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Category » Cape Towns Attractions Cape Town Sandy Beaches

November 29, 2018

Sandy Beaches

Sandy Beaches are dynamic systems which is shaped by wind and waves. There are three zones in total namely: The dunes, the surf zone and the beach.

South Africa has some of the most beautiful cold and warm water beaches, Scenic Tours of Cape Towns ocean is included in our tours.

In the ocean waves deposits along the shore and onshore whereas on land wind blows sand up and along the beach. Sand then becomes trapped by plants growing along the drift line. This process is called hammocks which develops the fore dunes.

Sandy beaches therefore consist of Marine wave ecosystems. Together this ecosystems make up the littoral active zone-the area in which sand exchange occurs. Sand exchanges is a repetitive process, however, it does vary throughout the year.

During stormy weather the sand is eroded and the sand is deposited as an offshore bar. The beach on calm conditions carry the sand back to replenish the beach. This causes beaches to have a more seasonal effect on a stream line process, however, major storms could cause permanent long term changes. Structures like buildings erupt this natural process in the littoral active zone which results in sand erosion.

A similar problem occurs with mining, destroying the fore dunes, this causes a problem for the reservoir that suppliers sand to the beach.

The same problem occurs with artificial sand stabilisation with vegetation. Alien acacias specifically Rooikrans and Port Jackson were originally used to stabilize the drifting of the sands, however, efforts are now being made by the city to remove them.

The alien acacia spread and now has a negative impact for some of our natural plant species, this is called invasive plant species. It is important to protect dune vegetation as it provides a habitat for beach fauna.


Cape Coastal Tours arranges guided tours that can include shark cage diving, boat rides and water sports.

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