Beach extensions for your safari

Safari Holidays are, without doubt, a once in a life time experience. However (now don’t laugh at us please) they can also be quite hard work at times. Routine at the camps is fairly structured and rigid; rise at dawn (first call at 0400am), 4 hour game drive, followed by breakfast, relaxation time and then another 4 hour game drive late afternoon. Dinner is usually served at around 7.30pm. After a few days on safari your children (and you) will be ready for a change of pace and it can be very welcoming to kick back and relax. The question is, where to go and what to combine your safari with. Many people’s first choice is to request a beach resort where they can enjoy golden sand, snorkelling and a gentle pace of life. Here are our suggestions for the optimum beach extension for your holiday.

Zanzibar

The exotic tropical island of Zanzibar lies in the Indian Ocean and enjoys miles of palm-fringed golden sandy beaches and beautiful clear waters. With a range of accommodation from simple beach lodges to private beach villas to five star resorts, this is the perfect place to relax, sun-bathe and snorkel.  Diving is also excellent here, with some excellent coral formations. Other activities on offer include ocean excursions, spice farm tours, the Jozani Forest with a variety of primates and exploring the narrow cobbled streets of Stone Town, the capital, which is a UNESCO world heritage site.

Getting there & away

  • - From Northern, Southern and Western Tanzania there are regular well timed scheduled light aircraft flights.
  • - Kenya Airways has a number of daily scheduled flights from Nairobi.
  • - From South Africa, there is a low cost airline which flies from from Johannesburg to Zanzibar direct a couple of times a week.

Our Favourite Zanzibar guest houses & lodges

 

Matemwe Beach Village

Our rating: 7/10

- Good value beach lodge
- Gorgeous beach
- Relaxed vibe
- Superb dive centre

Zanzibar Coast

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Unguja Lodge

Our rating: 8/10

- Remote Beach Lodge
- Family Villas
- Excellent diving / snorkelling

Zanzibar Coast

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Zanzibar Palace Hotel

Our rating: 8/10

- Owner run and managed
- Central Stone Town location
- Excellent service
- Individually decorated rooms

Zanzibar Coast

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Che Che Vule Villa

Our rating: 8/10

- Private villa with pool and staff
- Perfect choice for family
- Flexibility and privacy

Zanzibar Coast

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Kenya and Tanzania Coast

The South Kenyan coast does have more development on it in the Mombasa area, but there are some hidden out of the way smaller gems, up in Lamu, for example. Access is frequent with scheduled light aircraft flights and airlines from all safari options, some via Nairobi.

The Tanzania coast is less developed with some great barefoot options; this is perfect for a couple of night’s pure relaxation with a few activities on offer. Access is frequent with scheduled light aircraft flights from all safari options, some via Dar es Salaam.

Our Favourite Kenya & Tanzania Coastal guest houses & lodges

 

Che Shale

Our rating: 8/10

- Chic beach retreat
- Relaxed bare-foot ambience
- Pristine secluded beach
- Watersports

Coast, Amboseli & Tsavo

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Full Moon Houses

Our rating: 8/10

- Private Houses
- Fantastic Location
- Swahili architecture
- Shela Village

Coast, Amboseli & Tsavo

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Pinewood Beach Resort and Spa

Our rating: 7/10

- Beach Hotel
- Good facilities
- Watersports Centre
- Tennis Courts

Coast, Amboseli & Tsavo

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Sanctuary Saadani Safari Lodge

Our rating: 7/10

- Safari Camp on the beach
- Game Drives
- Snorkelling and sand island picnics
- Dhow ocean sailing

Southern Tanzania

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Mozambique

Mozambique has really only started to come back onto the map in the last 15 years with development starting in the south and growing from there. These lodges have a very similar operation to safari in some respects. It is generally simple to barefoot luxury lodges, with well-spaced individual ‘rooms’ onto the beach. One dining area with sometimes gathering in the evenings for cocktails and social meals. Diving is excellent and unspoilt. The focus is water sports and depending on the location some nearby historical visits particularly in the north or simple fishing villages. Generally these are quiet and relaxing resorts. There are two mid-size resorts which have more hotel style accommodations, one in the north and the other in the south.

Getting there & away

Southern Mozambique has an excellent service from Johannesburg to Maputo, Vilanculos and Imhambane. In addition to this there is a flight from the Kruger to Vilanculos a couple of times a week. The capital Maputo is only a 3 hour drive from Kruger which is another gateway to a variety of beach destinations.

For Northern Mozambique, from Johannesburg there are regular flights to Pemba and Nampula. There are however excellent scheduled light aircraft connection from Tanzania and Kenya, enabling you to combine an East Africa safari with this.

Our Favourite Mozambique Coastal guest houses & lodges

 

Mauritius

Mauritius has a good selection of beach hotels but generally with a variety of pools and sun lounging spots on the properties. There are often good children’s clubs, tennis courts, spa facilities and wide variety of water sports. Usually a choice of dinning locations, beach and room service and evening entertainment. Focus here is really being in resort and just sitting back and relaxing, you can do a day trip into town and visit a nature reserve or take a day cruise.

Getting there & away

From Kenya, there are 3 flights a week with good timings but you would need the night before in Nairobi which is no great hardship as there are many great things to do such as the Giraffe Sanctuary and Elephant Orphanage which gives great interaction.

From Johannesburg, there are 3 flights a weeks, again with good timings. There are very good value hotels in the airport complex, so you can make the most of the final day of your safari without having to rush to catch a flight. 

Our Favourite Mauritius Coastal guest houses & lodges

http://cenizaro.com/theresidence/mauritius

 

Seychelles

Seychelles has a wonderful collection of granite and volcanic islands, great for staying at just one place but lends itself particularly well to island hopping. Accommodation ranges from simple Seychellois guest houses, medium-size hotels to five star resorts.

Getting there & away

Sadly there are only flights from Johannesburg a couple of times a week which would work well with Southern African safaris. 

There are many of the Middle Eastern airlines who are now flying in, and in some respects with the island hopping this would be a lovely two week holiday on its own.

Our Favourite Seychelles Coastal guest houses & lodges

 http://www.paradisesunhotel.com/Praslin%20Seychelles/Home

 

KwaZulu Natal

KwaZulu Natal, on South Africa's Indian Ocean coastline has some wild stretches of beaches. We have a couple of lodges on the beach, offering a mixture of relaxation and safari-style activities. We can also arrange guest houses in close proximity to the beach and large resort hotels. The one thing to bear in mind with all South African beaches is that they are for the most part relatively strong currents but beautiful stretches of coast line.

Getting there & away

This area is best reached by self-drive exploration of the surrounding area. The scheduled flights come in from Durban or Richards Bay from Johannesburg, plus connections into Durban from Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and even the Kruger.

Our Favourite KwaZulu-Natal guest houses & lodges

 

Thonga Beach Lodge

Our rating: 7/10

- Pristine coast line
- Large spacious airy suites
- Snorkelling, village visit, guided forest walks

KwaZulu-Natal

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Rocktail Beach Lodge

Our rating: 7/10

- Deserted sandy beaches
- Coastal forest safari accommodation
- Snorkelling

KwaZulu-Natal

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Canelands Beach Club and Spa

Our rating: 7/10

- Beach front hotel
- On-site pool, restaurant & spa
- Swimming beach & tidal pools
- Near-by attractions

KwaZulu-Natal

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Cape Town

Cape Town is not a ‘traditional’ beach consideration as accommodation on the beach is non-existent but due to the weather and variety of activities and lovely restaurants this can provide a lovely down time ending to a trip. Camps Bay has a lovely beach with trendy restaurants nearby but it is Atlantic Ocean. The Southern suburbs of Cape Town from Noordhoek to Muizenburg is Indian Ocean, St James beach even has a tidal pool, these beaches are more popular with locals and dining options although good, not as 'trendy' as Camps Bay for example. Guest houses, small boutique hotels and variety of larger hotels available. The one thing to bear in mind with all South African beaches is that they are for the most part relatively strong currents but beautiful stretches of coast line.

Getting there & away

With regular Johannesburg flights this is easily accessed from Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. Same for the rest of South Africa such as Port Elizabeth, Durban and Kruger.

Our Favourite Cape Town guest houses & lodges

 

The Waterfront Village

Our rating: 7/10

- Slick modern apartments
- Water views
- V&A Waterfront location

Garden Route

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Acorn Guest House

Our rating: 7/10

- Homely Guesthouse
- Affordable
- Pool and Gardens
- Neighbourhood location

Garden Route

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Welgelegen Hotel

Our rating: 7/10

- Stylish boutique hotel
- Unpretentious
- Plunge Pool
- Neighbourhood Location

Garden Route

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Garden Route

The Garden Route has lovely beaches all the way from Wilderness to Port Elizabeth, which is effectively the length of the route. Tends to be long stretches of coast line of Indian Ocean. No properties with direct access to the beach but lovely guest houses and hotels al along mostly with pools. The one thing to bear in mind with all South African beaches is that they are for the most part relatively strong currents but beautiful stretches of coast line.

Getting there & away

Access from Cape Town, George and Port Elizabeth with an excellent domestic flight routing around South Africa.

Our Favourite Garden Route guest houses & lodges near the coast

 

Anlin Beach House

Our rating: 7/10

- Smart mid-range guesthouse
- Modern interiors
- Well located for beach
- Excellent family apartment

Garden Route

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Under Milkwood

Our rating: 7/10

- Very clean log cabins
- Self Catering
- Gentle lagoon beach
- Beautiful lagoon views

Garden Route

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Hog Hollow

Our rating: 8/10

- High quality forest lodge
- Beautiful forest location
- Swimming Pool
- Base for Garden Route

Garden Route

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Victoria Falls

Ok this is not the beach but after an intensive South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia safari it is perfect stop to relax but still have lots to do. Brilliant safari style lodges generally on the Zambezi River with swimming pool and central dinning or a couple of hotel style resort.

Getting there & away

Road and light aircraft flights off safari. Scheduled flights from Johannesburg, Namibia, Kenya and more coming in with the planned airport improvements.

 Our Favourite Victoria Falls guest houses & lodges

Lake Malawi

Lake Malawi is a lake with beach like features, so we think this is a lovely option with some small properties, old fashioned resorts and barefoot luxury lodges.

Getting there & away

A brilliant light aircraft flight from South Luangwa in Zambia. Kenya Airways flights from Nairobi, good regular flights from Johannesburg to both main hubs.#

Our Favourite Malawi guest houses & lodges

Decisions...

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