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.

Enjoyed the charm of the accommodation

"I want thank Mari for helping us create a vacation tour that worked for my husband son and myself. We got to see everything we would like to see that worked within our budget." Mrs Janouska, USA

Everything was brilliant

"Ginny Russell and the Cedarberg team have arranged many trips to Africa for us over the last 25 years. Each holiday has been wonderful and we love planning them with Ginny. When we think Africa & safari we always think Cedarberg. Thanks again Ginny, we are already looking forward to our next safari. Val & Frank" Mrs Val Cummins

A varied and fantastic holiday that we will never forget

"Milandi interpreted all our needs perfectly and the tailor-made holiday was way beyond our expectations. As a first time visitor to South Africa, we were quite apprehensive about safety, but all the places chosen for us to stay in were comfortable and hospitable." Mr Andrew Thompson
 
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Madelyn Nieuwoudt

Africa Travel Specialist

Hi I'm Madelyn, I'm here to help you plan your ideal holiday experience

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Outstanding holiday

"The arrangements worked well. Many thanks for all the hard work." Mr Bund, UK

We enjoyed it all

"Ginny created a holiday that was well-suited to our requirements. The arrangements, timings and itinerary were sensible and all stages of the holiday were faultlessly executed by the chosen representatives." Mr John Hartley, UK

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"We are back from our trip to SA and having had just the best time ever. Everything slotted into place perfectly and all the accommodation and activities you booked for us were outstanding. Couldn’t have been bettered, you chose very well! Stands out as one of the best trips we’ve ever had. Virtually everything went like clockwork and we had a fantastic time. You did a brilliant job and the info pack was first class. The best organised holiday we have been on. We will defintely go back to Africa" Mr& Mrs Cott, UK