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Africa is the world’s second-largest and second-most populated continent, both behind Asia. With a total surface area of around 30.3 million km2 (including nearby islands), it accounts for 6% of the Earth’s total surface area and 20% of its land area. It has 1.3 billion people as of 2018, accounting for around 16% of the world’s human population.

  1. Shela Beach, Kenya

Lamu can feel like a Kenyan counterpart of Zanzibar, with its unique culture and gorgeous natural surroundings (or is it the other way around?). The beaches in this area are virtually all excellent, particularly Shela Beach. It stretches for 12 kilometers of white sand as if it were a custom-made recreation of the famed Indian Ocean beach. It is devoid of the throngs that may be found elsewhere.

Why should you go? Lamu is the best-preserved Swahili village in East Africa. Over the years, the island has been inhabited by Asians, Persians, Indians, Europeans, and Kenyans, giving it a distinct beauty of blending cultures.

  1. Wild Coast Beach, South Africa

South Africa is home to a plethora of spectacular beaches. Some are famous for world-class surfing, while others are famous for the opportunity to swim with sharks. The beaches of the Wild Coast, which extends from East London to the border with KwaZulu-Natal in the Eastern Cape, are among the most magnificent in Africa. Cliffs rise abruptly from the sea, bordered by undulating green hills in the hinterland. Many of the beaches along this stretch of coastline are frequently desolate.

  1. Pemba Beach, Tanzania

Almost every beach in the Zanzibar Archipelago has a unique beach. Pemba is similar to the rest of Zanzibar but without the crowds and luxury resorts. It’s tough to pick a favorite Pemba idyll because the keys to its allure go beyond the customary blend of palm trees, white dunes, and clear seas. Swahili communities border the shore, and a traditional dhow silhouetted against the morning or evening sun is never far away.

  1. Watamu Beach, Kenya

Kenya’s coastline is plenty of lovely spots, but none completely captures its allure like Watamu. The white-sand beach here stretches for about 7 kilometers and is surrounded by mangroves, woodlands, and an untouched fishing town. The waters here are part of a marine park, and being here might seem like discovering Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast before the tourists came.

  1. Anakao Beach, Madagascar

Madagascar is surrounded by breathtaking beaches, yet some have been marred by overdevelopment. Anakao, in the southwest, is unique. It boasts the typical arc of beautiful sand and seas that are cobalt blue. It also has Madagascar’s Great Reef, passing humpback whales, and a shoreline that is hardly developed. And, with the exception of local fishing boats, it is frequently untrammeled.

  1. Belle Mare Beach, Mauritius

The sunrise from the peaceful beach of Belle Mare on Mauritius’ east coast is well worth the early morning wake-up call. Despite its reputation for excellent white sand, this undeveloped stretch of beach is sure to provide a peaceful spot for you.

The water is quiet and shallow, ideal for whiling away the hours on a peaceful afternoon.

  1. Camps Bay Beach, South Africa

On a summer’s day, you’ll struggle to find a place to lay your towel among all the beautiful bodies lazing about on Camps Bay, probably Cape Town’s most popular beach.

The road next to the beach is lined with cafes and bars, themselves filled with young trendies — pack your best boardies or bikini. The Clifton beaches, next to Camps Bay, offer more privacy among the boulders.

  1. Cabo Ledo Beach, Angola

Angola has been closed to foreign travel for decades due to the violent civil conflict, but with calm politics and eased visa rules, it is gradually becoming more accessible. It’s a region waiting for rediscovery, with 1,025 miles of different shoreline ecosystems, and surfers were the first intrepid visitors. Cabo Ledo has the most accessible and beautiful beaches. Cabo Ledo, located in a traditional fishing community in a vast bay two hours from Luanda’s city, provides ample sandy coasts, rolling rides enhanced by calm beachside establishments. According to experts, the winter season between May and October has the finest consistency for huge waves.

  1. Grand popo Beach, Republic of Benin

The vast sandy beaches of Grand Popo are incredibly appealing, but unfortunately not suitable for swimming, as the water is often choppy with deadly rip currents. Instead, stick to the beach and you’ll uncover a treasure trove of West African culture. Benin is the origin of the holy religion of Vodun (commonly known as Voodoo in the West), and travelers’ throng to the annual Fête du Vaudou celebration celebrated in neighboring Ouidah on January 10. Grand Popo, on the other hand, is the location of numerous celebrations. Any other time of year, come to relax beneath one of the numerous straw huts with wooden loungers sprinkled along the sand.

  1. Elmina Beach, Ghana

While beach vacations are typically a frivolous, relaxed activity, many of Africa’s coastlines are profoundly historical locations. Pay homage to the land — and those who left it — by visiting Elmina Beach. The Portuguese erected Elmina’s St. George’s Castle in 1482, making it the earliest European structure in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Cape Coast Castle Museum, located nearby, recognizes the heinous deeds and repercussions of slavery. Ghana hosted a flood of visitors in 2019 as part of the Year of Return program, and a follow-up effort dubbed Beyond the Return is planned to begin next year. You’ll never see the Atlantic Ocean the same way again after a firsthand encounter with the castle’s merciless dungeons and a visit of the “Door of No Return.”