– a sandy shore.
For many the perfect holiday combination is to safari for a week and then to relax on the beach for a week. Or is it beach first and then safari? With little time change, and the epitome of bare foot beach lodges, Africa is a great place to soak up some sun be it in combination with a safari or simply as a beach escape in its own right. Who could resist a week in Mauritius, or on the sandy beaches of Zanzibar? How about island hopping by dhow in Mozambique or seeing the whale sharks of Mafia Island Tanzania?
There's fabulous choice when it comes to beach retreats - select from rustic lodges offering good value to sophisticated island lodges and resorts which cater to every whim. Wildlife is what draws many of our clients to Africa in the first place.The Indian Ocean is rich in marine and bird life, including dolphins, whale sharks, turtles, rays and coconut crabs and there are plenty of ways to explore these teeming habitats.
With humpback whales visiting between July and December, whale sharks from November to December and green turtles nesting November to March, the unspoilt shores of Mozambique are a great wildlife haven. You can see common, bottlenose and spinner dolphins year-round. Dugongs graze the sea-grass beds but are elusive. Pristine coral reefs host a diversity of life including sharks, stingrays, eels, and large reef fish such as angelfish, batfish, parrotfish and groupers. Try the Ibo Island Dhow Safari for island hopping and kayaking in Mozambique's beautiful Quirimbas Archipelego. A beach break here works well in partnership with a safari in South Africa's Kruger or Tanzania's southern parks.
Search out the Marine Big Five (whales, sharks, penguins, seals and dolphins) along South Africa's Garden Route and enjoy fantastic wild stretches of beach. The dramatic coastline is home to all nine species of great whale.
With dozens of endemic species of amphibians, reptiles and birds as well as the world’s largest population of giant tortoises and two species of sea turtle, the Seychelles archipelago of over a hundred islands offer a real treat for wildlife enthusiasts. From huge colonies of seabirds, the islands also have green turtles nesting year-round, and hawksbill turtles nesting between August and February. Whale sharks can sometimes be spotted in August and between October and January, while manta rays glide in the waters of the outer islands.
If you're after a week of sun and sandy beaches in a boutique hotel or luxury resort then Mauritius ticks all the boxes. Accommodation is of an incredibly high standard, beaches are beautifully manicured and food is excellent. Avoid cyclone season (Jan-Mar) and some beaches on the eastern side in July & August can be a bit exposed - better to head north and west. In the other months the east coast beach resorts are superb.
Humpback whales and large schools of bottlenose dolphins can be seen between July and September and whale sharks are often spotted between February and March on the outer reef of the south coast. The East African Whale Shark Trust is located on Diani Beach.
With the Spice Island within easy reach of the mainland and some beautiful mainland beaches as well at Ras Kutani and Pangani, Tanzania is a great choice for a beach break.Just 13 kilometres from Stone Town and home to the rare robber or coconut crab, the world’s largest land arthropod, Chumbe island is an award-winning private nature reserve. You can visit for the day from Zanzibar (permits required) or opt to stay at Chumbe Island Lodge, an eco- lodge on the island. There is a coral reef sanctuary and forest reserve. Mafia Island is an undeveloped and very low-key island with its sandy roads and ruins just a 30 minute flight from Dar es Salaam. A string of coral atolls and deserted sand bars beg to be explored while the Marine National Park surrounding the island ensures the waters are teeming with life including five species of turtle, 50 of coral and 400 of fish. A coral reef runs the length of the island attracting divers and snorkellers while whale sharks are in residence year-long with viewings at their peak between September and January. Other pursuits include fishing, sailing, walking and cultural visits. Zanzibar offers the best value beach retreats, with a huge choice of accommodation - don't forget neighbouring Pemba Island - a wonderful barefoot bolthole with superb snorkelling and diving.
Lake Malawi offers stunning beaches and we have some real gems to stay at including Kaya Mawa, Pumalani and Nkwichi. You can kayak the calm lake waters, snorkel, enjoy a range of watersports and warm hospitality. Pairs perfectly with a safari in Zambia or in Malawi itself.
This large luxury beach resort has a stunning beach and lots of activities on offer
Seven nights on the glorious 'Robinson Crusoe' island of Pemba, Tanzania
Stay on an all inclusive basis at this pretty hotel set in gorgeous gardens and with a lovely pool and beach
A relaxed family friendly beach resort offering great value near Grand Baie
7 nights at an award-winning barefoot beach paradise situated in a Marine Conservation area
A small boutique hotel sitting on a beautiful natural cove
A fabulous safari in Madikwe Private Game Reserve followed by a week on the beautiful island of Mauritius
Enjoy a fabulous safari at a tented camp in the Kruger before flying to beautiful Mozambique in search of whales, rays, sharks and dolphins
7 nights in a peaceful beach resort in a remote location on the island of Pemba in the Indian Ocean