SPECIAL FEATURED BEACH REPORT by Tony Smith
Unfortunately there is no "official" nudist beach in South Africa. That said there are a few that are nudist if only because nudists frequent them, but none are easy to get to.
However, the most famous is Sandy Bay between Llandudno and Hout Bay. My wife and I use this beach whenever we are in Cape Town but instead of accessing it along the coast path, which is invariably messy due to the many dog walkers, we use the dune walk from Hout Bay. Drive past the Llandudno turning and down Suikerbossie (Sugarbush) hill. Turn right into Helgarda Road at the traffic lights at the bottom of the hill and then second turning left into Edgar. At the top of this dead end road you will find a small car park on the left. You must then walk up the road through the Table Mountain National Park boom. At the end of the paved road turn left, downhill towards the sea. The left hand trail then follows the contour around the Karbonkleberg mountain and is called the Oude Skip (Old Ship) trail as you can see 3 shipwrecks on the route. Turning right will take you down a steep track to Sandy Bay. It's quite a walk but the views are magnificent. At the bottom of the trail turn left for the main beach or right for a more secluded cove.
During our visit in November 2009 we started off at the cove but found the sand full of shells. We moved to the main beach later where the sand is shell free and comfortable to walk on. As it was the weekend we found nudists on both beaches.
The Hout Bay end of the main beach is regards as the "gay" end with more hetero couples at the Llandudno end. The cove is regarded as the family beach as there are safe rock pools here where the children can enjoy themselves. The Atlantic Ocean is renowned for being very cold on this side of the peninsula but on this visit we found it unusually warm and calm. We enjoyed ourselves swimming up and down the beach. Altogether a great day at the beach which was only marred by the number of big dogs roaming the beach with no sign of their owners (See photo below which was taken from Rocket Road).
We next visited Sandy Bay at the beginning of December 2010. It was a warm but slightly misty Friday morning with the mist thickening as we approached the beach. Despite the mist it was warm enough to strip off and lie on the sand at the Llandudno end of the main beach. At the other end of the beach there appeared to be a lot of activity and when I asked the only other nudist couple on the beach I was told that a UK film crew were waiting for the mist to clear so they could continue filming (see photo below).
After a while the mist lifted and the sun shone down warmly but then, as so often happens in Cape Town, the wind came up. Before long we were getting sand-blasted and moved to the cove which was marginally more sheltered, but eventually we gave up and trudged back over the dunes.
We were in Cape Town again in January 2011 and managed to visit Sandy Bay twice while we were there.
The first time was a Saturday. The cove was full of sunshades and so many nudists: families, singles, couples and groups that we elected to go to the main beach where again lots of nudists but I got the impression that during the weekend this was more of a "clothes optional" beach than the cove. What was different from previous visits was that the rough seas and breakers had attracted a large number of surfers. Nice to see everyone respecting everyone else's degree of "undress".
We returned on Monday when it was not nearly as busy. Only about 6 other nudists on the beach but still lots of surfers in wetsuits.
Some people have mentioned problems at Sandy Bay with voyeurism and petty theft but we would like to report that at no time did we feel threatened or worried about that. If we did leave our belongings to go for a beach walk or swim our nearest nudist neighbour would be only too pleased to watch our things. As for voyeurism, there seems to have been a marked reduction over the years and we didn't see any full clothed people roaming the beach or sitting on rocks as in the past.
Submitted by Tony Smith, (April 2011)