For many travellers to Africa, the choices tend to be between the islands or sub-Saharan regions. South Africa continues to be a huge attraction for travellers of all level of experience and age due to its huge booming tourist industry, but what about those who aren’t sure where to go and want something a bit different in terms of island options? Read ahead for some great suggestions for islands that people don’t usually pick for their African getaway.
This is a bit of a curious one – it’s both popular, and yet not. During the high season it does attract visitors but never seems to have huge amounts of people, especially in more local village resorts than he big gated resorts. Zanzibar is located off the coast of Tanzania and is home to numerous types of spice plantations as well as huge amounts of white, sand beaches that rival those elsewhere in the world. Be sure to check out the snorkelling – especially off the north eastern coast where trips to a private island’s reef can be arranged (you can’t set foot on the island, though). The reef is impressive and offers huge arrays of gorgeous fish. For more local experiences, stick to the smaller resorts. For parties head to the town of Nungwe on the north coast. For chilled beach scene and parties check out Kendwa on the west coast.
While technically an overseas French territory, Reunion Island is located off the coast of Madagascar and not very far from Mauritius. It’s relatively unexplored by tourists but offers those who make the trip some truly unspoilt beauty and natural scenery. Covered by mountains and lush forests, Reunion Island is truly a unique paradise that will leave you wanting more. Dotted with waterfalls, beaches, and amazing hiking trails along with volcanoes, Reunion is not just an adventure lover’s paradise but also an outdoor lover’s ideal place to visit. The food has been influenced in such a way that it has a large amount of French, African and Indian dishes available. Some can be spicy, but not terrifically so, but be sure to check if you have a spice sensitivity.
Madagascar is a large and beautiful country off the east coast of mainland Africa. This unique region was first settled between 300BC and 500AD by Bornean migrants and then by Bantu migrants from the mainland later. The general isolation of the island means that it’s home to plant and animal life, most of which is not found anywhere else on the planet. Due to the location, Madagascar has been settled by an interesting collection over time, which have all added their individual tastes and takes on clothing and dishes, so it’s a really unique place to head to in order to enjoy a culture you won’t find elsewhere.
There you have a couple of lesser visited islands of Africa and why you should definitely consider them on your next trip to the region. With so many to choose from it can be difficult to pick the one that’s right for your tastes but each is filled with so many wonderful things it makes it even harder to pick one! So pack your bags – Africa is waiting for you.