African Safari and Beach Holiday Destinations

The majority of people heading to Eastern and Southern Africa visit for safaris, culture, and for those in the know, the beautiful islands and beaches that offer a combined experience of beach holiday and wildlife expedition. It’s a wonderful idea to plan your itinerary to include both: spend time on safari in the wilds of Africa and then take a rejuvenating and calming trip to one of the many islands and beaches along the coast of the Indian Ocean. These idyllic islands offer visitors the opportunity to slow down and breathe, to take in the fresh air, and feel the refreshing water. After spending days on busy game drives, beach excursions will feel heavenly along with the feel of the sand on your feet and wind in your hair.

East Africa Island and Beaches

  1. Madagascar Islands

Madagascar, officially known as the Republic of Madagascar, is the second-largest island country in the world and the largest in the African continent with several renowned islands and beaches. Madagascar has gained even more popularity since the success of the animated film franchise: Madagascar.

The islands and beaches of Madagascar are home to some of the world’s most spectacular wildlife. Visitors can spend their time whale-watching around the channel that separates Sainte Marie Island from the mainland or at Antongil Bay – the largest bay in Madagascar. It has pristine beaches with stunning sunset views that engender calm and peace. It also has some legendary surf zones with marvellous waves.

A World Heritage site, Tsingy De Bemaraha National Park, with its limestone formations, is another of Madagascar’s highlights while Isalo National Park is Madagascar’s version of the well-known American attraction the Grand Canyon. The Avenue of Baobabs in Menabe has some of the oldest Grandider’s Baobabs trees, a popular sight for visitors.

Popular Madagascar Beaches

  • Plage de Ramena
  • Baie de Sainte Luce (Bay of Saint-Luce)
  • Nosy Boraha (Île Sainte-Marie)
  • Nosy Be
  • Île aux Nattes
  1. Mozambique Islands

Once you have had your fill of game viewing in Kruger National Park and many other game reserves and parks in South Africa, you can head over to the beautiful Mozambique Islands, scattered along the Mozambique channel. One of these islands, the Island of Mozambique, is a World Heritage site, connected to the mainland by a single bridge built in the 1960s. The other archipelago islands consist of Bazaruto, Benguera, Magaruque and Santa Carolina islands, popular with visitors and accessible from Vilanculos.

Visitors to Mozambique’s coastline, islands and beaches can spend their time experiencing marine life as well as the beautiful coral gardens, spending their time snorkelling or scuba diving. Although known for its marine life and beaches, Mozambique islands also have diverse wildlife at parks such as Gorongosa National Park.

Popular Mozambique Beaches

  • Island of Mozambique
  • Benguerra Island
  • Ibo Island
  • Inhaca Island
  • Magaruque Island
  • Praia do Tofo
  1. Ssese Islands, Uganda

There are around 85 Ssese Islands forming an archipelago in the northwestern region of Lake Victoria in Uganda. These islands offer visitors the best of wildlife – the island weather attracts rare bird species such as jewel pygmy kingfisher and Africa grey parrot and is also home to colobus and vervet monkeys frequently spotted during game walks. The serene Ssese beaches have more to offer than their pristine beauty: they offer adventures in the way of biking, canoeing, boat cruises, beach games and swimming, while evenings can be spent around a campfire stargazing. Unlike other islands, Ssesse isn’t a hotbed of activities, but it is a haven from your busy life.

Popular Ssese Beaches

  • Bugala Island
  • Bukasa Island
  • Damba Island
  • Koome Island
  • Nkose Island
  1. Seychelles Islands

Seychelles, another island country, forms an archipelago of 115 islands, each one tempting visitors with its tropical beaches and wildlife. Mahe, the largest island, surrounded by exotic fish and colourful vegetation is very popular with visitors. The Seychelles capital Victoria is located in the north-eastern region of Mahe Island and has the most spectacular botanical gardens. Birdwatching enthusiasts can plan a trip to Bird Island, which was named for thousands of sooty terns nesting on the island.

Visitors can witness the mating and laying of eggs as well as explore the birdlife at Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve on Praslin Island with rare bird sightings such as Seychelles sunbird and Seychelles blue pigeon. Praslin also has stunning scenery with granite boulders that contrast marvellously with clear water and sand. Visitors can choose the less crowded Seychelles Islands such as La Digue. Snorkelling and scuba diving are two activities that are available at the majority of these stunning beaches and islands.

Popular Seychelles Beaches

  • Petite Anse
  • Anse Georgette
  • Anse Major
  • Anse Intendance
  • Anse Source d’Argent
  • Anse Lazio
  • Grand Anse
  • Beau Vallon Bay
  • Anse Forbans
  • Anse St. Sauveur
  • Anse Volbert, Praslin

Kenya Beaches

Kenya has some of Africa’s truly great safari attractions including the great wildebeest migration, a one-of-a-kind view from Mount Kilimanjaro, Lake Nakuru covered with flamingos, and bush walks with Masaai warriors. If that wasn’t enough, it also has some excellent beaches located on the coast of the Indian ocean.

  1. Diani Beach Kenya

The great migration tends to overshadow some of Kenya’s most extraordinary attractions, but that doesn’t lessen their appeal. Diani Beach, located south of Mombasa in Kwale County, is a tourist highlight for those seeking a beach holiday. With its clear waters and white beaches framed with palm trees, Diani beach represents beach perfection. On a trip to the beach, visitors will come across bush babies and colobus monkeys while activities include paddle boarding in the waters clean enough to see the fish. Other activities are snorkelling, diving, kayaking, kitesurfing, and windsurfing. At the Kaya Kinondo Sacred Forest, visitors will be accompanied by an experienced guide from the Digo tribe.

Recommended Safari:

  1. Mombasa Beaches

The Mombasa Marine National Park preserves coral reefs, seagrass beds, and sandy beaches. A trip to Mombasa beach offers visitors a twofold experience, sightings of fascinating sea creatures and a rejuvenating beach holiday. Eels, stingrays, and seahorses are some of the commonly spotted marine life at the national park. Shanzu Beach in Mtwapa, which lies north of Mombasa, offers water sports such as sailing, snorkelling, and scuba diving. It even takes visitors on a glass-bottom boat trip, which offers a clear view of marine life below.

Nyali Beach attracts less crowds and therefore provides ample opportunities for strolling. Those who wish to have a unique experience during their Mombasa beach safari should visit Bamburi Beach, which offers camel riding along its shores. Furthermore, it has lavish accommodations ranging from resorts to bungalows overlooking the water. Wasini Island, south of Mombasa, is ideal for spotting dolphins and snorkelling.

Recommended Safari:

Zanzibar Beaches, Tanzania

The feeling of adrenaline coursing through your veins as you follow the wildebeest migration in Tanzania is a memorable experience, one to last a lifetime. After taking in the Serengeti Plains and Ngorongoro Crater, a trip to the Zanzibar beaches will tick another name off your bucket list. The Zanzibar Archipelago, also locally known as the Spice Islands, presents visitors with a relaxing break after safari in the form of crystal clear waters, blue skies, sandy beaches, and beautiful sunsets.

The Nungwi and Kendwa beaches organize a sunset cruise on a dhow, a wooden boat equipped with canvas sail. Other highlights in Zanzibar include snorkelling, boat trips, swimming with dolphins and of course relaxing on stunning beaches. Full moon nights provide a great opportunity for partying on the beach, dancing to the beats of African music. Each beach offers different experiences. Jambiani, for example, is known for deep-sea fishing trips, whereas Paje provides activities such as reef-walking and kite-surfing.

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Popular Zanzibar Beaches

  • Jambiani Beach
  • Kiwengwa Beach
  • Kendwa Beach
  • Matemwe Beach
  • Nakupenda Beach
  • Nungwi Beach
  • Paje Beach

Recommended Safari:

Cameroon Beaches

Cameroon may not have Africa’s big five, but it does have spectacular volcanic formations and landscapes including beaches with rocky shores lined with palm trees and black sand beaches. Surrounded by tropical forest, the spacious Kribi beach is popular amongst visitors. Kribi, the grey sand beach, is located on the shore of the Gulf of Guineas and is also known as the Cameroon Riviera.

Visitors can participate in numerous activities such as beach football, volleyball, swimming, snorkelling, diving, and canoeing. Grand Batanga, in comparison, is less crowded and more peaceful with calm waters and clean air. Like Kribi, it is also close to a tropical forest. Limbe beach and Grand Batanga share a volcanic origin and have black sand beaches. Limbe has cosy gazebos for picnics and romantic getaways.

Popular Cameroon Beaches

  • Boucareau Beach, Limbe
  • Kribi Beach, Kribi
  • Limbe Beach, Limbe
  • Londji Beach, Londgi
  • Yoyo Beach, Manoka Reserve
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