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6 Of The Best Beach & Safari Holidays

Whether it’s your first time or your fifth, every safari holiday is a truly magical experience that will remain with you forever. As exceptional as they are, the days spent travelling the savannah are full of non-stop action. You’ll be up before sunrise, adventuring under the searing African sun during the day, and spending the evenings gazing up at the magnificent starry skies. That’s why, when you’re not exploring, some much-needed R&R is in order.

For this reason, a safari and beach holiday is the perfect combination. As well as immersing yourself in the unforgettable wildlife of Africa’s expansive landscapes, you can kick back and enjoy an idyllic beach escape that leaves you feeling pampered and nourished.

This spectacular pairing will be the trip of a lifetime, so don’t waste any time booking your dream beach and safari holiday.

Have a look at our top six destinations for inspiration.

1. Selous and Mafia Island, Tanzania

Selous and Mafia Island, Tanzania

Best experienced between July and October, this safari and beach holiday combination offers the opportunity to get off the beaten track into remote, remarkable places.

Selous is the largest game park in Tanzania and offers a stark contrast to all others in almost every way. Only a few hundred feet above sea level, this park boasts a huge variety of wildlife which you won’t see on other safari holidays. Stay in the Nomad Tanzania’s Sand Rivers Selous for five-star service in a small but luxurious safari lodge, and explore the different habitats on foot to discover wondrous places inaccessible by car.

Over on Mafia Island, which lies off the Rufiji delta just a 30-minute flight away from Dar es Salaam, you can embrace everything Tanzania’s first marine park has to offer. The waters provide the ultimate diving experience, with over 400 species of fish to see. Rest your head at Pole Pole on the east coast of the island, seven small bungalow suites that provide an intimate slice of perfection.

2. Waterberg, South Africa and Bazaruto Island, Mozambique

Bazaruto Island, Mozambique

Tucked away in Limpopo province, the pristine, rugged and ancient Waterberg region doesn’t make it on to most South African travel itineraries. Thankfully this loss is your gain, as Waterberg is a fantastic alternative to the packed and overexposed Kruger area. Unlike the latter, which tends to feel slightly controlled and regulated, Waterberg exudes freedom and authenticity, boasting soaring mountain peaks and vast open plains.

3. High Atlas Mountains and Essaouira, Morocco

Atlas Mountain

If you’re keen to go off-the-grid then you must experience our expeditions in the High Atlas Mountains. Led by a herd of mules carrying the beautiful tented camps, you will be led through the breathtaking wilderness by our expert guides. Your days exploring on foot will be followed by nights beneath a blanket of stars.

This enchanting experience can be perfectly complemented by a few days of bliss at Essaouira, a laid-back seaside town where you can spend your time delving into the sheltered markets and enjoying delightful fresh fish in the many fabulous restaurants on offer. Although not a beach by definition, this quaint town by the sea is sure to calm things down after your time in the wild.

4. Sossusvlei and Namibia’s Skeleton Coast

If you’re looking for a twist on the beach and safari holiday, then consider Namibia for an adventure encompassing the giant dunes of Sossusvlei and the wild Skeleton Coast. This flying safari by plane will see you soar above some of Africa’s most beautiful scenery and enjoy views of extraordinary desert-adapted elephants and lions. Expect to drift over sand waves, land on deserted beaches, and drop into valleys far beyond the reach of humans.

Make no mistake, this is one of the greatest experiences in Africa, and anything but your typical safari and beach holiday package. After all, it may not be wise to put anything more than a toe into the raging, shark-filled waters of the south Atlantic!

End your trip with a few days at Swakopmund, Namibia’s largest coastal town, for wonderful seafood and a chance to soak up the beaches and palm-lined streets. And as you tuck into your prawns, try to convince yourself that the previous four days exploring Namibia by private plane weren’t just a dream.

5. Luangwa Valley and Lake Malawi, Zambia

The Luangwa Valley in Zambia is probably the most famous park in the country and boasts all-round good game drive and, in recent years, a well-earned reputation for walking safaris. We love an adventure on foot that allows you to be at one with nature and experience the thrill of tracking animals in their territory, with unforgettable viewings on their terms.

After a walking safari in the Luangwa Valley, Lake Malawi provides the perfect escape, which some may argue is even better than a beach. The water is warm, clear and home to a colourful array of tropical fish. This makes it an impeccable spot for snorkelling, learning to dive or kayaking. Still an uncommon destination on the tourist map, Lake Malawi has a small offering of gorgeously designed lodges that have retained a wonderfully authentic feel.

6. Masoala and Antongil Bay, Madagascar

Few places offer an all-in-one beach and safari holiday as comprehensively as Madagascar. Head to the Masoala peninsula in the north east of the island to find an exquisite rainforest tumbling to the shores of the Indian Ocean. Between July and September, you can watch spectacular humpback whales glide, breach and slap their tails from the comfort of your beachside bedroom. Of course, you could always get a little closer. Stick your head under the water and you’ll hear their song, or paddle out in a kayak and you may see them pass you just a few metres away.

Take guided walks into the jungle behind your campsite to find endemic lemurs, brightly coloured birds and plant species that are simply unknown to science. Later, you can swim and snorkel in the warm waters of Antongil Bay and indulge in the local rhum arrangé and exquisite seafood with a French-Indonesian twist at the beach bar. This safari and beach combo is distinctly un-run-of-the-mill and will appeal to the more adventurous, but an exceptional destination and one of our favourites.

Book your beach and safari holiday today
Here at Natural High, we can organise your dream safari and beach holiday at the destinations above and many more. Our team has spent over 20 years organising and embarking on safari trips. All this knowledge and expertise enables us to plan perfect, tailor-made holidays, with personal insights to make your experience extra special.

Setting you up in authentic yet luxurious accommodation and offering the chance to see the world’s most phenomenal wildlife in their natural habitats, a Natural High holiday is one you’ll never forget. Enquire now, and let the adventure begin.

Alex Edwards
About the Author

Alex Edwards

St Paul had his epiphany on the road to Damascus. Mine was on the road to Ruaha in the middle of an African night in ‘93.

Distant electrical storms creased the ink-black sky, animals flickered in the headlights then disappeared like phant...

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