Top Ten Beaches in Africa

Summer means beach holidays, where you make the best of sun, sea and sand wherever you are. In our quest to find the world’s top beaches, we have been to Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas already, and now we are off to Africa to discover the top ten African beaches.

Granted Africa is more popular with safari fans than sunseekers but imagine yourself on a tranquil white sand beach with nothing but the azure water in front of you and the lush green curtain of palm trees behind you. From the white sand beaches of Zanzibar to the sandy bays of Lake Malawi, let’s explore the top ten beaches of Africa.

Denis Island, Seychelles

denis island beach

While Anse Source d’Argent on the island of La Digue may be the most photographed beach in the world, we are taking you to Denis Island for equally dazzling white sand beaches coupled with an exclusive island experience. One of the most northerly of the Inner Islands of the Seychelles, Denis Island is a small private coral island about 60 miles from Mahé.

denis island resort bedroom

Stay at: Denis Island Lodge, with 25 island-style cottages, offers the ultimate island retreat.


Mnemba Island, Tanzania

mnemba island

Part of the Zanzibar Archipelago, Mnemba is a private island in the Indian Ocean. Here you will find not only the best snorkeling in Zanzibar but you can also watch the whales and dolphins and swim with whale sharks. Exciting, right? But if you’re after a more relaxing beach holiday, the white sand beach and turquoise waters do not disappoint either.


Stay at: The romantic Mnemba Island Lodge owned by &beyond offers the ultimate in beach holiday luxury with only 10 cottages hidden in the shade of a tropical beach forest.


Skeleton Coast, Namibia

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.

cape cross namibia

Stay at: Located right on the Skeleton Coast, Cape Cross Lodge offers 24 rooms and a charming mix of built in a mix of Cape Dutch and west coast fishing village style. Alternatively, you can stop by for lunch and head to Swakopmund, an hour’s drive south, where you can stay at the more opulent Swakopmund Hotel.


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.

radisson blue djerba

Stay at: Radisson Blu Palace Resort and Thalasso is the ultimate beach front luxury hotel.


Essaouira Beach, Morocco

essaouira beach morocco

While also on the northern coast, Essaouira cannot be any different than Djerba Island; while the latter is more of a sunseekers’ haven, the former has to be the surfers’ paradise. Located in the laidback Moroccan town of the same name, this wind-whipped beach attracts high numbers of wind- and kite-surfers in summer, and surfers in winter. Another attraction has to be one for rockers: away from the harbour is a castle rumoured to have been the inspiration for the rock legend Jimi Hendrix’s “Castles Made of Sand.”

Heure Bleue Palais Essaouira

Stay at: The luxury 5-star Heure Bleue Palais was originally built at the end of the 19th century on the ruins of an ancient ‘fondouk’ – a hostel for travelling traders.


Boulders Beach, Simon's Town, South Africa

boulders beach simons town south africa

All the way down on the southern tip of the continent, a short walk from Simon’s Town, near Cape Town is Boulders Beach is the beautiful beach of Boulders, also home to the cute African jackass penguins. Boulders Beach gets is name from the giant boulders which are handy for jumping off into the ocean.

whale view manor

Stay at: Whale View Manor Guesthouse enjoys a privileged location on the False Bay coast, between Cape Town and Cape Point and offers 10 individually decorated rooms with magnificent sea views.

Bazaruto, Mozambique

Bazaruto Mozambique

The coastal town of Vilanculos is the gateway to Mozambique's Bazaruto Archipelago - a chain of four large islands: Bazaruto, Benguerra, Santa Isobel and Santa Carolina (formerly known as Paradise Island). The less populated Bazaruto of the former two inhabited islands is an idyllic tropical island getaway.

Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort

Stay at: Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort & Spa offering 44 beach, sea view and pool villas, which have been designed in natural harmony with the unspoiled island surrounds.


Baa Atoll, Maldives

Baa Atoll

Straddling the Equator southwest of Sri Lanka, the 1,102 islands that make up the Maldives form 26 atolls which mean 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.

Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru

Stay at: Fours Seasons Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru which offers a choice of thatched beach villas and over-water villas.


Pumulani Beach, Malawi

Pumulani Beach Malawi

Pumulani Beach is the mere proof that you do not need and 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.

Pumulani Beach Lodge

Stay at: Nestled on the lush hillside in the Pumulani Beach Lodge which offers 10 individually decorated villas overlooking Lake Malawi.

Belle Mare, Mauritius

Belle Mare Mauritius

White sands, warm waters and a barely developed stretch of beach? Don’t mind if we do. Belle Mare offers the perfect beach paradise on the east coast of Mauritius,

LUX* Belle Mare

Stay at: Where else but LUX* Belle Mare fully re-designed by international designer Kelly Hoppen?



Loango National Park, Gabon

Loango National Park

Another beach with a difference on our coast to coast tour of Africa’s top beaches has to be Loango National Park. Where else would you see surfing hippos and sunbathing elephants, buffaloes, gorillas and leopards and nesting turtles but on the uninhabited 100km stretch of coastline right in the heart of this national park?  You can also view dolphins and humpback and killer whales.

Loango Beach Gabon

Image: Africa's Eden

Stay at: The small but exclusive Loango Lodge is set on the Iguela Lagoon, with uninterrupted views of the wide tranquil river that separates the lodge area and the national park.

By Sinem Bilen-Onabanjo