Cape Verde

When we think of traveling to Africa, the first activities that top our itineraries involve safaris in Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa; visiting the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids at Giza in Egypt and for shopaholics like myself, the Marrakesh Bazaar, a bustling Moroccan marketplace. There’s an allure of Africa, much like the Caribbean, that many never think to consider – the breathtaking islands of Africa: Zanzibar, Mauritius, Madagascar, Cape Verde and Sao Tomé.

“Over the Islands of Africa” is a stunning five-part documentary series that “unveils the spectacular beauty of five islands around Africa as seen by renowned photographers” by Filmquadrat.dok.

Check out their photographs and Hobnob’s perspective on why you should visit. –yvette caslin

Zanzibar

An island paradise in the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar is located about 25 miles off the Tanzanian coast. An archipelago, it’s comprised of Zanzibar and Pemba Islands, and several islets and has more than 25 brilliant white beaches lapped by turquoise waters. Referenced as Unguja by locals, Zanzibar’s cultural heart is Stone Town which boasts of a fascinating labyrinth of narrow streets and alleyways, bustling bazaars, mosques and grand Arab houses. Don’t expect to see any lions or elephants here. The forest is inhabited by monkeys, bush-pigs and small antelopes. The official languages of Zanzibar are Kiswahili and English and is a melting pot of African, Indian and Arab influences.

Mauritius 

Mauritius is a tropical paradise located in the Indian Ocean believed to be the wealthiest African destination. It’s capital is Port Luis. Attractive resort areas include the charming village of Mont Choisy, the romantic Trou-aux-Biches and the seaside village Flic en Flac, which is popular with scuba divers. Rivière Noire (Black River) is ideal for those looking for great deep-sea fishing. It has a reputation for its racial harmony among its mixed population of Asians, Europeans and Africans. The official language is English.

Madagascar

Home to some of the rarest mammals (such as the ring-tailed lemurs), birds and plants on earth, Madagascar is the world’s fourth largest island offering one-of-a-kind off-road driving. Having more than 3,000 miles of coastlines and home to 250 islands, Madagascar is almost as big as Texas. It’s a diver’s dream with the underwater cathedrals and shipwrecks. The national park only allows 100 visitors per year. They are the world’s leading exporter and producer of Vanilla. The official languages of Madagascar are Malagasy and French. Madagascar lies in the Indian Ocean off the southeast coast of Africa opposite Mozambique.

Cidade Velha, or simply Cidadi in Cape Verdean Creole, is the oldest settlement and the capital of Cape Verde.

Cape Verde

An archipelago that extends into the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Verde’s inhabitants are of mixed Portuguese and African ancestry. It’s made up of 10 islands and 5 islets, most are mountainous, with the exception of three. Fogo has an active volcano. Cape Verde has a rich marine life which attracts loggerhead turtles and humpback whales. The official language of the islands is Portuguese. 

São Tomé

São Tomé (and Principe) is a Portuguese-speaking island nation nestled on the Equator, off the western coast of Central Africa (in the Gulf of Guinea). It produces some of the world’s best coffee and one of its main tourist attractions is its local chocolate factories like Corallo Chocolates where you witness how the owner Claudio Corallo transforms the cacao beans into the purest form of chocolate.