10 Breathtaking African Beaches You Probably Haven't Heard Of
Africa’s coastlines boast some of the world’s most spectacular beaches, with their alluring azure waters, powdery white sands, and dramatic landscapes. From the tropical paradises dotting the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean treasures of the north, and the Atlantic coast gems of the west, Africa is home to an array of stunning beaches that rival any world destination.
In this listicle, we showcase some of the top beach destinations in Africa that should be on any beach lover’s bucket list. These are beaches renowned for their sublime natural beauty, the adventure activities they offer, their rich marine life, or simply for their ability to transport you into tropical tranquility. We take you on a virtual tour across Africa to discover some of the most beautiful and unique beaches this magical continent has to offer.
So get ready to be awed and inspired to visit these African coastal wonders that will refresh your senses and ignite your wanderlust. Just don’t forget to pack your sunscreen!
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1. Anse Lazio, Praslin Island, Seychelles
Often rated as one of the world’s best beaches, Anse Lazio on Praslin Island is paradise found. Enclosed by granite boulders and framed by lush palm trees, this pristine beach has it all – soft white sand, calm sapphire waters perfect for swimming, and breathtaking natural beauty.
Snorkel among tropical fish, relax beneath a palm or enjoy a romantic picnic on the beach. Nearby attractions include the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, home to the unique coco de mer palms. With its postcard-perfect backdrop, Anse Lazio is a must-visit for any Seychelles trip.
2. Cape Maclear, Lake Malawi, Malawi
Known as the “Lake of Stars”, Lake Malawi is home to Cape Maclear, a tropical beach paradise that is a magnet for travelers. With its clear, bathwater-warm waters, palm-fringed shores, and backdrop of granite hills, Cape Maclear offers a serene lake beach escape.
Spend lazy days kayaking, snorkeling with colorful cichlids, sipping cocktails on the beach, or island-hopping to nearby Domwe Island. With a laidback vibe and plenty of backpacker hostels and lodges, Cape Maclear makes it easy to settle into the lake life. Don’t miss a stunning sunset over Lake Malawi!
3. Tofo Beach, Inhambane, Mozambique
With its swirling ocean currents, Tofo Beach offers some of the best swimming and surfing in southern Africa. Backed by swaying coconut palms and grassy dunes, this idyllic Mozambique beach has a laidback, hippy vibe. From September to February, you can enjoy swimming with whale sharks and manta rays in the surrounding waters.
Tofo also attracts divers, drawn by the opportunity to spot giant loggerheads and leatherback turtles. Spend your days learning to surf, swimming, people-watching from beachfront cafés, or exploring the bustling local market. Come at nightfall, and enjoy the beach bonfire parties Tofo is famous for.
4. Anse Source D’Argent, La Digue, Seychelles
Often described as the most photographed beach in the Seychelles, Anse Source D’Argent is the definitive tropical paradise beach. Located on La Digue island, this stunning stretch of powder-soft sand framed by granite boulders and backed by palm trees looks like something out of a travel brochure.
The turquoise waters are perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Be sure to capture that quintessential Seychelles beach photo! Nearby attractions include the beautiful Anse Marron beach and the L’Union Estate coconut plantation.
5. Nungwi Beach, Zanzibar
On Zanzibar’s northern tip lies Nungwi Beach, with its fine, white sand and sparkling azure waters. Lined with palm trees, this stunning beach becomes an aquatic playground by day, with diving, snorkeling, sailing, and paddleboarding. Watch an unforgettable sunset while enjoying a cold drink from one of the many beach bars.
At night, join the lively crowds dancing to African beats at the beach parties. The lush coral reefs offshore teem with exotic marine life like sea turtles and pufferfish. For the ultimate relaxing escape, spend a day at Kendwa Beach, a quieter nearby alternative.
6. Camps Bay Beach, Cape Town, South Africa
Nestled beneath the impressive backdrop of the Twelve Apostles mountain range, Camps Bay Beach is one of South Africa’s most breathtaking beaches. Its sweeping white sands and crystal waters frame stunning ocean views. Spend a day working on your tan and swimming in the Atlantic, followed by drinks and dinner at one of the trendy beachfront cafés.
Work up an appetite with a scenic stroll along the palm-lined promenade. Watch the vibrant sunsets over the ocean while the smell of barbeque sizzles in the air. Nearby attractions include the scenic Chapman’s Peak Drive hugging the cliffs along the coast.
7. Grande Plage, Dakar, Senegal
Grande Plage brings a slice of French Riviera allure to West Africa. Located in Senegal’s capital, Dakar, this golden mile-long beach bustles with volleyball games, locals playing sports, and vendors selling grilled seafood. Lined with colonial buildings, the beachfront promenade is perfect for a stroll or jog.
The beach has a lively atmosphere, with drummers gathering at sunset. Grab a delectable fresh fish dinner at one of the nearby restaurants while you watch the sun dip over Gorée Island. Don’t forget to have your camera ready to snap the celebrated Monument de la Renaissance statue overlooking the beach.
8. Monastir Beach, Monastir, Tunisia
Located on Tunisia’s eastern coast along the Mediterranean Sea, Monastir Beach offers golden sands and calm, turquoise waters perfect for swimming and sailing. Backed by date palms, this quiet resort beach has a pier jutting out into the sea that is ideal for strolls. The beach is also renowned for its moored traditional Tunisian fishing boats that add character.
Visit the striking ribat castle nearby, or the Mausoleum of Habib Bourguiba, before watching the magical sunsets with a refreshing mint tea. Enjoy the African hospitality of this Tunisian beachside gem.
9. Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique
A tropical island paradise, the Bazaruto Archipelago off Mozambique’s coast features secluded, powder-soft sand beaches lapped by azure waters. Roads are scarce on the islands, so prepare to relax and soak up the remote island life. Enjoy snorkeling and diving through the vibrant coral reefs, or kicking back at your beach cabana with a cocktail.
Benguerra Island’s Santa Carolina Beach, lined with towering palms, is especially idyllic. For a perfect beach sunset, head to Two Mile Beach on Magaruque Island, and watch the dhows sail by as the sky turns golden.
10. Diani Beach, Kenya
Last on our list is Kenya’s jeweled coastline of Diani Beach, overlooking the Indian Ocean. Its extensive stretch of powdery white sand lined with swaying palms looks plucked from a postcard. Spend days lazing on the beach, immersed in a book.
Try your hand at kitesurfing, one of Diani’s popular activities, and soar over the waters. Explore the coral reefs while snorkeling or diving amid humpback whales, dolphins, and turtles. As the sun sets with a fiery glow, toast the end of another perfect beach day with a refreshing fruit dawa cocktail.