South Africa gets four new Blue Flag beaches
If you were to tell your friends you were going on an adventure holiday to South Africa, they would probably think of overland tours that took in the open plains, with lions, elephants and other large land animals roaming around.
Or they might imagine you strolling around one or two of the country's large cities, such as Cape Town or Johannesburg.
However, only those who know a bit about this wonderful country would realise that it could also involve a trip to one of its many stunning Blue Flag beaches, which dot its varied and interesting coast line.
With the addition of four new awards, the number of Blue Flag beaches in the African nation has grown to 27.
Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa national coastal project manager Ted Knott explained that each of the sites have been working hard to maintain high standards.
The summer season begins today (November 1st) and holidaymakers will be enjoying relaxing on the beaches, 17 of which are located on the Western Cape.
A further six can be found in KwaZulu-Natal, with four more on the Eastern Cape.
A Blue Flag is only awarded to those beaches that offer excellence in safety and cleanliness and the management therefore have to focus on environmental protection.
As in the UK, the gongs allow those on adventure holidays to make a wise choice about where to visit.
Environmental affairs deputy minister Joyce Mabudafhasi explained that she is happy to see more municipalities participating in the programme and hopes that every coastal area will eventually get onboard.
"Municipalities with Blue Flag beaches enjoy the benefits of drawing tourists and this boosts their economy," she explained.
Names to look out for include Bikini, Clifton Fourth, Camps Bay, Grotto, Santos, Robberg 5 and Margate, among others.
Meanwhile, the city of Pietermaritzburg hosted the Msunduzi Road Challenge over the weekend, with competitors from all over the world taking to the off-road cycling track.