When it comes to awe-inspiring landscapes and thrilling adventures, it's hard to beat Africa. Whilst you may know it best for its wildlife encounters and safari experience, this is a continent renowned for its diversity. Also boasting an array of stunning coastlines and archipelagos that offer a different kind of paradise, Africa offers the best of both idylls.
Get to know the continent that is home to both game drives and the meeting point of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Where traditional safari destinations can be perfectly paired with a stunning beach stay for snorkelling, diving or simply relaxing. Read on for our top recommendations on Africa's best bush and beach combinations.
Masai Mara and Diani Beach, Kenya
Although thousands of tourists flock to Kenya every year between August and October to witness The Great Migration, those looking to combine the beach and bush for their Kenyan holiday may be swayed towards a January or February visit. These months see peak temperatures and water clarity along the coast, while this dry season also brings less vegetation which means you'll have an excellent opportunity to see wildlife congregate around water sources.
The Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the most famous and important wildlife conservation and wilderness areas in Africa. Covers an area of 1,510 square kilometres, the reserve is home to many safari favourites like lions, leopards, elephants and giraffes.
Such safari thrills can only be matched by the paradisical Diani Beach. Known for its clear waters, coral reefs and palm trees, this stretch of pristine shoreline is great for making a splash with watersports like kite surfing or kayaking but is equally ideal for soaking up the sun.
Our Stay Suggestions?
will take your Maasai Mara safari to a new level of luxury, with a private tutorial with the on-site wildlife photographer and unparalleled views across the plains. Pair this with a luxurious stay at Alfajiri Villas,
sitting on the waterfront of one of Kenya's best beaches. Here, you'll find exceptional diving and snorkelling opportunities over a stunning coral reef.
Sabi Sands and Benguerra Island, South Africa and Mozambique
South Africa is an icon of safari destinations, but it also offers short and regular flights from Johannesburg to Vilanculous in Mozambique, the gateway to the picture-perfect beach stays of Bazaruto Archipelago and Benguerra Island. This easy pairing makes for an ideal bush and beach multi-centre stay.
Sabi Sands is an unspoilt gem of South Africa. Whilst this reserve may be small compared to others in the region, it's compensated for by the intimacy of it being privately owned, and the uniqueness of its 50-kilometer unfenced boundary with the Kruger National Park. It's also earned a reputation for leopard sightings, considered the most elusive animal of the Big Five.
After the excitement of Sabi Sand's game drives, the calm beaches of Benguerra Island are a welcome respite. As the second largest island in the Bazaruto Archipelago, this low-key Indian Ocean destination blends secluded peacefulness with contemporary luxe offerings.
Our Stay Suggestions?
Join the enthralling game drives and walking safaris of Sir Richard Branson's Ulusaba Private Game Reserve
to spot the Big Five, before a stay on Mozambique's white-sand shoreline at Kisawa Sanctuary.
Upping the opulence, you'll arrive by helicopter and have access to an Ayurvedic spa, tasting experiences in the Wine Room and sunset cruises.
The Eastern Cape, South Africa
For the same perfect balance of bush and beach but with less in-between travel, South Africa's Eastern Cape has become renowned for both its beautiful coasts and epic game-viewing experiences. Its wide range of ecosystems makes for a truly unique destination and allows you to easily transition from wildlife thrills to beach relaxation.
Shamwari is the oldest private wildlife reserve in the Cape and one of the best in the world. Set in the heart of the Eastern Cape, this reserve places a focus on conservation and is thriving with reintroduced animals.
And yet the diversity of this region also has the potential to overlap, where a wildlife reserve may meet the shores of the ocean.
Our Stay Suggestions?
Taking inspiration from its Shamwari surroundings, Sindile at Shamwari Private Game Reserve
is a luxury nature-inspired camp for your safari adventures. Enjoy uninhibited views of the surrounding bush from elevated accommodations and learn about conservation projects such as the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre and Shamwari Anti-Poaching Unit. Just an hour and a half drive from Shamwari, Oceana Beach and Wildlife Reserve
offers a stunning seven-kilometre-long beach and unrivalled luxury around every corner. Travel between July and December to add whale watching to your list of wildlife adventures with this combination.