There are many islands located just off the coast of Africa that make for a dream tropical vacation destination. Some islands are famous, and others you may have never heard of.

The destination that defined tropical paradise, Seychelles.
The destination that defined tropical paradise, Seychelles.
Photo by Needpix.com

A Piece of Paradise in Africa

We know Africa for many things, island getaways are not usually one of them. This means that some of these lesser-known island holiday destinations will be relatively quiet and authentic to the country’s culture and traditions.

Seychelles Island

The most well known African island destination is Seychelles. Seychelles is made up of a group of 115 islands in the warm Indian Ocean, just off the East coast of Africa. It’s home to several world-famous beaches, coral reefs, and nature reserves, and rare animals such as giant Aldabra tortoises.

Arguably the most beautiful Seychelles beach, Petite Anse is a must-see! Having a dense forest and granite cliffs as a backdrop makes it as beautiful as it is unique. It is also the largest beach on the main island of Seychelles, and so will be less crowded during the peak season of November – February.

Anse Source d’Argent beach in Seychelles is the definition of paradise. Made famous in many films and island brochures, be sure to only visit during low tide, as the beach disappears during high tide.

Known for: Some of the worlds best beaches, and a beautiful island in Africa.

Anse Source d'Argent beach in Africa.
Anse Source d’Argent beach in Africa.
Photo by iMike Stettler on Unsplash

Mauritius Island

Mauritius is another popular island destination, which is easily accessible by plane. With miles and miles of white sandy beaches and crystal clear water, it’s no wonder this is already on many people’s bucket list in Africa.

If you are into water sports, then this is the destination for you! Most hotels have facilities to take you out to sea for many water sports, so just enquire when booking. Book a day trip out to sea for snorkeling and diving or go for a hike to see the waterfalls in the national park.

If water sports aren’t your thing, don’t stress. Going to Mauritius and doing absolutely nothing but soak up the sun and sip on cocktails, is also a must-do. If you are a golf fanatic, you can also play a round of world-class golf, or take a tour of the city and soak in the unique culture of Mauritius.

Known for: The dodo, a now-extinct bird, and the underwater waterfalls. Just off the coast of the Island, there is a huge rift where the Indian Ocean appears to plummet over a cliff, like a waterfall.

Mauritius Island in Africa has amazing beaches!
Photo by Xavier Coiffic on Unsplash
Mauritius Island in Africa has amazing beaches!
Photo by Xavier Coiffic on Unsplash

São Tomé and Príncipe Islands

One of Africa’s least visited islands is São Tomé and Príncipe. The country is made up of two tropical islands that float off the Gulf of Guinea. They nickname São Tomé and Príncipe Africa’s ‘Eden’ because of its untouched and pristine beauty. Last year, Lonely Planet named these islands in Africa as one of the top destinations to visit in 2019.

If you are a chocoholic, you’re in luck at this island. The volcanic activity lends itself to rich soil which the cocoa thrives on, and makes São Tomé and Príncipe the perfect place to grow cocoa, and they have a wide range of chocolate on offer.

Known for: The rainforest, which looks like something out of Jurassic Park. There is an iconic towering magma column, remains from an ancient volcano, surrounded by forest.

A towering magma column in the forest of São Tomé and Príncipe islands in Africa.
Photo by Wallpaperflare
A towering magma column in the forest of São Tomé and Príncipe islands in Africa.
Photo by Wallpaperflare

Lamu Island 

Lamu island is in Kenya, just off the coast of Mombassa. Lamu is a tropical paradise where it’s easy to forget what time or day of the week it is in Africa. Lamu is a port city, and just a short boat ride from the mainland.

Lamu Island is close enough to the rest of Kenya to incorporate it into a trip to visit the country. But if you are looking for a unique island experience, a visit dedicated to Lamu won’t have you disappointed. 

The port itself does not have a beach, but a short walk or a dhow trip around to the other side of the island will reveal the fairly deserted, white sandy Shela Beach.

It will take you around half an hour to stroll through the town, and when you do, be sure to visit the local island market where you can buy an abundance of fresh fish, fruit, and vegetables.

Known for: Lamu is the best preserved remaining settlements of the Swahili tradition in east Africa. They steep the culture and traditions into everything on the island, which helps to make it an unforgettable trip in Africa.

A dhow boat headed to the beach at sunset.
Photo by Wallpaperflare
A dhow boat headed to the beach at sunset.
Photo by Wallpaperflare

Madagascar Island

The animation movie put this African island on the map, but it has much more to offer than the movie depicts. Madagascar is the biggest island on the list, and it is the only one easily visible on a world map. Madagascar is situated just off the east coast of Africa, on the Indian Ocean, and is home to untouched wilderness and beauty in its rainforests. 

This tropical island in Africa boasts so many adventurous things to do, like para-gliding, hiking, diving, whale watching, and swimming with sharks. Although, be sure to avoid planning your trip for the months from December to May, as this is when it’s cyclone season. June to September are the best months to visit.

Known for: The Lemur animal, striking baobab trees, and thousands of species of animals and birds, most of which are endemic to the island in Africa.

The Lemur, a native animal to Madagascar Island in Africa.
Photo by Needpix.com
The Lemur, a native animal to Madagascar Island in Africa.
Photo by Needpix.com

Would you like to explore the islands of Africa? Have you explored the islands of Africa? Let us know in the comments down below.

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