Safari & beach vacations guide


Variety is the spice of life, and it’s certainly the piquant calling card of a safari and beach vacation. As the name suggests, this kind of trip combines superb wildlife watching and an idyllic beach break, deftly squeezing the most and best from a single trip to Africa. Spotting elephants lumbering through the long grass or herds of wildebeest flinging themselves across the Mara River is on many bucket lists. So, too, is that luxury beach trip – the one with the crystal clear seas, exclusive beach bungalow and miles of white sand. Temptingly, a safari and beach vacation delivers both, typically with the safari first, followed by the beach, so that the effort of rising early for game drives and bumping about in a jeep in search of the Big Five is then soothed away by a few days lounging on a beach or snorkelling with whale sharks in turquoise waters.
Our safari and beach vacations guide tells you more…

Safari & beach vacations


Many of Africa’s best safari destinations are also blessed with beautiful coastline and islands; put the two together and you have a mix of thrilling and chilling in one break. Kenya is a world-class safari destination, but also boasts beautiful beaches, just south of Mombasa. Tanzania, meanwhile, offers the tempting combination of a visit to its remote southern parks with relaxation on Zanzibar or Mafia Island. Or visit South Africa, taking in Kruger National Park and the Elephant Coast of KwaZulu-Natal, Mozambique or Mauritius.
Wherever you go, a safari and beach vacation delivers a heady mix of wildlife watching and wild bush life, followed by an idyllic beach vacation, all in a single break. And you won’t necessarily need tons of time, either. Short flights zoom you from safari camp to serene seashore, all within a standard two-week getaway. It’s the fast-track to a vacation rammed with diverse experiences, sights and activities. So why doesn’t everyone do this?
The answer is cost. Hopping between two or more locations by plane is expensive, pushing a safari and beach break towards the luxury price range, with accommodation following suit. Forget simple campsites – exclusive game lodges and secluded beach bungalows will be the offer on this kind of vacation. It’s also pretty hard to find a safari and beach vacation that’s run as a more economical small group trip. This kind of twin experience is inevitably tailor made, giving you freedom to choose departure dates, safari extras and even where you stay – do you prefer Mozambique’s unspoiled coast or Mauritius’ exotic beaches?
In addition, many of the best destinations for safari and beach vacations are already pretty pricey, however you travel. Tanzania, for instance, is never a budget destination. Opt for an unforgettable safari in Ruaha or Selous followed by snorkelling off Mafia Island or dozing on a secluded Zanzibar beach and you’re in trip-of-a-lifetime or blow-the-budget honeymoon territory, with a price tag to match!

Best time to go on a safari & beach vacation


The best time to take a safari and beach vacation is outside the rainy season, which affects Kenya, Tanzania and Kruger National Park from Mar-May. At this time, animals disperse, lodges close and beaches become soggy, with the wash-off from rivers causing poor visibility for diving and snorkelling. Dry, mild Jul-Aug are peak months, with the Great Migration now at the Tanzania and Kenya border, but Jun-Sep are quieter, while southern Tanzania is rarely crowded. In Feb, sea temperatures can hit 30°C, with 20-30m visibility. On Tanzania’s coast and islands, Nov-Mar is best for snorkelling with whale sharks, Apr-Sep is when green turtles hatch. In South Africa, see whales off the KwaZulu Natal coast Jul-Dec.
Photo credits: [Top box: Lisa H] [What does this trip entiles: François Terrier] [Temp chart: Anita Ritenour]

Written by: Joanna Simmons
Written by Joanna Simmons
Selous safari & Mafia Islands diving vacation

Selous safari & Mafia Islands diving vacation

Africa's largest game park

From US $3700 13 Days ex flights
Tanzania safari and Zanzibar beach vacation, tailor made

Tanzania safari and Zanzibar beach vacation, tailor made

Your tailor-made Tanzania Safari & Zanzibar Beach vacation!

From £3995 13 Days ex flights
Tanzania Selous safari holiday & Zanzibar

Tanzania Selous safari vacation & Zanzibar

Off-the-beaten track safari experiences & paradise beaches

From £2150 10 Days ex flights
Family luxury safari & beach vacation, South Africa & Mozambique

Family luxury safari & beach vacation, South Africa & Mozambique

Combine a wildlife safari in South Africa with beach time.

From £3880 12 Days ex flights
Southern Africa luxury wildlife & beach vacation

Southern Africa luxury wildlife & beach vacation

Pristine beaches and rich wildlife on this Southern African tour

From £9510 15 Days inc UK flights
Safari adventure holiday, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique

Safari adventure vacation, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique

An extraordinary camping safari across South Eastern Africa

From US $2830 22 Days ex flights
Kenya safari & beach tour

Kenya safari & beach tour

The Great Migration, Masai Mara safaris & beach relaxation

From £2500 8 Days ex flights
Photo credits: [Page banner: Revaz Ardesher]
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