The 9 best beach destinations in Africa
The rigors of traveling in Africa means that you’re often looking for a beach escape to end your journey on the right note. And like everything else, Africa doesn’t disappoint its sun lovers and beach bums either. The continent has some of the best beach scenes in the form of endless expanses of powdery white sands and whispering palm trees that are backed by clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Bookmundi examines best beach destinations in Africa to highlight some of the best beaches in the continent, right from the inland bays of Lake Malawi to the intoxicating beaches of Madagascar.
Nosy Be, Madagascar – Numero uno (above image)
Nosy Be might be the numero uno beach destination in Madagascar, but it still manages to stay anonymous. One of the main reasons is that accommodations in Nosy Be cost twice as much as they cost in the mainland, but they are quite competitive when you compare them to what they charge in Europe. Two of the biggest highlights of Nosy Be are the relative lack of development and the slow-paced lifestyle, both of which are worth those few extra Euros. Better yet, the island is famous for its water-based activities such as snorkeling, diving and swimming and the climate is sunny round the year. And once you’ve had enough of the sun and sand, you can always head inland to explore the enchanting waterfalls and cocoa and vanilla plantations of the Réserve Naturelle Intégrale de Lokobe.
Seychelles Beaches and Islands
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Close your eyes and try to imagine the most beautiful backdrop. Now open your eyes to an image of Seychelles in front of you. Chances are that these mystical islands look far better than what you may have imagined. Those silky soft sands are backed by topaz waters and lush green hills to present dream-like settings for travelers wanting idyllic destinations for a honeymoon or the perfect spot to rekindle their romance. What makes Seychelles stand out is that apart from its dreamy beaches, it also offers coastal walks, diving, snorkeling, ecotourism and boat excursions to keep you entertained for days at a stretch.
Gambia is a fascinating destination for those wanting some winter sun. The country is small in size and its people are famous for being friendly with tourists. You can choose from cultural explorations to do-nothing-beach-holidays. Meet and interact with the local tribes and earn yourself an invitation to visit a Gambian settlement to learn more about their culture, something which is quite common in the country.
Mauritius White Sand Beaches and Heaven
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Mark Twain had once said that the heavens must have been copied from Mauritius, and once you do visit this enchanting land, you realize that it might actually be true. Mauritius is famous for its powdery white sands, sapphire waters and beautiful resorts that combine to offer the perfect beach escape. But the place isn’t just about sunbathing, snorkeling and diving. It also presents exciting hiking and bird-watching adventures, making it the ideal all-round destination for all kinds of travelers.
Gabon Beaches and Wildlife
A trip to Gabon lets you come close to hippos, gorillas and whales on the same day. Located on the Gulf of Guinea, this West African country enjoys some of the most diverse tropical forests that are home to 600 species of birds, 8000 species of plants and 20 species of primates. Gabon hosts as many as 13 national parks and is home to approximately 20000 lowland gorillas and 60000 forest elephants. And if all that wildlife isn’t something which excites you, the country also offers 600 kms of unspoiled beaches and exotic lagoons such as the Pointe Denis Beach and the 100 km coastline of the Loana National Park.
Cabo Verde Beaches
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The white and relatively empty beaches of Cabo Verde are a blessing in disguise for those wanting to get away from huge crowds while visiting Africa. The lush tropical vegetation of the islands kept these beaches a secret for hundreds of years, and the world is only beginning to open up to their unspoiled beauty and unique sights. The year round sunshine makes things even better and the presence of rural tourism makes Cabo Verde even more seductive.
Dahab Beach, Egypt
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Dahab, which literally translates to ‘gold’ in Arabic has been named after its glittery coastline. It is laid-back, low-key and unexplored and this makes it the prime beach getaway in Africa for independent travelers. This small beach town began its journey as a Bedouin outpost and managed to emerge into a major tourist village where beach bums spend the day lazing in huts by the shore. Tourism also led to the development of water sports and activities like diving and snorkeling.
Read more: Egypt essential travel guide.
Cape Town Beaches, Cosmopolitan lifestyles and the Garden Route
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Cape Town, one of the most beautiful cities on earth, is another popular beach destination in Africa. Its golden beaches have won the hearts of millions of travelers around the world and those breathtaking coastal roads never cease to amaze. Better yet, Cape Town offers the very best of Africa without taking you away from the cosmopolitan lifestyles enjoyed by the top cities on the planet. Apart from its beautiful beaches, it also has enchanting vineyards, exciting attractions, the iconic Table Mountains and the gorgeous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Bookmundi recommends you to follow the Garden Route while in Cape Town, an ideal way to spend your days unfolding inspiring scenery on enchanting drives over mountain passes and down the coast.
Kenya wildlife and beaches
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Places like the Maasai Mara, Nairobi National Park and the Giraffe Center might hog away all the limelight, but Kenya is about so much more than its wildlife. Once you’ve had your fill of the Big 5 sightings, head over to the coastal regions to enjoy some of the most amazing beaches. The beautifully white beach of Watamu gently gives way to turquoise waters. The beach is a part of the Malindi Marine Reserve Park, famous for its colorful offshore coral formations and exciting diving and snorkeling activities. Watamu is also known as a major breeding ground for hawksbill turtles. Another beach worth visiting is the Diani Beach. This idyllic 20 km stretch is kept clear of seaweed thanks to the coral reefs located off-shore and the swaying palm trees complete that picture-perfect setting. Diani is where you go to learn to kitesurf.
Having explored Africa’s best beach destinations from the windy shores of the Seychelles islands to the seal-y delights of Namibia, the African continent is full of dramatic sands and varied seascapes. Africa might not have all the best beaches on the planet, but it certainly boasts of having a few that take your breath away. A trip to any of these beachy destinations can prove to be quite rewarding, in more ways than one.
This article originally appeared on bookmundi.com.