a dog-friendly policy, and in Port St Johns you can let your dog tap into
its wild side at Second Beach (without annoying others).
SEE: Find your adventure along the Wild Coast
Unfortunately Port Elizabeth is not very friendly towards
dogs, with restrictions and bans on many beaches, but you can take them for a
leashed walk at the St George’s Outside Bathing Area and King’s Beach. Port
Alfred also only allows leashed dogs on its East and West Beaches, and Oyster
Bay near St Francis Bay is also a leashed-dog area.
Remember to always keep your dog under control and pick up
after them – you don’t want to leave an unfortunate memory for your fellow
What to read next on Traveller24:
- 14 Life-changing gadgets you have to take to the beach
- Life's a beach with these 7 easy island holidays for South Africans
- WATCH: First anti-poaching dog to skydive