A Jeffreys Bay beach has been included in CNN Travel’s list of the best beaches to visit in 2018.

Paradise Beach at Jeffreys Bay and Mkambati Nature Reserve on the Wild Coast are the only two beaches from South Africa to have made it onto the list.

“We are very pleased by the international exposure our shoreline is set to receive,” said Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen. “It is a great boost for our tourism sector and economic growth.”

The list consists of 52 beaches from across the globe, to be featured weekly on CNN Travel.

According to CNN’s website, the focus of the programme is not simply on “classic sun-drenched oceanfront”.

“As the year unfolds, we’ll take you from shimmering coves to treacherous cliffs, from secret sands to showbiz retreats. 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.”

The neighbourly spirit of Paradise Beach is one of the characteristics that caught the attention of the CNN team. As the website puts it:

“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 neighbourhood 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.”

Photo credits – website http://kouga.gov.za