Welcome To Blue Flag

A Blue Flag is an international award given to beaches, boats and marina’s that meet EXCELLENCE in the areas of safety, amenities, cleanliness and environmental standards. The strict criteria of the programme are set by the international coordinators of the Blue Flag campaign in Europe, the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).

In South Africa, the programme is managed by WESSA (the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa), along with participating local authorities. South Africa was the first country outside of Europe to win Blue Flag accreditation for its beaches. As South Africa enters it’s 15th year of Blue Flag, we can proudly say that our beaches are sustaining excellence in beach management and rate among the top beaches in the world.

Blue Flag South Africa is in the process of setting up and testing new Eco Tourism Boat criteria for all commercial tourism boat operators along our coast, these include SCUBA, whale watching, seal watching, shark cage diving, recreational fishing and bird watching operations.

On the 6th October 2015, WESSA Blue Flag held the Blue Flag South Africa National Launch in Hermanus, Western Cape. Please follow this link for more information on the event and the award winners.

What does Blue Flag do for you?

The Blue Flag assures you that the beaches are clean, safe and environmentally friendly. The award also helps to educate the community about the need to care for our coastline. Blue Flag promotes one of South Africa’s national treasures, our magnificent coast.

The Blue Flag campaign is proving highly successful and there has been a significant increase in response from local authorities wishing to implement the campaign. The number of beaches entering the campaign as pilot is indicative of the growing interest in Blue Flag in this country.

In South Africa the Blue Flag season runs for a full year from 1/11 to 31/10 the next year for beaches from East London northwards. For other beaches, the length of the season varies from beach to beach:  some for 6 months and others on the cold West Coast, only running a 4 week season during the main summer holiday season.

Blue Flag Beaches

How is the Blue Flag awarded?

The Blue Flag is awarded to beaches that comply with the Blue Flag criteria and there are four main areas:

Water quality
Environmental education & information
Environmental management
Safety and services