January 17

Best Bush and Beach Destinations in Africa for Ultimate Holiday

January 17, 2023

Imagine if you could wake up on safari one day and find yourself on a powdery white beach with a cocktail in hand the next…Well, in Africa, you can! Our favourite combination for the ultimate African holiday is to combine safari and sun-soaked sandy beaches – and there are so many destinations to choose from to tick these two boxes! We share our perfect pairs of African bush and beach destinations for your next holiday. 

Water activities in Mauritius

Combine bush and beach in Africa, Image credit: Cyrus Pellet

Welcome to a World of Everything

Different strokes for different folks. A little bit of everything. Best of both worlds. In Africa, anything and everything is possible! It's no wonder the continent is a beloved destination for anyone and everyone, from newlyweds to big multi-generational families, solo travellers, and even the most discerning jetsetters who are notoriously difficult to please.

You and your partner might be considered the perfect pair, but somehow you're also polar opposites when it comes to what you love to do on holiday. Whereas they might like kicking back and losing themselves in a good book, you want more adventure! Well, lucky for you, in Africa, there's no need to compromise. 

Man and woman looking at view from Silvan's pool

The many bush and beach destinations in Africa will take your breath away 

From Safari to Snorkelling

Many of our guests who initially reached out to us to book a Big 5 safari are surprised (and, of course, delighted!) to learn that we can easily add a beach destination to your safari. And it's not just one option. There are plenty of different combinations you can play with! 

With our years of experience (Rhino Africa is a full-grown adult at 18 years old now!), we've welcomed over 150,000 delighted travellers to Africa. But we don't just sit back and watch you have all the fun! We personally also travel far and wide, uncovering all the secret nooks and crannies many others don't know about. We then get to know you a bit (okay, a lot!) better and recommend the best destinations, accommodations, and experiences we think will tickle your fancy!  

Best Bush and Beach Destinations in Africa

So, let's dive in (literally!). Here are our top combinations of bush and beach destinations in Africa for the ultimate holiday. 

Luxury Indian Ocean resorts

There are so many bush and beach destinations in Africa

1. Sabi Sand Safari and Mauritius Sunny Shores

An absolute classic combo, Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve and Mauritius go together perfectly like Champagne and caviar. The flight between these two destinations will only last around four and a half hours, which means you can leave in the morning and be there in time for lunch! 

On the one hand, you have luxury in the wilderness in Sabi Sand that shares an unfence border with the world-famous Kruger National Park. Here you can enjoy safaris that will leave your heart in your throat but with plenty of downtime with spa treatments and chilling by the pool too.

Sabi Sand is also rich in leopards, with sightings almost guaranteed – which is truly special because this big cat is famously elusive! Furthermore, because it's a private game reserve, you're privy to exclusive experiences like night and walking safaris, as well as driving off-road to get up-close to wildlife. 

Leopard in a tree at Silvan Safari in Sabi Sand

Leopards are a very common sight in Sabi Sand

On the other hand, Mauritius packs a punch with activities on land and underwater. But, of course, you can spend days on end simply soaking up the sun and asking the servers to keep those cocktails coming. 

On the northern and western coast of the island, you can expect a flurry of activity with plenty of shops, restaurants and a lively nightlife scene. On the other hand, the eastern coast is quieter, and if you want something even more remote, opt for the southern coast.

Or, if you want a bit more of a hidden gem, we can highly recommend La Réunion Island for romantics and adventure seekers. It's also around a four-hour flight when flying from Johannesburg airport. 

Who's it for?

Anyone! However, we often recommend this combo to honeymooners and families. We'll also suggest the best accommodation so that it's either kid-friendly or faaaar away from kids.

Snorkeling

Crystalline waters surround coral-studded coasts in Mauritius 

2. Zen in Zambia and Castaway Chic in Mozambique 

Oh, these two destinations are a delightful combination for travellers who are tired of seeing the same old, same old and want true untamed adventure. If you're ready to head off the beaten track, follow us to Zambia and Mozambique! The flight from Lusaka in Zambia to Maputo in Mozambique should take around two hours, so it's a quick and easy add-on to your safari!  

Zambia is also home to Victoria Falls, although its neighbouring country Zimbabwe also shares access to the waterfalls and often gets more attention. However, on the Zambian side, you get to (seasonal activity if you're brave enough!) swim in Devil's Pool, nature's own infinity pool on the edge of the Vic Falls. 

Of course, safaris on land and water are sensational too, with Kafue National Park being its biggest as well as one of the largest in the world. Zambia is also famous for offering the best walking safaris. 

Hippos in the Zambezi River

Water-based safaris on the Zambezi River in Zambia 

Then you have Mozambique. With swatches of silky beaches, five species of sea turtles nesting on its shores (seasonal), incredible diving and snorkelling spots within protected marine reserves, and more – there's so much in store for you.

Or there's also Madagascar, dubbed a mini continent as it's home to unique wildlife like the adorable lemur found nowhere else on the planet. Look forward to wondrous wildlife, culture, plant species like the baobab, vibrant coral reefs, and more. The flight to Madagascar will take roughly three hours if you're flying from Lusaka in Zambia. 

Who's it for?

Those adventure seekers and nature lovers who've seen it all or want something truly immersive and wild, away from all the crowds but surrounded by wildlife. 

Mozambique under water ocean life - a turtle

Mozambique's turtles are all threatened and protected on the island

3. East African Safari and Sunshine in Zanzibar

If you want to see the Great Migration, then Tanzania's Serengeti National Park or Kenya's Maasai Mara National Reserve is where you should be. Although this annual wildlife spectacle is seasonal, both are great year-round safari destinations with a breathtaking array of species in staggering numbers. And from personal experience, we can highly recommend a hot air balloon safari for the best views! 

Hot air balloon safari

A hot air balloon safari is one of the best ways to experience East Africa

Located only 40km from Tanzania's mainland, Zanzibar's sunny shores invite you for some R&R or water-based adventure, whichever you prefer. This "Spice Island" is rich in experiences and its historical capital Stone Town is where Freddy Mercury hails from! With dhow boats bobbing on the cerulean ocean, white beaches and Indo-Arabian cultural influences, it's a must if you want to add a beach getaway to your East African safari – and a quick hop, skip and a jump away too! 

A flight from Tanzania's mainland to Zanzibar takes only about 30 minutes, whereas travelling from Kenya to Zanzibar will take around 90 minutes. So, there's really no reason NOT to add Zanzibar to your East African safari itinerary!

Who's it for?

Active holiday couples, friends or families who want an authentic East African safari and/or see the Great Migration but also want to enjoy a few days of leisurely lounging on the beach and diving deep to admire the ocean's living treasures.

Three local women walking on the beach in Zanzibar

Zanzibar is rich in culture and beautiful beaches

4. Water-based Safaris in Botswana and World's Best Beaches in Seychelles 

Oh, how we love this combo! If you consider yourself a water baby, then these bush and beach destinations are for you! Our Travel Experts keep up to date with the flight schedules and they will find the most convenient connection for you to travel between these remote locations. 

Okavango Delta is a bafflingly unique water wonderland that seems to defy logic. With a maze of watery tendrils, which you can explore on a traditional mokoro (a dugout canoe similar to the gondola in Venice), it's an area that's remarkably untouched by humans and still growing wild and free. Because of this, wildlife thrives here, particularly endless herds of elephants.

Wasserstand im Okavango Delta - eine Drohnenaufnahme

Aerial view of a mokoro ride down the Okavango Delta in Botswana

Combine this far-flung paradise with Seychelles, home to some of the best beaches and excellent conditions for all the watersports your heart can desire, then you have the perfect bush and beach holiday!

Alternatively, if you'd like to live on water for a while, jumping straight from your bed into the ocean, then you should consider the marvellous Maldives. Its overwater bungalows and endless summer oozes romance! 

Who's it for?

This combination is perfect for those guests seeking a digital detox for the utmost relaxation. Also great for wildlife photographers as there are plenty of safaris tailored specifically for photography safaris. It's also fantastic for a romantic getaway where you want to feel like you're the only two left on the planet. 

Seychelles beaches

Welcome to paradise, welcome to Seychelles

Visit These Bush and Beach Destinations in 2023

We're itching to start planning your ultimate bush and beach holiday! Contact our Travel Experts today, and let's make your dream holiday a reality!

See you in Africa for sunshine, safari, and a whole lot of fun....because in Africa, you can! 

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About the author 

Tania de Kock

Tania has always been an avid reader, which ultimately led to her life-long dream of becoming a best-selling author. She loves travelling, super spicy food, South African wine, and cats! When she's not reading with a glass of wine, you can find her at the nearest beach or camping, running or hiking in the mountains.

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