– a sandy shore.

It's the perfect holiday combination - safari for a week before relaxing at the beach. Or is it beach first and then safari? With very little time change and the epitome of barefoot 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 in Tanzania?

There's fabulous choice when it comes to beach retreats - select from rustic beach lodges offering good value to sophisticated island lodges and resorts which cater to every whim. We also offer a number of beautiful beach houses (catered and self-catering options) - fantastic for extended families or friends travelling together.

Wildlife is what draws many of our clients to Africa and the Indian Ocean is rich in both marine and bird life, from dolphins, whale sharks, turtles and rays to coconut crabs.

Here's a quick guide to our favourite beach destinations.

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.

South Africa
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. Absolute heaven.

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 along with a turtle conservation project. For perfect palm tree backed beaches and wonderful beach houses it has to be Diani.

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.

8 days
From £ 445
Merville Beach

A relaxed family friendly beach resort offering great value near Grand Baie

7 days
From £ 730
Cape Town Short Break

Spend a week in one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in the world. Car hire is included and you have a choice of hotels from boutique guest houses to five star luxury.

8 days
From £ 815
Maritim Resort and Spa

Stay on an all inclusive basis at this pretty hotel set in gorgeous gardens and with a lovely pool and beach

8 days
From £ 835
The Residence

An elegant colonial hotel set on a stunning white sandy beach

8 days
From £ 845
Paradise Cove Boutique Hotel

A small boutique hotel sitting on a beautiful natural cove

8 days
From £ 845
Constance Belle Mare Plage

This large luxury beach resort has a stunning beach and lots of activities on offer

8 days
From £ 1295
Pemba Lodge - Beach Week

7 nights in an intimate little beach resort with individual bungalows on Shamiani Island, just off Pemba

8 days
From £ 1525
Fundu Lagoon Beach Week

Seven nights on the glorious 'Robinson Crusoe' island of Pemba, Tanzania

8 days
From £ 1585
The Manta Resort - Beach Week

7 nights in a peaceful beach resort in a remote location on the island of Pemba in the Indian Ocean

10 days
From £ 1725
Amboseli and Tsavo Safari and Beach

A short, good value drive-in safari visiting the scenic parks of Amboseli and Tsavo, famous for large herds of elephants before a stay on the Indian Ocean in a lovely beach resort

9 days
From £ 2585
Family Bush and Beach Holiday

An extended family holiday combining a safari in the world famous Masai Mara with a stay at Diani Beach on the Indian Ocean

15 days
From £ 3125
South Africa and Mauritius - Safari and Beach

A fabulous safari in Madikwe Private Game Reserve followed by a week on the beautiful island of Mauritius

10 days
From £ 3575
Ultimate Bush and Beach Holiday

This is a superb luxury safari and beach combination staying in hand-picked luxury accommodation

19 days
From £ 3635
Ultimate Garden Route Self Drive

This is a comprehensive self drive holiday to South Africa's beautiful Cape, including a Big Five safari

10 days
From £ 3965
Southern Africa: Wildlife and Beaches

Enjoy a fabulous safari at a tented camp in the Kruger before flying to beautiful Mozambique in search of whales, rays, sharks and dolphins

11 days
From £ 6245
Masai Mara and the Coast - Serian Safari

This is a fantastic luxury fly-in safari combining two Serian camps in the Masai Mara with a small stylish beach lodge overlooking the white sands of the coast.

8 days
From £ 6595
Mnemba Island - Beach Week

7 nights at an award-winning barefoot beach paradise situated in a Marine Conservation area