Lake Malawi is a beautiful fresh water lake that takes up about a third of the entire country of Malawi. Most backpackers who make it to Malawi head straight for a beach and they're rarely disappointed. Malawi is the cheapest place in the world to get your diving certification, so you may as well do something useful while you enjoy the sunsets and grilled fish!
Best Places to stay on Lake Malawi:
Mango Drift Lodge on Likomo Island has beach huts and dorms, with a bar and restuarant on the beach.
Kande Beach is close to Chinteche on the northern shores of Lake Malawi. Catering mostly to Overlanders with chalets and a campsite that can be used by all travelers.
Gecko Lounge in Cape Maclear (southern Malawi) is very popular.
Ghana has some lovely beaches but the most popular for the last decade has been the beaches around Kokrobite including Langma. Kokrobite is a quick 20 mile (30km) tro-tro ride away from the capital Accra. One of the main attractions here is the excellent Academy of African Music and Art (AAMA) founded by master drummer Mustapha Tettey Addy. The Academy attracts drummers and dancers from all over the world.
You can get accommodation at the Music Academy or head to Big Milly's Backyard in the village (also on the beach). Big Milly's has a friendly bar and restaurant where backpackers, volunteers and Ghanaian Rastafarians chill out.
Zanzibar has long been a tourist draw with its spectacular beaches and the fascinating Stone Town on the main island. Amidst the upscale resorts there are still parts of Zanzibar that are affordable and filled with backpackers taking a rest from the rigors of East African travel. The best places to head to are:
Paje (East Coast) -- It's getting more crowded but there are still places like the Kinazi Upepo that provide cheap and excellent beach bungalows.
Nungwi (North coast) -- Backpackers love it. A good example of affordable accommodation is Kendwa Rocks; opt for a simple beach hut.
Bwejuu and Jambiani (Southeast coast) are quiet beaches, not as good for diving but beautiful. Try the Coral Rock Beach Bungalows.
- Coffee Bay is a popular spot along the coast here, with backpackers' favorite place to stay being the Coffee Shack.
- Port St John's is an ideal spot to relax and the best place to stay has to be the Jungle Monkey which caters to backpackers. The Baz Bus stops here, so getting there couldn't be more convenient.
- Cintsa is a beautiful little town on the coast near some excellent game reserves. Stay at The Buckaneers.
Where to Stay on Lamu:
Lamu Town offers cheaper places to stay like the Pole Pole Guest House and the Kipepeo Guest House on the beach near town.
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Best Places to Stay:
- Bishibishi Garden Village is popular and has a range of rooms available.
- Sphinx Dahab Hotel is right on the beach.
- Penguin Village comes recommended and offer diving packages and tours beyond Dahab for reasonable prices.
- Jasmine Hotel overlooks the sea and has extremely reasonable rates.
Hotels in Kribi:
- Hotel Ilomba minutes from the waterfalls and with reasonable rates, this is a great choice right on the beach.
- Hotel Palm Beach Plus has reasonable rates for single and double rooms.
- The Auberge Tara Plage will sometimes allow camping on their property.
Other hotels in the area do not have web sites, but information can be found here.
Best Places to stay in Tofo:
- Bamboozi Beach Lodge is run by South Africans and offers dorms, huts, chalets, a funky beach bar and its own diving center.
- Fatima's Nest has tents, bungalows and dorms and of course a beach bar.
- Turtle Cove is ideal for surfers, with affordable accommodation, surfing equipment and knowledgeable instructors.