Best beach destinations for budget African safaris - beach & bush getaways

The best beach destinations in Africa combine seamlessly with the classical wildlife safari destinations that African travel is synonymous with.

Zanzibar beach and local - You don't have to fly all the way to Thailand for tropical beaches after your African safari. There are plenty of stunning, sandy beach destinations in Africa. These top beaches can easily be combined with Africa's leading safari destinations, making for affordable beach and bush getaways.

4 Best beach destinations for budget safaris in Africa:

  1. Bazaruto Islands & Mozambique beaches
  2. Zanzibar Island off the Tanzanian coast
  3. Lake Malawi beaches in Malawi
  4. Madagascar & Nosy Be beaches

Zanzibar beach dhow - These tropical African beach destinations offer a refreshingly different beach holiday experience. Travelling to one of these idyllic beach destinations on a safari in Southern and East Africa is a unique cultural adventure, with superb game viewing and scenic landscapes all in one!

Pristine, sandy beaches and warm waters are the norm across the board at these 4 African Beach Spots. Here's a look at each beach paradise in a little more detail:

1. Mozambique Beaches & Bazaruto Islands

Located on the east coast of Southern Africa, Mozambique's coast and its islands boast the warm water of the Indian Ocean. 

Travel to Praia de Zavorra, Morrungulu, Inhambane, Praia do Tofo and Vilanculos, on the mainland near the Bazaruto Archipelago. Water activities include snorkelling, fishing, scuba diving, surfing, kayaking and dhow sailing trips. Bazaruto, known as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, is world famous for its pristine reefs and abundant sea life, from manta rays to whale sharks, making for superb scuba diving and snorkelling.

yeowatzupBazaruto, Mozambique - yeowatzup

Trips to Bazaruto Islands and Mozambique beaches are mostly combined with Kruger National Park (South Africa) and other top game parks and attractions in Southern Africa, including Victoria Falls and Lake Malawi.

Getting to Mozambique & Bazaruto Islands

Within Mozambique, the capital Maputo is a popular starting point for travel. The most affordable trips to Bazaruto Islands are typically based in Vilanculos, on the mainland. In terms of budget, travelling overland from Maputo to Vilanculos is usually the cheapest option.

Many of our most reasonably priced Mozambique Tours begin in the South African city of Johannesburg which serves as a major travel hub in Africa. You can peruse upcoming tours departing from Johannesburg here.

2. Zanzibar Island off the Tanzanian coast

The allure of the exotic Spice Islands off Tanzania lies in the miles of unspoiled beaches and rich history, strongly influenced by Arabic culture along with African influences.

Most Zanzibar Island Trips go to beaches on the east and northeastern coast of the main Island, called Unguja, boasting palm-fringed, white sand beaches and the historic old Stone Town.

Spend your time relaxing on the idyllic beaches and exploring the island, far away from ordinary life (and the cold for some). Water activities range from swimming, snorkelling and diving to deep-sea fishing, kayaking, windsurfing, waterskiing and traditional dhow sailing trips to off-lying islands.

As with Bazaruto, Zanzibar Island is world-renowned for its superb diving, due to the warm, clear waters, colourful coral reefs and rich marine life.

Zanzibar island beach -

Zanzibar Island Trips include options to also go game viewing in the world-famous Serengeti Park and Ngorongoro Crater (Tanzania), as well as Masai Mara (Kenya).

Getting to Zanzibar Island

One of the most affordable ways to get to Zanzibar is to fly to Dar es Salaam and then take the local ferry to Stone Town. Many of our tours departing from Dar es Salaam travel to Zanzibar Island as part of your safari or offer an optional trip to Zanzibar as an add-on to your Tanzania safari. You can also fly directly to Stone Town on Zanzibar's main island from Nairobi or from Johannesburg.

3. Lake Malawi Beaches

The Warm Heart of Africa, Malawi, is renowned for its friendly local people. Lake Malawi is known for its clear, warm waters and fresh fish. Although this is a freshwater lake, the vast Lake Malawi is fringed by sandy beaches and home to an abundance of tropical fish, as well as a variety of other marine animals. 

This shores of this warm water lake are lined with small villages in a setting flanked by scenic mountains. The lake is ideal for watersports such as snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking and dhow sailing trips to islands and nearby bays.

Lake Malawi is also a good place to go horse riding and hiking, along with exploring the bustling markets and meeting the locals.

Makuzi beach Lake Malawi -

Many Lake Malawi Trips also embark on game viewing drives in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park, and other nearby wildlife parks, before or after relaxing on the tropical beaches of the lake. Lake Malawi is an excellent destination for sailing and kayaking trips.

Getting to Lake Malawi

Recommended starting points for trips to Lake Malawi include Lilongwe in Malawi, Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. To find upcoming Lake Malawi Tours, you can browse our calendar listings for tours starting in Lilongwe, tours starting in Dar es Salaam or tours starting in Victoria Falls.

4. Madagascar Beaches

Madagascar is a totally unique travel destination, referred to as the "eighth continent" by ecologists for its distinctive flora and fauna, with around 90% of the animal and plant species being endemic. 

Nosy Be Island, off the northwest coast of Madagascar, is one of our most idyllic beach destinations, along with the beaches of Morondava, Faux Cap and St Marie Island. The climate of much of Madagascar and Nosy Be in particular, is ideal for swimming and sunbathing, especially at this time of year. From late August to November, the climate is drier and not as baking hot at summer, just right for exploring and relaxing on the beaches.

The waters are clear and warm, and the sandy beaches unspoilt and tranquil. Activities include snorkelling, diving, fishing and dhow sailing trips year-round.

From July to late August is the whale watching season, especially on St Marie Island, the Bay of Antongil and off the east coast of Madagascar. This is the time of year when humpback whales can be seen with their young. From September to November is also a great time for seeing baby lemurs and flowering jacaranda trees.

The Malagasy have a strong and unique cultural identity that differs from elsewhere in Africa and beyond. Madagascar, one of the world's biodiversity hotspots, also hosts diverse national parks protecting rainforests and its fascinating creatures.

Giorgio MinguzziNosy-Be Madagascar - Giorgio Minguzzi

Getting to Madagascar

Most Madagascar Tours start in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. You can fly directly to the Ivato International Airport (TNR) of Antananarivo from Johannesburg in South Africa or Nairobi in Kenya.

To view upcoming Budget Madagascar Tours browse our Antananarivo tour departures.

Madagascar beach -

There are plenty of budget-friendly African Safaris that include top beach getaways. Contact us to book your idyllic beach and bush holiday in Africa.

If you liked this post, these trips cover similar ground…

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