In our estimation, the Zanzibar archipelago offers the best combination of culture, history and gorgeous beaches. With clean, white-sand beaches and warm, turquoise water, it’s a beautiful place to end a Tanzania safari. Choose from Unguja (Zanzibar Island), home to atmospheric and historic Stone Town, thriving Swahili culture, expansive beaches, diving, snorkeling, clove plantations and interesting wildlife; sleepy Pemba Island with pristine beaches, thriving coral reefs and tropical forests, charming villages and few tourists; or Mafia Island and its small archipelago which boasts outstanding diving and snorkeling, including with whale sharks (seasonal – October to April).
Landlocked Lake Malawi offers the delights of a beach escape just a short hop from safari destinations in Malawi, Zambia and the region. The southernmost of the Rift Valley lakes, Lake Malawi is vast – around 360 miles long by 47 miles wide and is more than 2,300 feet deep at its deepest point. Its national park is Africa’s most important freshwater fish sanctuary, making for excellent snorkeling and scuba diving to see a diverse array of cichlids. A variety of retreats line its shores, as well as on islands located in the lake.
Lamu, Kenya is paradise in East Africa. Charming Lamu Town gives visitors a warm Swahili welcome and has a laid-back vibe. Snorkeling, scuba and relaxing reign supreme on the island. There are no vehicles on Lamu – transport is by foot, donkey or dhow (dugout canoe), making for a very low-key, tropical wonderland experience. Also inviting are its coastal neighbors Malindi and Mombasa.
Though technically part of Asia, we love pairing this tropical wonderland with an East African safari. The Maldives is made up of more than 1,100 islands, with only 200 of them inhabited. Known for crystal clear water, pristine beaches and overwater bungalows, this Indian Ocean paradise is a postcard escape. Most resorts are situated on private islands (one per island) and allow for a total break from the everyday. In addition to enjoying wonderful beach and water activities during the day, the islands’ shores are (seasonally) lit up by bioluminescent plankton – a rare and beautiful sight!
The beautiful island of Mauritius is known for its outdoor adventure opportunities – from exploring its coral reefs and crystalline waters to discovering its rugged interior –this remote paradise never fails to delight guests! Windsurfing, boating, hiking, waterfalls, white sand beaches, vibrant culture, incredible food and more all await the adventurous that visit Mauritius.
Some of the most stunning and gorgeous beaches in Southern Africa are in Mozambique. With more than 1,500 miles of coastline, visitors have a tropical playground at their feet. Diving, snorkeling, sailing, fishing, dune boarding, a seasonal whale migration, swimming with dolphins and incredible seafood are some of the many pleasures that await travelers. Its Portuguese heritage sets it apart from neighboring countries and exploring colonial ruins can add another dimension to a visit.
Namibia’s coastline is the most dramatic in Africa. Frigid Atlantic waters meet the great Namib desert here, creating a foggy, mysterious coastline hiding seal colonies, sand bars, shipwrecks and more. Namibia’s coastline can be enjoyed in myriad ways – from above on a breathtaking scenic flight, at a ‘braai’ (barbecue) on its sandy beaches, enjoying a stroll along the shores to see a shipwreck, driving along its renowned Skeleton Coast or visiting the seal colony at Cape Cross.
Perhaps the best known of Africa’s island countries, Seychelles is a beach-lovers dream. Its 120 islands offer a wide range of scuba, snorkeling, sailing, hiking and fishing activities. The larger inner islands – Mahe, Praslin and La Digue – are the most developed and receive the most visitors but aren’t overcrowded. Mahe offers the most accommodations choices, many situated on pristine white sand beaches. Praslin is a short flight or a one-hour ferry ride away. La Digue runs nearly entirely on bicycles with few motor vehicles on the island. All of the islands sport lush hills and mountains, pristine white sand beaches and warm turquoise water. The islands are home to some of the Indian Ocean’s most exclusive and luxurious resorts. Get first-hand insight into Seychelles from AAC President Kent Redding on our blog.
From the incredible and wild coastline near the Cape, to the warmer surrounds further north, South Africa’s beaches offer a wide range of activities including surfing, land and sea-based whale watching (seasonal), scuba diving, great white shark cage diving, swimming with seals and more. Visitors will find windswept beaches, charming penguins, breaching whales, colorful coastal towns and incredible seafood.
When to Visit
Africa’s beach destinations each have their own seasons, but we can find the right retreat for you any time of year. South Africa’s warmer months (Nov – Mar) are best for its beach destinations, Mozambique’s beaches shine during the winter months (May – Oct) while East African beach destinations are best during their dry season (Jul – Oct and Jan-Feb). Work with your Journey Specialist to find the right beach escape for your customized safari!
Let Us Customize the Perfect Luxury African Beach Getaway for you
Below are some of our beach recommendations. Contact us today or call 303-778-1089 to learn more about how we are able to customize the perfect luxury African beach getaway just for you!