Relaxing places in Africa
The white beach at Vilankulo seems almost never ending and slides into the clear turquoise sea with views of the gorgeous Bazaruto Islands. Dhows are anchored up in the shallow water before they sweep out to sea for fishing, only to return in the afternoon to unload their catch to the waiting fishmongers. At low tide, the beach becomes so wide, it gives you the impression that you could wade right out to the islands, but don't try. Instead go on a dhow safari for some chilling and snorkeling at the islands, which otherwise are reserved for luxury resorts. Accommodations in Vilankulo are spread out along the shore and lie among the small huts and houses that make up the town. This means there is a lot local life, both on the beach and in the sandy back alleys, giving Vilankulo lots of local flavour, but also at times a rough vibe.
Réunion is not known for beaches, but Saint-Pierre is bit of a beach town. It's a nice town with a bustling center lined with modern shops, but to find Saint-Pierre's soul you need to head down to the waterfront. Here lie the yacht harbour, the promenade with restaurants and snack stands, and the white sand city beach with tranquil azure waters.
Set on the shores of Lake Kivu, Kibuye has no reason to envy its big sister, the more touristic Gisenyi (Rubavu). Formed by many mountainous peninsulas and hilly islands, Kibuye offers splendid views from every location, and could easily meet some of the expectations coming with the overused term of 'paradise'. This small and quiet town doesn't have much to offer in terms of activities - and it might be why it has been neglected in favour of Gisenyi - but is a really pleasant getaway for a few days. Many of the islands that dot the lake are fun to visit, the favourites being Napolean Island with its thousands of fruit bats and Peace Island where you can sip a beer and play volleyball. While still surprisingly overlooked by most tourists, the town is starting to get noticed, so development is underway... for better or for worse.
Banana Beach is a gorgeous golden sand beach with a gentle bend - like a banana. Though all beaches in Sao Tome and Principe are public, the palm filled shady grounds are runned by the Roca Belo Monte. There are pavilions, tables and even a bar. There is another and more local beach, Caju, a short walk through the trees.
The road to Boi Beach is really rough with mud and rocks, and the last bit is just an overgrown jungle track. But you will get rewarded with a wild and deserted beach with leaning slender coconut palms. Sea turtles come here to nest from October to April.
This long beach with golden sand runs in front of the Bombom resort. Luxury bungalows are scattered along the beach and on rocky outcrops under shady trees and slender palms. Since all beaches are public in Sao Tome and Principe, you can just enter the resort and use the beach. The small island Bombom of shore is connected with a long wooden walkway.
A wonderful long and wild beach with lots of picturesque leaning coconut palms. The beach is a prime nesting site for sea turtles (Green turle, Hawksbill and the rare Leatherback) from October to April. There are three bungalows belonging to Jale Eco Resort - else the beach is totally deserted.
A short bumpy dirt track leads down to this beautiful bay encircled by black cliffs. The beach is long and wide with grey sand. It's one of the few beaches where the palm trees are outnumbered by other kinds of trees.
Pool beach (Praia Piscina) is named after the natural rock pools. You can safely take a dip in the pool on the beach side. There is a viewpoint overlooking both the beach and the wild coastline, where waves crash against the black lava rocks.
You start to understand why Bombom resort is so popular. Not only does it has a gorgeous beach, it has TWO. On the backside of the resort lies Santa Rita Beach. It's more wild and untidy than the palm lined Bombom beach, but some might even prefer that. You are welcome to use the beach, whether or not you stay at Bombom.