5 Secret Safari And Beach Holiday Combinations

September 25th 2017  |  Botswana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa, Zambia  |  by  Richard Smith
Miavana beach white sands Madagascar safari and beach combinations

Look on a map and it’s clear that Kenya and Tanzania should be the top safari and beach holiday destinations. They’re renowned for their wildlife – it’s even said that Kenya was where the safari holiday was invented – and both have Indian Ocean coastlines. But not everyone wants the obvious, and at certain times of year you’ll get rained on in these countries. So where else do we plan bush and beach holidays that you might not have thought of.

Zambia and Lake Malawi

Luwi Bushcamp hippo on a walking safari, South Luangwa Zambia

Pods of hippos on a walking safari at Luwi Bushcamp, South Luangwa, Zambia, Norman Carr Safaris

Zambia is perhaps less well known for safari holidays than some of its neighbours. But it has lots going for it with small well run luxury tented camps, well trained and friendly guides, and the chance to walk and night drive within national parks or head onto the Zambezi River in canoes and boats.

Kaya Mawa infinity pool by Lake Malawi safari and beach

Kaya Mawa’s pool on the shores of Lake Malawi, Malawi

At 350 miles long and 50 miles wide, Lake Malawi feels more like an inland sea than what most of us imagine when we hear the word lake. It has sandy beaches, good snorkelling and other water sports, and a variety of properties along the lake shore and on some of the islands.

South Africa and Mozambique

Leopard on a rock at Lion Sands, Sabi Sands private reserve, South Africa

Lion Sands, Sabi Sands private reserve, South Africa

South Africa’s Kruger National Park is roughly the size of Wales and the animals are free to cross into the private areas to the south west of the park, where the majority of our favourite luxury safari camps and lodges are found.

Mozambique Azura Benguerra beach aerial

Azura Benguerra, Mozambique

Kruger International Airport (formerly Nelspruit) is a short hop from these safari lodges and offers daily flights to Vilanculos in Mozambique, the gateway to the southern beach properties on the mainland and Benguerra Island.

Kenya and the Seychelles

British Airways’ reintroduction of a direct flight between the Seychelles and UK from March 2018 has made this safari and beach holiday much easier. No longer will you have to return via Nairobi with the layover between flights this required.

cheetah family of cubs in Kenya © BBC The Hunt wildlife documentary, Masai Mara, Kenya

The Masai Mara, Kenya, famous for BBC wildlife documentaries like The Hunt

Kenya safaris offer incredible wildlife and scenery, as well as a wide variety of accommodation – lodges, luxury tented camps and simple camp outs – and safari experiences – wildlife drives, nature walks, riding safaris, mountain biking, swimming in rivers and many more.

Seychelles outer islands man snorkelling in blue sea with Denis Island beach in background

The tranquil Denis Island, an outer island of the Seychelles

The islands of the Seychelles feature in plenty of advertising photos for their beauty, while the personal service from the small lodges and private islands make this a beach destination to complement a safari holiday really well.

Botswana and Cape Town

Botswana Gomoti Tented Camp lion and lioness mid-air fighting © Dana Allen

Lion dramas captured at Gomoti Tented Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana, Wilderness Safaris

Landlocked Botswana doesn’t seem the obvious safari destination to include in a bush and beach combination holiday. However the direct flights between Maun and Cape Town mean you can be looking at lions on a morning game drive and penguins on Boulders Beach the same afternoon!

Penguins on the beach, Simon's Town, South Africa © Escape+Explore

Penguins on Boulders Beach, Cape, South Africa, Escape+Explore

Many of the beaches around Cape Town are stunning and often have few visitors since Capetonians think it’s too chilly on days most Brits would consider as pleasantly sunny and warm. The sea is cold though, properly cold, the type of cold that leaves you gasping for breath and making excuses if you are tempted into the water. Better to enjoy from a seafront restaurant in my opinion and with so much else to do in the area, the beaches are just one of the things to enjoy.

Zambia and Madagascar by private jet

Breakfast on the banks of the Luangwa River at Chinzombo Camp, Zambia

Riverside breakfast at Chinzombo Camp, South Luangwa, Zambia, Norman Carr Safaris

Asked for a ‘money no object’ safari and beach combination and I’ll plump for Chinzombo Camp in Zambia’s wildlife rich South Luangwa National Park and the recently opened Miavana Island off the north coast of Madagascar. Johannesburg is the start and finish point (with flights here easily organised from most European and US destinations) and a private jet is used to combine the two areas conveniently. The South Luangwa is famous for leopard as well as other predators, good herds of elephant and a river full of hippos.

Miavana setting on the beach, Nosy Ankao, Madagascar

Miavana’s setting on a beach of powdery white sand and a shimmering turquoise sea, Madagascar, Time + Tide Africa

Miavana, an island off Madagascar’s north east coast is a super beach destination in its own right, but also allows easy helicopter access to magnificent forests with endemic species such as lemurs and sifakas.

What Next?

If you would like help on planning an African beach and safari holiday, we will be delighted to help match a beach destination with your safari. We can answer any questions if you’re at an earlier stage. Please just send us an email or give us a call.

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