#BeachDogs: SA Beaches that welcome furry friends

2017-11-04 16:30 - Gabi Zietsman
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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.

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 holiday guilt.

Garden Route

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 17:00.

SEE: New dog-friendly areas allocated in the Garden Route: What you need to know

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West Coast

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! 

KZN Coast

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 

Wild Coast

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 

Sunshine 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 beachgoers!

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