Africa: the land of breathtaking safaris, ancient pyramids and bustling cities. The world’s second-largest continent is teeming with must-sees, yet its array of idyllic islands are often overlooked. From pristine beaches melting into turquoise seas to vast green valleys peppered with rumbling volcanoes, these jewels are as diverse as they are stunning. Take a look at our list of the best African islands to get you craving some islander life on your next holiday.
Top five best African islands
This addition to our list is far from being unknown; however, due to its lack of infrastructure, tourism is still fairly low. This, of course, won’t be the case forever. Tales of its astounding natural beauty are luring in more visitors every year; over 90 per cent of the stunning wildlife found here is endemic to the island.
Travel to the Great Red Island to marvel at various species of cheeky lemurs in their natural stomping ground, wander through the Avenue of the Baobabs and to dig your toes into pristine white sands with a cocktail in hand.
Check out our blog post of the top ten things to do in Madagascar for a rundown of its unmissable gems.
Lying 500 km west off the coast of Senegal, this cluster of islands in the Atlantic is a delightful mix of volcanoes, sweeping green valleys and lazy beachside towns. Start your trip by visiting the jutting peaks of Santo Antão, before letting your hair down with the locals in the charming port of Mindelo. Looking to quell your thirst for African adventure? Then look no further than Fogo. This island (meaning fire in Portuguese) is literally one big volcano. We suggest setting off from the small town of Chã das Caldeiras to reach Pico do Fogo – the highest summit in Cape Verde.
Once you’ve saled the craggy cliffs, mix it up a little with a trip to the idyllic beaches of Sal Island. Boasting over 350 days of sunshine every year, this slice of tropical paradise is the perfect remedy for post-hike pains. Because, after all, you’re on holiday.
Zanzibar is an explosion of Arabic, Persian, Indian and African influences lapped by crystal clear waters. Unsurprisingly, Zanzibar’s impressive array of idyllic beaches alone, has made it one of the best African islands to visit. But Tanzania’s most famous archipelago isn’t just a one-trick pony; it is also home to first-class nature reserves, exceptional reefs and old towns steeped in tales of its enthrallingly complex past.
Fancy combing the trip with a safari? No worries, our Zanzibar plus safari travel packages have got you covered.
This palm-fringed paradise may just be heaven on earth. Unsurprisingly, this country is one of the frontrunners of the luxury travel market and a honeymoon destination favourite across the world. However, these mesmerising islands also feed the needs of explorers with staggering ease. On the island, there is an abundance of thrilling boat trips, excursions to botanical gardens, first-class hiking trails and a range of extreme sports on offer.
For a truly unique experience visit the land of the seven colours in Chamuel. This natural phenomenon is a stretch of dunes that flow with differing hues of vibrant colours. Sitting in the heart of a lush valley, the landscape is bizarre yet beautiful. Alongside the visually pleasing delights of Mauritius, sits its incredible gastronomy that boasts a heady fusion of Indian, Chinese, French and African influences.
Take a peek at our multi-centre holidays to combine the magic of Mauritius with other incredible destinations.
Praslin, the Seychelles
Once used as a hideout for pirates and Arab merchants, this paradisiacal island is now an extremely popular tourist destination. Again, following the trend of the other additions on this list, the island is blessed with a blissful coastline. In fact, the beaches Anse Lazio and Anse Georgette are some of the most beautiful in the world.
Due to its fame on the world stage, this African island is awash with boutique hotels and stylish restaurants. After a much-deserved pampering, mix it up with a little with a jungle adventure. We suggest venturing inland to gaze at the waterfalls and exotic wildlife of the Praslin National Park.
Feeling ready for an African island holiday? Click here to find out more.