The coastline along sub-Saharan Africa boasts pristine sands to inviting shores, and the five finest beaches you can visit during your Africa trip will complement the dramatic interior landscape, wildlife wonders, and most memorable experiences.
The beaches can range from indelibly tropical, fringed by coconut palms and postcard panoramas to epic in scale with forests and mountain backdrops that feel guarded by the natural habitat. From fine sands to warm waters, broad boulders to curling waves, the beaches across the continent are diverse and mesmerizing.
Spending time on an African beach can immerse you in the beauty of the Indian Ocean coastline for the perfect way to accentuate your adventure as you explore or unwind under the African sun.
The epitome of white sandy beaches, Zanzibar offers not only a place to relax and watch fishermen cast their nets at sunrise, but an ocean playground where divers get to explore incredible reefs. Long stretches of beach merge with a warm Indian Ocean and umbrellas have their place on the sand and in a cocktail. Experience everything the spice island has to offer, from intricate detail on beautifully designed wooden doors to local cuisine and culture that reflect the Asian and African influences of this east African treasure. The location of Zanzibar’s beaches ties in nicely as a post-Kenya or Tanzania safari paradise getaway.
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With an isolated location edged by dense forest and granite cliffs, the silver sands of Petie Anse on the Seychelles island of Mahe offers the perfect beach escape. Separated from the mainland by a remote bay reachable by intense hike or scenic boat ride, the sands provide an exquisite view of the crystal-clear waters, a quiet ambiance, and an excellent place to swim in the warm Indian Ocean waters or snorkel in search of colorful tropical marine life. Relax in the picturesque stretch of coastline, indulge in the cooling breeze, and embrace the scent of coconut.
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Surely one of the most photogenic and captivating beaches in Africa is that of Camp’s Bay in Cape Town. White sand hugs the west coast of the continent, with the colorful exteriors of restaurants and houses situated in front of a mountainous backdrop adding to the cosmopolitan vibe of this beach experience. The Atlantic Ocean refreshes bathers, while upbeat music fills the air as local entertainers sing and dance on the street above. This popular setting is complemented by seemingly tucked-away beaches a little further up the road, as Clifton 1,2,3, and 4 lie spectacularly below the main road, adding a little adventure to the relaxing experience.
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An evocative series of sandbanks and uninhabited islets form Mozambique's Bazaruto Archipelago, a World Heritage site of marine importance that encompasses tranquility. A series of exclusive beach destinations gives the impression of lost-island escapism, with a varnish of luxury service and accommodation. Kick off your shoes, watch the dolphins swim past, enter the aqua waters as you snorkel or dive the coral reefs, and indulge in the silence. Flying into Vilanculos, getting to Bazaruto and neighboring Benguerra is easy and part of the adventure, a perfect way to end a Southern African safari.
The seductive sands of Thanda Island accompany one of the most exclusive resorts in East Africa for the perfect beach getaway when visiting the continent. Accented by private villas and luxurious chalets, the small island in the Indian Ocean offers access to its own marine reserve for a panoramic view of the marine life that features nesting turtles to passing whale sharks. Whether eager to relax on the powdery sands or enjoy the aromas of tropical spices accentuated by the sea breeze, Thanda Island offers the perfect combination of relaxation and exploration in prime luxury.
Learn more: Tanzania Safaris & Vacations
No matter where one chooses to lay their beach towel, the breathtaking white and golden sands of Africa’s beaches are beautiful and inviting, offering a perfect place to rest, be adventurous in the waters of the Atlantic or Indian Oceans, or discover local pastimes and treasures. To start planning your ideal African beach escape, fill out a Trip Request or call our team at 1-888-265-9707 to speak with a travel specialist