Our safari travel guide takes a broad overview of safaris in Africa and has been designed to help you, the responsible traveller, learn more about this exciting holiday option. Read on to discover a brief history of safaris and find out what we rate and what we don’t when it comes to African safaris.
Safari & beach holidays guide
Variety is the spice of life, and it’s certainly the piquant calling card of a safari and beach holiday. As the name suggests, this kind of trip combines superb wildlife watching and an idyllic beach break, deftly squeezing the most and best from a single trip to Africa.
Twice the fun, double the experience – a safari and beach holiday squeezes the most from an African getaway
Spotting elephants lumbering through the long grass or herds of wildebeest flinging themselves across the Mara River is on many bucket lists. So, too, is that luxury beach trip – the one with the crystal clear seas, exclusive beach bungalow and miles of white sand. Temptingly, a safari and beach holiday delivers both, typically with the safari first, followed by the beach, so that the effort of rising early for game drives and bumping about in a jeep in search of the Big Five is then soothed away by a few days lounging on a beach or snorkelling with whale sharks in turquoise waters.
Our safari and beach holidays guide tells you more…
Safari & beach holidays
Many of Africa’s best safari destinations are also blessed with beautiful coastline and islands; put the two together and you have a mix of thrilling and chilling in one break. Kenya is a world-class safari destination, but also boasts beautiful beaches, just south of Mombasa. Tanzania, meanwhile, offers the tempting combination of a visit to its remote southern parks with relaxation on Zanzibar or Mafia Island. Or visit South Africa, taking in Kruger National Park and the Elephant Coast of KwaZulu-Natal, Mozambique or Mauritius.
Wherever you go, a safari and beach holiday delivers a heady mix of wildlife watching and wild bush life, followed by an idyllic beach holiday, all in a single break. And you won’t necessarily need tons of time, either. Short flights zoom you from safari camp to serene seashore, all within a standard two-week getaway. It’s the fast-track to a holiday rammed with diverse experiences, sights and activities. So why doesn’t everyone do this?
The answer is cost. Hopping between two or more locations by plane is expensive, pushing a safari and beach break towards the luxury price range, with accommodation following suit. Forget simple campsites – exclusive game lodges and secluded beach bungalows will be the offer on this kind of holiday. It’s also pretty hard to find a safari and beach holiday that’s run as a more economical small group trip. This kind of twin experience is inevitably tailor made, giving you freedom to choose departure dates, safari extras and even where you stay – do you prefer Mozambique’s unspoiled coast or Mauritius’ exotic beaches?
In addition, many of the best destinations for safari and beach holidays are already pretty pricey, however you travel. Tanzania, for instance, is never a budget destination. Opt for an unforgettable safari in Ruaha or Selous followed by snorkelling off Mafia Island or dozing on a secluded Zanzibar beach and you’re in trip-of-a-lifetime or blow-the-budget honeymoon territory, with a price tag to match!
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Best time to go on a
safari & beach holiday
Rain stops play on a safari and beach holiday, but outside the wet season, surf and turf make a dream team.
The best time to take a safari and beach holiday is outside the rainy season, which affects Kenya, Tanzania and Kruger National Park from March to May. At this time, animals disperse, lodges close and beaches become soggy, with the wash-off from rivers causing poor visibility for diving and snorkelling. Dry, mild July and August are peak months, with the Great Migration now at the Tanzania and Kenya border, but June to September are quieter, while southern Tanzania is rarely crowded. In February, sea temperatures can hit 30°C, with 20-30m visibility. On Tanzania’s coast and islands, November through to March is best for snorkelling with whale sharks, April to September is when green turtles hatch. In South Africa, see whales off the KwaZulu Natal coast July to December.
Kruger National Park Weather Chart