Make no mistake, travelling is an art form. Knowing what to include and exclude in a journey is similar to the great chefs of the world creating a fine-dining menu. It’s about striking the right balance and creating something memorable. And while chefs work with sweet, sour, salty, umami, and bitter – travellers work with adventure, culture, relaxation, nature, art and food.
You cannot simply pile it all together in one heap of an itinerary and hope for the best though. Time and energy is limited so it often works best to have something evenly paced but stimulating in different ways, which is why a bush and beach holiday is such a popular option in Southern Africa.
You get the thrill of the Big 5 encounters and the excitement of simply being in the African bush, followed up by the welcomed down time on a tropical beach. “Cocktail in the hand, feet in the sand,” as the saying goes. The cumulative effect of a bush and beach holiday is that you have once-in-a-lifetime experiences but also go home feeling refreshed and energised.
In Southern Africa, there’s no better combination than Kruger National Park and Mozambique. Here are some reasons why:
Kruger National Park is located in northeastern South Africa, making it easily accessible from various international airports. Mozambique, located to the east of South Africa, is a neighboring country with stunning beaches along its coastline. The proximity of these destinations allows travellers to experience both the bush and beach within a relatively short distance. A short flight can get you between the two before you even have time to change from boots to sandals.
Kruger National Park is one of Africa’s largest game reserves – renowned for its diverse wildlife, including the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhinoceros). The park offers exceptional opportunities for wildlife safaris, allowing visitors to observe animals in their natural habitat. The game viewing is as good as it gets, with intimate encounters with big cats and predators one of Kruger’s standout attractions.
Mozambique, on the other hand, is famous for its pristine beaches, turquoise waters and coral reefs. The country offers a perfect beach getaway with activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and relaxing on the sandy shores. The Bazaruto Archipelago and Quirimbas Archipelago are particularly popular beach destinations in Mozambique, known for their natural beauty and marine life.
Kruger National Park has well-developed infrastructure, offering various accommodation options with some of the best luxury lodges in the world. In fact, Kruger has been leading the industry in Africa for decades through the quality of its guides, the standard of its lodges and food and the immersive activities on offer. Likewise, the hotels and lodges in Mozambique have some of the most breathtaking settings and experiences for guests that seem to come straight out of a dream.
Kruger National Park boasts a diverse landscape, including savannahs, grasslands, and woodlands. In amongst this natural wonderland there are countless memorable activities on offer. Sunrise and sunset game drives offer the best game-viewing opportunities. Bush walks allow you to explore the park on foot accompanied by experienced rangers. This allows for an immersive, hands-on experience often allowing you to marvel at the smaller wonders. Furthermore, Kruger is a paradise for bird enthusiasts. There are over 500 bird species in the park, making it an excellent destination for birdwatching. This all adds up to an amazing destination for photographic safaris.
Life can move a little slower in the waters of Mozambique, if you want it to, but the options for things to do are still equally enticing. Mozambique’s coastline is famous for its powdery white sands and crystal-clear waters, so simply kicking back on the beach is a popular pastime. The snorkeling and diving, however, can be spectacular. The coastal areas are home to diverse coral reefs, colorful fish, and even dolphins and whale sharks. There are other water sports on offer too, such as kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, and deep-sea fishing.
One of the highlights in Mozambique is to go island hopping on a boat trip and visit the beautiful islands of the Bazaruto Archipelago or the Quirimbas Archipelago. Mozambique has a rich cultural heritage influenced by African, Portuguese, and Arab traditions. So there are also cultural experiences on offer whereby you can visit markets, try traditional cuisine, and attend music and dance performances.
This can depend on your preferences for wildlife viewing, weather, and beach activities, but the optimal time to combine the two mostly falls between May and September. During these months, you can enjoy excellent wildlife viewing in Kruger while also basking in the sun and enjoying beach activities in Mozambique. Additionally, this period coincides with the dry season in both regions, reducing the risk of malaria and providing comfortable weather for various outdoor adventures.
Mozambique shares a similar dry season with Kruger during the Southern Hemisphere winter. The weather is sunny and dry, making it ideal for beach activities. The sea is calm and clear, perfect for snorkeling and diving.
What’s even better than a bush and beach holiday? Kicking off that holiday with a world-class city experience. Including Cape Town in your Southern Africa itinerary is the add-on that cuts through your experience the same way a good dollop of butter brings together all the other flavours in your favourite meal. Cape Town oozes charm and natural beauty, and with its world-class attractions and European nature, it acts as the perfect introduction to Southern Africa.
This 11-night Scintilla journey sees you spend three nights in the heart of Cape Town at the splendid Cape Grace, overlooking Table Mountain and the V&A Waterfront. This newly refurbished hotel is one of Cape Town’s most impressive and the perfect base from which to visit the world-class beaches, restaurants, galleries and wine farms in the city.