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Posted on Wed December 14, 2011 in Newsletters.

Safe Cape Town bathing beaches Newsletter of Horizon Holiday Cottages - Summer 2010/2011.

Blue flag beaches: by now the award of Bue Flag status to some of Cape Town beaches has been well-publicised. This coveted award will certainly help to further improve the reputation of our beautiful city as a desirable international holiday destination. A Blue Flag is an international award given to beaches that meet EXCELLENCE in the areas of safety, water quality, cleanliness and environmental standards. The beaches that received the Blue Flag accreditation in South Africa are:

* Clifton 4th beach, Cape Town
* Camps Bay, Cape Town
* Muizenberg, Cape Town
* Strandfontein beach, Cape Town
* Mnandi beach, Cape Town
* Bikini beach, Gordon's Bay

For our guests, and those who choose to stay and enjoy the relaxing lifestyle of the southern Cape Town peninsula, the fact that many of the local beaches do not enjoy blue Flag status does not detract from their popularity as family beaches. In fact, the city of Cape Town's recreation and amenities department recently published on their website that every effort has been made to ready its summer amenities for influx of visitors for the festive season, with a special focus being paid to beaches and tidal pools. In addition, the city has renewed a contract with Lifesaving Western Province for another three years to provide safe bathing and management of the beaches during the summer peak season, which means that 250 trained and accredited lifeguards will be deployed to render life-saving services at all beaches between 10 am and 6 pm daily from 01 December 2010 to mid-January 2011 when the schools re-open. Shark-spotting will remain a priority this festive season, with Shark-spotters being deployed to Glencairn and Clovelly beaches during December, long weekends and over the Easter holidays. Shark-spotters will remain in place at Muizenberg Corner, Fish Hoek, St. James, Kalk Bay and The Hoek in Noordhoek throughout the year. The City's Sport, Recreation and Amenities Department has been conducting regular checks of all of its beaches to ensure that they are clean and that all infrastructure is maintained including:

. All bathrooms and showers are clean and in working order
. All braai areas, paving, and grassed areas are regularly maintained and weeded
. All railings are maintained and some are being painted
. The tidal pools are managed according to the tidal pool management plan, which includes regular removal of algae
. Attention has also been paid to water quality at beaches and in tidal pools.

The coastal water quality is managed and monitored through the Coastal Water Quality Committee, while tidal pool water quality is tested and monitored by the Water and Sanitation Department's Scientific Services. The results are circulated weekly and action is taken where necessary.

Nearby safe family beaches: Horizon Holiday Cottages is a popular family and child friendly accommodation resort. Whilst we get young guys looking to enjoy the best surfing spots which are to be found nearby, we note that intending summer visitors use such search terms as "is it safe to swim in Cape Town" and it seems that many are looking for beaches where the family can enjoy the sun, surf and the beaches in complete safety . Whilst there are many beaches to choose from in the greater Cape Town area, the beaches of the Atlantic coast tend to be 5 degrees or so cooler than the warm waters of nearby False Bay. We recommend the following beaches which offer complete safety for our guests with children:

Glencairn beach is the closest of the False Bay beaches; being just 5 min drive from our accommodation. This jewel of a beach remains largely undiscovered by tourists even though it lies between the popular beaches of Fish Hoek and Simonstown. The beach forms a small bay that is quite sheltered from the South East winds that prevail in the summer, and offers beautiful clean white sands. There is quite a strong backwash on the beach, particularly when the tides are high, so the kids will prefer to use the spacious tidal pool that lies just below the railway station. Although beach amenities are sparse, there are a couple of good restaurants nearby including "Flukes" at the Southern Right - a pretty, restored Victorian beach hotel.

Seaforth Beach, Simonstown is another great family beach. It is almost completely surrounded by large boulders so that there are no waves and it is almost like an enormous tidal pool. The beach has gentle sloping sands, making it ideal for toddlers at play, although further out it is certainly deep enough for those who want to engage in enthusiastic swimming. The gentle sloping lawns that overlook the bathing area offer an ideal spot for a family picnic but many choose to support the restaurant at the beach which offers dining on the deck and spectacular views across False Bay.

Boulders Beach has earned an international reputation as one of the world's best family beaches and can be reached by a pleasant walk from Seaforth or, by car, from the parking lot just opposite the unusual golf course at Simonstown. In summer one should go very early because access to the beach is limited in order to prevent overcrowding. The sheltered beach gets its name from the massive boulders that surround it, and which form sheltered coves in which you may come across some of the cute African penguins that have made this beach their home. Kids love this beach because the Penguins will often come waddling past or will be sharing the water with them when they swim.

For further information about best Cape Town beaches and for shark spotting measures at the beaches check out our blog: