Tourism on the African continent has gone through some tough times in recent months. But with tour operators restarting holidays to Tunisia next year, tourism in Africa will be looking up in 2018.
And that’s with good reason. Africa is a region of diverse culture and fascinating scenery. It’s also home to fantastic coastal areas and, thanks to its relative proximity to the equator, a great place to head for some winter sun. Here are five of the best beach break destinations that Africa has to offer.
While Cape Verde has a steady climate year-round, it is a popular destination for travellers looking to swap the European chill for warm, African sunshine in the winter months. Cape Verde’s most popular island is Sal, home to colourful, cobbled towns like Santa Maria where you’ll find traditional restaurants, dainty cafés and a beach where you can relax and soak up the sun, or catch the big surf. On Boa Vista, sugar-coloured sands caress the circumference of the island for 55 uninterrupted kilometres.
This cluster of 10 islands has an intriguing colonial heritage as it was formerly under Portuguese rule, and an incredible volcanic landscape provides a beautiful backdrop to Africa’s most westerly point.
Experience offshore Tanzania with a trip to Zanzibar! This beautiful island, which is also the birthplace of Freddie Mercury, is known for the exotic spices that it has been exporting for thousands of years, giving it a heady aroma.
Less than 100 kilometres from mainland Africa, Zanzibar promises pure indulgence and paradise. Keen divers can head to the archipelago where an all-year diving destination awaits, serving up some of the most stunning underwater sights and beautiful marine life. The golden sands of Zanzibar’s beaches are the perfect contrast to thriving wildlife and the African plains, providing an ideal post-safari retreat.
The Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 idyllic islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean and are home to breathtaking scenery and fantastic beaches. The variety that the islands deliver mean that there’s something for everyone, whether it’s a honeymoon or a family break that you desire.
White sands and warm water are features of most Seychellois beaches, headlined by the renowned Beau Vallon, which is well-known throughout the country as a fantastic coastal stretch with extensive facilities, beautiful atmosphere and favourable proximity to some of the finest accommodation on Mahé island. Snorkelling, kayaking and island-hopping are also options to please the adventurous.
Beyond the picturesque beaches there is plenty to do. The Morne Seychelles National Park is set in a striking mountain range where towering peaks taper down into small, secluded bays.
Looking like a long lost relative of the Caribbean, Mauritius is the quintessential couples’ getaway off the east coast of Madagascar. Beautiful coastline is a feature of the isle, with golden sands and crystal waters in abundance. Enjoy fresh pineapple from one of the local vendors at Flic-en-Flac beach, or take a speedboat to the paradisiacal vibe of Île aux Cerfs, with waterfalls and beaches that look even better in person than in the brochures.
There are also many attractions that the island has which shouldn’t be overlooked. The Seven Coloured Earths at Chamarel are a great example, displaying an array of vibrant colour in the form of sand dunes. There’s also Grand Bassin, a secluded mountainous area which has a beautiful lake and is overlooked by a large statue of Shiva. It is Mauritius’ most sacred Hindu site and tourists are welcome to visit.
Morocco is home to plenty of beaches and, perhaps, offers the best variety of coastline on the African continent. If it’s hustle and bustle you want to accompany your beach break, check out Agadir or the famous Casablanca. Agadir is Morocco’s best-known beach resort and has 300 days of sunshine a year. Luxury accommodation isn’t hard to find, joining amazing beaches and the Marina d’Agadir – the city’s upscale port complex welcoming yachts, and lined with fancy boutiques and restaurants. And while Casablanca isn’t a traditional resort, it has some beautiful seafront bars and restaurants making use of its Atlantic coastline.
Oualidia is best for a romantic getaway, with the tranquil village spread around a crescent-shaped lagoon. Birdwatching and surfing are two popular activities in this part of the world, while fresh seafood is served at a variety of top-notch eateries. Families will enjoy Tamuda Bay which has a great beach and plenty to do beyond, as the resort has its own funfair and waterpark.