Looking to combine big game viewing with palm-fringed beaches? In Africa, it’s easier than you think.
Our top picks of where to go on a safari and beach holiday take you from iconic game reserves to sun-warmed islands. Luxury, family-friendly and honeymoon-perfect itineraries are all available and we’ve even included a selection of our most popular safari and beach holidays which, thanks to our tried-and-tested logistics, means you'll spend less time at airports and more time exploring.
So dig out that sunblock, you’ll need it for both your game drives and beach walks. And if it's a romantic retreat you're after, take a look at our safari and beach honeymoon recommendations.
South Africa’s flagship reserve, the Kruger Park and its exclusive private reserves are well known for their luxurious lodges and abundant wildlife. In fact, we’d go so far as to say that the Kruger’s Sabi Sands Private Reserve has the best Big 5 game viewing in Africa. And after filling you camera’s memory card with wildlife sightings, it’s just a couple of short flights to Mozambique’s reef-ringed Bazaruto Archipelago or the more remote private islands of the Quirimbas Archipelago.
Tanzania is a top choice for classic luxury safaris. Sleep under canvas on the Serengeti Plains and track the wildebeest migration or stay in a safari lodge perched on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater – an ancient volcanic caldera teeming with big game. What better than to round off these phenomenal safari experiences with a few days on the beaches of Zanzibar, the exotic Spice Island lying just off Tanzania’s coast. For a more exclusive sand-between-your-toes experience, stay on Pemba Island or private Mnemba Island – one of the world’s top diving destinations.
Witness the unforgettable spectacle of thousands of wildebeest migrating through the Masai Mara – with opportunistic predators snapping at their hooves all the way. Along with the great migration, other top Kenya safari experiences include walking safaris with red-robed Maasai warriors, flamingo-covered Lake Nakuru and game drives in Amboseli National Park with its classic view of Mount Kilimanjaro. For a post-safari beach break, choose between the got-it-all resorts of the Kenya Coast or hop across to Zanzibar to explore Stone Town’s cobbled streets and the island’s powder-white beaches.
Fantastic Mara & Zanzibar: combine a Masai Mara safari with the beaches of Zanzibar.
South Africa is an incredibly diverse country: in a matter of hours you can drive from a Big 5 game reserve to a beautiful stretch of beach. Our top choice for a South Africa safari and beach holiday takes you from the welcoming beaches of the Garden Route to the conveniently close and malaria-free Big 5 reserves of the Eastern Cape – great for families! For something a bit more adventurous, try the province of KwaZulu-Natal where classic big game viewing, wild sandy beaches and colourful coral reefs all lie within easy reach of each other.
Natal Familiy Holiday: two of the most child-friendly lodges in ever-sunny KwaZulu-Natal.
If you’re looking for a fun, active beach holiday then the island of Mauritius is hard to beat. Just a 4-hour flight from South Africa, Mauritius has a choice of resorts offering any watersport you can think of – water skiing, wind surfing, kayaking, deep sea fishing - let alone fantastic spa facilities and championship golf courses. Boasting kids clubs and baby sitters, most Mauritius resorts are family-friendly so if you’re bringing the kids we can recommend a beach and safari break that includes one of South Africa’s malaria-free reserves.
Landlocked Botswana is one of Southern Africa's most exciting safari destinations but all you need to get to Mozambique's postcard-perfect Indian Ocean islands is take an easy flight via Johannesburg. Go on safari in the wetlands of the Okavango Delta and see the enormous elephant herds in the Chobe National Park before jetting off to Bazaruto or the Quirimbas Archipelagos – both famous for their excellent scuba diving, big game fishing and right-on-the-beach lodges.