The coastal areas of Southern Africa are widely regarded to be some of the most pristine in the world. With diverse landscapes, colorful salt encrusted locals, world-class surf breaks and a diversity of marine life and vegetation, it really does present itself as some kind otherworldly realm of wonder, possibility, tranquility and the devastating hostility of a typical ocean side storm. South African ocean life is definitely multi-faceted and any lover of the sea would feel nothing but a keen admiration to get to explore the vastness of it all.
This is what Ann Gadd has gotten the great opportunity of doing in this new book by MapStudio entitled ‘Life’s a Beach – Your round the coast guide to South African beaches’. As an individual who thought that I had seen many of the coastal regions of this striking country it’s still refreshing to know that there are more places out there to experience and explore. From the quiet sleepy West Coast fishing villages in the Western Cape to the bustling action-packed warm waters of Durban and the iconic KwaZulu-Natal North and south coast to the garden route. There really is so much in South Africa to see.
The book also serves as a great guide to people wanting to surf, swim, walk, hike or just relish in the attractions of these said coastal areas. It also gives invaluable advice on the safety aspects of enjoying the beach and ocean as South Africa is notorious for experiencing rough sea conditions and fluctuating tidal patterns. Which can be great for surfers but not so great for people learning to swim, these are valuable aspects to know if you want to enjoy the beaches of South Africa but also be safe whilst doing so.
If you plan on going on an adventure to this majestic location from another part of the country, you might want to use a vehicle to get there. Car rental South Africa would be a great place to start looking for the best wheels to get you there.
Ann Gadd is an author of 20 other books and has a long history with the ocean as she was a South African Boardsailing Champion. Some of her accolades include being the quickest women on water; however her ocean activities these days are limited to bodyboarding and Stand Up paddle boarding mainly in the Blouberg area near Cape Town. The research of this book literally saw Ann travel for roughly 9500km along the coastline of South Africa from Alexander Bay on the Namibian border on the west of the country to Sodwana Bay on the East all the way to the border of Mozambique.
J-bay on a calm day, this is one of the best surfing destinations in South Africa and the world – photo by Matt Wilson.