10 best beach destinations in Africa

Zanzibar never disappoints when it comes to the beach experience. Picture: Unsplash

Zanzibar never disappoints when it comes to the beach experience. Picture: Unsplash

Published Sep 12, 2022


Africa has beautiful landscapes and some of the best scenery in the world. The continent may be famous for its unparalleled safari experiences but it does have stretches of beautiful coastline worthy of mention and enjoyment.

Here is a list of 10 best beach destinations with luxury stays for when you’re exploring the mother land.

Sodwana Bay, South Africa

Sodwana Bay is famous for its scuba diving and beautiful coast explorations through snorkelling. Picture: Instagram

Sodwana Bay is a bay in South Africa on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast, between St Lucia and Lake Sibhayi. Sodwana Bay National Park is located within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site.

The bay area is known for sport fishing, scuba diving and snorkelling.

iSimangaliso Wetland Park is South Africa’s third-largest protected area, spanning 280km of coastline, from the Mozambican border in the north to Mapelane south of the Lake St Lucia estuary, and made up of around 3 280 km² of natural ecosystems, managed by the iSimangaliso Authority, and Sodwana Bay is just one of the many beaches on that coastline.

For a luxury stay and experience, you can stay at Thonga Beach Lodge at Mabibi Beach or Makakatana Bay Lodge in St Lucia, which are both part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.

A room at Thonga Beach lodge starts at R5 180 per night per person sharing while R5400 per night per person sharing is the going rate for a standard room.

Watamu Beach, Kenya

Relaxing and reading beside the swimming pool overlooking the ocean. Picture: Instagram

Decked with coconut palm trees, soft white sand, and soothing warm water, Watamu Beach is the perfect place to wind down after a safari adventure. The untouched coastal paradise is a unique melting pot of Kenyan, Arab, and Italian culture.

Watamu Beach’s crystal-clear waters make it an excellent location for snorkelling and diving, and the surrounding area is home to an abundance of wildlife.

The Watamu Marine National Park is located around 1km off the coast of Watamu Beach, and it contains 600 fish species, 110 species of stony coral, and countless invertebrates, crustaceans and molluscs.

For the perfect beach stay on this coast, consider The Charming Lonno Lodge Watamu.

It’s a luxury boutique hotel on the sea side of the Watamu Marine Park. The lodge is nestled within private tiny beaches accommodation starts from R5 700 per night to R12 437 per night depending on the room.

Naama Bay, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

Spectacular sea view and greenery landscape is all you need at the Rixon. Picture: Instagram

Egypt’s most famous sandy strips, Naama Bay, is at the epicentre of Egypt’s prime beach resort, Sharm el-Sheikh, on the Sinai Peninsula.

Sun worshippers from across northern and eastern Europe congregate here during the winter months to loll on sand lapped by the calm, aqua-blue waters of the Gulf of Aqaba and gaze out at the dusky jagged silhouette of Saudi Arabia’s mountainous coastline in the distance.

Sharm el-Sheikh is known for its scuba diving, with a multitude of coral reefs, including the world-class dive sites of Ras Mohammed National Park, in proximity.

Behind the beach is Sharm el-Sheikh’s lively, main resort area, with plenty of restaurants and cafés, as well as accommodation ranging from large resorts to expensive hotels.

If you’re considering a luxury experience then a stay at Rixos Premium Seagate is worthwhile. The five-star luxury resort is located in the Red Sea’s renowned diving region and has activities suitable for the whole family.

Bom Bom Island, Sao Tome and Principe

Enjoy both beach and tropical forests on the Bom Bom Island. Picture: Instagram

Ilhéu Bom Bom is an island in the Gulf of Guinea. The islet is located near the north coast of the island of Príncipe, one of the main islands of São Tomé and Príncipe and is almost completely forested. Since 2012, it forms a part of the Unesco’s Island of Príncipe Biosphere Reserve.

This beautiful forest and beach is a perfect choice for nature enthusiasts especially birdwatchers. There is also an opportunity to see nesting sea turtles around here. Whale watching, snorkelling, and deep sea fishing are other popular activities for visitors.

It is best to visit this remote destination during the dry season between June and October. You can stay at the Bom Bom Island Resort and enjoy beach side spa treatments, the most famous being the Coconut Ritual. A stay on the island resort starts at R 3 790 per person or per night.

Nungwi Beach, Zanzibar Island, Tanzania

Zanzibar never disappoints when it comes to the beach experience. Picture: Unsplash

For a magical trip experience, then head to Zanzibar Island off the Tanzanian Coast. Zanzibar is rich in culture and Nungwi Beach is breathtaking. From wooden dhows plying the clear turquoise water to the lively bazaars of the Swahili coastal trading centre, Stone Town, Zanzibar is one of the most photogenic places to visit in Africa.

Nungwi Beach is a beautiful white-sand and palm-tree-meets-emerald-ocean spectacle at the northern tip of the island. It began as a simple fishing village but today is a popular vacation destination. There is excellent snorkelling and diving offshore as well.

Stay at the Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort at Nungwi beach for an unforgettable experience. For delicious food and a spectacular view of the Indian Ocean enjoy a meal at The Cliff or Spices. A stay at the resort starts at R5 072 per night.

Swakopmund, Namibia

Perfect views of Swakopmund Beach from Strand Hotel Swakopmund. Picture: Instagram

Swakopmund in Namibia has reinvented itself as an adventure centre, with fishing, surfing, kayaking, quad-biking and sand-boarding. Swakopmund is one of Namibia’s largest coastal towns and it’s beaches are a popular tourist attraction.

Swakopmund is often described as being more German than Germany with its European-style colonial architecture.

You can dine at a picturesque restaurant on the waterfront, or just marvel at the unusual birds and plants that populate the region. Namibian waters from the Atlantic are very cold and some people do bathe.

For a comfortable experience, you can stay at the Strand Hotel Swakopmund, which is right at the beach. A stay at the hotel starts at R3 537 per night.

Anse Source D'Argent, La Digue Island, Seychelles

Couple enjoys kayaking on La Digue Island. Picture: Instagram

Located off the east coast of Madagascar in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the islands of the Seychelles have long been a popular vacation spot for the rich and famous. There are hundreds of gorgeous beaches scattered about this archipelago, but the most beautiful is Anse Source d'Argent on the island of La Digue.

One of the main reasons for the beach’s popularity, besides its astounding beauty, is its variety of activities. The shallow, clear water, as well as the coral reef protection, means the beach is a great spot for families, and is also perfect for swimming and snorkelling.

The best times to visit the Seychelles is in April and May or October and November, when skies are usually sunny and blue.

For a luxury experience you can stay at Le Domaine de L'Orangeraie which is a walk away from the beach for R7 082 per night.

Bazaruto Island, Mozambique

Enjoy beautiful resorts and beach life on Bazaruto Island. Picture: Instagram

Set inside the boundaries of the Bazaruto Archipelago Marine Park in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Mozambique, Bazaruto Island is home to some of the most stunning beaches. The water here is warm and turquoise blue, and the white sandy beaches are backed by swaying palms and towering sand dunes, creating a postcard-perfect vision of paradise.

Part of a larger archipelago that is known for its amazing diving experiences, the coral reefs around Bazaruto are also excellent for snorkelling. You can also swim with horses, scuba dive or enjoy a sunset dhow cruise.

The island can be reached by boat or small plane, and the accommodations range from budget guest-houses to the luxury & Beyond Benguerra on a neighbouring isle.

The property offers lodging in various sizes of posh, thatched-roof huts that work well for couples on honeymoon or families vacationing with the kids. Accommodation starts at R14 224 per person sharing for the Cabana and R98 016 for the Casa Familia Villa per night.

Île Sainte-Marie, Madagascar

Ile Sainte Marie life looks good on everyone. Picture: Instragram

Madagascar is one of Africa’s most unique countries. It is home to animals and plants found nowhere else on earth, and the scenery here is truly awesome. Just off the coast of eastern Madagascar is one of its top beach vacation spots, Île Sainte-Marie.

The island boasts sunny skies year-round and is a tropical wonderland where you’ll find long, porcelain-white-sand beaches fringed with swaying palm trees and backed by clear turquoise water.

Between July and September, you can see humpback whales off the coastline and there is excellent diving amid untouched coral gardens. You can stay at the Princesse Bora Lodge Spa for R4 696 per night.

Trou-aux-Biches, Mauritius

Bright colours strikes and turn sunny days into a tropical delight at Beachcomber Golf Resort and Spa. Picture: Instagram

Trou-aux-Biches is one of the top beaches in the Mauritius. It’s located on the main island near the small town by the same name. The beach here runs for one mile, and the sand is powdery white while the ocean is calm and perfect for swimming.

If you want to get out on the water in a watercraft, there are opportunities for everything from jet skiing to kayaking. There are a variety restaurants serving island and international fare near the beach as well. The best times to visit Mauritius are during the dry season, between September and December and in April and May.

Book a stay at Trou aux Biches Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa for a luxury experience that starts from R7 920 per night.