How does spending a year at some of the world’s most exclusive beaches sound to you?
Too good to be true? Well, then you’re in luck; CNN has your back.
For 2018, CNN will be spending the year at the beach, “enjoying a different stretch of the world’s best shorelines” over the course of the next 12 months:
Clear air, warm sand and infinite possibilities just over that turquoise horizon. Spend time on any beach worth its sea salt and there comes a point when you’ll find yourself in a moment you wish could last forever.
It can’t, of course. Even if you had all the time, money and sunscreen to burn in the world, that beach you’re sitting on has other ideas. It’s got winter to think about. Or rainy season. Or hurricanes. Or that thing every year when the scary-looking crabs invade.
As the year unfolds, we’ll take you to from shimmering coves to treacherous cliffs, from secret sands to showbiz retreats. This interactive charts our journey. Come back each week as we check a new beach off our calendar and dive in deeper to find out what makes it so special.
Damn, I’m in.
Here’s a snapshot of all the beaches featured – including, yes, two in South Africa.
Any guess which ones they are?
With 2 500 kilometres you would think it would be hard to choose, but looking at the rest of the world, we’re pretty lucky. Australia also has two of the beaches selected.
First up is Jeffreys Bay’s Paradise Beach – a must visit in July:
Surfers all over the world know Jeffreys Bay, home to a legendary wave and a major international competition. A bit outside of town, across a causeway, is a quieter coast called Paradise Beach. A handful of small roads run through a quiet cluster of homes that sit over sand dunes and a broad stretch of golden sand.
The surfing is still great, but it’s mostly residents riding the waves. This is a neighborhood [sic] beach, where everyone knows each other because they’ve walked their dogs and jogged along the same route for years. When the whales swim up from Antarctica to give birth in the winter, and the pods of dolphins swim past, it’s like they’re coming home, too. Everyone at Paradise Beach lives there.
Then, travelling further up the coast to the northern tip of the Eastern Cape, lies the exquisite Mkambati Nature Reserve:
The Mkambati River flows through an indigenous forest in South Africa’s Eastern Cape, hidden along a stretch of the Indian Ocean known as the Wild Coast. Unlike South Africa’s famed safari parks, the Mkambati Nature Preserve offers only seven humble “rondavels” (round huts) and a single cabin as accommodation. The beach isn’t accessible by road. Visitors either canoe along the coast, past the 16th-century shipwreck of the Sao Bento, or hike along a trail that follows the river.
The Mkambati cuts through indigenous forest where plants bloom year-round in blossoms that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Herds of eland and wildebeest drink from its clear waters, until they near its mouth. There the river crashes over the Horseshoe Falls, spilling over rocky terraces into the blue ocean below. It’s one of the only places in the world where waterfalls pour directly into the sea, and hardly anyone knows about it.
Seriously, do yourself a favour and plan a trip to Mkambati.
Aaaand I’m just about ready for another holiday.
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