Top 10 Safari and Beach Vacations in Kenya and Tanzania

Why Choose Between Wildlife and Waves When You Can Have Both?

Have you ever found yourself scrolling through vacation photos, debating whether to chase after the iconic lion of the Maasai Mara or to revel in the sun-kissed beaches of Zanzibar? What if I told you, you don’t have to choose? Imagine a morning game drive with the majestic elephants and a sunset that melts over crystal-clear waters — sounds like a dream, right? Well, in Kenya and Tanzania, it’s simply Tuesday. Below, I’ll guide you through the top 10 destinations where safari meets the beach, crafting the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation.

Kickoff: Kenya

1. Diani Beach and Tsavo East National Park

Start with a bang in Diani Beach, where the white sands kiss the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Just a few hours’ drive leads you to the rugged landscapes of Tsavo East National Park. Ever seen a red elephant? Yes, they’re actually covered in red dust. Cool, right?

2. Lamu Island and Samburu National Reserve

Next, let’s take it up a notch with Lamu, an island that feels like a step back in time with its winding streets and traditional Swahili architecture. Pair Lamu with Samburu National Reserve, where the unique wildlife like the Grevy’s zebra will make you question whether you’ve stepped into another world.

3. Watamu and Arabuko Sokoke Forest

Crave a dab of mystery with your vitamin sea? The pristine beaches of Watamu are your go-to, with its protected coral gardens and old-world charm. Nearby, the Arabuko Sokoke Forest offers a shaded retreat with a chance to spot rare birds and elusive mammals.

4. Malindi and Tsavo West National Park

Not far from Watamu is Malindi, a historic town with an Italian flair, thanks to its large expat community. Contrast this with a visit to Tsavo West National Park, where volcanic landscapes and underwater hippo viewing await you.

5. Mombasa and Shimba Hills National Reserve

Rounding out our Kenyan safari-beach tour is Mombasa, a bustling city with a fort that’s seen centuries come and go. Just a hop away is Shimba Hills, a sanctuary for elephants and a cooling respite from the coastal heat.

Jump Over to Tanzania

6. Zanzibar and Selous Game Reserve

Ever watched the sun fade into the ocean from a beach in Zanzibar? Now add to that an experience in Selous Game Reserve, one of Africa’s largest protected areas, largely untouched and massively wild. You’ll get why this combo is legendary!

7. Mafia Island and Ruaha National Park

If you’re into diving with whale sharks and chilling in hidden coves, Mafia Island is your jam. Combine that with Ruaha National Park, and you get an exceptional display of lions, elephants, and baobabs. This place is underrated but profoundly spectacular.

8. Pemba Island and Mikumi National Park

Lesser known but equally enchanting, Pemba offers an underwater wonderland that’s less trodden than its counterpart Zanzibar. Nearby, Mikumi National Park provides expansive savannahs teeming with wildlife. It’s intimacy and adventure, packed in one.

9. Bagamoyo and Saadani National Park

A historical gem, Bagamoyo is steeped in Swahili culture and relics of the past. Just a stone’s throw away, Saadani National Park lets you experience wildlife where the bush meets the beach. Quite literally, elephants beside the wave!

10. Tanga and Udzungwa Mountains National Park

Finally, the quiet and charming Tanga with its sleepy shores is perfect for those looking to escape the tourist trail. Pair it with the hiking paradise of Udzungwa Mountains, and you’ve got yourself a finale that’s hard to top.

Why settle for one kind of vacation when you can have it all? Kenya and Tanzania offer these magical duos of safaris and beach escapes that need to be seen to be believed. Do zebras in the wild followed by snorkeling in turquoise waters sound like your kind of adventure? Then what are you waiting for? Explore these incredible combo vacations and make memories that are as diverse as the landscapes you’ll traverse.

Book a Safari in Africa Now