Holidays are important. Very important, in fact, and we understand the importance of making the most out of the best two weeks of the year. Do you squeeze in as much action as possible on safari, or chill-out into some old-fashioned R&R on the beach? Well, let us solve your quandary with the best bush and beach safaris in Southern Africa. We covered East Africa (here if you didn’t see it) and now we’ve come up with our top Southern Africa picks to give you the very best of the wildlife and the waves….
Kruger & Mauritius
Just like a white t-shirt and blue jeans, Kruger and Mauritius is a classic (and one of the best!) bush and beach safaris in Southern Africa. First up is the world-famous Kruger National Park in South Africa, where big game hides around every corner and lavishly-luxurious camps abound. Embrace those early mornings, safe in the knowledge that a week of pure relaxation awaits on the sands of Mauritius. With easy flights between the two, and blissful weather for the majority of the year, this is a match made in holiday heaven.
Itinerary: A Southern Africa Exploration
Zambia & Malawi
We say beach, you say… Lake Malawi? The beautiful freshwater lake is fast becoming one of our favourite places on the continent for a little post-safari R&R, and combined with Zambia, it makes one of the best bush and beach safaris in Southern Africa, hands down. With a smattering of blissful lodges, crescents of white sand and a host of activities, Lake Malawi could give any Indian Ocean island a run for its money (particularly Kaya Mawa on the heavenly Likoma Island). Complete the two-pronged attack with a few days in the Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park and fly-camp in bleached-sand riverbeds and walk with lion. We’ll have it all thanks.
Botswana & Seychelles
The Seychelles: miles and miles of sun-drenched beaches jostling for space with palm trees and gin-clear waters – this is the kind of place that really is as good as it sounds. Build up your appetite for it with a safari in Botswana’s Okavango Delta first, and swish through the waterways on a mokoro, spotting animals as you go. You could even add a quick stop at Victoria Falls, adventure capital of the continent and one of the world’s most spectacular sights if you fancy. And that’s what we call a bush and beach safari in Southern Africa!
Zimbabwe & Quirimbas
Who said the best bush and beach safaris in Southern Africa were all about glitz and glamour? Combine an old-school Zimbabwe safari with the ruggedly beautiful Quirimbas Archipelago in northern Mozambique for something a little bit out of the ordinary. We’ll admit it’s not the easiest fly-and-flop combination, with a journey by plane, car, dhow and sometimes even a short paddle to get out to the Quirimbas, but when you’re greeted by infinite beaches, a dazzling coral reef and quite simply, the bluest ocean we’ve ever seen, it all becomes worth it…
Kruger & Reunion
Sometimes you shouldn’t mess with a classic, but in this case – why not? Last on our list of the best bush and beach safaris in Southern Africa, we’re going to suggest swapping Mauritius for Reunion Island after a Kruger safari. Floating in the Indian Ocean some 500 miles off the coast of Madagascar, Reunion is often grouped together with Mauritius but it couldn’t be more different. Reminiscent of a scene from Jurassic Park, there’s something green and beautiful growing from every inch and a different activity around every corner – hiking the calderas, diving, walking, canyoning and paragliding to name but a few. And if you want to chill out on the beach and munch on the delectable French cuisine, you can certainly do that too.
Trip: Spread Your Wings