One of Africa’s bragging rights, if it needs any, is its plethora of beaches and beautiful landscapes. Today, however, we reveal Africa’s most beautiful beaches. As many who have traveled to Africa may guess, it is not easy to pick as there are too many to pick from. But here goes the best attempt you will find. Grab a seat and binge!
Clifton Beach, South Africa – This place is internationally recognized for a reason. Framed by rocky cliffs and known for its bright blue water and powdery white sand, Clifton Beach in Cape Town is actually divided into four neighboring beaches: Clifton 1st, Clifton 2nd, Clifton 3rd, and Clifton 4th. Clifton 4th is the largest and most popular, often boasting a fashionable clientele. Clifton 1st is considered to be the quietest, Clifton 2nd the most sporty, and Clifton 3rd. All of the Clifton beaches, however, offer the same great views right down to the city’s most colorful sunset.
Djerba Island, Tunisia – Some call it the French Polynesia of the Mediterranean while Homer described it as “the land of the Lotus-eaters” – a place so seductive, visitors find it impossible to leave. Once you set foot on the island of Djerba off the coast of Tunisia and dig your toes into the white sand of Sidi Mahres, Djerba’s headline beach, and take in the azure sea, you will understand just why.
Bazaruto Island, Mozambique – Bazaruto looks and feels like a quintessential tropical island. Located in Bazaruto National Park, Bazaruto Island’s classic beaches—full of swaying palm trees, vibrant marine life, fresh coconut water, and grilled fish right off the line—are heavenly. Take some time to go snorkeling or scuba diving in search of the elusive Dugong—they congregate around the island, and the population in Bazaruto is the largest in East Africa.
Marsa Alam, Egypt – Known for interesting rock formations and bright turquoise waters, Marsa Alam offers a plethora of activities for the active beachgoer. Home to some of the country’s best scuba diving, marine life in Marsa Alam is vibrant and plentiful. Sea turtles, dugongs, and plenty of colorful fish call this Red Sea-based resort townhome, though the white sand and blue skies alone could coax even the most reluctant beachgoer into a sun chair.
Anse Lazio, Seychelles – Framed by lush green hills and located on Praslin Island, the clear blue waters at Anse Lazio make the long journey to Seychelles worth it. Smaller and quieter than its sister beaches on La Digue or Mahe, Anse Lazio is everything a beach should be—serene, clean, comfortable, and stunning.
Belle Mare, Mauritius – At Belle Mare, soft sand lines the turquoise blue coast for over six miles. Plenty of scuba diving, excellent restaurants, live music, and more make this beach, located less than an hour from the capital of Port Louis, worth the trip. Though there are plenty of exciting beach activities—from diving to sailing—spending time just lazing on the shore and soaking up the rays on Belle Mare is absolutely recommended.
Mnemba Island, Zanzibar – Mnemba Island offers the archipelago’s best scuba diving and snorkeling in addition to spectacular views. Crystal clear blue water, white sand beaches, and jumping dolphins truly take this island to the next level. Although only residents of the luxurious Mnemba Island Lodge can stay overnight, plenty of boat trips pass through the Mnemba Atoll daily. Take a classic Swahili dhow for a sunset cruise, and make sure to enjoy all the seafood on offer.
Santa Monica Beach, Cape Verde – Cape Verde, an island nation made up of ten volcanic islands off the coast of Senegal, is still a hidden gem. Few tourists venture all the way there, though the colorful culture, fantastic food, and enchanting beaches are starting to change that. Though all the islands are worthy of a visit, make sure to check out Boa Vista, the island home to the stunning beach of Santa Monica. Boasting dramatic sunsets and several miles of soft white sand, as well as rocky beachside boulders and crisp azure waters, Santa Monica is sublime.
Sandwich Harbour, Namibia – This is where the world’s oldest desert meets the Atlantic. Sandwich Harbour isn’t your classic beach. Dotted with lagoons and wetlands, and housed in the middle of a dessert that slips right out to the ocean, Sandwich Harbour is as stark as it is beautiful. Don’t come here expecting to tan the day away, but rather look for different adventures and sightseeing opportunities in order to truly watch the desert sand meet the wild sea.
Pumulani Beach, Malawi – Pumulani Beach is mere proof that you do not need an ocean to have a beautiful beach. A tranquil stretch of inland beach on the coast of one of the biggest lakes in Africa, Lake Malawi, Pumulani Beach is cocooned by hills covered with lush green vegetation all the way down to the beach.
Ile Aux Nattes, Madagascar – This small island off the southern end of Madagascar near Ile Sainte Marie is, in addition to being postcard-perfect, a haven for whale watching, fishing, snorkeling, and just general downtime. Known locally as Nosy Nato, the island is less visited than nearby Nosy Be, but it’s slowly becoming a countrywide hotspot. It’s still pretty difficult to get to, with canoes and other boats providing most of the island-to-island transit, but that just adds to the tropical mystique.
Skeleton Coast, Namibia – And now for a totally different beach holiday experience we head to the hauntingly beautiful Skeleton Coast of Namibia. This wild and rugged stretch of sand between the Swakop and Kunene rivers is anything but tropical. It is often shrouded with fog – the result of the cold air over the Atlantic meeting the warm air of the Namib Desert – and the beach has become a graveyard for ships that run aground in the rocky shallow water but it offers a once in a lifetime experience of coastal wilderness
Watamu, Kenya – The smooth white beach of Watamu, which slides gently into shallow, turquoise water, forms part of the Malindi Marine Reserve Park, a marine protected area. The snorkeling and diving around the offshore coral formations is said to be the best in East Africa.
Jambiani, Zanzibar – There’s nothing quite like the storied island of Zanzibar. Most visitors will begin their journey in Stone Town, Zanzibar’s Arabic-influenced port city, wandering through alleys in search of fresh seafood and vibrant local culture before hitting the beach. Though plenty of tourists flock to the island’s northern Nungwi beach, those in the know head to Jambiani—located approximately an hour from the center of Stone Town. Turquoise blue waters, traditional dhow boat rides, plenty of snorkeling opportunities, and a range of accommodation options make this beach one of the best on the Swahili coast.
Medjumbe Island, Mozambique – This small private island is the place to be. As one of the Quirimbas Islands in Northern Mozambique, Medjumbe is only half a mile long. Characterized best by its azure blue water and endless white beaches, the exclusive Anantara Medjumbe Resort is the only hotel on the privately owned island. By all accounts, however, it’s worth it; from spectacular scuba diving in healthy coral reefs to the intimate and luxurious island setting, Medjumbe has a lot to offer a traveler that just wants to get away from it all.
Saidia, Morocco – Known as the “Blue Pearl,” Saidia is a beach located quite close to the Algerian border in the Moroccan province of Berkane. As the chosen holiday spot of local Moroccans for the summer months, it can get quite crowded, but still manages to remains one of the most idyllic spots in the region. With golden sand and Mediterranean weather, Saidia is also host to plenty of seaside activities and excellent Moroccan cuisine.
Baa Atoll, Maldives – Straddling the Equator southwest of Sri Lanka, the 1,102 islands that make up the Maldives form 26 atolls which means you are spoiled when it comes to beaches. However, it doesn’t get better than Landaa Giraavaru with a blindingly white beach in the heart of the Baa Atoll, the only UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in the Maldives. Here you can snorkel with turtles, manta rays, and whale sharks in one of the Maldives’s largest natural lagoons.
Kokrobite, Ghana – Located only a 45-minute drive from Accra, Ghana’s capital city, Kokrobite consists of a long stunning stretch of beautiful white-sand beaches. The area is a favorite among backpackers, Accra weekenders, and also volunteers. It does not have all the luxurious hotels and facilities. Instead, it provides authentic beach experiences for travelers who are up for a good party with barbecue, beer, and live music. This is, indeed, the perfect place to unwind while listening to the sound of the waves for days.
Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt – Sharm el-Sheikh has become Egypt’s resort capital for good reason: the warm, crystal waters and wide beaches are great for swimmers and sunbathers and it’s the gateway to some of the best diving in the world, along the reefs of the Red Sea.
Lamu Beach, Kenya – Lamu is a collection of islands located off the coast of Kenya north of Mombasa. The beaches of Shela Village on the main island offer the quintessential Indian Ocean ingredients: powdery white sands, excellent snorkeling, and clear blue waters. Founded by the Swahili people nearly 700 years ago.
Again, Africa these aren’t all there is! But you’re welcome to explore Africa and soak in its breath-taking beauties.
By Abiola Makinde,