Bikini Beach (Blue Flag Beach)

Bikini Beach (Blue Flag Beach)

SwimmingPark/Recreation AreaEnvironmental EducationHabitat costier


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Bikini Beach is reputed to have received its name from the swimwear of the numerous female students from nearby University of Stellenbosch, for whom this beach has been special. Bikini beach is situated in the small coastal town of Gordon's Bay in the Western Cape. The beach lies at the foot of the Hottentot's Holland mountain range. The beach is tucked up against the Gordon's Bay harbour wall, sheltered from the southerly winds which often blow in the summer months. Due to its location and safe bathing area it is a popular destination for the locals and overseas visitors alike. The beach is sandy, the water is warm, and the locals are friendly.

BIKINI BEACH is rated as one of Cape Town’s top beaches due to its excellent facilities, cleanliness and safety standards. It is sheltered from the wind, and is especially popular among trendy teenagers and Stellenbosch students for sunbathing, swimming and socialising.

The beach slope is steeper here, dropping off quickly into deep water, so the waves are larger and more powerful, sometimes breaking as ‘dumpers’ on the shore. Surfers ride the lefthand break off the harbour wall, ending up at the beach. The wedge of white sand at Bikini Beach has developed over the decades since the completion of the harbour in 1939. This used to be a rocky shoreline, but the harbour breakwater has altered the transport of sediment by alongshore currents, resulting in sand deposition here.

The harbour is often referred to as the ‘Old Harbour’ since the development of the Harbour Island marina. Originally built for fishing boats, it now has moorings for yachts and motor launches, and is the departure point for deepsea fishing charters, scenic cruises and sharkviewing trips to Seal Island. Anglers can often be seen fishing from the harbour walls.

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