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7 of Africa’s best beach holiday destinations


Africa – perhaps not the most obvious choice of destination for a beach holiday? But when you consider that the continent has 38 coastal countries and innumerable islands, you start to realise the amazing potential that its coastline presents! 

So where do you start for your African beach adventure? As that depends on what sort of holiday you prefer, we’ve selected seven of the best beach holiday destinations for you to dabble your toes in.

#1: Cape Town, South Africa

From icy-cold Atlantic waters to slightly milder False Bay, Cape Town’s stunning beaches feature secluded coves for sunbathing or romantic beach picnics, safe swimming areas for the family or sandy, dog-friendly stretches.  

Popular Clifton, on the Atlantic coast, consists of four separate sheltered coves, while nearby palm-lined Camps Bay hosts trendy cafés and restaurants. Further north you’ll find kitesurfing mecca Blouberg with its iconic view of Table Mountain. 

On False Bay you’ll meet the endangered African penguins at Boulders beach, while nearby Muizenberg, with its brightly coloured beach huts, is one of the best surf beaches in Cape Town. 

#2: Mauritius 

The west coast of this Indian Ocean island paradise has the most popular and sheltered beaches. If you’re after fine white sand, clear water, and safe swimming conditions, then Trou aux Biches is the spot for you and your family. There’s even a coral reef a short swim away.

Other beaches of note are Le Morne with its white sand and reef-protected lagoon as well as a superb golf course, and the well-known Flic en Flac, a beach venue ideal for swimming, snorkelling, kayaking and scuba diving.

Belle Mare on the east coast is another winner, with lush vegetation, a lagoon and some of the most luxurious hotels on the island.

#3: Lamu, Kenya

Five fascinating Indian Ocean islands make up the Lamu Archipelago off the northern coast of Kenya. Not as crowded as other destinations further south, these islands offer novel activities such as historical walking tours, traditional dhow sailboat trips, kayaking, swimming with dolphins, as well as scuba diving and snorkelling.

The most developed and popular of these, Lamu Island, is a World Heritage Site and has been a centre of Swahili culture for over 700 years. It has some of the best beaches in Africa, with magnificent coral reefs. Lamu also offers great cuisine and its hotels excel at providing a ‘barefoot luxury’ experience. 

#4: Quirimbas, Mozambique

Besides having some of the best beaches in Africa, the Quirimbas Archipelago, 32 idyllic islands strung out along the coastline of Mozambique, also has significant historical and cultural value. Many of the islands are under the protection of the Quirimbas National Park, enabling nature-lovers to marvel at the wide variety of marine wildlife such as dugongs and turtles, whales and dolphins, as well as thriving coral reefs and entrancing forests. 

These magical islands include Ibo, which has an intriguing history as a prosperous East African coast trading post for some 500 years. Reminders of the Arab and Portuguese influence can be seen in the local architecture.

#5: Mnemba Island, Tanzania 

Mnemba Island lies off the northeast coast of Unguja, the largest island in the Zanzibar Archipelago. A private paradise catering for exclusive getaways, this small island – just 1.5 kilometres (0.9 miles) in circumference – is surrounded by breathtaking coral reefs, home to a vast variety of reef fish, anemones, and other marine creatures, making it one of Africa’s most sought-after dive sites. African beach holidays just don’t get any better!

Guests can enjoy swimming in the azure waters or snorkelling directly off the white sandy beach. Another special experience is watching green turtle hatchlings clamber out of their sandy nests and head for the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. 

#6: Anse Source D’Argent, Seychelles

Anse Source D’Argent, often described as the most beautiful beach in the world, is located on La Digue, one of the principal islands of the Seychelles Archipelago in the Indian Ocean. This beach, with its beautiful stretch of pure white sand, its dramatic granite boulders, swaying palm trees and azure waters, is perfect for snorkelling, swimming or just plain lounging in the sun.

In addition to its outstanding beauty, its popularity rests with its shallow, clear water and the protection provided by the surrounding coral reef. This makes it an ideal and safe playground for families. 

#7 Mafia Island, Tanzania

Mafia Island lies off the east coast of Tanzania and while it is Zanzibar that is the most popular island in the area, it’s Mafia Island that appeals to those discerning visitors in search of a less tourist-oriented destination. It is also home to the Mafia Island Marine Park, regarded as one of the best dive sites in the world.

If you are visiting between October and April, you’ll have the chance of encountering whale sharks that migrate annually along the coasts of Kenya and Tanzania. They are fascinating and gentle creatures, feeding on huge quantities of plankton as they swim. 


When considering your next beach holiday, be sure to have Africa at the top of your list. If you’re after shimmering sands and turquoise seas, amazing sunsets, fantastic coral reefs and palm trees, as well as interaction with wonderful marine life, Africa’s beaches are the choice for you!

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