Far from the Madding Crowd

There are some beach retreats which are so far from the madding crowds - and so expansive in size - that you'll be surprised to share the beach with anyone else apart from a distant view of one of the other lodge guests.

Overview

The holiday brochures and websites all show empty expanses of enticing golden sand and gently leaning palm trees. Yet we all fear that some of the charm will be gone or the reality will be different from the publicity. Regimented rows of towels and beach umbrellas stretching into the distance is not many people's beach ideal. It doesn't matter how beautiful the bay, or how turquoise the water, if you can only find a matchbox-sized space to plonk down your towel and sunscreen.

The happy reality is that this is rarely the case for many of the beach destinations that we recommend. This is the beauty of the beaches of Africa's coasts and islands. It is almost surprising how empty even most of South Africa's beach can be. (Outside of the peak Christmas season of course!)

But we can do even better than that... There are some beach retreats which are so far from the madding crowds - and so expansive in size - that you'd be surprised to share the beach with anyone else apart from a tiny 'pin figure' in the distance.

Mozambique beach retreats

The islands off the Mozambique mainland such as Benguerra, Bazaruto and the Quirimbas Archipelago operate as virtually private islands with only one or two beach lodges on the whole island.

The same goes for the Inner Islands of the Seychelles...

Private retreats - Medjumbe Island

Malawi or Madagascar?

Another location which also has this utter sense of seclusion in spades is Lake Malawi. Indeed some of the Lake Malawi lodges are built on islands in this vast inland sea.

Finally why not consider the northern islands of Madagascar?. Here you can have gorgeous unspoilt beaches and combine it with some of the most unique wildlife experiences in the world...

Private retreats - Lake Malawi

South Africa Beach Retreats

Surprisingly, this glorious isolation can even be found in the more populous South Africa. Here, some of the best beaches are backed by vegetation that's unsuitable for agriculture. So that means no settlements or villages. Yes, accessibility is more of an issue. But, personally, I'd prefer to drive an extra hour or two if that means I have a vast expanse of empty beach to enjoy for several days...

Private retreats - Thonga Beach Lodge

So check out our sample holidays and recommended beach retreats,  below. Most of them are small lodges. So that a even short walk along the beach will get you away from other guests.

Highlights

  • Remote beach destinations to choose from - Quirimbas islands, Benguerra, Lake Malawi, Mozambique, even much of South Africa's coastline
  • Outside of the Christmas peak, many beaches are uncrowded, especially if you are happy to walk a short distance.
  • Vegetated dunes along much of South Africa's coastline has kept it beautiful and unspoilt.

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