Going on an overlanding safari is the best way to experience Africa on a budget. While many budget overlanding African safaris are focused on wildlife, there are a lot of trips that also cover the continent’s best beaches along spectacularly beautiful coastlines and lakeshores.
To help you choose a budget African overlanding safari for beaches, we’ve picked our best trips, which will take you to Africa’s best stretches of sand – along with those Big Five game parks!
East Africa’s answer to tropical island paradise, Zanzibar lures travellers from around the world with its icing sugar sand beaches and azure ocean. It lies just less than 60 kilometres off the coast from mainland Tanzania in the warm Indian Ocean and offers fantastic diving and snorkelling in coral reefs that are home to hundreds of species of fish, turtles, dolphins and whale sharks. Other activities on the island include spice tours, exploring Stone Town, and sailing on dhows (traditional sailboats).
On the 10-day highlights of Tanzania North budget African overlanding tour, you will spend a few days on the beautiful island, staying in beach bungalows and doing activities such as scuba diving and swimming with dolphins. During the rest of the tour, you’ll visit Tanzania’s top game parks, which offer some of the world’s best wildlife viewing, making the trip a perfect combination of beach and bush!
With a coastline stretching more than 2500 kilometres and dozens of islands, Mozambique is one of Africa’s best beach destinations. To the north west of Mozambique, landlocked Malawi is home to the ninth largest lake in the world, Lake Malawi, which is undoubtedly the country’s biggest drawcard. The lake stretches along the length of the country, with glittering blue clear waters and sandy beaches and over 1000 species of colourful cichlid fish.
Our 22-day Bush and Coast Overland trip takes in Mozambique and Malawi’s best beaches in one go! Starting in Zambia, where you’ll explore Victoria Falls and South Luangwa National Park, this overland tour will take you to Lake Malawi, where you’ll camp on the beach and spend a few days exploring the lake’s beautiful islands by boat, swimming in the crystal-clear water and snorkeling amongst the cichlids. Travelling south, you’ll reach Mozambique, where you’ll stay in Vilankulo, the gateway to the stunning Bazaruto Archipelago. Travel by dhow to Magaruque Island to swim in the transparent ocean with a multitude of tropical fish. Your next stop will be the beautiful coastline of Inhambane, where undeveloped golden stretches of sand are lined with palm trees. You’ll stay at a beach resort and spend days scuba diving, going on ocean safaris to see whale sharks and other marine animals and doing deep-sea fishing. The last beach stop is Bilene, which lies on the white-sand shores of the serene Uembje Lagoon. In between lazing on the beach you can partake in a number of water sports such as kayaking, snorkelling, wind surfing and kite surfing.
South Africa’s coastline spans two oceans – the Atlantic and Indian – and has some of the best beaches on the whole continent, whether it’s postcard-perfect stretches of sand backed by mountains in Cape Town, rugged windswept beaches on the West Coast, or huge dune-flanked deserted beaches on the Garden Route. South Africa also offers fantastic diving, snorkelling, surfing, kite surfing and kayaking activities, so there’s lots to do on the beaches if you want more than just swimming!
On our 18-day Explore South Africa Safari, you’ll get to experience some of the country’s top beaches: the Dolphin Coast north of Durban in KwaZulu-Natal Province, on the Wild Coast, where there are totally undeveloped beaches next to rolling green hills, on the Garden Route where you’ll go sea kayaking and have surf lessons and in Cape Town, where you’ll end off the trip relaxing on the city’s world-famous beaches.