The growth expected to happen in Africa in the coming years will rank the continent as the second-fastest growing tourism region in the world. But one thing people fail to miss, are the African islands.
Despite the increase, people are sticking to well-known destinations and missing out on what Africa has to offer. From beautiful coastlines, white-sandy beaches, and some unique wildlife you can only witness in these destinations, here are 10 African Islands to know about.
1. Cape Verde Islands
Located on the west coast of Africa, Cape Verde is one of the most well-known African island countries made up of 10 islands.
Sal is the most popular island of the ten, because of its convenience, and it’s the most beautiful. The name, ‘Sal’ translates to salt in Portuguese. It’s fitting for a place that has beautiful sandy beaches sinking into stunning blue waters. Cepe Verde is the perfect paradise.
Comoros is a volcanic archipelago off Africa’s east coast, in the warm Indian Ocean waters of the Mozambique Channel.
Located between Tanzania and Madagascar, The Comoros islands are often overlooked by tourists.
The four main islands of the archipelago are referred to as the “perfumed islands” because of the fragrant plant life.
3. Lamu Island
Founded in the 14th century, Lamu is the best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa.
Throughout the years, the island has been inhabited by Asians, Persians, Indians, Europeans, and Kenyans— so while it’s beautiful, the first thing you will notice is its unique blend of cultures first.
Another interesting fact about Lamu is that there are no roads on the island, so you’ll hardly even find any vehicles.
Lamu Old Town has a ton of beautiful architecture and buildings, so be sure to start your visit with a tour.
Madagascar known as the “big red island” is the largest African island situated in the Indian Ocean, and the fourth-largest island in the world.
A visit to Madagascar will leave you speechless because there is truly nothing like it in the rest of the world. It is believed that almost 90% of the entire wildlife of Madagascar is found nowhere else on planet Earth.
An islander once told renowned author Mark Twain that “Mauritius was made first and then heaven, and heaven was copied after Mauritius”.
Located in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius offers miles of sandy beaches, almost entirely encircled by coral reefs.
The crystal-clear waters are perfect for diving, snorkeling, and more.
What makes Mauritius different is there’s so much more than the beach. You can hike through the mountains and National Parks or explore the culture as it is a melting pot of African, European, and Indian influences.
6. São Tomé and Príncipe
São Tomé Island is the largest and the most prominent island of São Tomé and Príncipe.
Located in the Gulf of Guinea, off the west coast of Central Africa, this two-island nation, Africa’s second-smallest, remains one of the least visited countries in the world. That’s good news for travelers because it means that a lot of the land and experiences remain untouched.
Known as one of Africa’s “Best Kept Secrets,” the island offers the best of both worlds when it comes to scenery. You can explore the endless beaches or visit Obo Park where you will find the island’s primary rainforests and exotic wildlife.
7. Seal Island
Seal Island is a small landmass located a little more than 3 miles off the northern beaches of False Bay, near Cape Town in South Africa.
The South African coastline offers gorgeous views of the crystal blue Indian Ocean and glistening golden beaches. People travel to Seal Island to witness many variations of African seals with Cape Fur seals being the most popular.
Situated towards the east of Kenya in the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles archipelago holds 115 paradise islands.
Seychelles is an excellent destination for honeymooners and thrill-seekers wanting to snorkel and see the rare marine life.
Seychelles is an island paradise that should not be overlooked. It boasts breathtaking, turquoise waters, and a backdrop of lush hills, boulders, or palm trees that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
Mahé is the largest, and busiest, island with luxury resorts, first-class restaurants, and a small capital city, Victoria.
9. Djerba Island
Situated in the Mediterranean Sea right off the coast of South Tunisia is Djerba.
The island is known for its eclectic population of residents and tourists, beaches, and picturesque villages.
The largest island in Africa, Zanzibar Island (or Unguja) is located off the coast of Tanzania. The African, Indian, and Arab influences make Zanzibar’s culture particularly interesting.
Some of the best places to visit in Zanzibar include Stone Town, Changuu, Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park, Mnemba Island, and the Old Fort of Zanzibar. Other attractions here include the charming bazaars, mosques, courtyards, and stunning white sandy beaches.