Beach Beauties

Beyond Africa’s rich human culture and unmatched biodiversity, lies an impressive 26,000km coastline replete with unspoilt sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. Far less developed than those of other continents, Africa’s pristine beaches are increasingly featuring on global tourism circuits. Ami Doshi Shah of SleepOut.com takes a look at five of the continent’s wildest and most beautiful beach destinations.


Pemba_beach1. Pemba Island, Zanzibar
Pemba Island forms part of the stunning Zanzibar Archipelago and boasts some of the best preserved coral reefs along the East African coastline. The island covers 381 sq miles with stunning beaches flanking its full circumference. It is the perfect location for diving aficionados.
Where to Sleep?
Manta Resort
Floating four metres beneath the surface of Pemba’s crystal clear waters sits a double bedroom with eight viewing panes to experience the magic of the underwater world – the only room of its kind in the Indian Ocean. Above the room is a fully functioning bathroom and a comfortable lounge area to enjoy the ebb and flow of the tide. And if all this isn’t enough, there’s another tier comprising a wooden deck complete with star gazing/sunbathing bed. Romantic and very relaxing, this resort has one of the best swimming beaches in the whole Zanzibar Archipelago, and the diving is world-class.
• To book your stay, visit sleepout.com/Zanzibar
• KQ flies to Dar es Salaam, then connect with our partners Precision Air before taking a short boat ride to Pemba island.


Watamu2. Watamu Beach, Kenya
Watamu is known for its pristine white beaches, turquoise ocean waters and offshore coral formations, which make it a diving and snorkelling haven. Watamu Beach forms part of the Malindi Marine Reserve Park, home to a host of marine life. Dive with AquaVentures and visit the Watamu Marine Park for a world-class aquatic experience.
Where to Sleep?
Al Hamra Watamu’s Al Hamra is an upmarket boutique resort tailored specifically for the refined traveller looking for all of the comforts associated with Swahili royalty. Built in 2011, Al Hamra is a contemporary Swahili style residence, which wonderfully captures the atmosphere of an ancient house but with all of the features essential to modern living. Al Hamra is located within a secure gated landscaped garden and comes fully staffed.
• To book your stay, visit sleepout.com/watamu
• KQ flies to Malindi – a mere 20km from Watamu.


Hausa3.Sharm el-Sheikh beach, Egypt
Sitting on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, the beach is famed for making Sharm el-Sheikh Egypt’s resort capital. The beach offers warm crystal clear waters and wide stretches of sand ideal for spending the day there. Given its location along one of the Red Sea’s many reefs teeming with marine biodiversity, the beach also attracts the ‘Who’s Who’ in diving circles.
Where to Sleep?
Hauza Beach Resort The resort’s location in Nabq Bay overlooking Tiran Island makes it an ideal spot to see the best of Sharm El Sheikh, particularly at night. The resort has been meticulously designed to strike a harmonious balance of Islamic and African influence ensuring clean lines, large open spaces and a free flowing ambience through all rooms and public areas.
• To book your stay, visit sleepout.com/south-sinai
• KQ flies five times a week to Cairo.


Beau4. Beau Vallon, Mahé, Seychelles
This sandy stretch of paradise is Mahé Island’s most popular beach. A glorious 3km crescent of gleaming white sand covered with takamaka trees and coconut palms on the northwest coast, Beau Vallon Beach is where the in-the-know Seychellois strips down for a sunbathe and a cool swim. The beach is also a great spot for parasailing, snorkelling, diving and sailing. You can even order a piping-hot pizza at the nearby Baobab Pizzeria, a sand-floored eatery right on the beach.
Where to Sleep?
Le Domaine de Bacova Located on the South East Coast of Mahé, the main island in the Seychelles archipelago, Le Domaine de Bacova is the perfect island beach getaway from city life. The hotel is perched in a beautiful tropical garden bordering the river ‘Butler’ overlooking the secluded beach which lies just 50 metres from the villa. The villas have two floors; the ground floor has one large bedroom, one bathroom, living room, kitchen and veranda while the first floor is studio-style with a large bedroom, one bathroom, kitchenette and balcony. The villa is fully equipped with kitchen amenities, TV, phone, Wi-Fi Internet access, house help and safe deposit box. The bedrooms are equipped with air-conditioning.
• To book your stay, visit sleepout.com/seychelles
• KQ Flies to Mahé Island, Seychelles.


Bora_Borsa5. Bora Bora Beach, Burundi
Thousands of miles away from the original Bora Bora Island lies this untouched gem on the shores of Burundi’s expansive Lake Tanganyika. The lake is actually the largest freshwater reservoir in Africa and the deepest on the continent. Get in touch with your inner beach bum and try snorkelling, volleyball or any number of water sports. Alternatively, you can choose to sit back and enjoy the calming breeze as you watch the sun’s rays turn the clear blue waters into a luminescent orange hue.
Where to Sleep?
Star Hotel is located close to the city centre in Burundi’s capital of Bujumbura. The well-polished hotel combines a stylish interior with a kaleidoscope of colours and shapes for the quintessential exotic getaway. The hotel offers 30 rooms, conference facilities, a pool, fitness centre, sauna and two restaurants.
• To book your stay, visit sleepout.com/bujumbura
• KQ flies to Burundi’s capital of Bujumbura where Bora Bora Beach is located.