Sea, sun, sand and South Africa: readers’ favourite beaches

The surging surf, exotic wildlife and dramatic settings of South Africa’s beaches place the country among the best for shoreline experiences
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The stunning Wild Coast five-day hike from Kei Mouth to Coffee Bay on the Eastern Cape is surely the ultimate beach lovers’ experience. Apart from a series of stunning sandy beaches between lush green hills, numerous river crossings form part of the fun, with some shallow enough to be waded. But beware the “Jesus fish”! Small, interested knots of locals gathered on the beach when one of us, tired of waiting for the ferry, waded into the water with a staff for support. Barely halfway across, he bellowed “JESUS!!” and fell back into the water, only to rise again clutching his staff with one hand and his foot with the other, still cursing. “Ah yes, that was the Jesus fish,” explained one of the locals, nodding sagely, “everyone shouts the same thing.” As you will, too, if you happen to tread on one of these electric rays.

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