outdoor dining on fregate island

Beach Holiday Destinations in Africa

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Niarra Travel

Although perhaps better known for wildlife safaris, Africa has an abundance of mesmerising beach holiday destinations. With a coastline stretching over 30,500 km there are many places to explore, each with their own unique allure. Expect warm, glistening waters and long- stretches of sandy beaches.

African beach holidays combine the art of relaxation with exciting activities and cultural immersion, making for a diverse and beautiful time. Not only that, but they provide the ideal unwinding environment in the wake of a safari-induced adrenaline rush.

Here is our selection for the best beach holidays in Africa.

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The Seychelles

The Seychelles is a quintessential island escape, with around 115 islands in its archipelago. These granite and coral islands are home to some of the world’s most exclusive hideaways.

There are many luxurious places to stay, each with their own charms and appeals. After a three-year rebuild, Fregate Island will reopen in 2025 with 17 ultra-luxurious villas. Reconnect with yourself, your loved ones and nature on Denis Island, where there is no mobile signal or in-room Wi-Fi.

Regardless of where you decide to stay, you’ll be met with palm-fringed beaches and dreamy turquoise waters. Scuba diving is a popular activity in the Seychelles. Submerge yourself in the clear, calm waters where you’ll see butterflyfishes, spotted eagle rays, and even green sea turtles gliding effortlessly through the calming blue seascape.

The Seychelles transcends traditional opulence with its many conservation projects, including rescuing species from extinction and ambitious ecosystem restoration projects. Learn more about their efforts by heading down to the beach with the ranchers to spot the tracks of egg-laying turtles or to the forests to look for endangered bird species.

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Mozambique

With over 2,500km of Indian Ocean coastline, Mozambique has much to offer as a beach holiday in Africa. It’s characterised by idyllic landscapes and an exotic heritage, infused with African spirit.

Mozambique embraces low-key luxury, with beautifully designed thatch and stone bungalows as accommodation options at places such as Sussurro in Vilanculos and Kisawa Sanctuary on Benguerra Island in the Bazaruto Archipelago. Walk barefoot on deserted beaches, dipping your toes into the warm water and climbing vast sand dunes.

When it comes to activities, Mozambique might just be the best beach holiday in Africa. Set sail on a traditional Mozambican dhow where you’ll drift through waterways flanked by floating forests and small fishing villages. See the islands from horseback or perhaps find a deserted sandbank for a private picnic.

Mozambique boasts white sand beaches, stretching for kilometres, and warm seas in shades of azure and turquoise. The underwater world is equally captivating. The kaleidoscopic reefs are rich with diverse marine life, perfect for scuba diving, snorkelling and paddle boarding.

Anantara Bazaruto Mozambique beach

Kenya

Well known as a safari destination, Kenya also boasts a beautiful coastline with islands that ripple out into the Indian Ocean. The Lamu archipelago is an area of archaeological and historical interest, as well as breathtaking natural beauty. These islands, especially Lamu itself, offer a tranquil retreat, perfect to end off a safari holiday.

South of Mombasa, lies Diani Beach, with its stretches of flawless white-sand beaches. The beaches are hugged by tropical greenery and kissed by surfable waves. Colourful coral reefs aren’t too far from the shore, where you can experience marine life including turtles, mantas and barracudas.

Stay at AfroChic Diani Beach, a villa-style boutique located right beside Diani’s white powder sands. This spot is perfect to relax with the laid-back pace of local life or explore the surrounding area through activities such as kite and wind-surfing, scuba-diving or a fishing trip.

Traditional Dhow on Diani Beach Kenya

South Africa

South Africa is perhaps the most diverse beach holiday in Africa. The warm Indian ocean meets the cool Atlantic Ocean at the southern tip of the country, creating distinctly different coastal regions on either side.

Cape Town is a luxurious seaside city escape, with top fine-dining restaurants and shopping opportunities. The beaches here are pristine, with fine, white sand and striking backdrops of Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and the Twelve Apostles. Make sure to visit Camps Bay and Clifton, which are arguably the best beaches in the city.

The Garden Route up the east coast makes for a fantastic road trip with breathtaking views. The journey is filled with serene coastal panoramas and dense forests such as the Tsitsikamma National Park, where you can hike through the lush greenery. This coastline is paradise for surfers, with great breaks in the charming towns of Plettenberg Bay and Jeffery’s Bay.

South Africa is also home to some of the best diving in Africa. Head north-east to Sodwana Bay for clear, warm waters where you’ll spot thousands of species of fish flitting around unspoiled reefs, coral gardens and vast sponges.

Kayaking in Plettenberg

Zanzibar Archipelago

Also known as the Spice Islands, the Zanzibar Archipelago makes for another enchanting beach holiday in Africa. While inspirational safari holidays reign supreme on Tanzania’s mainland, here the beaches are the main attraction, where you can unwind and lounge in the African sun.

The main island, Unguja, is one of the oldest trading ports in East Africa. Explore the vibrant Stone Town - one of the most alluring cities in Africa - where you’ll wander through the winding alleyways, pass colourful shops, and even partake in a coffee ceremony or go on a spice tour. For those looking to experience the archipelago’s wildlife, you can visit the red colobus monkeys, an endangered species, at Jozani-Chwaka National Park.

If you are searching for untouched beauty, head to one of the private desert islands. On Mnemba Island, you’ll find simple, barefoot Indian ocean island relaxation at its finest. Step out of your banda onto the soft, white sand with views over the coral reef.

Do as much or as little as you fancy here - relax with a cocktail or book in hand, snorkel along the iridescent coral reefs, kayak in search of dolphins or try your hand at windsurfing.

A beach in Zanzibar

São Tomé and Príncipe

São Tomé and Príncipe moves to the beat of its own slowly beating drum, with a laid-back atmosphere. These alluring islands have a rich culture, centering around fishing, cocoa production, and organic farming.

Begin your holiday in São Tomé, the capital, which is a charmingly fading and colourful port town. The town is lively, with friendly and welcoming locals.

Tropical paradise awaits as you head to Príncipe. Lush, dense forests tumble onto beaches fringed with banana and almond trees. Life is simple and slow here. Wake up to the sounds of nature around you, as colourful birds chirp and trees gently rustle in the breeze. Enjoy fresh, local fruit for breakfast with a view of the abundant wildlife and verdant green vistas that surround you.

Spend your days exploring deserted beaches with long stretches of golden sand or go diving in the equatorial waters, rich with marine life and tropical reefs - one of the best scuba diving experiences in Africa. These magnificent and wild islands offer beautiful walks. Hike through the rainforest amongst elusive monkeys, native birds, and indigenous plant life to reach waterfalls and secluded natural pools, where the refreshing water is a welcome respite.

aerial view of a coastline in Principe

If you’d like to experience a relaxing African beach holiday unlike any other, then get in touch with our team on +44 (0) 20 3821 5994 (UK), +1 (833) 215 9353 (US), or at explore@niarratravel.com and start planning your dream adventure.

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