private islands in Africa – “Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
The fantasy of finding oneself deserted on a tropical island, surrounded by secluded beaches with pearlescent sand, lush palm forests and crystal clear waters is frequented by many. It is a place our minds drift towards when we crave an escape from our fast-paced modern lives and day-to-day responsibilities. The allure of seclusion in a location off-limits to anyone without an exclusive invitation is irresistible, and is precisely why these remote retreats dotted all around the globe are so highly sought-after.
The good news is that this fantasy is not just exclusive to day-dreams, and is more accessible than you may think. Africa, with its wild oceans and pristine coastlines, has some of the most secluded and exclusive island getaways offering absolute paradise, complete privacy, and all the luxurious creature comforts for utmost indulgence. This is private islands in Africa.
Situated only a short distance off the Tanzanian coast, Zanzibar has long enticed travelers from around the world to its azure shores, steeped in history, beauty and mystery. This exotic archipelago consisting of several islands is rich with a mix of Arabic and African cultures, creating a wonderfully colorful fusion of influences that can be seen, tasted, heard, and felt throughout.
Just off the coast of Zanzibar lies Mnemba Island – considered to be one of the most beautiful islands in Africa, and the world. At just under one mile long, its size makes it ultra-exclusive and intimate. This award-winning hideaway caters for just 24 guests in 12 simple yet luxurious beachside bandas, sheltered by a towering casuarina pine forest. Defined as being the ultimate definition of ‘barefoot luxury’ this flagship andBeyond camp offers the finest world-class service, food and accommodation in unpretentious style.
Absolutely anything can be tailored to guests’ desires, from delectable sushi platters, private yoga sessions, and romantic candlelit champagne dinners on the beach under the ink-black star-studded skies, and
The island is also part of the breathtaking Mnemba Atoll, and is surrounded by a vast, pristine coral reef. The reef, frequented by dolphins, as well as bright Moorish idols, blue tang and clownfish, can be enjoyed underwater by snorkeling or diving, or above the water on an exclusive traditional dhow safari.
A land steeped in mystery, intrigue, legends of pirates and seething seas, Madagascar epitomizes an enchanting rugged paradise. If the feeling of being truly castaway is what you’re after – look no further. The largest of the five islands, situated in the Levens Archipelago off the northeast of Madagascar, and it is is a wonderland of wild coastlines, mountains, baobab, rare wildlife, pristine beaches and an abundance of coral gardens and marine life.
It is also home to Miavana, a spectacular private island hotel that complements the stunning landscape in seamless style. The 14 mid-century eco-powered private beachfront villas that dot the coastline, are an elegant blend of traditional and modern design with natural elements of the sea and sand celebrated through handmade textiles, local hand-cut stones and seashells accented throughout. Located in this beautifully remote destination, Miavana is a combination of raw and refined where guests are immersed in an adventure playground from arriving via helicopter to diving some of the world’s most beautiful reefs.
Each villa boasts a butler service, a private pool, and floor to ceiling windows that provide panoramic views of the turquoise Indian Ocean in all its glory. Guests also have access to bicycles and an electric buggy to explore the island at their leisure.
All activities are included in a visit to Miavana. Guests can enjoy trekking through the forested heart of the island, tracking down the iconic resident crowned lemurs, or soaking in the vistas on scenic helicopter journeys. Water activities include boat cruises, scuba diving and snorkeling through the colorful coral reefs, fishing, water sports and more. The description – castaway luxury for pioneering adventures – could not be more apt.
The Seychelles is a stunning archipelago of over 100 islands found in the warm, salty waters of the Indian Ocean, just off East Africa. It is world renowned for its incredible beaches, colorful waters, coral reefs are bursting with an abundance of exotic wildlife. Fregate Island, situated off the main island, is a private getaway that has been described as part paradise, part wild isle, and a mini Galápagos – home to some rare and exciting creatures including the giant Aldabra tortoise, Hawksbill turtles and the near-extinct Seychelles Magpie Robin.
Fregate Island Private is located on a conservation sanctuary, surrounded by sky-blue seas and comprises just 16 private beautifully crafted and designed villas, each with a private pool. This idyllic haven also comes with a personal butler, and the newly revamped heavenly Ayurveda Rock Spa, offering a unique and holistic selection of treatments using oils and products made from the indigenous flora of the island.
The island has seven secluded beaches, each with their own character. Accessible by jungle trails, the beaches are wild and pristine with one – Anse Victorin – having been voted one of the most beautiful in the world. Once you reach your desired beach, simply flip the “Beach Occupied” sign, and it’s all yours. And if staying put isn’t enticing enough, experience the islands nearby by hopping on any one of the four luxury sports boats and indulging in an island-hopping adventure!
Tanzania is a flagship East African country, renowned for its wild, untamed beauty – from expansive savannah plains, to the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean. It is also home to one of the world’s most private and secluded island retreats, surrounded by unparalleled natural beauty.
Unlike its African counterparts on this list, Thanda is taken on a purely exclusive basis only – meaning the entire island paradise and the one single luxury villa can be enjoyed in total privacy with friends and family. The villa sleeps 10 people in five luxurious bedrooms that lead directly onto the beach. More accommodation can be found on the other side of the island in the form of 2 thatched beach bandas (or chalets) that can sleep at least eight more guests.
The villa is completely self-sustainable and powered by the island’s solar farm and desalination plant for gallons of fresh water. It is eco-luxury at its very best! Complete with service that cannot be matched elsewhere.
The sparkling seas surrounding Thanda are home to an abundant diversity of marine life including bright, pristine coral gardens, reef sharks, dolphins, colorful fish and gentle whale sharks. The lodge has a wealth of toys at guests’ disposal including boats, jet skis, paddle boards, snorkeling and diving equipment and more. This is what private island dreams are made of and this paradise really has to be seen to be believed.
Mozambique is a tropical paradise stowed away on the Eastern coast of Southern Africa and is home to an array of idyllic remote islands. It is a vastly unexplored country with the warm Indian Ocean lapping onto white sand beaches, lined with tropical palm trees and an abundance of coral reefs and marine wildlife.
Benguerra Island, situated off the coast of Mozambique, lies in a protected marine reserve and national park, set on a beautifully preserved lagoon. Azura Retreats award-winning Azura Benguerra comprises 20 luxuriously appointed villas dotting the coast of one of the last undiscovered beaches on Earth.
This eco-friendly resort was hand-built by the local community, and uplifts the local islanders through community based projects and employment. Guests can expect first-class service from Mozambican butler-hosts, who are there to assist with anything and everything.
Whether relaxation is the name of the game, or fun-filled adventures above and under the water, every traveler’s need is taken into consideration and time on the island operates exactly how you want it to. Sail into the sunset on a traditional wooden dhow, explore the undiscovered colorful coral gardens, swim with whale sharks and dolphins, or enjoy the cool surrounds of the massage sala as you drift in and out of fantasies of desert island bliss. As they say, “At Azura, it is all about you.”
The allure of Africa, and the islands, both seemingly cut-off from the rest of the world, is indescribable. Few places on the planet embody the isolated, occasionally uninhabited, and ruggedly wild essence you get from a visit to Africa, and it’s remote islands. Generously serving as the backdrop to life-altering experiences for travelers for centuries, you will be hard-pressed to find anything that will match your castaway fantasy quite as fittingly.
Get in touch with the team at Ker & Downey® Africa today to start planning the ultimate private islands in Africa adventure.