Sandy Bay is a nudist beach in Cape Town, it’s very pretty and secluded from everything. You will feel comfortable to take your clothes off because there is almost no people there and you can also leave your clothes on if you are shy.
Located at the end of a residential area, you will have to take a nice scenic walk along breathtaking nature to arrive to this tropical spot, which is very calm and peaceful.
You can find great privacy on this beach, this was my first time in a nudist beach an it didn’t fell awkward at all, perfect for beginners, it is definitely a must see!
1. The beach
The beach consists of two main areas:
The first area consists on an open beach, which has breathtaking views to the Atlantic Ocean. It is surrounded by wonderful greenery and dunes.
Also, there is another area with big boulders, which provide extra privacy and shadow making it an excellent spot to relax and cool down. Besides that, the boulders provide protection against the wind, which can sometimes be strong at that beach.
2. Sandy Bay: Location
a. Where is it located?
Sandy Bay is located along the famous road from Cape Town to Cape point. It is near Llandudno Beach and you can walk from one beach to another.
b. How to get there?
Sandy Bay is a bit more inaccessible to ensure good privacy. There are two ways to get to the beach:
- From Llandudno: you can climb over the rocks from the car park at the southern end of Llandudno, or
- From Sandy Bay parking lot: it takes about 20 minutes to walk from the car park park at the northern end of Hout Bay. Parking the car here can be difficult as car parks are insufficient.
Two ways of transportation:
- By car: you can take an UBER / Taxify and get to Llandudno or the parking lot in around 30 minutes from Cape Town’s city center. This will cost you around $140 ZAR = $12 USD.
- By bus: you can take the 109 or 108 MiCity bus to Helgarda stop. That will take around 45 minutes and then you’ll have to walk another 30 minutes approximately.
To get to the beach you’ll have to go on a 20-minute hike. The beach is however very beautiful so it is definitely worth the hike.
- First, you will arrive at the car park, which is near a residential area.
- Then you will have to take the pavement road up the hill, which will end up in a sandy region.
- At the top of the hill you will veer off to the left and you will take the sandy path.
- Then you will hike down to the beach. It is very easy to follow the road as you can see the beach as you head down. The views are breathtaking and the hike is a nice walk. It only takes about 15 min.
Swimming at the beach is difficult as the Atlantic Ocean water is cold, but there are a lot of other things to do at the beach such as:
Sandy Bay is perfect for nude bathing as it is a very secluded beach which offers a lot of privacy. Make sure to bring an umbrella (there are no umbrellas for rental) or enough sunblock.
Also, it can get very windy in the main beach, but you can walk to the boulders area and find shelter among the rocks.
Make a picnic
There are no restaurants or shops nearby so make sure to bring enough water and food.
Take a walk
There are a lot of nice trails to walk on with breathtaking views. You can also walk the trail to Llandudno Beach.
Bring your dogs
Dogs are allowed at the beach, you can bring your cute friends to have a walk in the beach and play with them.
Watch the sunset
A definite must! The views are wonderful and the peace and quiet makes it perfect for a romantic date.
- Bring toilet paper: There are no public toilets at the beach!
- Bring a Garbage bag: There are no bins at the beach, so to ensure a clean beach it is necessary to bring your own garbage bags.
- Bring hiking shoes: The road to the beach is sandy and sometimes you will find a lot of small rocks on the way. Hiking boots or just tennis shoes can be very helpful (I was wearing sandals and it was very difficult to walk with all the small rocks hurting my feet, sometimes I walked barefoot but it was also difficult).
- Be safe: The area is a bit inaccessible and secluded. Make sure to go with several people and during peak hours.
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I did my first visit there out of curiosity and it is really a beautiful place. There were quite a few nudist there and obviously also the exhibitionists. I felt uneasy as I heard a lady making a comment about strange characters on my way down the trail and I felt like it was directed at me. I cannot be 100% sure though. I just wanted to relax a bit away from everything and everyone for a little while and also experience the free lifestyle of Sandy Bay.
I in the meantime recalled that it was not on the internet that I read that nudity is compulsory on Sandy Bay, but in a magazine or newspaper. That was many years ago before my 1st visit and pre-internet. Clothed people were “ducked” in the sea by nudists. I believe that was caused by (a) case(s) of blatant gawking. Not bullying by nudists.
It is fine if SB became a clothing optional beach instead of a “compulsory” nude one. Also remember that you have to arrive and leave clothed. Refer to my previous post on emerging “overdressed”. My father died of skin cancer between the 2 visits, because he had an outdoor job. I wanted to walk for one last time on the beach as I was becoming old and will probably never get there again. Sadly indeed we have a high crime rate and the access path is flanked by bush growth. I have no experience of the Hout Bay side of access, but it appears to be even more difficult and a longer walk.
During my 1st visit everyone was naked, on the 2nd one a minority was in beachwear. This article kindled my interest and I talked to a gym acquaintance who told me he was there too, he is actually in Cape Town more often. He says that nowadays the majority of people are in beachwear. I fail to see why people would take the risk and discomfort of a long walk to go to a beach with no facilities, just to deny yourself the sensory luxury of being naked under the sky.
The best beach in CT and the entire country, is Clifton. It is sheltered in a cove and not so much prone to the wind. It is divided into 4 boulder-divided, numbered areas, each informally frequented by a particular type of user. I have always wondered why one area cannot be declared a nude space. Apparently a few people had been observed naked without consequences. For instance there are a few loose boulders offering limited privacy for a limited amount of people. People stumbling upon nudists there can really just walk away. Unfortunately it just take one complaint and a press scandal to sour every nudist’s life.
This article re kindled my interest. I am presently studying Clifton beach “from above” with Google Maps and may report below the entry for Clifton.
I am what can be best described as a private nudist. I live on my own. In summer I sleep in the nude and do not dress until I leave the house or receive visitors. Usually I ditch the clothes again when no longer necessary. It is not that I hate clothes, I just like to be naked.
I occasionally visit Cape Town for business. Twice I went to Sandy Bay and have nice memories apart from the aftermath the first time. I read up beforehand and learned the following: no facilities, you are expected to strip yourself and no sex. Also that you will be disappointed if you go there to perve on good bodies.
So I arrived. It was the first time I was nude in the company of total strangers. Before the time it was only men and girl friends. Even in the gym you are expected to walk with a towel around he waist between locker and shower.
It was funny to see nude grannies and old men. There were however after all some young perfectly sculpted people too.
I tanned. I went for a cool-off and only then realized how cold the Atlantic water actually is.
The caffeine in the Coke had me to climb a dune to relieve myself. Behind some bushes, but quite visible, a couple was making out. Instead of going to them and informing them about the rules, lol, I changed direction.
A pesky wind came up and everyone moved from the beach to the boulders on the parking lot side.
I realized I overexposed my skin. I was roasted enough for a cannibal’s plate! I suffered for days afterwards.
As I left, I met a group of people halfway. The wind blew a girl’s dress up and she clung frantically. The irony of trying to protect your “decency” when on the way to a nude beach!
Some 20 years later I had to stay in Cape Town over a weekend. I this time went there with maximum protection: long pants, thick golf shirt, wide rim hat and SPF 30 suntan lotion. Having becoming somewhat shy about my now late age 50ties body, I headed straight for a private spot between the boulders. I did not tan as long and immediately dressed up afterwards. I decided to take a stroll on the beach first however. As I emerged a woman fast closed her legs, probably thinking “clearly a peeping tom pervert from up north in the country”.
I in the meantime read that gays were using the far end of the beach, Hout Bay side. However, 2 men were playfighting and hugging on the hard sand about halfway. At the same time clearly heterosexual couples were sitting on the rocks at that far end. It seems “ sexual orientation apartheid” is no longer in place there.
My advice is, do not go there unless you are very broadminded. You may see some public display of affection. I agree with Avid. On both occasions the beach was quite occupied. Perfect beach days are not abundant and unfortunately the wind is always a factor. Protect your skin and stay hydrated with a drink that is not diuretic, like anything containing caffeine, especially energy drinks.
“There is almost no people there”? Well there was alot of people today. I saw two girls from the mountain trail and a huski dog. Was that you?
I love that you are promoting this beach and part of the appeal is that it can be so quiet at times that it almost feels like your own personal private beach. Unfortunately this is not always a good thing and in the past it has drawn unwanted attention from individuals with malintent ranging from peeping toms to criminals who prey on easy targets in a very much dangerously isolated area. In fact I would recommend that people rather visit on peek days for this very reason. Keep an eye on the WCNA facebook page for events and clubs who visit the beach. Safety in numbers.
“You can also leave your clothes on if you are shy.” I wish this was not the case. Again it draws attention from people who are not true naturalists who just wants to come sneak a peek. Apart from the surfers and trail runners, why would you go to a nudist beach if you are shy? If your goal is to overcome your shyness however, I am all for that, and good for you!
The difference between a clothing optional beach, and a nude beach is that at a nude beach clothing should not be allowed (IN MY OPINION). This creates a sence of community and will allow people to feel less shameful about stripping down, because they do not have to feel that they are doing something wrong or naughty. Undressing in public might be against the rules of society, but at a nude beach the opposite is true. If everyone comes to a nude beach dressed it creates a president and people will feel less comfortable to undress because it would be against the norm. No one can force you to take your clothes off. Some people might be very prone to sunburn and ofcourse there are extrem cases like when the elements and weather doesnt permit going nude. Nudists almost always respect other beachgoers’ space and wont make clothed visitors feel unwelcome, but I think it should be brought to awareness that wearing clothes at a nudist beach is somewhat disrespectful to those who go there to feel part of a community of people who believe that as humans we should be able to walk around in our natural form the way we were born whenever we want to without being reminded about societal rules that we dont necessarily agree with.
If you visit famous nude beaches like Black’s beach and the one near Miami, you will notice that people are much more sociable and comfortable with their nudity. Today Sandy Bay is much less popular than it was years ago. And I think it is because of exactly the reasons I mentioned. Even nudist families and venders used to visit back then but no longer do (although this might also have to do with the overgrowth making the path very hard to navigate).
Sources: cant post links for some reason
This is incredibly beautiful! I’ve never been to a nice beach, but always wanted to. This would be perfect with it’s laid back vibe.
I would so love to visit this part of South Africa! The culture and scenery seem so beautiful, unique and interesting! 🙂
I love south Africa beaches and desirous of spending a night with my girlfriend .
I love the idea and it sounds wonderful. Is it silly that the word freeing comes to mind?
Sounds like fun! I’d like to visit next time I’m in CPT 🙂
the pictures looked absolutely amazing! What a great time… I love fun destinations like this one, they always make the best vacations!