With a coastline that clocks in at 26 000km (±16 000mi), it is unsurprising 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. The accommodation won’t let you down either: expect African family beach villas packed with everything from their own pools and Jacuzzis, as well as private beach access to and teams of dedicated staff to take care of your every need.
Safaris are an unforgettable adventure that everyone should experience at least one in their lifetime, but it can be tiring and leave you feeling in need of a second holiday. Bush and beach are the perfect combination for a well-rounded holiday that offers a bit of everything. We highly recommend stopping off at a beachside retreat for some much-needed rest and relaxation before heading back home. Take a look at our favourite beach villas across Africa – all just a stone’s throw from popular African safari destinations:
Mozambique may not have made its mark on the world map – not yet anyway – but that’s good news for sun worshippers, as the country’s astounding beaches remain mostly footprint-free. This is a surprising revelation given that it’s a quick flight away from Johannesburg and the renowned Kruger National Park. Villas here strike exactly the right balance between rustic and fantastic, with direct beach access providing the ultimate experience in barefoot luxury.
1. Villa Amizade
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.
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 mean you can go for picnics in nature while your butler arranges horse and camel rides on the beach at your return. Spend the day around two different pools and tuck into piping hot pizza created from scratch in Santorini’s authentic wood-burning oven, or a freshly caught Dorado grilled on the barbecue by your chef.
Cape Town is South Africa’s oldest and most beloved city and is home to the country’s most talked-about beaches. Camps Bay is a long sandy cove only 15 minutes’ drive from the city centre, while its counterparts Clifton and Llandudno are nearby. Lying in the foothills of the iconic Lion’s Head peak, the beaches’ pristine condition has earned them international Blue Flag status. The affluent neighbourhood of Camps Bay is known for its glitz and glamour. When not enjoying a bit of fun in the sun, be sure to check out the trendy restaurants and fashionable boutique stores that the area has to offer.
3. Brightside Villa
With panoramic ocean views, Brightside is the perfect exclusive-use space for a family of up to 10. Although you can easily pop down to Camps Bay beach, you may find you prefer your swimming pool to the rather chilly Atlantic Ocean. There’s plenty of space around the property to enjoy barbeques or sundowners, and Cape Town’s attractions like Table Mountain, the V&A Waterfront and Robben Island are a short drive away.
4. 26 Sunset Villa
Further afield in the enclave of Llandudno, 26 Sunset sleeps up to 12 people in six bedrooms. This is a great 'party villa' for those who also enjoy nature and tranquillity. There is a heated swimming pool, a steam room, a teppanyaki plate in the designer kitchen and stunning views of the Atlantic. Hidden away in the prestigious yet secluded Llandudno neighbourhood, this opulent and stylish abode offers tranquillity and exclusivity but is still close enough to all of Cape Town’s hotspots and major attractions. You’ll have easy access to the pristine Llandudno beach as well as Camps Bay and Chapmans Peak. And as for the rest of Cape Town, you’ll only be a short drive away from all that the city has to offer.
5. Beach Bungalow 52
Beach Bungalow 52 is an upscale beach house that practically sits on the Clifton Fourth Beach and is a stone’s throw away from vibrant and fashionable Camps Bay. This exclusive-use villa combines the best aspects of a laidback beach vacation with that of a luxury getaway to create an unforgettable experience in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The beach house’s ideal location also sets its guests within throwing distance of Cape Town’s most popular attractions.
The sunny shores of Mauritius have been a firm favourite for family holidays for years. The tropical playground is set in the Indian Ocean, ringed by coral reefs, white sand beaches and clear calm water. There’s something for every member of your brood, young and old, from on-site kids’ clubs at the world-class holiday resorts to the many adventure activities on offer – including snorkelling, water skiing, parasailing and windsurfing. If you manage to venture further than the nearest beach, you’ll find yourself exploring the island’s forested hills on scenic hikes and horseback rides.
6. Villa Infinity
Villa Infinity is perfect for the discerning traveller who prefers the finer things in life. Barefoot luxury meets beach house chic in this stylish and sophisticated four-bedroom haven in idyllic Mauritius. Overlooking the calm waters of Pereybere Beach, Villa Infinity is specifically designed to offer the comforts of home in a private, beautiful setting without foregoing the luxuries one expects when on a 5-star vacation.
7. Leora Beachfront Apartments
Located on Mauritius’ beautiful west coast, Leora Beachfront Apartments promises 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 babysitting services, you can also spend days on your own catamaran out on the ocean as your private chef prepares a delectable lunch just the way you like it for you and your family.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better beach holiday destination than Seychelles. Expect powder-soft sand, postcard-perfect beaches, stylish accommodation and world-class luxury during your stay. There’s no better place to recover after a week-long safari. Enjoy strolls along the beach, breakfast on your private sundeck, massages at the spa, snorkelling and diving in the clear blue water and top it all off with sunset cocktails and dinner at the ocean’s edge. Not only is Seychelles a bona fide paradise, but it also boasts some of the best beach villas in Africa.
8. Villa North Island
If you’re looking for the perfect honeymoon destination or couples retreat, look no further than Villa North Island. The villa’s ingenious design incorporates multiple levels and natural materials to create the ultimate treehouse-style accommodation for adults. Here, you and your significant other will have a pristine beach all to yourself with the luxury of a private pool and fire pit set in an indigenous takamaka forest at your disposal. Experience a romantic getaway filled with intimate moments at Villa North Island.
9. Lemuria Presidential Villa
Kick off your shoes and experience barefoot luxury at its finest when staying in Lemuria Presidential Villa. Ideal for families travelling with young children, the villa features an 18-hole championship golf course, three private swimming pools, a Shiseido Spa, Constance Kids’ Club and several upscale restaurants. Better still, Lemuria provides guests with access to their own private beach. If you ever tire of relaxing, there are plenty of exciting activities, including tennis, kayaking, windsurfing, mountain biking and more.
10. Ephelia Presidential Villa
Ephelia Presidential Villa is nestled in 120 hectares of indigenous forest and overlooks the marine national park of Port Launay in Seychelles. This makes the villa the perfect base from which to explore this exclusive island paradise. When you’re not out enjoying classic beach activities like snorkelling, diving and sun tanning, make the most of your luxury accommodation by making use of the gym, private spa, secluded swimming pool and, best of all, the outdoor dining for romantic meals under a canopy of stars.
11. Raffles Praslin
Known as the rediscovered Garden of Eden, the idyllic Seychelles island of Praslin is a true paradise with its endless tropical vegetation, majestic hills and glistening ocean views. Raffles Praslin can be found in the heart of this magical island. The luxury resort consists of hillside villas that provide the most dramatic scenes of the surrounding nature and offer complete privacy and a personal feel. Raffles Praslin is most ideal for couples and honeymooners wanting a romantic beachside getaway.
Kenya is home to one of Africa’s most popular safari destinations, the Masai Mara National Reserve. Travellers flock from every corner of the globe to witness the Great Wildebeest Migration in person in this wildlife-rich region. But not many people are aware that Kenya is also home to some of East Africa’s greatest beaches. Diani Beach is known for its fine white sand and brilliant blue water that invites all who lay eyes on it to stretch out and soak up the sun. After spending a week in the Mara with little access to the finer things in life, enjoy your last few days in Africa in paradise.
12. Alfajiri Beach Villa
Providing the beach portion of your bush and beach vacation, Alfajiri’s Beach Villa is located on the lesser-known beaches of Diani. Here, you’ll be able to enjoy the shimmering white sand, colourful reefs and azure water from the lap of luxury. A dedicated staff of butlers, chefs, childminders, drivers and masseuses are on-hand at all times to ensure your stay is as pleasant and comfortable as possible. Outside of the villa, explore the waters of Diani through kite surfing, deep-sea fishing, snorkelling, diving and excursions to Kisite Marine National Park in traditional dhow sailing boats. On land, you can search for forest elephants in the Shimba Hills, go ride quad bikes (ATVs) or play a round of golf on the nearby 18-hole course.
13. Alfajiri Garden Villa
Alfajiri’s Garden Villa offers views of both the glistening Indian Ocean and lush greenery that surrounds this four-bedroom haven. The villa’s enviable location in central Diani Beach sets it up perfectly for those wanting a tranquil beachside getaway. During your stay, you and your loved ones will enjoy personalised, award-winning service from a dedicated staff who can arrange an array of activities for you to enjoy. From a round of golf at Leisure Lodge Golf Course and kite surfing on the crystal-blue water to a Mediterranean-influenced meal prepared with the freshest local seafood, anything is possible at Alfajiri Garden Villa.
14. Alfajiri Cliff Villa
Cliff Villa’s elevated location in Diani Beach boasts the most spectacular views of Kenya’s tropical coastline. In addition to dazzling ocean vistas, guests enjoy the exclusive use of a luxurious seaside castle fit for royalty. Dedicated staff are on-hand to ensure that your every need is catered for, from a chef who prepares delicious, fresh meals to the host who arranges all of your activities. Experience barefoot luxury at its finest at this slice of paradise.
Tanzania is best known for iconic African landmarks like Mount Kilimanjaro and unforgettable safari experiences like the Great Wildebeest Migration in the Serengeti National Park. So, you would be forgiven if you weren’t aware of the magnificent beaches that the country has to offer. A splattering of gorgeous islands surrounds Tanzania, with the idyllic Zanzibar being the most well-known among them. This East African gem of a country is the perfect place to enjoy a luxury bush and beach combination vacation. If this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime adventure for you, then why not go all-out and treat yourself to the best of both worlds?
15. The Aiyana Resort & Spa
Aiyana is perfect for those seeking a classic beachside, island-style vacation off the beaten path. Set on the northern tip of Pemba Island, this opulent resort promises complete privacy and exclusivity away from the crowds of Zanzibar. Expect lush, tropical gardens as your backdrop and the tranquil waters of the Indian Ocean as your view. After a week of game drives in the Serengeti, reward yourself with plenty of rest and relaxation at this heavenly retreat.
16. Thanda Island
Thanda Island is a private marine reserve that can be reached only by boat or helicopter. It’s home to a large family villa and two bandas (traditional homestead) that are perfect for a group of friends or family looking to end of the African safari adventure with a bit of fun in the sun. The highlight is that the entire island is exclusive-use only – meaning you and your entourage will have full reign of accommodation and facilities for the duration of your stay.
Despite being the fourth largest island in the world, Madagascar remains relatively unexplored; even among seasoned travellers. Well, we’re letting you in on a little secret – Madagascar is one of the most beautiful places you’ve never heard of and its pristine beaches are the perfect spot to recover after a week on safari in one of Southern Africa’s popular safari destinations. Enjoy classic beach activities like swimming, snorkelling, kayaking and scuba diving in the ocean while being surrounded by lush flora and fauna. And all of this can be done from the lap of luxury in one of these upscale villas.
17. Time + Tide Miavana
There are few better places to recoup after a safari in Southern Africa than at the uber-luxurious Time + Tide Miavana. Fourteen villas line a pearl-white coastline and offer guests an experience that can only be described as castaway luxury on one of Madagascar’s idyllic islands. Guests enjoy uninterrupted ocean views and direct beach access from every villa. Explore your surroundings on foot or by making use of Miavana’s complimentary bicycles and electric buggies. And, naturally, there are plenty of unforgettable island adventures like kayaking, paddle boarding, kite surfing, Lemur treks, helicopter excursions and other land- and water-based activities to fill your days.
18. Constance Tsarabanjina
Tsarabanjina’s charming Crusoe-chic villas promise a tranquil retreat on a pristine islet in the north-western Mitsio Archipelago in Madagascar. The villas promise a classic island-style vacation filled with tropical weather, calming ocean views, power-soft beaches and lush tropical vegetation. The accommodation might resemble that of a makeshift shelter one would erect if shipwrecked on a deserted island, but the luxury villas are anything but a castaway’s home. Guests enjoy beautifully designed, tastefully decorated lodgings that are the perfect place to lay one’s head after a day of snorkelling and scuba diving in the crystal-clear water.
Ready to Plan Your Beach Villa in Africa Holiday?
Get in touch with one of our Africa Safari Experts to help tailor-make a safari and beach holiday at some of the best beach villas in Africa: