Lamu Island: Kenya
Lamu is a gem of an island in north-eastern Kenya. Fishing and tourism are the primary mainstays. There are only a couple of vehicles on the island, so travel is by foot, boat or donkey. You will find amazing sea food and plenty of handicrafts to shop for. Many visitors find the highlight of a visit to Lamu to be its testament to Swahili culture: museums, hand-carved wooden doors, coral stone architecture and countless dhows is a journey in time as well as space. Lamu is the kind of destination that makes it very easy to forget the outside world, and is a more relaxing alternative to the hubbub of larger cities.
Photo credit: kenyapage.net
Cape Maclear: Malawi
At the tip of a peninsula at the bottom of gorgeous Lake Malawi lies adorable Cape Maclear. The village is a favorite among of backpackers as it is surrounded by green mountains and sandy beach. The village is a one lane place with shady baobab trees. You will find the local men fishing in small canoes, while the women are constantly washing at the edge of the lake, with playful kids everywhere. The main event of the day is sunset, when the sky turns bright orange before the sun burns out behind the hilly horizon across the lake. Afterwards, the night gets filled with African rhythms from the small bars along the beach.
Photo credit: danforthyachting.com
Point d'Esny Beach: Mauritias
On the secluded and isolated Point d'Esny, visitors will find private luxury bungalows that face the gorgeous beach. The beach is known as one of the most beautiful stretches of sand on Mauritius. The calm turquoise lagoon is popular with kite surfers and other water sports enthusiasts.
Photo credit: lonelyplanet.com
Quirimbas Archipelago: Mozambique
The Quirimbas is a string of 32 idyllic islands along Mozambique's northern coast. This archipelago contains a bit of everything: pristine beaches, ancient settlements, luscious mangroves, amazing dive sites, beautiful coral reefs, pods of dolphins, warm water, a huge variety of tropical fish, an abundance of fruit and as much seafood as you can eat. Although dotted with important settlements in the past, the Quirimbas Archipelago is now virtually unknown to the outside world, and only visit by few tourists. The days are hot, and life is slow - much as it was a hundred years ago. So take a dhow trip around the islands, lounge on one of the endless white beaches and go for a swim in the azure Indian Ocean - you probably deserve it.
Photo credit: www.journeyinstyle.co.za
Tiwi and Diani Beach: Kenya
Tiwi and Diani Beach are neighbouring coastal destinations just south of Mombasa. Tiwi is the more secluded of the two. It is set up almost exclusively for those who want to wander around on their own, which makes it less ideal for those without access to a car. The beach here offers a greater degree of privacy. Diani Beach boasts a nicer beach and a much wider range of accommodation options. There are restaurants, supermarkets, a surprisingly large local market and a bit of a night scene. Expect more crowds on the beach, however.
Photo credit: en.directrooms.com
Nkhata Bay: Malawi
Nkhata Bay is probably the most popular place at Lake Malawi. The rocky shoreline is dotted with some brilliant accommodations and a beach is just a hike away. Walks can be done through the lush hills, scuba diving is available and the lakeshore is begging to be explored by kayak or canoe. However, most visitors end up doing nothing besides lazing around, socializing, and taking the occasional dip into Lake Malawi's clear water.
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