For waters rich with wildlife, vast, sandy shores and an abundance of adventurous pursuits, opt for an African beach vacation.
Our wide variety of African beach vacations are available in the countries of South Africa and Mozambique. Each destination offers its own unique coastal crusades, with strikingly distinct environments.
Mozambique beach holidays are largely characterized by island leisure, while beach vacations in South Africa can extend to incorporate other adventures like safaris and city or town tours for a more comprehensive getaway.
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Why Choose Africa for your beach vacation?
Southern Africa's signature diversity extends to the backdrops of its beaches. The islands and shores of Mozambique are indelibly tropical, while South Africa's north coast offers a wilder, more rugged sub-tropical milieu. Further south, the shores of the Garden Route are akin to scenery of the north Pacific, while Cape Town's Mediterranean climate makes for sublime summers.
The only time you really need to worry about crowded beaches is during the festive season (December / January) in South Africa. The remainder of the time, wherever you may venture, you will enjoy ample elbow room. There is no need to reserve a lounger or wake up early to stretch your towel out on the sand - simply head down to the beach and indulge in your precious leisure time.
While an African beach vacation can certainly amount to a lot of leisure and relaxation time, it would be amiss not to indulge in a few of the incredible activities on offer. In Mozambique, enjoy some of the finest scuba diving and snorkeling environments imaginable, along with deep sea fishing, dhow sailing and kayaking. South Africa offers fishing, surfing, shark cage diving, whale watching and more.
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Experiences to Savor
Sundowners in Camps Bay
The Camps Bay promenade looks directly over the suburb's main beach. The lively promenade sports a colorful collection of upmarket beachside cafes and eateries, ideal for 'sundowners' (cocktails or drinks at sunset) or people watching as the sun sinks beyond the Atlantic Ocean.
A Kaleidescope of corals
The Bazaruto and Quirimbas archipelagos boast some of the finest, most pristine coral reefs in the world. Beautifully preserved and absolutely captivating to explore, be sure to include a scuba diving excursion or even a snorkeling expedition on your African beach vacation in Mozambique.
Spotting whales in Walker Bay
Between the months of June and November, Southern Right whales convene in the waters of Walker Bay in staggering numbers. This stretch of the Western Cape, known as the coastal Overberg, is the best location in the world to enjoy land-based whale watching as you unwind on the beach.
Are there African beaches that I can enjoy during the wintertime?
Yes - while Cape Town and the Garden Route are still pleasant to visit in the winter months, they do not enjoy 'beach friendly' weather. It is therefore best to either head to KwaZulu-Natal or Mozambique, where you can actually enjoy better weather (milder temperatures and less humidity) than you would in the summertime.
Which is the finest beach in Garden Route?
The Plettenberg Bay area hosts a slew of Blue Flag beaches, including Robberg 5, Keurbooms, Nature's Valley, Lookout and The Dunes. With such a variety of safe, stunning beaches, it remains the finest beach destination in the Garden Route.
What are the water temperatures like in Cape Town?
The waters of the Atlantic that caress the shores of the Cape Peninsula are notoriously frigid, but the brave can nevertheless endeavor an enjoyable swim. December - March is the best time for swimming, with temperatures peaking at 20°C (68°F) in February.
What about sharks?
Shark attacks in South Africa are very rare, but shark spotters are nevertheless employed in the Cape Town area, mostly for the sake of surfers. On the East Coast of KwaZulu-Natal, shark nets protect the bays.
What does 'Blue Flag' status mean?
Blue Flag status is awarded to beaches by the Foundation for Environmental Education that meet stringent standards of water quality, safety, environmental education and information and the provision of services and general environmental management. At the time of writing, South Africa boasts 45 official blue flag beaches.
Are there areas where it is not safe to swim?
Yes - the ocean is an unpredictable and enigmatic force that should be duly respected. In South Africa, always swim where there are life guards and within the demarcated safety zone.
Besides swimming, are there other beach-based activities available?
Yes - depending on the area which you visit. A tropical beach destination like Mozambique offers snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, SUP and more, while beach activities in South Africa lean more toward whale watching, swimming with seals, shark cage diving and surfing.
What is the best beach location in KwaZulu-Natal?
Umhlanga and Ballito are great beach destinations as they are not too far from Durban (easy access and a variety of activities) and the water is wonderfully warm. These beaches currently have pilot status. For scuba diving or snorkeling and something wilder, head further north up the coast.
What is a 'pilot status beach'?
Pilot status is a stepping stone toward full Blue Flag status. 22 of South Africa's beaches currently enjoy pilot status.
Is South Africa or Mozambique a better beach destination?
It depends on what you are after. For a tropical island-style beach holiday characterized by leisure and snorkeling / scuba diving activities, Mozambique is your best bet. For a beach holiday that can include activities a bit beyond the beach - like city tours in Cape Town, or wildlife encounters in the Garden Route - South Africa is the superior choice.