It is no secret us ‘Saffas’ adore our beach holidays. Even more so if we can make it a family affair. So bundle up your brood and head to the Indian Ocean Islands for some of the close-to-home, family friendly beach breaks to suit your pocket.
Two of our favourites certainly are Mozambique and the Seychelles. But you shouldn't rule out the likes of Zanzibar or the Maldives either. Take a look.
SEE: #AfriTravel: fastjet Maputo flights open Mozambique up to South Africans
Macaneta Beach, Mozambican Peninsula island of Macaneta
Macaneta Beach is yet another perfect beach destination for South Africans. With the Nkomati River and the Indian Ocean as its borders, Macaneta is the jewel in the crown of the Maputo province, and for centuries has fulfilled the role of weekend getaway and holiday destination for South Africans.
Make the most of its pristine beaches, whale watching, game fishing and it is also home to the delicate breeding grounds of the giant leatherback turtle. Bring the family, go backpacking or simply slip away for a romantic retreat.
SEE: Get lit for Mozambique with these traveller tips
Vilanculos, Bazaruto Archipelago
Why: If you have Bazaruto on your bucket list, Vilanculos should be on the agenda. Whether you’re in pursuit of a beach holiday or a break with lots of activities, the extraordinary mix of friendly people and rustic surroundings that Vilanculos has to offer will captivate you.
Look forward to: Scuba diving, backpacking, kitesurfing and wildlife watching are a few of the activities that will allow for endless family fun. The best activity though is to go island hopping on the dhows that set out to sea all times of the day.
SEE: #AfriTravel: Here's what a R34m Mozambique island adventure entails
Did you know that this beach hosts its own full moon beach parties? You need to add your party shoes along with your sunblock when heading to Zanzibar. Not only does it have sandy white beaches but there is also a bar on the beach - "with a four-hour-long daily happy hour for cocktails - palm forest draped with hammocks, and crystal blue waters perfect for snorkeling. There is also an natural aquarium that will see you swimming with tons of green sea turtles - incredible.
Maafushi, Kaafu Atol
Is this possibly the best-located office in the world? This is where you collect your snorkelling gear while holidaying at Moofushi and where you can book other watersports such as stand-up paddling, windsurfing and kayaking. The water is of course, warm like bath water and just a few metres from a small reef, which from the surface looked like a dull rocky outcrop. But the moment you get your face in there you are transported to an absolute paradise - like being an extra in finding Nemo.
SEE: Maldives: Budget-friendly escapes for South Africans
SEE: The Maldives = Beach therapy
Beau Vallon, Mahé
Mahé's most popular beach offers a 3km crescent of white-sand beach dotted with takamaka trees and coconut palms. There is an area specifically marked out for swimmers, and lifeguards are present at all times. Despite Beau Vallon’s popularity, it is still surprisingly crowd-free.
Head to Beau Vallon for plenty of activities to keep the entire family occupied including parasailing, snorkelling, diving, sailing, and delicious Seychelles eateries.
SEE: Exploring Mahé - the main island of the Seychelles
Bird Island, private northern-most island in the Seychelles archipelago
For nature-lovers, Bird Island is the obvious choice. The clear Indigo blue waters offer a variety of sea-life and you are most likely to spot dolphins from October to December and March to May. Bird Island is also a haven for turtles laying their eggs, especially between October and February when Hawksbill turtles crawl ashore and lay their eggs. Join an eco-tour with the resident conservationist, who'll enthusiastically tell you about the breeding habits of turtles.
SEE: Seychelles: Why it's good for the soul
Blue Bay is what tourism promotors and holiday makers alike dream of. It is one of those places where it is simply hard to get a bad picture! The crystalline blue waters make it one of the quintessential beaches to frolic in. There are also plenty of water sports and snorkelling opportunities in the area. The water is warm, the sand is white and as a popular spot, there might just be something for your eye too.
SEE: Gypsetting: Mauritius from a different perspective...
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- Have baby, will travel to Zanzibar!
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