A bush and beach combo is the holy grail of African experiences; a fantasy holiday where you’ll see two different worlds in one trip. We previously highlighted all the reasons this combo tour is a slice of travel heaven; today we present our ultimate beach and bush combos for your bucket list.
South Africa is a whole world wrapped up neatly in one country, making it an ever-popular destination for visitors who want a wide range of experiences. Although it doesn’t have its own island archipelago, there are still bush and beach options to explore.
While Cape Town isn’t an island paradise, it’s a great base for a more affordable bush and beach trip. If you’re on a tight budget and you want to cram sightseeing, iconic attractions and premium restaurants into your schedule, you can’t do better than CT, Garden Route and Safari. In Cape Town you’ll find the world renowned beaches of Camps Bay and Clifton while the Garden Route is full of long golden beaches, some quite hidden, that have a more at-one-with-nature feel. You can opt for the affordable Eastern Cape safari in this itinerary or we can arrange a classic Big 5 safari in a private Kruger game reserve at an additional cost.
If you want to stay down south but you’re looking for a more classic island escape, this tour ticks both your boxes. Starting in Kruger with a classic private safari in an intimate luxury game lodge, you’ll spend three nights on thrilling game rides and walking safaris (reserve dependent) seeing everything from the Big 5 to lesser spotted creatures like the Bushbaby, pangolin and wild dog. After your safari you’ll head for the sandy whites beaches of Mauritius, just a four hour flight from Joburg. You’ll spend six days soaking up the sun on impossibly beautiful beaches and snorkelling or diving snorkelling in the crystal blue oceans exploring fascinatingthe marine world.
If Mauritus sounds…well, nice, but you want that island paradise glamour you see in travel magazines, the Seychelles is your spot. Same formula but with next level beaches and resorts, island hopping opportunities that take you from uninhabited island reserves to private islands where actual royalty honeymoon and the kind of Instagram picture perfection that influencers would give actual limbs for. This itinerary features a safari in Welgevonden Game Reserve in Limpopo – a lush Big 5 destination that is off the main safari circuit and therefore less touristy – but we can easily arrange a Kruger safari if you prefer.
Botswana is one of the last true wilderness areas in Africa and is home to some truly unique ecosystems. Just over a third of the country is dedicated to conservation through its national parks and reserves, including the waterways of the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park, which has one of the highest concentrations of game in the world.
Botswana is a landlocked country with nary a tropical island in sight, but its location makes it perfect for pairing with the Seychelles. Using Joburg as your base, it will take you just an hour and a half to fly to Maun for the start of your safari adventure before returning to Joburg for a five hour flight to Mahé, the largest island in the Seychelles archipelago. Your Botswana safari takes you through the tangle of channels and lagoons that make up the Delta, then onto Chobe National Park which is renowned for its elephant population and ends off in Moremi Game Reserve, one of the most beautiful wildlife reserves in Africa. The landscapes offer diverse game viewing that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. After your magical safari, The Seychelles will end your African story in a state of beach bliss, featuring powdery white shores, surreal blue waters and arguably the best island hopping in the Indian Ocean.
Mozambique’s coastline and sprinkling of islands are known for their white sandy beaches, azure waters and picturesque palm trees that make it a sun worshipper’s paradise. While the country itself is not a safari destination, it pairs perfectly with Kruger which is just an hour an a half south of the border by road.
Your holidays starts with a classic safari in a private reserve in Kruger where thrilling game drives, guided bush walks and luxury lodge indulgence are the order of the day. You might see a pack of lions on a fresh kill – maybe you’ll even see the kill happen! You’ll watch as elephant and gazelle tiptoe to the waterhole for an early morning drink and hyena laze around in the shade of the trees, eyes peeled for a kill they can scavenge. For three days you’ll soak up the magic of the bush before jetting off to the idyllic islands on the Lagoon Coast of Mozambique where you’ll enjoy swimming and snorkelling in the warm ocean, cocktails in hammocks and some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world.
Tanzania is a land of yin and yang, where the most remote game reserves in Africa exist alongside ancient great lakes and shimmering white sand beaches. It has an untamed feel, as if you might lose yourself here in the heart of Africa. Tanzania is a great example of a single country bush & beach break, preferred by some who don’t want to hassle with multiple countries on their trip.
This classic East African safari takes you through Tarangire National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti National Park. Tarangire is famous of its enormous herds of elephants; Ngorongoro is the world’s largest volcanic caldera and features the most dense lion population on earth and the Serengeti National Park is one of the two sites of the Great Migration, the greatest wildlife show on earth where wildebeest and gazelle as they journey to greener grazing lands. If you think this will be hard to top, wait until you get to Zanzibar. The spice island is both the greatest contrast and the greatest complement to the wild reserves of Tanzania. Your post-safari island escape will be spent wandering the cobbled streets of Old Town, kicking back on the glittering beaches and taking to the ocean to snorkel, dive or cruise around an sunset on a boat.
If this whets your bush and beach appetite, or if you have something else in mind that we haven’t covered here, get in touch and let us know. We welcome questions, concerns, corrections and conversations – in any order.