Top 15 Best Beaches in Africa for Unique Getaways

Africa is rich with life, culture and history. It is the world’s oldest populated area, made up of 54 countries, and home to 1.1 billion people. The continent has a complex story to tell.

That is why Africa is the perfect place for exploration, adventure and discovery. It is also a place of extreme beauty, with some of the world’s most idyllic destinations and breath-taking beaches.

Here are some of the best beaches in Africa that will take your breath away.  

Praia de Santa Maria, Cape Verde 

You’ll find this beach on the south coast of the island of Sal, Cape Verde. Enjoy the golden sand, clear waters and relaxed attitude.

Stay near the fisherman’s pier to see the daily catches, or explore the cafes and restaurants along Praia de Santa Maria.

Diani, Kenya 

Diani is one of the most beautiful beaches in eastern Africa. The 17 kilometer stretch of sand is lined by vibrant palm trees and glittering waters. 

While you’re here, why not try kitesurfing, jet skiing or snorkeling (just make sure you’ve got the right equipment). Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, how about sky diving?

Head inland where you can find much more, including safaris, bike tours and camel rides. 

Watamu, Kenya  

Watamu is full of vibrant colors; pure white sand, turquoise waters and dense green jungle. The area is a breeding ground for green and hawksbill turtles, so keep an eye out for them.

There’s much more to explore under the water, as it has its own marine protected area. Snorkeling or diving the coral formations is highly recommended.

Whilst you’re there, make sure to explore the nearby Gede Ruins, a mysterious and stunning Swahili village from the 12th century.

Île Sainte-Marie, Madagascar

This tropical paradise is just off the east coast of Madagascar.

The year-round sunshine has bleached the sand and glistens off the water. It’s no surprise then that Île Sainte-Marie was a popular base for pirates in the 17th and 18th centuries. Explore the island and discover what the world was like. 

The island is surrounded by stunning coral gardens; a great place for snorkeling and diving. Visit between July and September, and you may see the humpback whales that use the waters as a breeding ground.

Likoma Island, Malawi

This unspoiled island can be found in Lake Malawi. 

The island is surrounded by crystal clear waters and soft, sandy beaches. Swim and dive with the brightly colored fish, or take a boat trip around the island.

Likoma has only one town and no paved roads. But despite its small size, it has one of Europe’s largest cathedrals. St Peter’s was completed in 1911, and is well worth a visit.

Belle Mare, Mauritius 

Belle Mare can be found on the south-east coast of Mauritius. The unspoiled nature of the beach embodies the spirit of the island; beautiful, peaceful and calm.

Wander the miles of sandy beaches, explore the calm waters, or cool off in the shade.  

If you’re up early enough, head to the beach to watch the sunrise. It’s one of the most beautiful sights you’ll see.  

Flic en Flac, Mauritius 

Over on Mauritius’ west coast, you’ll find Flic en Flac beach. It’s thought that the name comes from an Old Dutch phrase meaning “Free and Flat Land”. 

The beach is one of the longest on the island, with miles of white sand and blue lagoons.  These are protected by coral reefs, so you can safely enjoy swimming and water sports.

Bazaruto Island, Mozambique 

Discover the beauty of Bazaruto, the largest island of a national park in the Indian Ocean.

As well as the almost endless sand and sea, you’ll find a huge range of sights and species. From huge sand dunes to inland wetlands, jungle and savannah.

Bazaruto is the perfect place for diving, snorkeling, kayaking and parasailing. Explore the vibrant coral reefs that are home to over 2,000 fish species. You might even spot some whales and dolphins while you’re there.  

Skeleton Coast, Namibia 

Welcome to the “end of the Earth”. Skeleton Coast is uninhabited, untamed and hauntingly beautiful. Here you’ll only find historic shipwrecks and imposing sand dunes, surrounded by a shroud of fog.

Explore the coastline and feel like you’ve stepped back in time, or head into the water and surf some incredible waves.

Mnemba Island, Zanzibar, Tanzania 

You’ll find this hidden gem off the northeast coast of Tanzania.

This idyllic island is surrounded by a dense reef, and offers the best snorkeling and diving in Zanzibar. Jump into the warm water and discover some spectacular species. Whale watching, swimming with dolphins, whale watching and whale shark spotting are all on offer.

Mnemba is private and secluded, with no non-guests permitted on the island. It’s the perfect place to escape.

Nungwi, Zanzibar, Tanzania 

Head to the top of Zanzibar, and you’ll find Nungwi.

The sand seems to glow, the water stretches as far as the eye can see, and the sun never seems to set on this beautiful beach.

There’s plenty to do here. Swim, snorkel or dive in the reef-rich waters, join a walking tour or take a sunset cruise. If want to get your adrenaline pumping, why not try parasailing?

Then head a little further down the beach where can spend your evening eating, drinking and dancing in the local, large and lively fishing village.

Anse Lazio, Praslin Island, Seychelles 

Step out of the Praslin Island’s lush tropical jungle, and onto the picture-perfect Anse Lazio beach.

The sun is shining, the sand is white and pure, and the sea is clear and crystal. Its beauty is breath-taking.

The Seychelles are an extremely popular destination. Anse Lazio’s popularity means that the beach can get busy. Try to visit early in the morning, when you can fully appreciate the beach’s untouched beauty.

Anse Source d’Argent, La Digue Island, Seychelles

This is another Seychelles must-see, and one of the most photographed spots in the world.

The powder sand, turquoise water, curving palm trees and dramatic granite formations make what many people consider to be paradise.

The shallow, clear waters are perfect for spotting fish and turtles. You can easily wade through the water or try snorkeling, but it is a little too shallow for diving.  

The beach can get busy, so try heading past the first set of boulders and follow the beach south. There you’ll find a much larger – and more secluded – bay.

Camps Bay, South Africa 

Whilst the beach at Camps Bay is beautiful, the surroundings are equally breath-taking. You’ll find the beach tucked into the Twelve Apostles mountain range, adjacent to the iconic Table Mountain.

There’s a range of cafes, restaurants and activities to keep you entertained.

Be warned, it does get very busy here! Wander too far and you might struggle to find your spot. Maybe a personalized towel could help? Visit this site to design your own; it’ll make it much easier to find on the beach.

Clifton Beaches, Cape Town, South Africa 

The four Clifton Beaches (helpfully named 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th) are truly stunning, with sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean. The water is quite cool, which can be a refreshing break from the strong sun.

Each beach is picture perfect, and all have a unique atmosphere. You’re sure to find the right place for you.

1st Beach has a relaxed vibe, shared by locals and tourists. You’ll find the strongest surf here.

On 2nd Beach you’re more likely to find a younger crowd, getting the perfect social media snap or playing beach games.

3rd Beach is the smallest, and well known as a venue for gay culture. 

4th Beach is usually the most populated, and very popular with families.  

The Best Beaches In Africa 

These are our pick for the best beaches in Africa, but there are so many more to explore.

The continent has so much to offer, including beauty, culture and history. Save this article, take a look at our travel tips, and you’ll be ready to start exploring.  

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