Best Beaches in Africa
From stunning stretches of white sandy beaches along the continental coast to ultra luxurious locations in the middle of the Indian Ocean, Africa has so many incredible beach destinations.
When most travellers think about Africa, they usually are allured by a wildlife safari or volunteering programs. But although exotic animals are one of the best things to see in Africa you will also be surprised by how stunning the beaches are.
If you are thinking about your next getaway and are keen to discover some of the most beautiful beaches in Africa you have a lot of choice. Some of the finest shorelines and islands in the world to be found on this diverse continent and there are amazing beach destinations throughout the continent.
We hope to inspire you to go in search of your dream African beach break.
(Best time to visit: All year round)
Zanzibar is one of the most desirable islands to visit in the world and once you visit you will realise why.
This is one of the best places to see in Tanzania and there are accommodation options for all budgets, from luxury resorts to cheap affordable hotels.
Some of the most highly rated places to visit include Nakupenda Beach Nature Reserve, Nungwi Beach, Paje Beach, Kendwa Beach, Jambiani Beach and Matemwe Beach.
A lot of Tanzania tour operators offer combo trips which include wildlife safaris on the mainland and also an excursion to experience the highlights of Zanzibar.
2. Diani Beach, Kwale County, Kenya
(Best time to visit July to September and January to March)
Kenya is one of the most popular countries to visit in Africa and if you are planning a trip you need to see Diani beach.
This beach boasts some of the finest white sand shoreline to be found anywhere in Africa. The warm crystal clear waters are ideal for swimming and you could spend days relaxing here. There are luxurious hotels and also more affordable accommodation located nearby.
Once you have rested and soaked up the local scenery, you could take time off to go on an exclusive water safari with a chance to swim with whale sharks. Diani beach is an hour's drive away from Moi International Airport, Mombasa.
3. Quirimbas Islands, Mozambique
(Best time to visit May to September)
The chain of 32 islands which comprise the Quirimbas Archipelago are home to some of the finest beach spots in Africa. With just a small number of lodges, Quirimbas remote location in the Cabo Delgado region makes it one of the most untouched destinations in the continent.
Whales pass here during the migratory season, while the diving and snorkeling is phenomenal. The best beach here is on Matemo island, while Vamzi and Medjumbe also have their share of fans. Traveling to this part of the world is time consuming, but to provide value for money it can be easily combined with a Tanzanian safari.
4. Anse Source D'argent, Seychelles
(Best time to visit May to September)
The Seychelles is located in the Indian Ocean and is made up of 115 incredible islands. The Seychelles is the ideal country to visit for those seeking an exotic dream holiday. There are hundreds of beaches to choose from, and with soft white sands and the backdrop of massive granite boulders, the really unique beach of Anse Source d'Argent is a must visit.
Helicopters and ferries run services throughout the day to the neighbouring beaches for a one-of-a-kind island hopping experience. Once you are through with a tour of the Grand Anse, continue down the path to another gem, Anse Cocos, which can be reached only on foot. Here you will find plenty of photo opportunities and sandy spots to explore and relax.
5. Trou aux Biches, Mauritius
(Best time to visit April to June and September to December)
Located at a distance of 18km from Port Louis, Trou-aux-Biches is the ideal place for those looking for a high end kind of getaway on a picturesque beach. This well known outdoor destination in Mauritius is also known for its famous golf courses and luxurious spas.
Visitors have the option to partake in a variety of watersports like scuba diving and snorkeling. If you are a fishing fan, the emerald waters of the Indian Ocean hold rare species of Marlin, Tuna and Sailfish to name a few. Another unique activity on offer here is the 35m underwater sea dive in a submarine to explore the ocean bed.
6. Chitimba, Malawi
(Best time to visit May to August)
Surrounded by densely forested hills which stretch down to the waters of the ocean, the secluded Chitimba beach is a paradise for freshwater lovers.
The inland lake Malawi, which serves as a boundary to the beach is the third largest in Africa and the campsite here is the perfect place to soak in the local culture.
For the more adventurous souls, a hike in the mountains gives a good opportunity to explore the surroundings well off the beaten path.
7. Grand Bassam, Ivory Coast
(Best time to visit July to October)
The breathtaking beauty of the beaches of Grand Bassam is a legend in itself. This pride of the people of the Ivory Coast is also a UNESCO World Heritage site, still bathed in glory of former French rulers.
With a lagoon on one end and the Atlantic on the other, the Drogba and the Assoyam beaches are a great draw for visitors. Accommodation here comes in a variety of forms from luxurious resorts to homestays and villas. Abidjan, the country's economic capital is just a 45 minutes short drive by road.
For a majority of people, spending time on the beach is the focal point of a summer holiday. It is not just about swimming or sunbathing, but also about the soothing sound of the waves which guarantees a reset from big city madness. Don’t forget to carry a good book, your flip flops and your favorite swimsuit.
8. Boulders Beach, Western Cape, South Africa
Keen to experience on of the most unique and special beaches in Africa? Add Boulders Beach in South Africa to your travel itinerary.
This beach is sheltered and made up of inlets between granite boulders, from which the name originated. It is located in the Cape Peninsula, near Simon's Town towards Cape Point, near Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa.
The best thing about this beach is the hundreds of penguins you will see here! This really is one of the top places to see in Cape Town.
9. Bamburi Beach, Mombasa, Kenya
(Best time to visit June, August, September and October)
Bamburi beach is considered to be one of the most exotic places to see in Kenya. Expect long white sands shorelines and endless rows of palm trees - it is easy to see why this destination is considered to be the pride of Mombasa.
For outdoor enthusiasts, sports like snorkeling, diving and excursions by glass bottom boats garner maximum limelight. A camel ride over the sands of the beach offers a good opportunity not only to soak in the sun but to enjoy the marvelous sea views as well. Bamburi beach can be accessed by a 45 minutes ride from Moi International Airport.
Tip - Choose a reliable and reputed beach holiday provider to ensure you have an unforgettable, palm fringed beach trip. You might also want to combine experiences to see wildlife in Kenya too.
10. Sao Tome & Principe
(Best time to visit May, July to October, December and January)
Sao Tome and Principe are two are the least touristy destinations on our list, most people have never even heard of these islands due to the remote location.
Made up of dorment volcanoes,140 km apart, lie in the Gulf of Guinea and are little known and even lesser visited. This turns out to be a blessing for those seeking utmost privacy in an offbeat part of the continent.
Holidays to Sao Tome and Principe offer black and white sand beaches against a backdrop of breathtaking scenery. Praia Micolo is a yellow sand beach lying north of Sao Tome lined with coconut trees. The Lagoa Azul blue lagoon has extremely clear water and is perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
The isolated island of Principe can only be accessed by plane from San Tome but is well worth a visit. Rainforests, cocoa plantations and long stretches of pristine beaches are the hallmarks of this place. Praia Banana is the famous beach here which is curved in shape like a large banana.
Once you have made it here, rest assured you will be the only one. Both Sao Tome and Principe make a great conclusion to a bush safari of the Tanzanian coast.
Plan Your African Beach Break
We hope our list of spectacular beaches to visit in Africa has given you some ideas for your next travel destination. Have you ever been to Africa? Got any recommendations for beaches we have missed off our list? Let us know in the comments section below.