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Destinations, Accommodation

The Little Black Book of Luxury Beach Resorts in Africa

Written by Julie Graham

Ker & Downey Africa > Journal > The Little Black Book of Luxury Beach Resorts in Africa

Our team of experts are looking at Africa’s gorgeous coastlines and Indian Ocean islands to find exceptional properties that take barefoot luxury to a whole new level. Think secluded beaches, lush forests, crystal clear waters, and pristine coral reefs in absolute paradise with all the creature comforts for utmost indulgence. It’s hard to imagine anything better. 

Our Little Black Book of luxury beach and island lodges in Africa is yet another collection of the finest properties, hand-picked by us for you – the discerning adventurer. Here is a sneak peek into our exclusive collection…

Are you ready?

Thanda Island, Tanzania

Picked by Business Development Manager, Emma Perrin

The luxury villa and swimming pool on Thanda Island.

The luxury villa and pool on Thanda Island, leading straight onto the beach

Thanda Island has been repeatedly referred to as one of the most private and secluded island retreats in the world. Situated within a private marine reserve in the Mafia Island district this 4.5-hectare island is reserved on a purely exclusive-use basis only. Ideal for groups of friends or families, the opulent self-sustainable villa can accommodate 10 people in five luxurious rooms that lead straight onto the beach. Two traditional thatched beach bandas on the other side of the island can sleep up to eight more guests.

An aerial view of Thanda Island in the Zanzibar Archipelago.

 Thanda Island is one of the most exclusive and secluded islands in the world
Situated within a private marine reserve in the Mafia Island district, this 4.5 hectare island is reserved on a purely exclusive basis only.

Described as “a magical place of incomparable experiences”, Thanda is surrounded by sparkling waters that are home to pristine coral reefs and an abundance of marine life including whale sharks and sea turtles. The villa has been kitted out to a tee, with a wealth of amenities at guests’ disposal to enjoy all the marine reserve has to offer. Think boats, jet skis, paddleboards, snorkeling and diving equipment and more. All this, combined with unmatched five-star service and hospitality, is truly what private island dreams are made of.

Banyan Tree Ilha Caldeira, Mozambique, Opening December 2022

Picked by Head of Group Marketing & Product, Lisa Nel

The view from a luxury beach villa at Banyan Tree Ilha Caldeira, Mozambique.

The view from a luxury beach villa at Banyan Tree Ilha Caldeira

The breathtaking private island of Ilha Caldeira can be found 11km off the coast of Mozambique in the fascinating Primeiras and Segundas Archipelago – a chain of 10 sparsely inhabited barrier islands and two coral reef complexes in the Indian Ocean. It is here that the renowned Bayan Tree will be opening its first luxury beach resort in December 2022. The stunning 5-star Banyan Tree Ilha Caldeira will offer 40 exclusive villas, each with a private pool and extraordinary views of the lush tropical surroundings and Indian Ocean. Guests at the resort will also be able to enjoy a range of amenities including the impressive ocean-view fish market restaurant (one of three on the island), award-winning Banyan Tree spa, and a Marine Conservation Center.

The stunning 5-star Banyan Tree Ilha Caldeira will offer 40 exclusive villas, each with a private pool and extraordinary views of the lush tropical surroundings and pristine Indian Ocean.

A luxury beach villa at Banyan Tree Ilha Caldeira with a private pool.

A 100% sustainable Banyan Tree Ilha Caldeira villa with private pool

The island provides the perfect playground for those wanting to explore both above and below the sparkling waters. Kayaking, fishing, surfing, sailing, snorkeling, whale watching and more are some of the activities on offer to guests at Banyan Tree Ilha Caldeira. Scuba diving tours to nearby islands and ancient shipwrecks are also an exhilarating way to explore the underwater world around the Primeiras and Segundas Archipelago. And if this isn’t enough to impress, the entire resort at Banyan Tree Ilha Caldeira is 100% powered by solar with all water desalinated on the island.

Miavana by Time + Tide, Madagascar

Picked by General Manager, North America, Marcelo Novais

Aerial view of Time + Tide Miavana located on a remote private island off the coast of Madagascar.

Miavana by Time + Tide located on a remote private island off the coast of Madagascar

Located on a remote private island off the coast of Madagascar, Miavana by Time + Tide is a place where exclusivity and adventure meet. This intimate wonderland of wild coastlines, baobabs, pristine beaches, and coral gardens is only 10 square kilometers – ideal for an off-the-beaten-track island escape. The adventure begins from the moment guests are transported to the island via helicopter. Once there, 14 eco-friendly private beachfront villas await, dotting the coastline in an elegant blend of traditional and modern design. Natural elements of the sea and sand are celebrated through handmade textiles, local hand-cut stones and seashells accented throughout.

The interior of a private beachfront villa at Time + Tide Miavana, Madagascar, with views of the Indian Ocean.

A private beachfront villa at Time + Tide Miavana
Each villa boasts a butler service, private pool, and floor-to-ceiling windows that provide panoramic views of the turquoise Indian Ocean in all its glory.

Each villa boasts a butler service, private pool, and floor-to-ceiling windows that provide panoramic views of the turquoise Indian Ocean in all its glory. All water and land-based activities are included during a stay at Miavana including forest trekking to witness the iconic resident crowned lemurs, scenic helicopter journeys, boat cruises, scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, water sports, and more. Guests also have access to bicycles and an electric buggy to explore the island at their leisure. It really is no wonder Miavana by Time + Tide has been described as a “castaway luxury for pioneering adventures”.

Stay here on our 12 day Northern Madagascar Islands Safari.

Zuri Zanzibar, Zanzibar

Picked by PR & Communications Manager, Lindsay Krause

Zuri Zanzibar is located on an idyllic white sand beach in the north-west of Zanzibar

Located on the stunning white shores of Kendwa beach in the northwest of Zanzibar, Zuri Zanzibar ticks all the boxes when it comes to sustainable barefoot luxury. This includes being the first-ever hotel in the world to be awarded EarthCheck’s esteemed Sustainable Design Gold Certification. Designed by Jestico + Whiles, the luxury beachfront resort is a seamless blend of sustainable architecture and contemporary design offering a world-class experience in one of the most idyllic locations in the world.

The luxuriously appointed villas each enjoy an exclusive oceanfront location with a jacuzzi and their own stretch of secluded beach for the ultimate private paradise experience.

A villa and jacuzzi at Zuri Zanzibar

A luxuriously appointed villa with breathtaking ocean views at Zuri Zanzibar

Hidden in the lush tropical gardens, just a short walk from the soft sand and azure waters of the ocean, Zuri’s 56 stylish bungalows, suites and villas blend seamlessly into the natural environment. The luxuriously appointed villas each enjoy an exclusive oceanfront location with a jacuzzi and their own stretch of secluded beach for the ultimate private paradise experience. Great for swimming all year round, Zuri Zanzibar offers a wide range of water and land-based activities including sunset dhow cruises, fishing trips, snorkeling, diving, beach volleyball and more. The hotel also favors wellness and offers yoga, meditation, spa treatments and a walk in the famous Zuri Spice Garden – the ideal location for a quiet stroll and meditation amongst an array of diverse and aromatic plants.

Six Senses Zil Pasyon, Félicité Island, Seychelles

Picked by Content Manager, Julie Graham

An oceanfront pool villa at Six Senses Zil Pasyon

Six Senses Zil Pasyon Oceanfront Pool Villa

Considered to be one of the most exquisite islands in the world, Félicité Island, Seychelles, is a picturesque granite island with stunning coral-fringed beaches. The forested hilly interior punctuated by white sand beaches is a unique feature of this island paradise and it is here that Six Senses Zil Pasyon has found a luxurious home. A selection of extraordinary villas – including 28 one-bedroom pool villas, 2 two-bedroom pool villas, as well as three- and four-bedroom Residences – are set against stunning granite rocks with inspired ecological designs, sleek contemporary finishes, and sweeping views across the azure Indian Ocean.

A two-bedroom pool villa and view of the ocean at Six Senses Zil Pasyon.

A magnificent two-bedroom pool villa at Six Senses Zil Pasyon
A selection of extraordinary villas are set against stunning granite rocks with inspired ecological designs, sleek contemporary finishes, and sweeping views across the azure Indian Ocean.

There are a range of thrilling activities on offer from exploring the island (on your own private beach buggy) to watersports and beach activities. Other unique activities to the island include a hike to Félicité’s majestic six Coco de Mer, turtle hatching from October to February, and a blockbuster movie under the stars at Cinema Paradiso. A day trip on a kayak to snorkel and explore the untouched reefs at Coco Island is also highly recommended. Here, among these pristine coral gardens, you will have the chance to encounter some magical marine life including eagle rays, small reef sharks, needlefish, turtles and more.

One&Only Le Saint Géran, Mauritius

Picked by General Manager, Private Clients, Sarah Morris

The lounge area of Villa One at One & Only Le Saint Géran, Mauritius.

The opulent and expansive villa at Le Saint Géran, designed for utmost privacy and pleasure

The One&Only Le Saint Géran is an exclusive island hideaway located in Mauritius, just off the east coast of Africa. This renowned volcanic island has long enticed travelers to its pristine beaches and sapphire waters and the One&Only Le Saint Géran offers the very best of the best. Secluded on its very own private peninsula, the five-star resort is surrounded by pearlescent sand and the warm azure waters of the Indian Ocean. A selection of luxurious rooms and suites offer guests a stylish island escape, but it is the One&Only Le Saint Géran’s exclusive villa that takes luxury to another level.

Secluded on its very own private peninsula, the five-star resort is surrounded by pearlescent sand and the warm azure waters of the Indian Ocean.

A hammock between two palm trees at the One&Only Le Saint Géran in Mauritius.

The One&Only Le Saint Géran is the epitome of unparalleled barefoot luxury

Opulent and expansive, Villa One is designed for utmost privacy and pleasure. A lavish terrace wrapped around a large infinity pool with breathtaking views of the ocean, surrounds this elegant two-bedroom villa, referred to as the ‘pièce de résistance’ of the resort. Fully serviced by a dedicated butler, team of valets, and even a private chef, the villa is a haven in which to truly relax. Guests who wish to enjoy the calm waters surrounding the peninsula have a range of watersports and other activities to enjoy, including an award-winning spa, floodlit tennis courts, a variety of gourmet restaurants, and a world-class Player golf course.

Get filled in on some more secrets from our Little Black Book by contacting a LuxVenture® Designer and planning your tropical island adventure today! We’ve got your back all the way. 

See you out there!