Africa beach holiday

Zanzibar, Mauritius or Seychelles: Which Indian Ocean Island should I visit for an Africa beach holiday?

When planning an Africa beach holiday, choosing the perfect African Indian Ocean island destination to visit is an important decision! While there are a number of gorgeous islands located off of the coast of Africa, Zanzibar, Mauritius and the Seychelles continually rank as top choices for African beach vacations. Safari365 has put together a guide to these idyllic islands offering insight on which one will be the perfect island destination for your next holiday. 

Zanzibar

Zanzibar is a truly authentic African island experience! Located just off the coast of Tanzania, the Zanzibar archipelago is made up of four islands: Zanzibar island (also known as Unguja), Pemba, Mafia and Mnemba. The islands are famous for their idyllic, palm-fringed, white sandy beaches and gorgeous blue waters. Zanzibar also boasts a fascinating history and unrivalled cultural depth. Zanzibar’s capital is Stone Town – a UNESCO World Heritage Site which perfectly illustrates the destination’s history which is a mix of African and Arabic influences; seen best in the town’s markets, architecture and winding streets. 

There is a variety of accommodation options available, including mid-range hotels, all-inclusive resorts and exclusive private villas.

Reasons to visit:

The beaches, history and culture combined with the laid back atmosphere and variety of activities available are reasons to visit! Enjoy coastal relaxation, snorkelling, historic city walks and spice farm and fruit plantation tours. 

Zanzibar is also only a short trip from the Tanzanian mainland making it a perfect add-on for a Tanzanian safari tour! Explore the sights and sounds of destinations like the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater and finish off with ultimate beach relaxation when you combine a Tanzania safari with a Zanzibar island getaway.

What kind of travellers should visit Zanzibar?

Whether you are a family, group of friends or honeymooners looking for a romantic getaway that offers scenic coasts and fascinating history, Zanzibar is the place to go!

Mauritius

This versatile volcanic island destination is a must-see for anyone who loves the outdoors or is looking for the perfect African beach vacation! Located a short four-hour flight from South Africa, Mauritius is an incredibly accessible destination too. The small island really packs a punch with the variety of landscapes and experiences on offer! Explore the gorgeous coastlines, with the northern, southern, eastern and western regions each offering something unique. Discover the majestic mountains, lush green forests and historic sugarcane plantations of the interior. 

The small island also boasts great Creole cuisine and culture that is just waiting to be discovered in local markets and restaurants dotted in towns around the island!

Reasons to visit:

Visit to experience the natural beauty and great range of activities. From snorkelling, diving and fishing on the coast, to golfing, kitesurfing, Hobie-catting, hiking and exploring the island’s forests and waterfalls – plus the added bonus of discovering the vibrant culture of the locals, you won’t be short of things to keep the whole family entertained!

The climate in Mauritius is mild and tropical with warm humid summers (November – April) and cool, dry winters (June – September). This means there are a number of great times to visit Mauritius throughout the year.

As it is a relatively short flight from South Africa, Mauritius is a great add-on for South African safari trips. Go from the bush to the beach and enjoy the ultimate African holiday!

Great for these kinds of travellers:

Mauritius is a fantastic option for people looking for a beach holiday along with some discovery and exploration, and the hotels and lodges are generally larger resort-style accommodations with a high level of service! You can do as much or as little as you choose. It’s also an affordable destination, offering a variety of accommodation options ranging from resorts to self-catering villas. This all makes Mauritius a great option for all kinds of travellers including families, older travellers and honeymooning couples.

Seychelles

Imagine an untouched, exclusive, beach paradise – that is a Seychelles Holiday! Think palm trees, sparkling blue waters and soft sandy beaches – a picture-perfect island getaway. The Seychelles archipelago is made up of 115 islands of varying sizes. You’ll find unique, unspoilt scenery everywhere, from the beautiful beaches to lush tropical vegetation. 

Seychelles is the ultimate romantic getaway destination. It’s a place that breathes luxury and exclusivity. It’s also a centre for ecotourism with the country making huge efforts to protect the natural beauty and wide variety of marine life.  

Located to the northeast of Madagascar, the archipelago is remote. Travellers will arrive at Seychelles International Airport in Mahé near the capital Victoria before transferring onwards to their chosen island destination. You can choose to stay centrally or travel to a more remote destination – the choice is yours! Accommodation options include luxury resorts and smaller boutique style hotels and is generally focussed on the more premium level traveller in comparison to Mauritius and Zanzibar.  

Reasons to visit:

Enjoy a Seychelles holiday for exclusive island relaxation (or even island hopping!), diverse wildlife, and rustic natural beauty. The islands have a tropical climate with warm and human weather throughout most of the year – perfect for enjoying the outdoors.

Great for these kinds of travellers:

The Seychelles is the ultimate romantic getaway so whether you are celebrating a honeymoon or in search of the perfect break full of romance, the Seychelles should be a top choice! You’ll also get to enjoy activities like jungle and coastal walks, whale shark diving tours, boating adventures and snorkelling, making it a great option for couples looking for some adventure too! 

In all three of these African beach holiday destinations, travellers can look forward to sun, sea and sensation experiences! No matter which Indian Ocean Island you choose to visit, you are guaranteed to have an incredibly memorable vacation.

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