Safaris may be the first thing you think of when imagining an African vacation. But the continent’s islands are every bit as bucket-list-worthy. With lush rain forests, idyllic fishing villages, and sugar-soft sands, these destinations are ideal honeymoon getaways, offering the perfect contrast to the savannas and grasslands of the mainland. But how do the various islands stack up? We put the question to T+L readers to find out — and here are the places they voted best in the world.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated islands according to their activities and sights, natural attractions and beaches, food, friendliness, and overall value.
Related: The 2018 World's Best Awards
This year, Zanzibar, the palm-fringed archipelago of tropical islands off the coast of Tanzania, is back on the list. Portuguese, Arabic, and African cultures are all evident here, making it an attractive option for vacationers craving more than sun and sand. “There are beautiful beaches and great history, all on the same island,” raved one reader.
Last year’s winner, the Seychelles, is also on the list this year. Ever since Kate Middleton and Prince William honeymooned here in 2011, this archipelago of 115 islands has been synonymous with next-level luxury. But the destination has more to offer than swank hotels — namely, Creole cuisine, uninhabited shores, and endless nature trails. Half of the land is protected, giving native species, such as the Aldabra giant tortoises and the Seychelles warbler, the chance to thrive. And there are several marine parks offshore.
As incredible as the Seychelles may be, there was another destination that resonated more with our readers this year. Read on to see which island took the No. 1 spot.