12 Best Beaches in Africa

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The African continent is home to some of the world’s best beaches, with 18,950 miles of coastline spread across 54 countries.

Madagascar has the continent’s longest coastline at 3,000 miles, with hundreds of lovely and often lonely beaches, as well as offshore islands like île Saint-Marie, where life goes slowly and the scenery is breathtaking.

South Africa and Mozambique have the third and fourth longest coasts on the African continent, respectively, and they also boast a plethora of gorgeous beaches with magnificent scenery — Camps Bay in Cape Town is a must-see.

Mozambique also has hundreds of offshore islands, like the Bazaruto Archipelago, which has warm, clear turquoise sea, pure white beaches, and a relaxed atmosphere. More incredible stretches of coastline may be found farther north in Kenya and Tanzania, where some of the nicest beaches can also be found off the mainland in island paradises such as Zanzibar in Tanzania and Lamu Island in Kenya.

With so many beautiful stretches of sand scattered across several countries, it’s difficult to pick the finest of the best when it comes to beaches. But we believe the ones we’ve highlighted here are the most captivating on the African continent.

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1. Bazaruto Island, Mozambique

Sand dunes and a stunning beach on Bazaruto Island

Bazaruto Island is located within the Bazaruto Archipelago Marine Park in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Mozambique, and is home to some of the most beautiful beaches we’ve ever seen. The ocean is warm and turquoise blue here, and the white sandy beaches are framed by swaying palms and towering sand dunes, providing a postcard-perfect vision of paradise.

The coral reefs surrounding Bazaruto are fantastic for snorkeling and are part of a larger archipelago famed for its incredible diving experiences.

The island is accessible by boat or small plane, and lodgings range from low-cost guesthouses to the luxury &Beyond Benguerra on a neighboring isle. The site provides accomodation in various sizes of elegant, thatched-roof huts that are ideal for honeymooners or families vacationing with children.

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2. Camps Bay Beach, Cape Town, South Africa

Camps Bay Beach in Cape Town

Camps Bay Beach, with views of Lion’s Head and the Twelve Apostles peaks, is roughly a 10-minute drive from downtown Cape Town and is one of South Africa’s most popular beaches. Although the water is too chilly for most swimmers, sunbathing on the white-sand beach is a popular local pastime.

On summer weekends, this beach is packed with families, tourists, couples, and groups of friends looking to play beach volleyball or simply relax. When you feel too hot, take a brief swim in the Atlantic Ocean’s turquoise and emerald-striped waves. If you’re surprised by the chilliness despite the tropical appearance, you’re not alone. The current here originates in Antarctica.

South Beach Camps Bay is our favorite area to stay on this beach. The boutique hotel is decorated with original modern South African art and offers lodging in Miami-inspired studios with white-on-white decor, full kitchens, and private balconies from which to view the spectacular nightly sunsets.

Camps Bay is one of several excellent beaches within a 30-minute drive of Cape Town. The adjoining Clifton Beaches are also popular, with four coves protected from the wind and located at the bottom of a steep set of stairs leading down from the main road.

3. Nungwi Beach, Zanzibar Island, Tanzania

Aerial view of Nungwi Beach

A vacation to Zanzibar Island, off the coast of Tanzania, is a fantastic experience. The beaches, notably Nungwi, are spectacular, and Zanzibar is also culturally rich. Stone Town, Zanzibar is one of the most picturesque places to visit in Africa, with wooden dhows sailing the clear blue ocean and the vibrant bazaars of the Swahili coastal trading town.

Nungwi Beach is a stunning white-sand and palm-tree-meets-emerald-ocean scene at the island’s northern edge. It began as a modest fishing village but has since evolved into a popular tourist destination. Offshore, there is also good snorkeling and diving.

4. Anse Source D’Argent, La Digue Island, Seychelles

Anse Source d’Argent, La Digue Island

The Seychelles Islands, located off the east coast of Madagascar in the center of the Indian Ocean, have long been a favourite vacation destination for the rich and famous. There are hundreds of magnificent beaches strewn throughout the archipelago, but Anse Source d’Argent on the island of La Digue is the most picturesque.

The jungle tumbles into gigantic granite boulders across a snow-white beach and a sea that appears to be unreal. Offshore from the beach, there is also decent snorkeling. There are more magnificent beaches with a more private and exclusive vibe near resorts on the islands of Desroches, Denis, and Fregate. The ideal months to visit the Seychelles are April and May, as well as October and November, when the skies are usually clear and beautiful.

5. Naama Bay, Egypt

Naama Bay, Sharm el-Sheikh

Naama Bay, in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, is the heart of Sharm el-Sheikh, the country’s most popular beach resort. The white-sand beach meets the pristine, quiet, blue seas of the Gulf of Aqaba here, and in the distance, you can see Saudi Arabia’s mountainous shoreline.

In the winter, Europeans flock to Naama Bay to escape the cold in their home countries. The area near Sharm el-Sheikh is particularly well-known for its diving in the coral reefs around Ras Mohammed National Park, with dives suitable for all levels of experience, including beginners. In addition, there is good snorkeling in the region. There are various lodging alternatives near this beach, including Movenpick Sharm El Sheikh, a huge and sophisticated resort perched atop a cliff and overlooking the bay. Oonas Dive Club, where you may also learn to scuba dive, is a nice mid-range alternative.

6. Île Sainte-Marie, Madagascar

Sainte Marie Island, Madagascar

Madagascar, one of Africa’s most fascinating countries, is yet relatively unknown. It is home to species and flora found nowhere else on the planet, and the scenery is breathtaking. Île Sainte-Marie is one of Madagascar’s most popular beach vacation destinations, located just off the coast of eastern Madagascar.

The island has bright skies all year and is a tropical paradise with long, porcelain-white sand beaches flanked by swaying palm palms and backed by pure blue ocean. The weather is pleasant all year, with beautiful blue skies. Between July and September, humpback whales can be seen off the coast, and there is good diving among unspoiled coral gardens.

7. Shela Beach, Lamu Island, Kenya

Shela Beach, Lamu Island, Kenya

Lamu Island, off the coast north of the port town of Mombasa, has crystal-clear aquamarine and turquoise waters, white-sand beaches, palm trees, and good snorkeling and diving. Shela Beach is a beautiful beach in the relaxing village of Shela Village. Time flows slowly here, and you may spend hours just watching the white-sailed dhows pass past in front of you on the Indian Ocean.

For a taste of culture, visit Lamu Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Kenya’s oldest communities, dating back 700 years. Spend some time exploring its winding streets. You may also arrange an island-hopping excursion in a traditional dhow, which will take you across the archipelago and introduce you to hidden beaches.

8. Agadir, Morocco

Umbrellas on an empty beach in Agadir, Morocco

The most famous beach in Morocco is Agadir’s gold-sand beach on the country’s southern Atlantic coast. The family-friendly beach and resort town beyond it are particularly popular with European winter visitors who come here to escape the cold in their home countries.

The beach is divided into several portions, including two private sections dubbed Palm Beach and Sunset Beach, which are only accessible to guests of the resorts located on them.

If you’re traveling with children, consider staying at the Iberostar Founty Beach, which has a variety of kid-friendly activities and situated on a beautiful stretch of sand.

9. Coffee Bay, South Africa

Beach at Coffee Bay along the Wild Coast in South Africa

Coffee Bay is another stunning beach in South Africa, located on the mountainous Wild Coast, which stretches along the country’s Indian Ocean coastline in the Eastern Cape province. Green hills and cliffs meet a vast swath of gold beach and the Indian Ocean’s deep blue waves here..

The sea may be moody and turbulent here, and there are some fantastic surf breaks nearby, but it’s not ideal for swimming. Still, when it comes to brooding raw beauty, Coffee Bay is hard to surpass, and this is a fantastic beach for lengthy hikes. The town has only a few backpackers and guesthouses and retains a rural vibe that many visitors will enjoy. Only eight kilometers from Coffee Bay lies Hole In The Wall, a rock in the seat at the mouth of the Mpako River that puts on a dramatic display of force when the water crashes through it.

10. Bom Bom Beach, Principe

Aerial view of Bom Bom Beach

Bom Bom beach is on the smaller of two islands in the Gulf of Guinea, off the coast of West Africa, and is part of the island republic of So Tomé and Prncipe. The beach on its northern side is part of the Bom Bom Island Resort, an eco-friendly hotel choice on a tiny islet connected to the mainland by a long boardwalk. Cabins on the beach provide lodging, and there is an on-site restaurant.

This lovely beach is ideal for environment lovers, particularly bird watchers. There is also a chance to view nesting sea turtles around here. Other popular activities for visitors include whale viewing, snorkeling, and deep sea fishing. It is best to visit this remote destination during the dry season between June and October.

11. Trou-aux-Biches, Mauritius

Trou-aux-Biches, Mauritius

Mauritius is an Indian Ocean island group located off the east coast of Madagascar, near the Seychelles. Mauritius, which is slightly more affordable than the Seychelles, is also home to several white-sand beaches set against a gorgeous blue sea.

Trou-aux-Biches is one of the country’s best beaches, located on the main island near the same-named tiny town. The beach here is one mile long, with fluffy white sand. The water here is tranquil and ideal for swimming. There are options for everything from jet skiing to kayaking if you want to get out on the water in a watercraft. Near this beach, there are a number of hotels in various price ranges, including options for families, as well as restaurants serving island and foreign cuisine. The dry season, between September and December, and April and May, are the finest periods to visit Mauritius.

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12. Skeleton Coast, Namibia

The Skeleton Coast in Namibia

You won’t want to swim or even sunbathe here, as the water is freezing and the skies are often shrouded in mist. But few places in the world are as hauntingly beautiful as the beaches along Namibia’s Skeleton Coast.

This sparsely populated coastline between the Swakop and Kunene Rivers north of the town of Swakopmund is a ruggedly wild region where the Atlantic Ocean meets the dunes of the Namib Desert.

The name comes from all the wrecked ships found along this beach that ran aground over the centuries in the shallow and choppy waters. If you’re into bird-watching, there are a lot of seabirds near the wrecks. The area is also home to a large colony of seals.

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