Safari & Beach Tours
Safari & Beach Tours
Twin-centre African safari and beach trips
For those looking for an exhilarating game-viewing experience and relaxation on the beach, a combination of safari and beach is a great option. While you can combine most safari destinations with the beach, we would recommend certain options to save time and money.
Tanzania works well as a combination safari destination. The north offers the iconic open plains of the Serengeti National Park, while the south offers less visited parks such as the Selous and Ruaha. These parks can all be combined with the beautiful Zanzibar Island – just take a short flight from the bush to the beach. For a more private beach experience in Tanzania, take a look at Fanjove or Mnemba Private Island.
Mozambique, Mauritius and South Africa are also luxury beach destinations to combine with a safari. Although there are nice beaches in South Africa such as Thonga Beach in Durban, many travelers opt to fly to Mauritius for more seclusion and romance. There are direct flights from Cape Town to Mauritius, or more frequently from Johannesburg to Mauritius.
Image credit: Azura Benguerra, Mozambique
Cape Town, Timbavati Private Reserve, Mauritius12 NightsFrom $6,213 PPExperience some of the best Africa has to offer, from Cape Town to the paradise island of Mauritius.
Serengeti National Park, Zanzibar Island10 NightsFrom $10,887 PPFor a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon, Tanzania is certainly up there!
Laikipia Plateau, Masai Mara and Diani Beach12 NightsFrom $7,698 PPThis itinerary is a combination of flying and driving, offering safari highlights in Kenya suited for families in particular.
St. Anne, Curieuse, Anse Lazio, Praslin, Moyenne Island, Mahe7 NightsFrom $2,494 PPThis island-hopping small ship cruise through the Seychelles includes meals, guided tours, lots of time for swimming, relaxing and more.
Best Beach Add-ons
With the Indian Ocean bordering many of the countries that offer safari experiences, it has always been popular to combine both safari and beach in a twin-centre trip. Here are some of our recommended beach add-ons:
Located off the eastern coast of Tanzania is the tropical island of Zanzibar. Its local name is Unguja and its capital is Stone Town, which is USESCO World Heritage site. The island is small but home to some beautiful white-sand beaches and azure waters. The north (Nungwi area) and the eastern coast of the island (Matemwe and Paje area) offer some of the best beaches and lodges, with a mix of smaller, intimate lodges and larger hotels with a wealth of facilities. With spice plantations, Jozani Forest, historical walking tours and many water sports activities on offer, Zanzibar is an island offering something for everyone.
Mauritius is a small island in the Indian Ocean, located off the southeast coast of the African mainland. The islands is subtropical and homes some beautiful national parks and mountains such as the Black River Gorges National Park, the Chamarel Mountain and the Tamarind Waterfalls. For those who are visiting Mauritius after their safari, then relaxing on the white-sand beaches or enjoying its colourful underwater world is the main attraction to the island. The best time to visit the island is October to December when the temperatures are warm and skies are blue.
The Seychelles is a collection of over 100 stunning islands, off the east coast of Africa. With direct flights from Nairobi to the Seychelles, this idyllic beach destination works very well in conjunction with a Kenya safari. Homing private white sand beaches, azure waters and an outstanding underwater scene, the Seychelles are a great option for honeymoon couples or those looking to dive or snorkel surrounding waters. Hotels like Constance Ephelia, Carana Beach Hotel and the H Resort all offer idyllic views of the Indian Ocean, beautiful interior décor with a luxury beach vibe, and exceptional service.
Our Recommended Hotels for Twin-Centre Trips
There are some stunning beach lodges across the African coastline and Indian Ocean. Whether you are looking for a smaller, boutique property, or a larger hotel, we can recommend and curate the right accommodation for you.
Our Personal Experience
One of our Africa specialists, Gemma D’Souza, has travelled across idyllic islands in the Indian Ocean and as a water-sports lover herself, recommends one destination in particular that will simply blow you away.
“I spent a couple of days on a private island located off the eastern coast of Tanzania. This island is called Fanjove, and with only six rooms, it truly is private in every sense. To get to the island, you have to fly to a nearby island called Songo Songo. The unexplored Songo Songo Archipelago is a collection of five small islands and homes small villages of local people, most of whom are fisherman. From Songo Songo airstrip, you are met on arrival and guided to the shore, where you take a boat (approximately one hour) across to Fanjove Private Island.
Arriving onto Fanjove Private Island is truly like a dream. The accommodation is what I would describe as ‘barefoot luxury’. The bandas are quite rustic but open out to the Indian Ocean where you have a private beach, all to yourself. From the island, you can enjoy diving, snorkelling, kayaking and dolphin trips. The dolphin trip I went on one morning was unforgettable. With only myself, the boat driver and the guide, we were swarmed by four pods of dolphin (around 200 dolphin) all to ourselves. I put on my snorkel and jumped in. I cannot recommend this island enough, especially for honeymooners.”
The best beach destinations to combine with your safari
With so many beautiful beach destinations across the world, we have put together some of the best options to combine with your African safari. These destinations work well logistically, and offer a fantastic twin-centre experience below, or after your exhilarating safari.
Mozambique has some of the most remote and beautiful beaches in Africa. Most of the luxury lodges are in the Bazaruto Archipelago. This is a chain of four islands just off the mainland and are mostly uninhabited, with white sand beaches and untouched marine parks teaming with wildlife. You fly into the town of Vilanculos on the mainland and then transfer to the islands by helicopter, light aircraft or boat. There are direct flights to Vilanculos from the Great Kruger Park, making it an ideal beach location to travel to after a safari.
Image credit: Azura Marlin Mozambique
Located on the southern coast of Kenya is Mombasa – a city also known as the blue and white city (as the residents were told that buildings should be painted white with blue colours, symbolizing the Indian Ocean). Located 30km from Mombasa is Diani Beach which is one of the most beautiful beaches on the African coastline, and has been voted Africa’s leading beach destination for five years running. Diani Beach is a great option for families, especially those who are doing a Kenya safari, as it saves time and money on international flights and logistics.
Located in the Indian Ocean, 2000km off the coast of Africa, Mauritius is famous for its white sand beaches and reefs. The beaches tend to be the main attraction, but there is so much more to Mauritius. The marine life is exceptional with great snorkelling and diving. Blue Bay Marine Park has 40 different types of coral and 70 species of tropical fish! The island has world class golf courses and a wide range of water sports. The capital, Port Louis, is a great place to spend the day. You can wander through the town soaking up the island culture and exploring the markets. There are regular, direct flights to Mauritius from South Africa, making it an easy add on to your safari.
One of the most famous islands in East Africa is Zanzibar. The island is part of Tanzania, and is easily accessible from the mainland with a short 10-15-minute flight (from Dar es Salaam). Light aircraft flights also run daily from safari destinations like the Serengeti National Park in the north, and the Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania – making a twin-centre holiday very easy to do. Zanzibar island is so much more than just white sand beaches. Its capital is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and with spice plantations, lush forests and a colourful coral scene, the island has something for everyone.
Image credit: Baraza Resort & Spa
iSimangaliso Wetland Park
The name does not do this stretch of beach justice, the area is a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its incredible beauty and rich wildlife. The warm Indian Ocean waters are part of a National Reserve with outstanding diving and snorkelling. The marine life includes sharks, turtles, huge shoals of fish and in season, humpback whales. The beach seems to go on forever and there is a good chance you will have miles and miles of beach to yourself. The perfect destination for people looking for lots of activities on a secluded, wild, African beach. There are regular domestic flights into Durban Airport and the beach is a few hours drive north of Durban.
Image credit: Thonga Beach Lodge
The coastal town of Plettenberg Bay is on the East Coast of South Africa on the famed Garden Route. The area has long pristine beaches, lagoons and lakes, the nearby Robberg beach and nature reserve has won awards for its beauty. We recommend staying in one of the lodges on the beach front where you can do as much or as a little as you would like. This area is very easy to access, you can self drive there from Cape Town or take a short domestic flight to the small local airport.
Safari and Beach Q&A
Gemma our Africa Safari Specialist
How much is a safari and beach twin-centre?
Your safari and beach trip will completely depend on which countries and destinations you combine, and where you stay. In a twin-centre trip, it is (most of the time) the safari that will be the more expensive part, so if you want to keep costs down or go for a longer period of time, perhaps limit the safari to 3 or 4 nights, and then extend the beach trip for 7-10 days or more. Another big part of the cost is the logistics between the safari and beach so keep the cost of international flights and visas in mind if you are combining two different countries.
Where are the best beaches in Africa?
There are some stunning beaches and coastlines across the continent of Africa. On the mainland, the southern coast of Kenya including Mombasa and Diani Beach is truly stunning. It has been voted Africa’s best beach for five years running. Africa is also spoilt with beautiful islands in the Indian Ocean which offer white-sand beaches and azure waters. Out of these, we would say that Mozambique and the Seychelles are the most idyllic, and offer some great accommodation to suit different people – honeymooners, solo travellers and families.
Where is the best beach for diving and snorkelling?
For those who are looking for a more active beach trip after their safari, we would definitely recommend Mozambique if your budget allows. The marine parks surrounding Mozambique, particularly in the Bazaruto Archipelago are simply breath-taking. The colourful coral reefs and the abundance of fish and shark will not disappoint divers – be it beginners or experienced. Most of the lodges in Mozambique have their own watersports or dive centres attached to them, so you can book as many dives as you like. Snorkelling is also a great option here and with many of the lodges being so remote, you will have the underwater world to yourself!
What is the best time of year to do a safari and beach trip?
Again, this completely depends on where you are planning to go. Generally speaking, Africa is accessible year round and offers warm temperatures and lots of sunshine. In East Africa, try to avoid the window between March and May which is the rainy season. Although the safari experience can be pretty incredible at this time (dramatic storms – a photographers dream), the beach experience won’t be enjoyable and many of the lodges will be closed. For somewhere like Mozambique, the best time to visit is between June and October which is the dry season. The best time to see whale sharks is between October and January.
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