– 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.
River and lake shores also offer superb extensions to a safari - a few days on Lake Malawi or a river lodge on the Zambezi upstream from Victoria Falls for instance. Ask us for ideas. Inspiration below:
Mozambique: 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.
Seychelles: 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.
Mauritius: 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.
Kenya: 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 - seven miles of it. Watamu, Lamu, Mombasa, Msambweni, Malindi and Kilifi are some of the other beach resorts on the Kenyan coast.
Tanzania: With the Spice Islands 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. Mafia works well in combination with a safari to the southern parks of Selous and Ruaha. 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. Zanzibar is a wonderful beach escape in its own right or as an extension to a Tanzania (or Kenya) safari.
Malawi: Lake Malawi offers stunning beaches and we have some real gems to stay at including Kaya Mawa, Pumulani 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.
Safari in Majete Wildlife Reserve before relaxing on the shores of Lake Malawi.
A great value all inclusive fly-in holiday to Kenya combining a tented safari in the Mara with a stay on the Indian Ocean coast.
A fabulous four night safari in malaria-free Madikwe Private Game Reserve followed by Mauritius.
Enjoy a safari in Timbavati followed by a stay on the island of Mauritius.
A wonderful two centre trip combining a safari in South Africa's Kruger with the sandy white beaches of Vilanculos.
A luxury fly-in combining Tanzania's wild Selous and the white beaches of Zanzibar.
Wonderful luxury getaway combining the Masai Mara with the Seychelles.
A superb luxury bush and beach escape pairing the wonderful Ngare Serian camp in the Mara with Constance Ephelia in the Seychelles.