Photo Credit: @mikespits via Twenty20
These Are Africa's Top 5 Island Destinations
As the mainland countries such as Ghana, South Africa, and Nigeria have risen in tourism and popularity over recent years, it’s time for us to really get acquainted with the islands of the motherland. Here are the top 5 island destinations of Africa.
Located in the Indian Ocean southeast of Madagascar, and comprised of seven islands, Mauritius has one of the most diverse populations in all of Africa. It is also one of the few stable democracies in Africa since its independence in 1968. Their food has influences from French and Asian cuisines. The landscape of the islands consist of the perfect blend of mountains and beaches, which has made the islands of Mauritius a tourist attraction for countries in the eastern hemisphere for quite some time.
Seychelles sits outside the coast of Kenya, and is considered one of the countries in East Africa. Comprised of over 100 tiny islands, the main ones to visit are Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue. Most of the major tourism will be in Mahe, but if you’d like a more exclusive or secluded experience, we’d recommend taking a boat to the surrounding islands. The food is also French-inspired so prepare for some of the best Creole cuisine you’ve ever experienced.
Zanzibar, also known as the Spice Island for its strategic location along the spice and slave trade routes in the early 1900s, consists of four islands off the coast of East Africa. You will find the population is predominantly Muslim, so it’s important to check for any holidays before you travel, as most of the local shops will close, however, the hotel results will do business as usual. The island, which is part of the nation of Tanzania, sits very close to the equator, so the warm weather is consistent through out the year. One of the highlights of Zanzibar, aside from the gorgeous weather and beaches, is the architecture in Stone Town that is a mix of Arabian arches, Omani doorways, and Indian wooden balconies.
The island of Principe sits across the coast of Central-West Africa near the Equator, within the Gulf Of Guinea. It is the least developed of all the islands and only just recently started acquiring investors for tourism purposes. Imagine an untouched tropical paradise complete with rainforests, clean beaches, and friendly locals.
Djerba is situated in the Gulf of Gabes on the Mediterranean Sea, off the Tunisian mainland. What makes Djerba special is its cultural richness as the Muslim, Jewish, and Berber communities coexist peacefully on the island. You’ll definitely want to take some photos of all the Instagram-worthy synagogues and mosques that populate the island.
There are a couple of great honorable mentions, such as Cape Verde and Madagascar. Both are very established countries in travel and tourism. Just make sure you do your due diligence on deciding which one of these islands would be great for your next spring break or summer vacation.