Did you know Cape Point is home to some of the most beautiful and unspoilt beaches in the Cape? A large number of people who visit Cape Point do so to use the famous Flying Dutchman Funicular, visit the old lighthouse, or to dine at the Two Oceans Restaurant. And, obviously, to take in the incredible views from the most South Western corner of Africa. But there are several few beaches that are well worth exploring as well. Always exercise caution when venturing into the waters to swim or surf. There are strong currents at Cape Point that make some of these beaches unsuitable for swimmers, and there are no lifeguard on duty, but the beaches make up for it with perfect soft sand and idyllic views perfect for long, reflective walks. Here’s a quick guide to the best beaches at Cape Point:
1. Buffels Beach
Buffels Bay is one of the most popular locations with day visitors to Cape Point. There are fixed braai (barbeque) places to cook up a storm, and it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic with the whole family. There are also tidal pools located nearby, which offer a safe place to swim at Cape Point. The views over False Bay and up towards Cape Point are worth the visit to Buffels Beach alone, and a quick dip in the tidal pools is the perfect way to cool off after a busy day of exploring the reserve.
2. Diaz Beach
If you’ve been up to the old lighthouse at Cape Point, or travelled on the Flying Dutchman Funicular, then you’ve most likely seen Diaz beach from above. But the view from sea level is equally enthralling, and well worth the 20-minute walk down (and 40 minute walk back up). This beach is right at the very tip of Cape Point, on the western side, and at the base of impressive 200 metre high cliffs. And while the currents here make swimming dangerous, a trip down to the beach will offer a whole new perspective on Cape Point – perfect for photographers and quiet romantic walks. There’s a beautiful wooden walkway that leads you all the way down, and most often you’ll have this little piece of paradise all to yourself.
3. Maclear Beach
You’ll need to walk a few short paths to get to Maclear Beach at Cape Point, but that’s half the charm of this small sandy strip on the Cape Point coast. The route through dense fynbos sets this up as one of the more secluded and intriguing sections of Cape Point. Plan a visit to this beach at low tide, when you can explore the rock pools with the younger members of your family. If you have the appropriate permits and experience, this beach also makes for excellent diving and fishing. Maclear Beach is located close to the famous Cape Point sign at the most South Western tip of Africa, so be sure to pay it a visit when you head down for the photo opportunity.
4. Olifantsbos Beach
Olifantsbos offers visitors a beautiful rocky point and small sandy beach on the western peninsula of Cape Point, a short drive away from the main focal point of the reserve. This rugged, unspoilt section of the reserve offers a selection of hikes and walks, and it’s also the starting and finishing point for the popular Shipwreck trail. There’s a fantastic picnic spot with ablutions and parking nearby, and when the southeasterly winds pick up along with the incoming tide, surfers flock to the waters to enjoy one of the best waves in the region. The beach is also close to the self-catering Olifantsbos Guest House, which offers one of the most magical overnight stays in the Cape.
5. Platboom Beach
Platboom Beach at Cape Point is possibly the wildest and most unspoilt in the region. This vast stretch of idyllic beach is perfect for long, quiet walks. In fact, it’s easy to spend an entire day exploring this coastline without seeing another person. Birds flourish in this environment, and it’s not uncommon to see ostriches and baboons enjoying a quiet walk along the sand. There are no lifeguards on this beach, so swimming is not recommended, but on a hot day, you’ll be tempted to spend most of the walk wading ankle-deep through the crystal clear Atlantic water. Pack a picnic and plenty of water, and find a spot to yourself to enjoy one of Cape Town’s most unique beaches.