The official top ten
Beach Retreats in Southern Africa

Sometimes we all need some fresh ocean air and barefoot beach time, and few places on Earth compare to Mozambique for the beach enthusiast. Africa’s prime beach destination, here you can look forward squeaky-soft white beaches, dhow sailing trips to enjoy sumptuous seafood lunches on footprint-free sand banks and kaleidoscopic reefs offering some of the best scuba diving on the planet.

South Africa, too, provides a quintessential outdoorsy playground with first-class boutique beach retreats on both the Atlantic and Indian Ocean. The breath-taking beaches of Cape Town, Hermanus and the Garden Route have so much to offer on their doorstep – from wine tasting tours through ravishing vineyards, delicious surf-and-turf cuisine and endless wide white beaches with fantastic whale and dolphin watching opportunities. 

With so many wonderful options to choose from in Southern Africa, we have made life easier by whittling it down to 10 truly spectacular properties – from a designer eco-paradise overlooking the whales of Walker Bay, to an ultra-exclusive city pad in Cape Town, to a rustic beach lodge nestled between the sweeping dunes and turquoise waters of Mozambique’s Machangulo Peninsula...


White Pearl

The ultimate barefoot beach retreat? White Pearl is definitely a contender. Opened in 2011, White Pearl is a sexy boutique resort on a ravishing and untouched stretch of beach on...



Authentic African warmth is found at this collection of luxury lodges nestled in the heart of a 2,500-hectare private nature reserve. Artfully designed within ancient Milkwood forests and overlooking the...


Santorini Mozambique

At first glance you will think you have landed on the chic white-washed island of Santorini in the Greek Islands, but look closer and the Santorini Mozambique has so much...


Azura Quilalea Private Island

The last word in cool castaway chic, Azura Quilalea is one of the loveliest lodges in Mozambique and promises a beautiful back-to-nature experience.  Set on an uninhabited 34 hectare private...


Ellerman House

The dramatic backdrop of Lion’s Bay is the setting for the privately-owned Ellerman House. Formerly the Bantry Bay mansion of philanthropist Sir John Ellerman, this boutique hotel exudes effortless style,...


Azura Benguerra Island

The epitome of African eco-chic, Azura Benguerra is set within Bazaruto National Park on the squeaky white beaches and turquoise waters of Bazaruto island, reached via speedboat or an exhilarating...


Machangulo Beach Lodge

Nestled between the Indian Ocean, golden sandy beaches and the enchanting forest dunes of the secluded Machangulo Peninsula, the boutique Machangulo Beach Lodge offers rustic luxury amongst untamed nature. A...


Birkenhead House

Beach heaven beckons at this relaxed but chic property that overlooks the beautiful beaches of Voëlklip, (meaning ‘bird rock’ in Afrikaans) and the white sand strip of Grotto Beach. Birkenhead is...


Cape View Clifton

In a city of Instagram-worthy views, the boutique Cape View Clifton can boast one of the most spectacular settings. Looking over the expanse of Clifton and Camps Bay, the ever-changing Atlantic Ocean, the Twelve Apostles...


The Plettenberg

The Plettenberg – situated on a rocky headland in one of South Africa's most spectacular beach towns – is a perfect retreat. Owned by hotelier Liz McGrath, this 35-room luxurious hotel...


Client Testimonials

So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
I would recommend Ampersand without any hesitation!!! The best travel agent that I’ve ever had. Everything – from the individual care and attention in planning the trip, through to the efficiency of the agents on the ground in India – was handled brilliantly. An absolutely first-class service all round!
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
Ampersand provided a bespoke and flexible holiday, tailored to my every whim. Their highly professional staff had only one goal which was to arrange an exceptional holiday and some unforgettable experiences in India. I have no hesitation in fully recommending them and they will be the first company I approach in the future - 10/10
- Anonymous, India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
- Mr David Wallace, North India

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