The Best Beach and Safari Holidays Across the World

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Uncover the best beach and safari holidays in the world with this hand-picked collection of places to go, animals to see and soft sands to relax on. See also how to create your own bucket list for Africa.

Safari guide in Kenya looking through binoculars
Patience, Silence and A Good Pair of Binoculars Are Crucial to Wildlife Spotting Success

The Best Beach and Safari Holidays

Time off is precious and the world offers so much to see and do. Responsible safaris combine the thrill of seeing animals in their natural habitats with a kind of meditative zen that involves patience while you try to find them. And beaches, likewise, offer a mix of relaxation in nature and energetic watersports and nightlife if that’s what you’re looking for.

Think beyond Africa

While most people looking for the best beach and safari holidays automatically think of Africa, we urge you to think further afield. India, for example, offers stunning golden sands and safari trips searching for tigers. And in Brazil, you can also combine deserted beaches or Copacabana famous beaches with a trip into the Amazon, like these beach and holiday trips from Craft Travel.

Within Africa

Within Africa, Kenya and South Africa attract the most visitors. But I’ll always have a soft spot for Tanzania, where I spent time in my youth. Within Tanzania, you can also climb to the snowy peak of Kilimanjaro within a week. But you can also skip that and instead relax on the sands of Zanzibar and then travel across the Serengeti with Tanzania Odyssey.

Let’s get looking at some of these options in more detail.

Game safari drive for Kenya Bucket List article

The best beach and safari holidays in Kenya

Located in East Africa, Kenya excels in safari holidays and beautiful beaches. Direct flights from Nairobi to Europe and the US connect easily and visitors fall in love with the rich culture and landscape of the Masai Mara and Amboseli National Park.

The Masai Mara National Park

Covering 1510 square kilometres in the southwest of Kenia, the Masai Mara is the place to be if you want to watch the great migration. Every year, over two million wildebeest, gazelles, and zebras start a life-or-death trip across the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem.

Huge crocodiles lurk in the waters of the Mara River, and it isn’t unusual to see them feeding on a gazelle.

The Masai Mara is also a great place to see elephants, cheetahs, lions, and if you are lucky, the endangered black rhinos.

Amboseli National Park

With a stunning view of Mount Kilimanjaro in neighbouring Tanzania, Amboseli welcomes you with its large herds of big, tusked elephants, and its high likelihood of spotting the ‘Big Five’. In 1991, it was declared a UNESCO-Mab Biosphere Reserve due to the many rare wildlife species inhabiting it.


From a safari perspective, the Laikipia Plateau, has undeniable importance. Placed between Mount Kenya and the Great Rift Valley, where the spectacular Lake Malawi lies, it is the ideal place to watch endangered species like Grevy’s zebra or reticulated giraffe in their natural habitat.

What’s even more interesting about this place is that it is also a home for communities who have learned to live among the wildlife, so be prepared to encounter ranches and conservation areas.

Tsavo National Park

Although this is Kenya’s biggest park made by Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks, Tsavo is not as rich in wildlife as the other three safari areas in Kenya. However, the captivating landscapes, along with the large elephant herds that cross it, make it a great choice for a luxury wildlife-watching experience.

The Kenyan Coast

You can end your holiday on Kenya’s coastline, a superb beach destination with warm waters and pristine white sand. Snorkelling is a popular activity in the area, especially around Mafia Island or Wasini Island in Wasini Marine National Park.

You can also try kite surfing or even fishing at Diani Beach for a more relaxing atmosphere at the end of your vacation.

Tanzania - Kilimanjaro - Snowy peak resembles an ice cream chocolate splodge

The Best Beach and Safari Holidays in Tanzania

An exceptional safari destination, Tanzania combines the exotic beaches on the island of Zanzibar with amazing mainland scenery and wildlife, right in eastern Africa bordering the Indian Ocean. Most itineraries start in Tarangire National Park and end on the white sands of Zanzibar.

Tarangire National Park

As a classic Tanzania safari spot, the Tarangire offers the chance to spot both huge herds of elephants and lions. Acacia trees stretch their wide branches in the African sun and buffalos, leopards, and zebras, and many others thunder across the earth. Be prepared to meet the Maasai people riding their donkeys or bikes as they carry on with their daily business.

Ngorongoro National Park

The famous rainforests in this area hide families of baboons and leopards that will look great in your photos if you are lucky enough to spot them. However, the main stop on your way to Serengeti is the Ngorongoro Crater, with its blue sources of water, colourful wildflowers, and big game.

Serengeti National Park

Even the name, the Serengeti feels atmospheric. The diversity of wildlife you will see here is exceptional, including buffalos and impalas, as well as many zebras and wildebeest trying to survive among predators like leopards, cheetahs, and lions.

Zanzibar’s North Coast (Nungwi)

Tanzania and Zanzibar make one of the best safari and beach combinations, as they allows you to fuse the rough experience of game drives with the comfort of a 5-star hotel on the beaches of Nungwi.

Wonderful beach vacations take place here every year, and people return home remembering the beautiful sunsets and the crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean. The North Coast of Zanzibar is also great for water sports, diving, and yoga.

South Africa - Cape Town - Penguins

The Best Beach and Holiday Safaris in South Africa

When it comes to searching for the best beach and safari holidays, it’s hard to beat South Africa. Cape Town is absolutely stunning, with Table Mountain, the history of Nelson Mandela, wine routes and beaches all threaded into its identity. From there, frequent safaris depart for Kruger National Park and further afield.

Kruger National Park

South Africa’s Kruger National Park is famous not only for its wildlife but also for the many luxury resorts and safari lodges you’ll find there. You will definitely see the Big 5 here and there are plenty of private tours you can book to explore the landscape at your own pace. Its easy connections make it a favourite spot for family safari experiences.


This province is an all-in-one safari and beach destination, so you can spend a few weeks here without feeling bored for a moment. The beaches are mostly wild, and the waters house large colonies of coral reefs, being perfect for underwater exploration.

An alternative: Mauritius

Another popular beach and safari combination involves combining a trip to South Africa with a flight across to Mauritius for the beaches. Mauritius also has stunning wildlife and landscapes but no big game. Plenty of direct flights connect the two countries and both have enough to offer to fill at least a week in each.

View of the elephants from the air in the Okavango Delta Botswana
The elephants of the Okavango Delta

More Safari and Beach Holiday Ideas

Botswana & Mozambique

Combine the abundant wildlife of the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park with the luxury beach resorts in Mozambique for a truly unforgettable vacation.

Kenya and the Seychelles

Watch the great wildebeest migration in Kenya and then take a short flight to the Seychelles for romantic beach experience in the tropical Somali Sea.

Best safari and beach holidays cover image - lion on safari in Kenya