South Africa’s five favourite naturist hangouts

03 March 2014 - 15:37 By Reitumetse Pitso and Roxanne Henderson

The thought of sunbathing in your birthday suit may leave you feeling flushed, but for those among us brave enough to bare it all, South Africa has options.

One that comes to mind immediately is Cape Town’s Sandy Bay.

The renowned rocky coastal hotspot has attracted naturists for many years and is recognised as the, “heritage of South Africa’s naturist movement,” according to Serge Pavlovic of the Western Cape Naturist Association (WCNA).

But it is not alone. Although public nudity and indecency is illegal in South Africa, from coast to bush, it boasts some great naturist getaways.

While South African naturists lobby for a legal nudist beach in Kwazulu-Natal (KZN), we bring you the lowdown on what’s really available.

1. Kiepersolkloof Private Nature Reserve is South Africa’s oldest private naturist facility, situated in the North West Province. It is a naturist-only facility that has caravan and camping sites as well self-catering cottages. It is family orientated and does not permit single persons. Their rates range from R200 to R600 per couple per night depending on the type of lodging chosen.

2. Harmony Nature Farm lies near the Magaliesburg Mountains and is a family focused facility. A stay in one of their basic self-catering chalets will set a couple back R500 per night, but all bookings are quoted individually depending on what patrons request. While singles and same-sex couples are not permitted to join the resort’s naturist weekend stays, exceptions are allowed at the discretion of management.

3. Sun Eden Naturist Resort is Gauteng’s most visited naturist destination according to Pavlovic and is located in the bushveld between Johannesburg and Pretoria. This resort offers naturists a scenic retreat and is registered with the Gauteng Naturist Association. Rates start at R600 per couple and no singles are allowed.

4. Bare Necessities Backpackers is located on a dairy farm near the village of Suurbraak in Western Cape. The facility is a member of the WCNA and operates on a first come first served basis where naturism is observed if naturists book first. Rates start at R75 per person for a night on their camp site and rise to R400 for a private room per night.

5. Umhlanga Lagoon Beach in KZN operates under a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ and has gained popularity as the province’s prime nudist beach. Like Sandy Bay, nudism at Umhlanga is accepted among naturists and they are unlikely to be prosecuted with the law being difficult to enforce.

Naturism is a lifestyle and according to the South African Naturist Federation (Sanfed), there are some rules that must be enforced to maintain the movement’s core values.

Sanfed president, Gideon Muller, says naturists must always refrain from sexual acts in public, sit on a towel, ask before taking photos and respect the privacy of fellow naturists.