The Best Beaches In Africa

These standouts span from the Ivory Coast to the Seychelles, and all the way down to South Africa.
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For Condé Nast Traveler, by CNT Editors.

When you think of beautiful surf, your mind may not necessarily envision Africa — but it should. The continent is home to paradisiacal stretches of sand and water, whether on the Atlantic or Indian Oceans, or even near freshwater lakes. These standouts span from the Ivory Coast to the Seychelles, and all the way down to South Africa.

1. Bazaruto, Mozambique

A dune-filled island off the coast of Mozambique, Bazaruto sits within a marine park in the Indian Ocean. Known for its prime snorkeling, diving, luxury digs like &Beyond Benguerra, Bazaruto also offers easy fly-in access.

2. North Island, Seychelles

Otherwise known as “Sunset Beach,” North Island in Seychelles is where giant tortoises graze in the grass, the sea turns pink as the sun sets, and the West Beach Bar buzzes with the low hum of famous voices ― celebrities like George and Amal Clooney, and Prince William and Kate Middleton have honeymooned here, and if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for you.

3. Diani, Kenya

Kenya’s Diani Beach, about an hour south of Mombasa, is part resort, part zoo — you’ll probably spot colobus monkeys swinging around, and camels strolling, which you can hire for rides when you’re not bathing in the clear sea, sunning, or perusing crafts from local vendors.

4. Grand Bassam, Ivory Coast

The original capital of Côte d'Ivoire, the colonial town of Grand Bassam suffered a decline from its heyday as a seaport until the 1930s, but that led to its revival as a resort town beginning in the 1960s, and now it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Palms line its biscuit-colored shore, and you'll be hard pressed to beat its Ivorian seafood.

5. Santa Maria, Cape Verde

Flat, dry and dotted hotels, cafes, and restaurants ranging from the low end to the high end, Santa Maria, on Sal Island in Cape Verde, is a windsurfers haven with pool-blue waters.

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