Africa is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Below are some of the most fascinating beaches you can explore on the African continent.
Mnemba Island, Tanzania
Mnemba is a private Indian Ocean island and part of the historic Zanzibar Archipelago, it is located off the north coast of Tanzania. It is the perfect destination for a romantic honeymoon or anniversary celebration. The only accommodation on the island is Mnemba Island Lodge, an exclusive collection of 12 private beach bandas owned by luxury travel company &Beyond. Each cottage has its own veranda and sits nestled in the shade of the island';s lush tropical forest. The best time to visit is between July and March yearly.
Bom Bom Island, Principe
Situated off the coast of West Africa in the Gulf of Guinea, the island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe is home to some truly spectacular beaches. Príncipe is the smaller of the two islands, with a population of just 6,000 people. Two of the island';s best beaches are part of Bom Bom Island Resort, an eco-friendly accommodation option on Príncipe';s northern shore. Other activities include snorkeling, whale watching, deep-sea fishing and keeping an eye out for the region';s nesting turtles. It is an ideal destination for couples and nature lovers, best visiting period is June to October.
Quirimbas Archipelago, Mozambique
In 2002, 11 of the most southerly islands came under the protection of the Quirimbas National Park, set up to protect the region';s magnificent wildlife. To see the region at its most beautiful you';ll have to go underwater, where thriving reefs provide the opportunity to dive or snorkel with Napoleon wrasse, dolphins, whitetip reef sharks and a myriad of colorful tropical fish species. Ibo Island also holds some cultural interest, thanks to a series of ruins that date back to the country';s Portuguese colonial past. It is a perfect get away beach for scuba divers and honeymooners, best visited May to September.
Anse Source d'Argent, Seychelles
The Seychelles archipelago has long been one of the world's most romantic destinations and its beaches feature frequently in global Top 10 lists. One of the island nation';s most famous beaches is Anse Source d’Argent, located on the island of La Digue. It's a great place to soak up the sunshine or go snorkeling, although its perfect beauty also makes it a popular stop for visiting daytrippers. If you'd rather avoid the crowds, head to the more exclusive beaches on remote Desroches, Denis, or Fregate islands. It is ideal for all kind of visitors and best explored from April to May or October to November.
Lamu Archipelago, Kenya
Lamu is a collection of islands located off the coast of Kenya north of Mombasa. Founded by the Swahili people nearly 700 years ago, Lamu Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Kenya';s oldest settlements. Its quiet, narrow streets are fascinating to explore and the fact that there are no cars on the island just enhances the sense of stepping back in time. To see more of the archipelago';s secret beaches, book an island-hopping cruise on a traditional dhow. Perfect for families, couples and budget travelers, best explored from November to March.
Mauritius is another Indian Ocean archipelago with endless opportunities for beachfront relaxation, it is located off the east coast of Madagascar. One of the country';s best beaches is located on the main island, near the small town of Trou-aux-Biches. A mile-long stretch of fine sand, the town';s public beach boasts calm, family-friendly waters. Its west coast location means that it is largely sheltered from the weather during the rainy season, while local restaurants serve cuisine that reflects Mauritius'; multicultural heritage. Watersports keep children and adults entertained, and the southern end of the beach offers a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets. It is suitable for family visitors, best explored from September to December and April to May.
Port St. Johns, South Africa
The Wild Coast or Transkei region combines breathtaking scenery with an astounding array of adventurous activities. Port St. Johns, the vibrant settlement known as the gateway to the Wild Coast, is a natural starting point. Explore the beautiful gorge carved out by the Umzimvubu River and the secluded beaches that stretch out on either side of the river mouth. The region';s strong Pondo culture is another highlight, and herds of local cattle are often seen enjoying the view from the beach as well. An ideal destination for adventurers and families, best visited from November to February.
Likoma Island, Malawi
For a truly unique beach vacation, consider a trip to Lake Malawi. It';s the third largest lake in Africa, and its clear waters and golden beaches are reminiscent of the coast, except with fresh water. Likoma Island is located inside the Mozambican border but technically belongs to Malawi. Likoma is very peaceful with just a few cars on the island. You can walk inland to see the villages and the island';s cathedral; or you can kayak, snorkel, or swim in the lake';s refreshing waters. Can be visited all year-round by all kinds of visitors.
Île Sainte-Marie, Madagascar
Île Sainte-Marie lies just off the coast of eastern Madagascar, this tropical paradise boasts sunshine all year long, incredibly warm waters and perfect white sand beaches fringed with palm trees. You can view humpback whales in season (July to September) and dive among gorgeous coral gardens. Stay at upscale eco-resort Princesse Bora; check into mid-range Baboo Village or save money at comfortable 2-star option Vanivola. An ideal destination for couples and nature lovers.
Curralinho Beach, Cape Verde
Located off the coast of Senegal, Cape Verde comprises 10 volcanic islands blessed with wild, untamed beaches. All of the islands are imbued with a distinctive Brazilian flavor, thanks to the country';s Portuguese heritage. While most visitors come to enjoy the beaches, it';s the delicious food, sunshine, and morna music that brings them back every year. One of Cape Verde';s best beaches is undoubtedly Curralinho Beach, located on the island of Boa Vista. The ocean is warm, the current is minimal and the diving is spectacular. Ideal for surfers and families, best explored from April to July.