Paradise Found | 20 Africa’s Best Beaches You Need To Visit

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Africa has become synonymous with safaris nowadays, but there is all so much more to this beautiful continent than just chasing the big five – so much more! Most people the moment they think beach holiday they usually think of escapes to the Caribbean or maybe some other European destination. Oblivious to Africa’s thousands of beautiful beaches and landscapes that will satisfy even the most insatiable wanderlust junkies. From landscapes, you can try crazy sports such as sand boarding in the dunes to sitting on the edge of one of the 7 natural wonders like the Victoria falls. Only a few people venture out to these beaches and those very people are usually hush when it comes to revealing the paradise they have found. Maybe so they stay perfect. Well, with this post we are not talking about extreme travel experiences, that’s another post.  With this post, I wanted to show you some of Africa’s best beaches, so next time you want a relaxing beach escape that does involve fighting for your own little bathing spot, you know exactly where to head to. 
You will find it difficult to come across sand so white, the sea so breathtakingly blue. Think unspoiled white pristine sandy beaches that go on for miles, where you can lounge with a cold drink topping up your tan as the light cool breeze gently soothes you into a dreamy state in paradise. The beauty of it all is that none of it is a dream. These places really do exist, all but a just plane ride away…. Not many people venture to these places meaning that you will not have to share the beach with a soul, other than the person you decide to bring along to share the experience and perhaps the person that bring you drinks of course.

So, why follow the herds when you have options like these below?…

1.  Tadjourah – Djibouti

This tiny country on the East coast of Africa is packed with stunning beaches, some of which is pure white and some with dark with volcanic rock features. Which ever one you decide to venture out to disappointment won’t be part of the equation. Where to stay in Djibouti.

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2. Cape Vidal, KwaZulu-Natal – South Africa

You will find this beauty on the Eastern shores of South Africa. The perfect spots for snorkeling at low tide with amazing wildlife and sea life. You may be lucky enough to spot Humpback Whales that frequent the area and towards the end of the year, you will find rare loggerhead and leatherback turtles on the shores. Where to stay – Hotels in South Africa’s St Lucia.
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3. Swakopmund Beach – Namibia

Swakopmund is one of Namibia’s largest coastal towns which draws in travelers from all over the world. It also comes with a little backdrop of German inspired architecture as Namibia was colonised by the Germans. You can see more of my pictures from my trip to Swakopmund here. Where to stay in Swakopmund.

4. Nungwi Beach – Zanzibar

Sitting on the northern tip of the island this quiet beach offers great access to some of the best diving and snorkeling spots on Zanzibar Island. Some of the catch of the day served up in the restaurants are caught locally enjoyed while watching the sun set on the beautiful horizons beyond. Where to stay in Zanzibar.


5. Indigo Bay Mozambique

This is one country that is blessed in so many ways in abundant and beautiful landscapes that I actually struggled to pick one for you. One of which is Indigo Bay Island. Surrounded by palm trees, white sand and turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. While you are at it you can also check out Bazaruto Island too. Idyllic, unspoiled and the best place to experience some of the worlds best diving and fishing sites. Where to stay in Indigo Bay.

6. Hammamet – Tunisia

North African gem with golden sand beaches to match the golden sunsets in the evening as the Mediterranean sea glistens. Hammamet is 40 miles from the capital with perfect beaches made for romantic evening walks or maybe riding a camel at the crack of dawn on the shorelines.  The choice is yours or you can sample of the bars that line the beaches offering respite from the heat before exploring Tunisia’s whitewashed buildings with their beautiful arched blue doors. Where to stay in Hammamet

7. Banjul – Gambia

Sitting at the mouth of the stunning River Gambia, Banjul offers the African city break experience within easy reach of some of the beautiful beach resorts boasted by the Gambian coast. Fantastic beaches where you can chill out on the sand or swim the Atlantic or chill with a cocktail knowing you have other beauties like Gunjur, Sanyang, and Kartong Beaches only a short ride away. Where to stay in Banjul.
The Gambian coast...
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8. Beyin Beach – Ghana

Ghana as a country is peaceful and its people warm and friendly, possibly to do with the fact that Ghana boasts one of the worlds best beaches. Tall soaring palm trees line the beaches perfect for people watching or lounging. You can also mingle with the locals as this beach is frequented by local fishermen who pull in larger than life nets for the daily catch. Where to stay in Ghana.

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9. Banana Beach – Sao Tome

One of the quietest spots among beaches in Africa. Banana Beach is on the tiny island of Principe, off the western coast of Africa. It boasts clear, shallow waters with no tourists in sight you can have the clear waters to yourself. If the beautiful of the beach all becomes too much you can take refuge in the town as Sao Tome town which boasts beautiful architecture, museums and laid back culture and people. Where to stay in Sao Tome.

10. Boa Vista  – Cape Verde

Dubbed a sunbather’s paradise. Isolated with striking dunes that run down into the Atlantic, Boa Vista offers perfect spots for the sun worshiping or dune bashing in jeeps. As the evening draws in, shore-lined restaurants serve up freshly caught lobsters. What could be more perfect? Where to stay in Cape Verde.
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11. Abidjan –  Ivory Coast

Another West African country with stunning landscapes. Ivory Coast’s tropical climate and white sandy beaches make it a popular choice for many tourists that are in the know of this beauty. Where to stay in Abidjan.

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12. Sierra Leone

A small country with a huge offering. On the topic of beaches, Sierra Leona’s beaches are lined with backdrops of lush vegetated mountains and pure white sand. If you can manage to tear yourself from the beach you can also check out the beautiful waterfalls lying at the foot of the rivers.

Credit – Dan Sadgrove

13. Diani Beach – Kenya

Diani Beach is made up of 25 Kilometers of an unadulterated beach. Soft white sand to match its cobalt blue waters of the India Ocean. Diani Beach is the quintessential tropical escape, palm-fringed beach with its blend of natural beauty and uptown chic. The beach is lined with little huts serving ice-cold beers to cool you down. Where to stay on Diani Beach.

14. Casamance  – Senegal

The beaches here white, soft and if you take into account the lush tropical surroundings of Casamance you get the best spot for a relaxing vacation. Another attraction of Casamance is the unique culture of the Diola people, the major ethnic group of the region. Where to stay in Senegal.

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15. Trou aux Biches – Mauritius

Trou aux Biches in Mauritius offers the perfect sand for building sand castles as it has few pieces of coral which of course makes it perfect for those that want to bring the kids along to see what paradise looks like. If you want adult only beaches there is plenty on offer too. Trou Aux Biches is also great for snorkeling in Mauritius as you can swim around only meters in shallow waters before catching sight of the stunning coral reefs. The difficult part about being in Mauritius is leaving, as you will not want to leave once you have experienced its charm. Where to stay on Trou aux Biches.

16. Likoma Island Beach – Malawi

Land locked Malawi may be, but when half the country is made of fresh water lake then you know you are in for something spectacular! Likoma is one the islands on Lake Malawi. Sunsets on the western side of the island are something out of this world: the big red-orange ball sinking into the lake and disappearing behind the distant hills of the Malawian mainland is a spectacular sight that has to be witnessed to be believed. You can also explore surrounding areas on foot with many fishing villages on the coast of the lake. With no cars on the islands, you can relax and enjoy the surrounding natural beauty. Where to stay on Lake Malawi.
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17. Mahé Island – Seychelles

I am sure you have seen many pictures of this beautiful island in the Indian Ocean on the coast of the continent that it really needs no introduction. Of Seychelles’ 155 islands, Mahe, La Digue and Praslin boast to be the most popular. Mahe’s beautiful beaches and the scenic atmosphere is the perfect royal retreat or getaway you could gift yourself. The jade waters give off this laid back vibe for relaxation beyond your imagination and Praslin is for the adrenaline-rush seeking travelers who long to scuba-dive or snorkel so who wouldn’t want to experience such paradise? Where to stay in Mahe.

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18. Ifalty – Madagascar

Where in the world can you combine sunbathing with whale watching without having to lift a finger or the hustle of getting on a boat? Here that’s where! If you’ve always longed to relax on a white stretch of beach where shade is provided by lazy palm trees, not striped umbrellas, Ifaty, on the southwest coast of Madagascar, could be your answer. Flanked by a coral reef, which you can explore with goggles and a snorkel or on the surface from a colorful dugout canoe.

19. Coco Beach – Kribi – Cameroon

Kribi is home to Cameroon’s best beaches: the sand is fine, the water crystal clear,  fresh fish is on the menu and cold beer on tap; there are times when Africa hugs you and this is one of those. Most of Kribi’s hotels are on the coast usually with their own beach fronts. Beautiful sights await you in this West-African country. The Chutes de la Lobé, a few kilometers south of town have an impressive set of waterfalls that empty directly into the sea. A total must see! For Where to stay in Kirbi.

20.  Calabar – Nigeria

When most people think of Nigeria, I doubt the pictures of stunning beaches are coupled with those thoughts of 419s. Well, think again! Tucked into Nigeria’s southeastern corner, the capital of Cross River state has a rich history and is well worth a trip. The Calabar Beach is located at the mouth of the Calabar River. Visitors will feel like they’re walking into a mirage. Calabar occupies five kilometers of space on the coastline, giving the illusion of total privacy.

Very few locals actually go to the beach except for the fishermen. It is not uncommon to see a fishing hut on the beach. Visitors come for the serenity to be found on the beach. The Blue Lagoon on the beach provides more gentle water for weaker swimmers. The climate in the area is tropical so there is high humidity, which in turn heats the water. Visitors can enjoy a pleasant, relaxing swim. They are encouraged to try and explore the shoreline through the water instead of walking. The view from the swim is memorable and will not be forgotten anytime soon. Swimmers can go snorkeling by the coral reefs and see the fabulous aquatic life. Originally a cluster of Efik settlements, Calabar was once one of Nigeria’s biggest slave ports, and later a major exporter of palm oil. A popular stopover for travelers heading to Cameroon. For places to stay in Calabar check out this list of hotel options.

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There you have it, 20 of Africa’s best beaches. So how many of these have you already been to or are now adding to your bucket list?

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  1. June 1, 2015 / 3:46 pm

    I have been to Kribi in Cameroon. It is a very pretty beach. I wish you had included Limba in Cameroon, it is a black sand beach prettier than Kribi, IMO. Is the Maldives considered to be in Africa?

    • June 1, 2015 / 4:48 pm

      Limba I actually have in my sights soon and maybe even check out Kribi while I am at it 😀 As for Maldives I have now corrected that as it is technically part of Asia. Like many other islands like Canary Island and Cape Verde are usually mistake from European islands as most are still under the administration of the Spanish or French.

    • June 1, 2015 / 8:07 pm

      No Problem. Ever since I saw Spirited Pursuit's pictures of Limbe, its been on my list. Hopefully next year.

  2. June 1, 2015 / 7:11 pm

    Im surprised Ile aux cerfs, Mauritius is not on your list….its simply beautiful. I dont like the ocean because i fear it and its contents lol. But not even i could deny the beach and waters of ile aux cerfs…bare in mind i hadnt been in the ocean for 12 years prior to getting into it in Jan. Your should visit….it wont disappoint ��

    • June 1, 2015 / 8:05 pm

      Even though I have Mauritius and Seychelles on the list I was trying to avoid the usual suspects that most people usually find in magazines doing the same rounds of same destinations.

  3. June 2, 2015 / 7:28 am

    You're right. When thinking of Africa, most people's first thought isn't of the beach. What a fabulous list! We'd love to visit many of them. And I appreciate that you tried to avoid the "usual suspects" – although being first-timers on our next visit, we'd probably benefit from awareness of those, too. 🙂

    • June 2, 2015 / 11:28 pm

      Nice! Where in Africa are you heading or thinking of heading to?

  4. June 2, 2015 / 10:51 pm

    Wow~ double wow! I had no idea Africa had so many gorgeous beaches to choose from. Great material, pictures are divine.

    • June 3, 2015 / 6:46 am

      Exactly and because not a lot of people know you can still lounge with endless beach line all to yourself and the person with you choose to share it with.

  5. June 3, 2015 / 12:13 am

    One doesn't typically think of beaches when Africa comes to mind but apparently we should! Gorgeous pics!

    • June 3, 2015 / 6:48 am

      Exactly my reason for this post 😀 There is so much to this continent that folks are missing out on because most just think of Safaris when it comes to Africa.

  6. June 5, 2015 / 1:53 pm

    Exotic! really wanna visit Zanzibar and Seychelles.

  7. June 6, 2015 / 2:48 pm

    I was sure Diani wouldn't miss this list. I've just realized that I've never thought of beaches in West Africa, for reasons I can't explain….but maybe it's because they aren't marketed as much as the ones on the eastern side are i.e Diani,Zanzibar,Seychelles, Maldives, Mozambique e.t.c. I think this post has gone a long way in changing that, thank you.

    • June 6, 2015 / 9:21 pm

      That's one of the reasons why I really want to do this post. I lot of these places are not marketed as much unless they are advertising for some charity to donate to an African causes. The more tourists that see and visit these beautiful sights the more jobs are created for local people and more continuous improvements in these areas….but generally just to expose more people to the beautiful of the continent that they may not be aware of.

  8. June 7, 2015 / 7:18 am

    Your post makes me daydream where I can visit every single one of those beaches!

  9. June 7, 2015 / 11:24 am

    I would have never expected amazing beaches like this in Africa, I don't know why either because when you think about it it makes sense, it's just not the image of it we get shown so often.

    • June 7, 2015 / 4:50 pm

      I know, it gets kind of sickening how the media portrays the continent when there so much beautiful beyond the negative stereotypical imagery people are shown.

  10. June 7, 2015 / 9:06 pm

    Wow. How many different blues can you possibly have at the beach? I think Africa must have them all, I had no idea there was such an incredible selection there.

    • June 8, 2015 / 8:41 am

      I know right?! Seriously, I feel as if my bank balance is under threat each time I look at these pictures 😀

  11. June 12, 2015 / 9:11 am

    I have to share this post….love you are highlighting the beauty of our beautiful continent.thanks for visiting my blog.

    • June 21, 2015 / 8:15 am

      It certainly is a beautiful place. #ProudAfrican 😀

  12. February 10, 2016 / 2:55 pm

    These beaches are beautiful.

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