5 African beach paradises you never knew existed

For many of us, paradise equals sunshine, sand, and surf. Cocktails and sunsets are an added bonus. Sun seekers typically head to the Caribbean or Southeast Asia for such pleasures, but if you really want a sublime beachside experiences, and especially one where you’re likely to have the beach to yourself, you need to consider Africa. Madagascar alone has more than 4,000 km of coastline; and South Africa has beaches stretching along both the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean.

Baraza, Zanzibar

Conde Nast has rated Zanzibar’s Bwejuu – Paje Beach as one of the 30 best beaches in the world. So isn’t it time you went? You can walk from the beach out onto the reef wearing special reef shoes which wont damage the coral, snorkel beneath the waves to spot the marine life, and sail, kayak, or surf along the coast to fully appreciate its unspoilt beauty. The Baraza Resort is inspired by Zanzibar’s mixed cultural heritage: it’s a fusion of Arabic, Swahili, and Indian design, complimented by world class service.

Azura, Mozambique

Have you ever dreamed of staying on a private island? Now is your chance. Quilalea Private Island is just off the coast of Mozambique. It’s uninhabited, and completely surrounded by the Quirimbas Archipelago Marine Sanctuary, so unrivalled in peace and privacy. You can dive straight from the main beach, kayak through the mangroves, or lie lazily in a hammock strung between two giant baobab trees. The island is available for exclusive use, in which case you’ll have nine villas and 86 acres of island to yourself. Only the birds — of which there are 60 different species — will disturb you. Robinson Crusoe, eat your heart out.

Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Luxury and fine design are seamlessly blended at Le Prince Maurice on the eastern coast of Mauritius. The pristine beach lined with shade-giving palm trees surrounds a rocky island in a small archipelago. Wooden jetties link the islands, and you can sit out over the water on the veranda of your thatched beach villa, created with feng shui principles in mind. It’s one of the few places in the world where the golf course runs down to the beach (watch out for your balls!), and when it comes to the time to cool down, you can swim in both the pool and the lagoon.

Mumbo Island, Malawi

It probably hasn’t occurred to you to seek out a beach in a landlocked country. But Lake Malawi is a vast area, a national park filled with islands and plenty of sandy beaches. Mumbo Island is without doubt the most exclusive retreat: just 14 guests can stay at any one time, and it is rated as one of the most sustainable lodges in Africa. In the calm, clear waters of the lake you can enjoy some of the best fresh water snorkelling and diving in the world. Comfortable tents are built on wooden decks out over the rocky cliffs, with views across the water. Walk down onto the beach to swim, or pick up a kayak and paddle your way around the island, spotting sea eagle and fish as you go.

 

North Island, Seychelles

OK, so you might actually have heard of North Island: it’s the most exclusive property in the Seychelles. But we’re including it in our list of African beach paradises because the levels of luxury, of privacy, and of style challenge preconceptions of what Africa has to offer. You won’t find a more stunning spot. Take a guided walk along the shoreline, and your guide will tell you about the Noah’s Ark Island rehabilitation programme, the means by which turtle and other native wildlife are being protected. Sail out into the crystal clear waters to fish. Catch your own supper, then let the chefs cook it for you on the beach as you watch the sunset with a glass of cold white wine in hand.

Laura Burdett-Munns is Managing Director at Africa Exclusive.

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Comments (12)

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  1. Izy Berry says:

    Yes, I HAVE dreamed of staying on a private island. I’ve also always wanted to see what a baobab tree looks like! Because who has ever read the Little Prince and not wondered the same? I love reading posts like this that take me to a different world. Thanks for that cold white wine. Quite the fancy touch

  2. nina mcclain says:

    I’ve never been to Africa, but wow, do I want to! I love the idea of staying on a private island and having the beach to myself.

  3. Laura says:

    Beach holidays are great but completely depressing when you’re packed like sardines and a beautiful stretch of beach is marred with rubbish and debris from the peak tourist season. These beaches look absolutely amazing. I think it’s well worth the time, effort and extra cost to have an unforgettable holiday. An entire pristine beach to myself is a dream come true, and the extra dash of culture and heritage on the side is definitely a bonus.

  4. Laura Burdett-Munns says:

    We couldn’t agree with you more Laura!

  5. Jenny Rose says:

    Well I never would have known that Africa had such beautiful beaches, they look like a paradise! I would love to visit Malawi National Park, I’m sure it’s such a far cry from national parks that I have been to in the UK. They all sound so luxurious, I best start saving up my money… I cannot even imagine staying on a private island!

  6. Olivia says:

    These pristine beaches make me dream of my next holiday now! I think Zanzibar and Malawi are such raw gems of the nature. And very worth it discovering them.
    Anyways, thanks for sharing these top African beaches, will pin this:)

  7. Victoria says:

    A friend of mine is getting married at Christmas in Gambia. She went for a holiday there last year and the photographs were simply breathtaking. The beaches stretched for miles and the people were so friendly. Definitely a destination I would not have considered before but would now.

  8. Laura Burdett-Munns says:

    Africa does have some amazing beaches with beautiful, exclusive accommodation to make you feel like a movie star. A relaxing break in a stunning location is the perfect end to a lively safari holiday or as a destination in it’s own right.

  9. I have just come back from Kenya and went to Diani beach Mombasa Kenya that you should add to the list. the beaches on the list look wonderful and that means I need to go back and visit them.

  10. Sarah Bailey says:

    Now those are the beaches from dreams, the sand is so clean and the water so clear, I had no idea Africa offer such wonderful beach locations, I would love to travel to Azura, Mozambique myself that one just calls my name.

  11. Chandler says:

    A friend of mine has recently been on a trip to Zanzibar and the photos she showed me are surreal! I never thought it can be such an amazing destination. Malawi also seems just perfect, and raw. I’d love to go and cross my fingers I’ll be able to quite soon!

  12. Jane B says:

    Wow these places look like paradise! I’ve never been to Africa before, but after seeing these photos I will have to go in the future. Mauritius looks beautiful and luxurious with its sandy white beaches. Seychelles also looks amazing with the crystal clear waters.

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