Summer isn't yet over and holidaymakers heading for South Africa's coastline should remember there are 27 Blue Flag beaches to choose from in this blessed country.
Blue Flag Beach status is awarded every year for a specific period, depending on the season when the beach is visited the most. The accolade is awarded only after rigorous judging by a South African and international Blue Flag jury, and indicates that these beaches have met standards in excellence in the areas of safety, amenities, cleanliness, environmental information and environmental management.
Throughout the period that a blue flag is flying on these beaches, visitors can be sure that the stringent standards apply and are upheld.
In South Africa, the six subtropical beaches of KwaZulu-Natal have a year-long Blue Flag status while the more temperate to colder waters of the Cape beaches only have Blue Flag status for two to four months during the peak summer holiday season.
At the end of the season, lifeguards, cleaners and security staff go off duty and visitors should not expect these services to be in place.
In addition to the country's beaches, the Blue Flag programme will in future include marinas, with three marinas in Cape Town and one in Port Alfred looking to achieve pilot status in the forthcoming season.
For a map of South Africa's accredited Blue Flag beaches, visit the local Blue Flag website.