Whenever we think of traveling to Africa, we usually think of a safari tour to Maasai Mara, a visit to the ancient Egyptian monuments or a trip to Cape Town. However, Africa has a lot more to offer to its visitors, and the exotic African islands are surely worth your visit. The African islands have a unique collection of flora and fauna, spectacular African island beaches and fascinating history to sneak peek into.
The islands of Africa constitute the major geographical sub-region of Africa. The distinct demographic, historical and cultural sphere of the African islands has influenced the continent greatly. If you see the African islands map, you will find the African island countries.
About African Islands
There are 47 countries in total on the African continent. This includes the disputed Western Sahara territory too. The islands of the African coast are also included in the list which makes it a total of 53 countries. The African island nations constitute Cape Verde, Madagascar, Comoros, São Tomé and Príncipe, Seychelles, and Mauritius. Each of them is a sovereign nation in their own independent rights. These African island countries are quite famous for their captivating and awe-striking beauty and deserve to be added to your bucket list. They attract not only world explorers but also newly married couples.
If you are someone who is looking for white and pristine sandy beaches, crystal clear seawaters, warm oceans, and unique wildlife, histories of the past days, and friendly locals, a visit to the African islands is a must. Africa’s stunning island beauties have plenty to offer including some of the thrilling and engaging activities.
The list of best African islands to visit shows us how wonderfully the east coast of Africa is blessed with a plethora of incredible islands. Each of them is washed by the warm ultramarine waters of the Indian Ocean.
10 Top African Islands
Without further ado, here is your guide to some of the most beautiful getaways of African islands in the Indian Ocean that you must visit at least once in your lifetime.
- Cape Verde Islands
- São Tomé and Príncipe
- Tunisia Island
- Seal Island
- Zanzibar Island
- Lamu Island
1. Cape Verde Islands
Cape Verde, one of the most significant islands of the west coast of Africa is a perfect getaway among African island countries. Considered as a trendy island, Sal is the most visited destination of the island. Also, Sal is one of the 10 most beautiful islands of the African archipelago. A prominent part of the West African islands map, this place is a must visit for tourists who wish to blend into the vivid African culture on their visit.
The word ‘Sal’ means salt in the Portuguese language truly justifies its name for the white sprawling sandy beaches. Sal has risen in popularity as compared to the other islands due to the easy accessibility and convenience. Santa Maria which is the main town of the beautiful island of Sal is embellished with beautiful pastel colored houses. There are also several options for bars, restaurants, live events, and music. The nightlife of Sal is also radiant and full of energy. Cape Verde is one of the most ideal islands in Africa for a honeymoon.
2. São Tomé and Príncipe
São Tomé Island is the largest and the most prominent island of São Tomé and Príncipe. Many of the people living here speak in the Portuguese language. Situated off the west coast of Central Africa, this island is popular among tourists for the opportunities of adventurous sports. Those who want to feel the adrenaline rush can dive into the blue waters of the Indian Ocean and go for snorkeling. One should not forget to explore the quaint and sleepy village of fishermen and sit for bird-watching in their leisure time. Other activity options include trying some of the best world’s coffee and chocolates.
So, if you are longing for new horizons and fresh surroundings, you should definitely visit this island with your loved ones. São Tomé and Príncipe is a great Lost World.
Comoros is an off-beat destination dwelling off the east coast of Africa. The lovers of peace and tranquility will be very content with Comoros, one of the most significant East African islands. Comoros also boasts of pristine beaches, amazing reefs for snorkelers, rich rainforests and a fantastic blend of Swahili and Arabian culture.
Mohéli also called as Mwali is the smallest of the major three African islands which form the nation of Comoros. Mohéli is wild and less crowded. Mohéli Marine Park is the only national park of Comoros. Mohéli also called the nature island, values ecotourism. The charming people and the pureness and freshness of Mohéli will surely captivate you.
Nosy Be, the largest island of the archipelago is a premier destination of Madagascar. Though a small island, it has already attracted many visitors from all across the world. The east African island map will guide you through Madagascar which is situated off the coast of Mozambique.
Madagascar is also considered to be the world’s fourth-largest island which offers a plethora of unique collection of flora and fauna. It is believed that almost 90% of the entire wildlife of Madagascar is found nowhere else on planet Earth.
Nosy Be, a famous island of Madagascar is worth a visit in your life. There are expensive restaurants, hotels, and shops too in the town of Nosy Be by the Indian Ocean. The exotic island despite so many activities still maintains its tranquility, clear turquoise waters, and harmony. The restaurants serve mouth-watering seafood that is worth binging on.
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The Republic of Mauritius is an archipelago with the islands of Mauritius, Rodriguez, St. Brandon, and Agaléga. Mauritius is a cultural melting pot of African, European and Indian influences. Mauritius is one of the most preferred destinations for honeymooners.
Mauritius has countless options of African island beach resorts and stunning shores. It is also a world-class place for activities like deep-sea fishing and scuba diving. The islands deep within hold a habitat of many mammals, birds, and plant species.
Situated towards the east of Kenya, Seychelles archipelago holds 115 paradise islands. Seychelles has the smallest population compared to the other sovereign African countries.
Visitors are drawn to the island’s white sand beaches, azure waters for snorkeling and diving and the rare wildlife consisting of Aldabra giant tortoise and pelagic seabirds. Seychelles cuisine is a must-try, as it is a beautiful blend of African, European and Asian influences. An expansion of luxury resorts also makes Seychelles an excellent choice for honeymoon couples.
A visit to Praslin, the second largest island of Seychelles, Africa will make you keep coming back for more. Earlier, Praslin was a hideout place for Arab merchants and even pirates, but now it stands as a popular destination with many African island beach resorts and hotels.
The best African islands to visit usually include the West African islands and the East African Islands bordered by the beaches of the Indian Ocean. They can genuinely compete with Mediterranean and Caribbean islands concerning natural splendor. The North African islands and South African islands are also significant ones for traveling if we consider the few destinations in there.
7. Tunisia Island
The North African island map will guide you through Djerba in the Mediterranean Sea which is one of the most important North African islands, situated right off the coast of South Tunisia. Djerba is widely popular among tourists for sandy beaches, many sports activities options, and great dining places. If one moves a little away from the animated beach, one can also find a silent and peaceful countryside. The unique culture and traditions of Djerba also fascinate the tourists.
8. Seal Island
There are many Seal colonies all along the coastline of Southern African islands which provides a never-ending list of opportunities to enjoy the seal trips. Enjoy the marine life in the Seal Island and soak into the beauty of the seascape.
The South African coastline offers gorgeous crystal blue Indian Ocean and glistening golden beaches. Close to Cape Town you can visit one of the seal islands to witness many variations of African seals. The most popular ones are the Cape Fur seals.
Other breathtaking southern African islands are the Zanzibar, Reunion, The Lamu Island, Pemba, and Rodden Island. After touring around the best African islands mentioned above, you can continue to explore more with these destinations. The list of fascinating and awe-striking African islands seems endless.
The largest island in Africa, the Zanzibar Island (or Unguja) is located off the coast of Tanzania. Acting as a crucial trading point for centuries, this African beauty is more of an amalgamation of the African, Indian and Arab influences which is highly reflected in its unique culture. Some of the best places to visit in Zanzibar include the Stone Town, Changuu, Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park, Mnemba Island, and the Old Fort of Zanzibar. Other attractions here include the charming bazaars, mosques, courtyards, and the stunning white sandy beaches.
10. Lamu Island
The Lamu Island in the Lamu Archipelago of Kenya is known for its bizarre Old Town, the main town square on the Lamu Island. Apart from being one of the oldest and best protected Swahili settlements in East Africa, the Lamu Old Town bears unique features. The town is mostly made out of coral stone and mangrove timber and the houses here have inner courtyards, verandas, and intricately carved wooden doors. Another interesting fact that makes this a charming spot on the East African islands map is that there are no roads on the island, so you’ll hardly even find any vehicles here. There are merely a set of alleyways and walking trails here.
Wildlife safari may be the first thing in mind when you imagine a vacation in Africa. But the array of African islands deserves a worthy mention. Explore more in-depth into the stunning, amazing islands that Africa houses and experience some of the most precious moments of life. Remember, you have not seen enough of Africa if safari in the wildlife is the only things that you have done so far. So, book your trip to Africa for a rejuvenating vacation filled with sun, sand and more!
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Frequently Asked Questions About African Islands
Here are some common queries that people have regarding the islands in Africa.
Does Africa have islands?
Yes! The Indian Ocean has the largest number of African islands including the sovereign island nations of Comoros, Seychelles, Mauritius, and Madagascar.
Which is the smallest island in Africa?
The smallest island nations in Africa include: 1. Seychelles 2. Sao Tome & Principe 3. Mauritius 4. Comoros 5. Cape Verde
Which islands are off the coast of Africa?
Some of the best islands off the coast of Africa include the likes of Comoros, Seychelles, Mauritius, and Madagascar.
Which African countries are islands?
Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Cape Verde, São Tomé, Mayotte, and Réunion are some of the island countries in Africa.
How many islands are there in Africa?
There are six islands that are located off the African coast and hence, considered the part of the continent. These are Cape Verde, Sí£o Tomé and Príncipe, Madagascar, Comoros, Seychelles, and Mauritius.
What six island nations are considered part of Africa?
Cape Verde, Sí£o Tomé and Príncipe, Madagascar, Comoros, Seychelles, and Mauritius are the six island nations that are considered the part of Africa.
How far is Cape Verde from Africa?
Cape Verde is located 570 km west coast of the African continent.
What is the small island off of Africa called?
It is called the Seychelles.