10 June 2015

Suntan lotion…check. Beach towel…check…flip flops check…sounds like it’s time to step off the overland truck and hit the beach! When it comes time to plan your African adventure tour, remember there is far more to Africa than just wildebeest and savanna grasslands, prepare to be pleasantly surprised as to the awestruck splendor that African beaches hold. With many unique oceanside locations to chose from in our tour list, you are guaranteed to find just the right beach and activity to either excite, soothe or relax your way to the perfect African holiday!

Here is a sneak preview of 5 to get you in the coco cabana mood…

1. Coffee Bay-Wild Coast, South Africa

If finding for the perfect spot on the beach requires negotiation and heckling through a swarm of sun starved beach goers, then Coffee bay is not for you. This small town situated on the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa is still slightly underdeveloped with a small population meaning you can enjoy a nice break from crowds, long lines and touristy gimmicks. Black-faced cliffs, lush hills and sparkling white sand sets the mood for horse back rides, hiking on one of the many trails along the extended coastline or riding some waves in the crystal blue waters. The natural beauty and the ‘whole in the wall’ formation along the coast adds an authentic charm. This natural rock formation carved by wind over many years literally creating a hole in the rock wall, matches this small sized coastal town mentality by it’s name. If private and pristine is your preference, Coffee Bay is an unforgettable African beach destination that will only enhance your African adventure.

2. Inhambane- Tofo, Mozambique

If after leaving the game reserves and savannas you desire to witness more of Africa’s animal wildlife and natural beauty, Inhambane will entertain your senses with some of the greatest that Africa has to offer. Warm Indian ocean waters and coral reefs close to every beach, make this coastal town the perfect playground for scuba divers or snorkelers. Brace yourself for this once in a lifetime opportunity to witness whale sharks, giant manta rays, majestic sea turtles and many other unique marine species up close and without to peering into a glass tank. Year round near perfect weather, glowing turquoise waters, crystal white powdery sand, and gorgeous lagoons, time spent here with friendly locals and fresh seafood will feel like an African dream you never want to wake from.

3. Camps Bay Beach- Cape Town, South Africa

If camp life on your overland trip through Africa, thus far, has left you a little disconnected from “real Life” and you’re looking for a beach with all the amenities (including flushing toilets), then Camps Bay beach may be the best place to show off your tan. This stunning stretch of white sand is where you go to ‘see’ or be ‘seen’ , a certified “blue flag”** beach means it’s holds a high quality of standards regarding water quality and the environment (basically this means it’s a clean beach), drawing in people from all over the world. Camps Bay beach is the hub for tourist related beach activities including boogie boarding, surfing and swimming, but don’t worry, you will see plenty of lifeguard towers (complete with gorgeous real life lifeguards) that keep a watchful eye on the waters and your safety. Spend the afternoon being pampered in one of the many posh hotel spas, sample some local eats in a trendy beach side cafe or just sit back relax and feel fancy for a day on one of the classiest beaches in the world! The Blue Flag is a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE)[1] that a beach or marinameets its stringent standards.FEE’s Blue Flag criteria include standards for water quality, safety, environmental education and information, the provision of services and general environmental management criteria. The Blue Flag is sought for beaches and marinas as an indication of their high environmental and quality standards

4. Kendwa Beach- Zanzibar

An exotic tropical island, a cocktail (served in a coconut) in hand, a mesmerizing Technicolor sunset over rich indigo water and the smell of fresh clean salt air, all while nestled in a comfy lounge style beach chair, this my friend, is what you can expect when you reach this African beach destination. Zanzibar, an island off the coast of Dar es Salaam prides itself on the its rich cultural heritage and it’s outstanding white sand beaches. The locals invite you with open arms to enjoy traditional cuisine, fresh seafood lined in by local fisherman, exotic spices from one of the many spice plantations on the island or a local guided dhow* safari. Warm waters are ideal for swimming, snorkeling or diving but try reserve some energy, when the sun goes down it’s time to join a full moon party on the beach. An ideal way to round out your entire African adventure experience is time spent spoiling your senses on a beautiful exotic African island. *dhow: Typically sporting long thin hulls, dhows are trading vessels primarily used to carry heavy items, like fruit, fresh water or merchandise, along the coasts of the Eastern Arabia (Arab states of the Persian Gulf),[3] East Africa, Yemen and some parts of South Asia (wikipedia)

5. Lake Malawi…the lake beach! Malawi

What about something completely different on your African adventure tour? Something different even, from your usual beach destination? Meet Lake Malawi, this very different beach destination welcomes you to glowing golden sands, natural coves, no tides, no currents, no sharks! Lake Malawi is a massive lake carved out by the Great Rift Vally River, meaning the lake is land locked leaving the waters salt-free, mineral rich and crystal clear with visibility in the water at nearly 100 feet (30 Meters). Underwater lovers be prepared to encounter over 500 different species of cichlids (little bright colorful fish). Have your camera ready and close by, because the scenes above water are just as spectacular. Sheer mountains with lush green vegetation circle the lake creating scenic wonderland too beautiful for words, a place you could describe as “a little piece of heaven on earth” and right in the heart of Africa! This destination is so fantastic in fact, keep your eye open for a future blog dedicated entirely to Lake Malawi and all it’s natural splendors.

An African Adventure tour doesn’t have to be all about the stereo typical open top Safari game drives in search of the the big 5, Africa has so many surprises and beauty points that it would be difficult to say one is better over another and the same applies to African beaches. Each beach destination holds a unique element that will really add to the authentic nature of what an African Adventure tour is all about. It’s about culture, environment, and filling up your heart with experiences that will move you or even change you. Have fun out there and be inspired!