Top
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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...

1

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...

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2

Grootbos

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

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3

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...

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4

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...

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5

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,...

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6

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...

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7

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...

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8

Birkenhead House

Beach heaven beckons at this relaxed but chic property perched on a cliff overlooking the whale-watching paradise of Walker Bay in the town of Hermanus. Choose from 11 elegantly decorated...

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9

Cape View Clifton

In a city of Instagram-worthy views, the boutique Cape View Clifton can boast a spectacular setting. Looking over the expanse of Camps Bay and the ever-changing Atlantic Ocean with iconic Table Mountain in the distance,...

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10

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...

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- Mr & Mrs Manson, North 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!
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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’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
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, 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 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
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

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