If you're a beach lover, then you're familiar with tropical destinations such as Hawaii, Fiji, and the Caribbean. But don’t count out Africa! With 20,000 miles of coastline and 7 tropical island nations, Africa is a beach bum’s paradise. From the Swahili coast of Kenya and Tanzania to the gorgeous paradise islands of the Seychelles and Mauritius, your dilemma will be which of these amazing beaches to put on your African bucket list. If you're dreaming of an African beach vacation and don’t know where to go then look no further, because we've come up with our picks for the best beaches in Africa.
Anse Source d'Argent, La Digue, Seychelles
There is no doubt that Seychelles is a beach lover’s dream come true. The problem is deciding which of the beaches to hit because this idyllic island nation offers up more stretches of sandy paradise than you can visit in one trip. Still, if we had to pick one, we think it's fitting to start our best beaches list with Anse Source d'Argent—the world's most photographed beach. There's never a shortage of sun, sea and sand at this ultimate beach destination. The sand is so white and the sea so blue that it doesn’t seem real. Anse Source d'Argent is on the island of La Digue and if you want to stay close to this bit of paradise in the lap of luxury, the Le Relax Beach House is just a short walk down the beach.
Credit: Mountain Leon
If you are looking for beautifully unspoiled and uncrowded beaches, then make a beeline for the coast of Mozambique. Here you will find a handful of spectacular beaches that have not been overdeveloped like other beachfront resorts in Africa. The best of those beaches can be found at the Bazaruto archipelago where you will find a variety of coastal attractions. Even at the more popular resorts, you will find countless miles of truly deserted beaches for you to set up your umbrella, swim with sea turtles and recharge your batteries.
Nungwi, Zanzibar, Tanzania
If you want to experience a beach vacation that floods your senses with the aroma of exotic spices and views of white sand and stunning turquoise beaches, Zanzibar Island is the place for you. Zanzibar is an amazing island found off the coast of the mainland of Tanzania and has a deep rich history that reflects the Swahili culture that has existed there for centuries. This former spice island reflects both the African and Arabic cultures that call this piece of paradise home. Choosing the best beach is tough, but Nungwi is one of the finest places to spend a relaxing Indian Ocean beach getaway. Nungwi is on the extreme northern tip of the island and is a short hop from Stone Town, a UNESCO world heritage site that perfectly illustrates Swahili life. What was once a simple fishing village and dhow-building center has become a popular holiday destination, where you can relax on the beach to views of the ocean that dissolves gradually into shades of turquoise.
Lamu Archipelago, Kenya
Lamu is a small group of islands found just north of the ancient city of Mombasa. Head to the powdery white sand beaches of Shela Village and you will find the next stop on our list of best African beaches. Lamu Town is one of the oldest settlements in Kenya where you can shop for local souvenirs along age-old narrow streets. There is no shortage of seaside activities here. It is no surprise that the number one pastime at Lamu is snorkeling in the clear blue waters that you will find all along this gorgeous stretch of the African coast. A close second is exploring all of the archipelago's secret beaches on a traditional Swahili fishing boat called a dhow. So, step back in time and experience the slow coastal living style of Lamu where time seems to stand still.
Clifton Beach, Cape Town, South Africa
This pick is not just on the list because of its natural beauty and views of the rugged wild coast of South Africa. Clifton Beach is the most popular family beach in the Rainbow Nation’s mother city because it is so clean and there’s no shortage of things to do. Clifton Beach sits in the shadow of the iconic and breathtaking Table Mountain and is alive with a beehive of activity all year long. People don’t go to Clifton to swim because most of the year the water is frigid (it’s on the Atlantic Coast) but swarm to this amazing beach to hang out with friends and family, explore the eclectic eateries and dance the night away at the many nightclubs that line the shore.
Flic En Flac, Mauritius
Flic En Flac, on the breathtaking island nation of Mauritius, has to be the most picturesque beach in the world! This one-time small fishing village has rapidly grown into a world-class tourist destination for anyone wanting to experience the ultimate beach vacation. This quiet secluded resort area is home to amazing beaches, excellent watersports and blue lagoons. If you need a break from lounging in your beach chair and staring into the crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean, there are many chic shops and restaurants to explore all along the beach. The serene lagoon is protected by a reef, so you can enjoy a relaxing swim, explore the surrounding waters with some of the best scuba diving in the world or rent a Seabob and cruise along the seafloor to take in the exotic fish and marine life of the coral reef.