When you are considering visiting Africa, the first thing that pops into your head is an African Safari through the Serengeti or visiting the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. But Africa offers so much more than just safaris. You will find some of the world’s most exotic islands around Africa, offering you just what you need for you family holiday or romantic breakaway.
Let us see what the 10 most exotic islands around Africa has to offer.
Mauritius is located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Africa and is famous for its romantic honeymoon packages. According to Tripadvisor, it is more expensive to visit Mauritius than Thailand or Bali, but it is cheaper than the Seychelles. Mauritius has something to do for everyone: nature and scenery lovers, fun activities for the adventurous and historical sites for the historians and culture vultures. And don’t miss out on a local shopping experience at the markets.
Reunion is located south west of Mauritius; it is one of the most beautiful islands off the African coast. A famous feature of the island is the Piton de la Fournaise, one of the world’s most active volcanoes that can be hiked when it is not erupting. The Island’s currency is the Euro and isn’t excessively expensive for South Africans. The island offers many hiking trails, sightseeing to waterfalls, ziplining, hiking inside old lava tunnels, canyoning, driving around the beautiful island, visiting the local markets or relaxing on the beaches.
3. Bazaruto Island
This island is located in southern Mozambique in Bazaruto National Park. Even though the island is just 37km long and 7km wide, it has so many things to do that you will not be bored even for a second. It is one of the world’s premier diving destinations, you can enjoy an ocean safari, whale, dolphin and dugong watching. Horse riding along the white beaches is also popular, as well as sand boarding down the highest sand dunes in the Archipelago.
4. Nosy Be
Nosy Be is a small volcanic island just 8km off the northwest coast of Madagascar and is Madagascar’s most popular beach resort. Depending on how and from where you travel Nosy Be can be a bit expensive. Here you will discover amazing marine life in the warm tropical waters. You have the opportunity all year round to swim with sea turtles and spot humpback whales from the end of August. Be sure to add Lemuria Land, a private zoological and botanical park to your itinerary to view different lemur species in the middle of an ylang-ylang plantation.
These 4 volcanic islands, known as an archipelago, are situated off the south-east coast of Africa. The islands are Grande Comore, Anjouan, Mohéli and Mayotte. Prices on the Comoros can be more expensive than the rest of Eastern Africa. Mohéli is home to the only national park in the Comoros: Mohéli Marine Park and offers spectacular coral reefs to snorkelers. The park also protects sea turtles, dolphins and whales. Mohéli is way off the regular tourist route, perfect if you want to escape the crowds.
The Seychelles consist of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, east of Africa. It is not easy to pick a top Seychelles Island as each of them is unique on its own. Seychelles are one of the most expensive islands in the world and to afford an all-inclusive family holiday you might have to win one of the enormous South African PowerBall payouts first. Cousin Island is the most important breeding site for hawksbill turtles. St Anne National Marine Park should be on your bucket list where you can also enjoy local food at the restaurants after your outing. Enjoy the white-sand beaches or snorkel and dive in crystal-clear water where you will see rays, blacktip reef sharks and over 1000 fish types.
Zanzibar is just off the coast of Tanzania. Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is Zanzibar’s biggest attraction, with its charming shops, courtyards, mosques, and coral rag houses. Another attraction is the white sandy beaches and the turquoise sea of course. You can visit Kizimbani Village where you can taste rare plant species, spices and exotic fruits. Although Zanzibar can be a bit expensive to visit, it is a holiday destination that you can fit into a budget.
Djerba is the largest island of North Africa, off the coast of Tunisia, situated in the Mediterranean Sea. Here you will find peaceful sandy beaches and tranquil countryside. Your activity list on this island will consist of wandering through local markets, lazy beach days, visiting many museums. Your flight cost to Djerba can be very expensive as flights to the island are not as frequent as to other island destinations.
9. Cape Verde
Cape Verde or Cabo Verde is a group of 10 islands situated in the central Atlantic Ocean. Sal (salt in Portuguese) is the most popular island due to its relaxing golden sandy beaches. You can visit the Turtle SOS Guided Walks and Hatchery where you can see baby turtles being born from August-December. You have an opportunity to adopt a baby sea turtle and receive a certificate and photograph when your baby turtle is born.
10. São Tomé & Príncipe
This magnificent two-island country is located close to the equator in the Gulf of Guinea in Central Africa. Here you can enjoy a relaxing day on one of the spectacular beaches that both islands have to offer. Go hiking through the forests that will make you feel part of a scene of Jurassic Park and view the magma columns and rock formations. Travel experts advise that São Tomé and Príncipe are not budget-friendly destinations and that Príncipe is even more expensive than São Tomé.
There are many travel agents who will go out of their way to ensure you the best African Island experience. Do your research about your travel agent before you make a booking as Africa offers more than you would ever imagine.
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