Islands In Africa

By: Matthew Kepnes

Besides the South Pacific, one of the best places in the world to discover undeveloped, stunning tropical islands is in Africa. Most are undeveloped and do not have a big tourist industry, they are often very rugged, the water is crystal clear, the wildlife abundant, and their beaches are made of beautiful white sand. If there were any islands in the world that are picture perfect the following islands would be it.

Zanzibar is an island that is part of Tanzania. Zanzibar was once a separate state with a long trading history within the Arab world and still enjoys a high degree of autonomy within the union. The capital is Zanzibar City, and its old quarter, Stone Town, is a World Heritage Site. The beaches here are undeveloped and the area around the island has an amazing amount of fish, as evident by the piles at the fish markets. It is still sometimes referred to as the Spice Islands because of the significance of its production of cloves.

Madagascar is a large island nation in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa. The nations is the fourth largest island in the world and has 5 of the world s plant and animal species, of which more than 80 are endemic to Madagascar. The eastern part of the island is home to many tropical rainforests, while the western and southern sides, which lie in the rain shadow of the central highlands, are home to tropical dry forests, thorn forests, and deserts. For travelers looking for challenging jungle trekking, reinvigorating streams, and eye opening waterfalls, a holiday to Madagascar should be on your travel list.

Mauritius is an island nation off the coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about 900 kilometers east of Madagascar. Mauritius is part of the Mascarene Islands, with the French island of Réunion to the southwest and the island of Rodrigues to the northeast. This island is home to white sand and palm fringed beaches, warm water, and friendly locals. Its out of the way location makes it a great place to go to get away from the crowds. Interestingly, the island of Mauritius is renowned for having been the only known home of the dodo.

An island of true contrasts, Reunion is relatively unheard of to many of the world s travelers. This diverse island in the middle of the Indian Ocean is simply one of the most intriguing destinations in the world. With an active volcano on its south coast, 17 miles of warm, welcoming beaches in the west, and lots of mountains and forests in between, Reunion offers a little bit of everything to tourists. It’s far away location means that not many people are there. Like Mauritius, it is also part of France.

Lastly, there are the islands of the Seychelles. Located off the east coast of Africa, these islands are pure paradise. If anywhere in the world would get someone give it all up and live in beach hut, the Seychelles would be it. The Seychelles have perfect beaches, perfect water, tons of islands to choose from, and all the seclusion you want. This group of 115 islands offers everything a beach lover could ask for. However, the downside to this paradise is that it is expensive to get to and caters to a rich clientele, making them also expensive to stay in.

Africa may be known to the world for its safaris, jungles, animals, desert, and poverty but Africa also has great tropical destinations. With so many wonderful islands to travel to, consider vacation to the islands in Africa the next time you are planning your tropical vacation.