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8 Incredible Family Beach Villas in Africa

With a coastline that clocks in at 26 000km or over 16 000 miles, it is not surprising that Africa has some of the best beaches in the world. Throw in pristine water, thriving coral reefs, swaying palms and frolicking dolphins and you have all the ingredients for the ultimate family beach holiday. And the accommodation does not let you down either: instead of mega resorts, package deals and sun lounger territory wars, expect to find laid-back African family beach villas packed with everything from their own pools, Jacuzzis and private beach access to being taken care of by friendly and knowledgeable butlers, housekeepers, drivers and chefs.

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Villa Amizade: the ultimate combination of warm water, pristine beach & barefoot luxury.

Mozambique

Mozambique may not have made its mark on the world map (yet) but for sun worshippers that is good news because it means its astounding beaches remain mostly footprint-free. Which is astonishing, given that it is an easy flight from Johannesburg and the Kruger National Park. Villas here strike exactly the right balance between rustic and fantastic with – best of all – direct beach access, the ultimate in barefoot luxury.

Declared by Condé Nast Traveller to be one of the world’s best beach villas, Villa Amizade on Benguerra Island is named after the Portuguese word for ‘friendship’. And, with a fully stocked wine bar near the dazzling swimming pool, it is certainly a great place to go on a retreat with your best friends. As part of the Bazaruto Marine National Park, you can spend the day snorkelling, diving and dugong tracking, following these surprisingly graceful but goofy looking sea mammals as they feed and play offshore. Have a late afternoon massage before seeing what your private chef has rustled up for the night – signature piri-piri chicken or fresh seafood, perhaps?

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Endangered dugongs feed on sea grasses close to shore.
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Robinson Crusoe, eat your heart out at Amizade.

Moving to the Quirimbas islands, Casamina Villa on Vamizi is perfect for large family reunions as it sleeps up to 10 people in total comfort. You will also have 125 metres of pristine coastline hedged by a hibiscus and causarina tree forest all to yourself, not to mention a secluded ‘study on stilts’ for yoga, reading or daydreaming. Vamizi has sensational diving, with visibility often hitting 50m and Neptune’s Arm – one of the world’s Top 10 dive sites – nearby.

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Villa Casamina is secluded in indigenous forest that fronts 125m of pristine beachfront.

Another Vamizi villa is Suluwilo Villa, which means ‘forest weaver’ in the local Kimwani language. Sleeping 10 in five en suite bedrooms, your private chef and driver will pamper you. Suluwilo’s lookout tower is perfect for sundowners as the Indian Ocean is painted coral pink by the setting sun…

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At Villa Suluwilo, the lattice design & high ceilings allow cooling ocean breezes to flow through.

Also set in virgin forest on Vamizi and sleeping 10, Kipila Villa’s awe-inspiring location is ideal for a family of divers. More than 400 species of fish and 46 different types of coral thrive off its shoreline and divers will be enthralled to discover a canyon that has a 1km long sheer drop!

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Sheer romance is found within every one of Villa Kapila's five bedrooms.

Vilanculos Island in the Bazaruto Archipelago is a sliver of Greece in Mozambique. Inspired by traditional Greek architecture and boasting a hand-packed dome built according to centuries-old methods, Santorini has everything an active family could want on holiday. An exclusive-use boat and 4x4 means you can go for picnics and your butler can arrange horse and camels rides on the beach. Spend the day around two different pools and tuck into piping hot pizza created from scratch in Santorini’s authentic wood-burning oven.

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Villa Santorini is perfectly positioned for endless water sports & is equipped with its own boat too.

Mauritius

The playground of Southern Africa, the island of Mauritius has long been a water sports and beach paradise because of its easy proximity to Johannesburg and Durban in South Africa. The emphasis here is on motorised and action water sports, as well on incredible tropical golf courses.

When it comes to private beach villas, Mauritius is no slouch either. Villa Infinity lies on beautiful Pereybere Bay near world-famous Grand Baie. With four bedrooms and Wi-Fi, it is exactly like ‘home’, except for having hiking, kite surfing and a sandy beach right on your doorstep.

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Infinity Villa overlooks Mauritius's deep turquoise ocean from its sun-drenched terrace.

Turning up the west coast, you find Leora Beach Villa, which has all the benefits of a private house combined with all the perks of a top-end hotel. So while you can access the spa and professional baby-sitting services, you can also spend days on your own catamaran and around your own pool, as your private chef consults with you on what your family would like for lunch that day.

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Nothing separates Villa Leora from the powder-soft, white sand beach...

South Africa

Cape Town is South Africa’s oldest and most beloved city, and is home to the country’s most talked-about beach. Camps Bay is a long sandy cove only 15 minutes’ drive from the city centre. Lying in the foothills of the iconic Lion’s Head peak, its pristine condition has earned it international Blue Flag status for cleanliness. The neighbourhood of Camps Bay has some of the priciest real estate on the continent – and views of some of the most spectacular sunsets. Dolphins and whales are often spotted in the Atlantic and the water attracts stand-up paddler boarders and sea kayakers alike.

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Gryphon House is a stone's throw from Camps Bay beach & easy driving distance from the Cape Town city centre.

With panoramic mountain and ocean views, Gryphon House is perfect for a family of six. Although you can easily pop down to the beach, you may find you prefer your swimming pool to the rather chilly Atlantic! There is a spacious garden for the kids and Cape Town’s attractions like Table Mountain, the V&A Waterfront and Robben Island are an easy drive away.

Also in Camps Bay, Villa Lavaya sleeps 10 and is the perfect ‘party villa’ for families: there is a dedicated children’s playroom, a pool table, a live-in housekeeper who changes the bed linen daily, a concierge service and a heated swimming pool. Camps Bay’s famous and palm-fringed ‘Strip’ is a stone’s throw away and is packed with options for fine dining, casual nibbling and late-night clubbing.

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With Lion's Head in the background, Villa Lavaya is ideal for multi-generational families.

Each one of us may dream of a beach house of our own but, until that dream comes true, there is no shortage of perfect family beach villas in Africa to choose from. Many travellers find that topping or tailing their vacations with a few days’ stay at a private villa is an effective way to get over jet-lag or to unwind after a taxing Migration safari. Some even cleverly use them as part of their broader journey: landing in Cape Town and staying at a villa, for example, before heading up to Kruger for a Big 5 safari and then ending up in one of the Vamizi island villas.

Villas are also a good option for multi-generational families: rather than several inter-leading hotel rooms or rooms on different floors, opting for a private villa keeps everyone together and allows independently minded groups the freedom to do as they please. As you should, on a holiday in Africa…

Written by Angela Aschmann. Connect with her on Google+.

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