TOP ISLANDS IN AFRICA: 10 Top-Rated Islands

top islands in africa

Most people envision a safari tour of the Masai Mara, a vacation to Cape Town, or a journey to see the ancient Egyptian ruins when they consider traveling to Africa. Besides all of this, Africa has a lot more to offer tourists and visitors, and one area people can explore when they visit Africa is some of the top islands. The history, beaches, flora, and wildlife of the islands are all distinctive and one-of-a-kind.

The African islands are a geographical sub-region of the continent, with an impact on its history and culture. The western savannah region is one of the forty-seven nations that make up Africa, and the number increases to fifty-three if the islands off its coast are counted. Do you plan on going sightseeing or probably have a feel of some of the Islands on African soil? Below are some top Islands for your consideration.

#1. Chumbe Island

top islands in africa
Credit: Viator

A tall lighthouse that stands high and is as white as snow, piercing the blue of the sky, marks Chumbe, which lies a few kilometers off the coast of Zanzibar. It resembles a huge “You’re Here!” exclamation point. The lighthouse, which was built by the British in 1904, holds a place in the annals of maritime history.

On September 20, 1914, it saw the legendary sea conflict between the “Koenigsberg” and the “Pegasus” during the German-British skirmish that came to be known as The Battle of Zanzibar. The first privately developed marine protected area in the world is Chumbe Island, Coral Park.

As a matter of fact, Sibylle Riedmiller founded the Ecotourism Centre, which is financed by ecological tourism. The coral reefs in this area are incredibly diverse, and J.E.N. Vernon of the Australian Institute of Marine Science called them “one of the most spectacular ‘coral gardens’ anywhere in the world.”

#2. Thanda Island

Along with the equally uninhabited islands of Nyororo and Mbarakuni, Thanda, also known by its original name Shungu Mbili, is sandwiched between Tanzania and the Mafia and is located within its own marine park. Dan and Christin Olofsson found a private island hideaway in 2006. It is a part of the Mafia Island neighborhood.

While doing aerial surveillance along the Tanzanian coast, they came across the little island, which resembled a teardrop with an emerald interior and a salt-white rim of beach in azure waters. Thanda offers opulent island living with a beach mansion that is more Martha’s Vineyard than tropical. The villa offers five bedrooms, bathrooms, and additional space for children. It sleeps 10 adults. Two Robinson Crusoe-style huts increase the number of bedrooms.

Read Also: THE BEST BEACHES IN AFRICA: 16 Top-Rated Beaches

#3. Zanzibar (Unguja) 

top islands in africa
Credit: TripAdvisor

Zanzibar, the largest island in a group of other smaller islands, is officially known as Unguja but is more commonly called Zanzibar. It is 85 kilometers long and 39 kilometers wide, 35 kilometers from the mainland. Among the many breathtaking salt-white beaches that surround it, Nungwi, Matemwe, Jambiani, and Bwejuu qualify as to be the most alluring. Several islands, notably Chumbe and Mnemba, densely hug its coastline. Numerous hotels on the island can accommodate guests of all tastes and budgets.

Flame Trees Cottages can satisfy yoga enthusiasts with less deep finances, while the beautiful Essque Zalu Zanzibar gives the pinnacle of tropical island exotic luxury. Both are located in Matemwe and are owned by Asilia Africa. Additionally, there is the luxurious Park Hyatt Zanzibar, which offers the best breakfast in town, the evocative Emerson Spice, and the budget-friendly Stone Town Cafe, a top-notch B&B.

Also, Spice farms abound in the island’s long history. Stone Town is a must-see for Zanzibar’s UNESCO World Heritage Site.

#4. Pemba Island

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While the famous clove business of Zanzibar is frequently linked with the main island, Pemba currently produces the majority of the cloves in the region. Pemba is a 40-minute trip by small aircraft from Dar es Salaam and is referred to as “The Green Island” because it is hillier and more fertile than its sister island. It is tiny and 48 kilometers north of Zanzibar.

Additionally, there are fewer hotels and fewer tourists, and it is considerably quieter. Manta Resort has an underwater room with a rooftop deck and lounge. The resort’s centerpiece is a glass-walled bedroom that is four meters under the water’s surface and is surrounded by a marine protection zone. Pemba is a tropical paradise with abundant marine life. As a result, Pemba is a great place to go diving.

#5. Lamu Island 

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In Kenya’s Lamu archipelago, Lamu Island is located. It’s famous for its charming old town. The island is located near Lamu Island’s central town square. One of the oldest and best-protected Swahili-speaking communities in eastern Africa. Village built of coral stone and mangrove wood with balconies, courtyards, and wooden doors. Most crucially, since there are no roads on this island, only pedestrian pathways and alleys can be used by automobiles.

Nearly 150 miles from Mombasa, the island is located in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Kenya. In the twelfth century, the island was created. The inhabitants have lived there for seven hundred years, and it is still one of the oldest and best-preserved towns among Kenya’s Swahili-speaking people.

The island’s socioeconomic classes and social structure were well-established as a result of the interaction of the native population with sailors and traders. The island’s average annual temperature ranges from 23 to 33 degrees Celsius.

#6. Mafia Island

The third-largest island off the coast of Tanzania is Mafia. Mafia is ruled from the mainland and is part of another tiny group of islands and atolls in the area, even though many people mistakenly believe it to be a part of the Zanzibar archipelago. It is located south of Zanzibar and served as a significant port of call for centuries-old commercial ships from Egypt, Rome, Portugal, and Greece that traversed these seas.

Mafia boasts some of the best diving in the world and is far less crowded than Zanzibar, like Pemba. Fertile waters attract humpback whales to reproduce. They are also home to an astounding population of whale sharks. Pole is an eco-lodge located on the southern end of the island with easy access to marine conservation zones. Pole’s name translates to “slowly, slowly,” an invitation to relax and take it easy.

Another excellent spot is the Butiama Beach Hotel on the west coast. Mafia Diving offers a variety of underwater activities.

#7. Mnemba Island

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The Mnemba Atoll, a marine preserve, surrounds this tiny island, which is barely 500 meters in diameter and 1.5 kilometers in circumference. It can be accessed through a 90-minute drive from Stone Town via the luscious spice farms that cover Zanzibar Island, which is tantalizingly close but out of reach of the pockets of common mortals.

For the final 20 minutes of the transfer, guests board a boat. Mnemba Island is home to 10 oceanfront “bandhas” offering barefoot luxury. You won’t be one of more than twenty guests at the lodge, even if it’s full, and there will be three lodge staff members on duty to cater to your every need.

Read Also: BEST RESORTS IN AFRICA: Top 7 Best Resorts 2023

#8. Seychelles

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The Seychelles archipelago, which is located east of Kenya, is home to 115 idyllic islands. Comparing Seychelles to the other independent African nations, it has the smallest population. Tourists enjoy the island’s beautiful beaches, clear waters, as well as unusual fauna. The food of the Seychelles is a must-try since it beautifully combines elements from Asia, Europe, and Africa.

Seychelles is a great destination for honeymooning couples due to the rise of luxury resorts. The Seychelles’ second-largest island, Praslin, will entice you to return time and time. Previously a haven for Arab traders and even pirates, Praslin is now a well-liked vacation spot with various African island beach resorts and hotels.

The East and West African Islands are the best African islands to visit. Regarding the beauty of the natural world, they can legitimately compete with the Mediterranean and Caribbean islands. If we take into account the limited places there, the islands in South Africa and North Africa are also key ones for travel.

#9. Sao Tome and Principe

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The largest and most famous island of So Tomé and Principe is Sao Tomé Island. Portuguese is a language that a large portion of the local population uses. This island, which is off the west coast of Central Africa, is well-liked by tourists because it offers opportunities for risk-taking activities. Go snorkeling in the clear waters of the Indian Ocean if you want to experience an adrenaline rush. Don’t forget to take some time to stroll through the fishermen’s village and observe the birds while you’re there. Try some of the finest chocolates and coffee the world has to offer as an alternative activity.

Therefore, you and your loved ones should visit this island if you yearn for new perspectives and a change of scenery. The Lost World of So Tomé and Principe is fantastic.

#10. Seal Island

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There are several seal colonies all around the southern African islands’ coastlines, which offer an endless array of chances to take seal expeditions. Take in the grandeur of the seaside while enjoying the aquatic life on Seal Island. Beautiful golden beaches and the crystal-clear Indian Ocean can be found along South Africa’s coastline. You can visit one of the seal islands nearby Cape Town to see a variety of African seals. The Cape Fur seals are the most well-known.

What Is the Most Beautiful Island in Africa?

Some of the best islands off the coast of Africa include the likes of Comoros, Seychelles, Mauritius, and Madagascar.

What Are the 6 Islands of South Africa?

Six islands are located off the African coast and hence, are considered part of the continent. These are Cape Verde, Sí£o Tomé and Príncipe, Madagascar, Comoros, Seychelles, and Mauritius.

Do We Have Islands in Africa?

The islands of Africa can be subdivided into Indian Ocean Islands and Atlantic Ocean Islands. The largest number of islands of Africa are found in the Indian Ocean, with the sovereign island nations of Comoros, Seychelles, Mauritius, and Madagascar located off the southeastern seaboard of Africa being the most notable.

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