The African continent is not only known for its diverse wildlife and rich culture, but it is also home to some of the most breathtaking and pristine beaches in the world. With its vast coastline stretching along the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, Africa offers a truly captivating beach experience for every traveller.
So, it doesn’t whether you’re in search of a quiet and relaxing escape or an adventurous getaway, these stunning beaches in Africa will give you exactly what you’re looking for and leave you wanting more!
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1. Anse Source D’Argent, Seychelles
La Digue is a stunning island located in the Seychelles archipelago. Characterized by boulder-dotted and pristine beaches, lush tropical scenery, and a calm and relaxed atmosphere, this island offers travellers an intimate and idyllic beach getaway.
Here, you will find the world-famous Anse Source D’Argent which is often listed as one of the most beautiful and photographed beaches in Africa and the world. Beyond that, you’ll find other equally stunning beaches, with my favourites being Anse Cocos and Anse Patates.
The former requires a bit of a hike to access but is absolutely worth visiting as the trail takes you through lush forests and other gorgeous and fairly secluded beaches.
2. Diani Beach, Kenya
The Kenyan Coast is home to some of the best beaches in Africa and Diani Beach tops the list. The strip contains long stretches of white sandy beaches, lofty palms and warm turquoise-blue waters.
There is a wide array of activities to indulge in, such as scuba diving, snorkelling, kite surfing and more. Day trips to other parts of Kenya are also available and many activities come at an affordable price. This makes Diani Beach one of the best beaches in Africa as it caters to every budget type.
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3. Shela Beach, Lamu, Kenya
If you love quiet mornings and long walks on the beach, then you should consider this slightly off-the-beaten-path destination in Kenya.
I believe timing and location are important when visiting Lamu. Choosing these factors wisely will enhance your visit. I recommend having Shela as your base as this is the best place to stay to enjoy the county’s pristine beach. Manda Bay is also good, housing some of the island’s finest accommodations.
4. Zanzibar Island, Tanzania
After a week of incredible safari outings in Tanzania, my sister and I opted to spend the rest of our holiday in Zanzibar. Being our first time in East Africa, we were both enthralled by the beauty of the scenery all around us.
Like its counterparts in Kenya, the beaches in Zanzibar are beautiful, the villages are a delight to wander around in and the island caters to every budget type as well.
5. Garoda Beach, Watamu, Kenya
Watamu remains my undisputed favourite destination on the Kenyan Coast. Perhaps it benefits from the bias of visiting it first and also visiting with Mark, I will never know for sure.
What I do know is that visiting this coastal village was an absolute delight! Everything from our food exploration to the activities we indulged in was what perfect beach holidays are made of.
6. Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt
What comes to mind when you think about Egypt? Do you only see the Pyramids, deserts and oases and perhaps Egyptian Mummies? Do you envision seaside resort towns with beautiful beaches, clear waters and amazing coral reefs?
If not, it is time to see Egypt a little differently. Destinations like Sharm el-Sheikh are enchanting and provide some of the best scuba diving and snorkelling opportunities in the world.
7. Hurghada, Egypt
Like its seaside counterpart town above, Hurghada also has some of the best beaches in Africa. Its stunning clear waters and beautiful beaches are perfect for first-time snorkellers and scuba divers.
In addition, the town has an array of restaurants, bars and shops perfect for every traveller and is only a short flight or bus ride away from major cities like Cairo and Luxor.
8. Anse Georgette, Praslin Island, Seychelles
Praslin Island, the second largest island in Seychelles, is best known for its National Park, where you can find the island endemic Coco de Mer as well as the Seychelles bulbul and black parrot birds. The island has several beautiful beaches including Anse Lazio, Anse Georgette and Anse Volbert among others.
When visiting Praslin (and elsewhere for that matter), be aware of rip currents before you jump into the water. Some beaches have flags to indicate whether or not swimming conditions are optimal but it’s best to take precautions by asking locals or your hotels if it is safe to swim.
9. Beau Vallon, Mahe Island, Seychelles
Mahé is the largest island in Seychelles and also one that is famous for its beaches, which can be found at every turn. Here, the beaches are immaculate and the sunsets are spectacular.
For visitors flying into Seychelles, Mahé is usually the first stop but it certainly should not be the only stop in the island nation.
10. Nosy Boraha, Madagascar
Nosy Boraha lies just off the east coast of Madagascar and is a beautiful tropical destination for whale watching, scuba diving and viewing the island’s endemic animals, including the ring-tailed lemur. Penguins of Madagascar Fan, anyone? Ironically, there aren’t any penguins in Madagascar but you will find quite a waddle in the next beach destination.
11. Cape Town, South Africa
There are many reasons to love Cape Town and its beaches are just some of them. Some of the city’s best beaches include Clifton, Camps Bay and Muizenberg, where you’ll find a thriving surfing community.
And just outside Cape Town, you will also find Boulders Beach, the only place in the world to get up close with African Penguins in the ‘wild’.
12. Principe, Sao Tome and Principe
Tucked away off the West African coast is the island nation of Sao Tome and Principe, an archipelago made up of two main islands with the same name and several islets. The islands are home to beautiful beaches but Príncipe, the smaller of the two, is the traveller’s choice for a truly relaxing and spectacular beach getaway.
Secluded beaches like Banana Beach and those on Bom Bom Islet offer guests unique diving and snorkelling opportunities. In addition, hiking, whale watching, bird watching in lush forests and turtle nesting and hatching trips are exciting activities awaiting travellers who visit the country.
13. Belle Mare, Mauritius
Living up to the reputation of its fellow East African counterparts and its name, Belle Mare is an island with long stretches of pristine white sandy beaches and turquoise waters. Its year-round gorgeous weather and location make it a preferred destination for both residents and visitors to Mauritius.
14. Sal, Cape Verde
The island country of Cabo Verde is made up of 10 islands, the most popular of which is Sal. Tourists come to Sal for its beautiful beaches, warm weather and an array of activities that the island offers, including, watersports, hiking, quad biking and more.
For those looking for a more laidback holiday, you will find that in other islands such as Boa Vista and São Vicente. The former is popular among kitesurfers and is a good destination for humpback whale watching and turtle nesting trips. And São Vicente hosts an exciting colourful Creole Festival in the port city of Mindelo.
15. Grand Popo, Benin
In this part of the world, the sea is rough and the currents and undertow are strong. Even the best swimmers should be wary about taking a plunge into this water body. However, travellers looking to unplug from their daily norms will find the quietness and slowness of Grand Popo quite alluring.
Unlike other best beaches in Africa listed here, there isn’t a long list of activities to do Grand Popo. The best thing to do is nothing at all. Simply sit back under the shady palms on the beachfront and listen to the crashing waves of the ocean. There’s also the option to explore the nearby city of Ouidah, which has both cultural and historical relevance in Benin’s history.
16. Bazaruto Island, Mozambique
The Bazaruto Archipelago, which lies off the southern coast of Mozambique is made up of 6 islands, the largest being Bazaruto Island. This remote island is known for its stunning beaches which appear against the backdrop of picturesque dunes.
It is also situated within a marine park, making it a prime destination for snorkelling and diving trips.
PS: The photo above doesn’t quite do justice to this location, so check out Spirited Pursuit’s blog for more incredible photos of this island.
17. Point-Noire, Congo Brazzaville
The beaches of Point-Noire are quite similar to those in West Africa in the sense that they are not usually the obvious choices for quintessential beach holidays and associated activities. Nevertheless, they can give those who take the road less travelled a respite from day-to-day life.
One of the beaches you will find in this city is Côte Sauvage, a long stretch of beach where residents come to surf and hang out with their families. Weekends here are especially fun for people-watching and dining at any of the restaurants that line up the beachfront.
18. Cap Skirring, Senegal
Cap Skirring is the most popular tourist town in Senegal’s Casamance area. Sitting at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, its long stretch of empty beaches provides travellers with a calm and relaxing getaway, making it one of the best beaches in Africa.
Visitors have the opportunity to explore the town, preferably with a local guide, and also indulge in some delicious Senegalese cuisine.
19. Eleko, Nigeria
The Nigerian Coastline is quite vast, beginning in Lagos and stretching to Cross River. The Lagos Coastline is undoubtedly the most popular and developed of them all and the key to enjoying a day on the beach is to pair it with a trip to a beachfront facility.
Places like Jara Beach Resort get my vote for a great day out to the beach. Other options include La Campagne Tropicana, Laguna Beach, and a host of other locations in the nearby city of Victoria Island.
The Best Beaches in Africa: A Few Things To Note:
Be aware that depending on your beachfront lodging and activities, you may encounter “beachboys” or vendors on the beach. This is quite common in many accessible beaches in Africa. Some lodges have measures to control this, while most do not.
Usually, a firm “NO” to the services offered is enough to get them to leave you alone if you’re not interested in anything. But if you would like to avoid this altogether, you have a better chance of doing so by visiting more remote, and off-the-beaten-track destinations.
And that’s all folks, 19 of the best beaches in Africa! This list is certainly not exclusive and I’d love if you shared any other amazing beaches you have visited on the continent. Also, if you’re looking for more inspiration on the best places to visit in Africa, I have a comprehensive post listing over 100 wonderful destinations to include in your travel wish list!