Adding a Beach Trip to Your African SafariJuly 14, 2020
A Micato safari is, all by itself, an extraordinary and transformative experience. Spending days or weeks exploring among Africa’s most beautiful landscapes, having close encounters with fascinating wildlife species, and bedding down in luxuriously appointed safari camps is, after all, the sort of journey that most of us spend years dreaming about—and the rest of our lives reminiscing about.
Still, there are some unavoidable aspects of a safari that can leave even the most enthusiastic travellers a bit weary. The early morning wake-ups required for the best game viewing, the long hours spent in safari vehicles—and, of course, the long flight home many of us can expect once our trips are over—have prompted more than one safari guest to wonder: Is there a way I can take a little vacation after my vacation?
Luckily, the answer is yes. And in our opinion, there’s no better way to unwind after a safari than with a seaside sojourn, at one of Southern or Eastern Africa’s spectacular beach resorts. Micato safari planners can easily help to incorporate such a stop into your travel itinerary; here are a couple of destinations for you to consider.
Zanzibar: Snorkeling, Swimming, and Spice Markets
Set just about 20 miles off the Tanzanian coast in the Indian Ocean, the Zanzibar Archipelago—also called The Spice Islands, for its production of nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and black pepper—is renowned for its exotic tropical beauty. The main island, Zanzibar, has a vibrant historic port town (Stone Town), whose marvellous spice markets and graceful 18th and 19th-century architecture have landed it on the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites. But it’s also ringed by beaches of silky white palm-fringed sand (sublime for sun-worshipping) with azure, warm-water seas that conceal vibrant coral reefs (fabulous for snorkelling and scuba diving).
One of the quietest and most pristine of these is the miles-long Bwejuu Beach, on the island’s southeast coast—home to both a small traditional fishing village and many of the island’s most upscale resorts. Among those Micato partners with are the lavish Baraza Resort & Spa, with 30 elegant private villas, a colonnaded pool, decadent spa, and a state-of-the-art watersport centre where you can take guided snorkelling excursions or get scuba-certified (though beach-lazing and solo swims may prove even more alluring). There’s also Xanadu, whose six sumptuous villas abut both an exquisite restaurant and a sweep of shore perfect for strolling, lounging, or gazing at from a sunset cruise aboard the hotel’s magnificent sailing dhow.
Cape Town: Sunbathing, Surfing, and Penguins
Occupying a peninsula where the southern Atlantic meets the Indian Ocean, the bustling, sophisticated cultural hub of Cape Town—celebrated for its museums, shopping, cuisine, and world-class wine from surrounding vineyards—is bracketed on both sides by gorgeous coastline. And though the water here is chilly (or refreshing, depending on your tolerance), there are many reasons why Cape Town beaches are uniquely enchanting for post-safari R&R. For starters, they offer wave-riders some of the most famous surfing spots in the Southern Hemisphere (especially Muizenberg Beach, on the False Bay side of the peninsula). They also host their own populations of rare species; if you haven’t tired of wildlife-spotting, you can spy the resident colony of endangered African penguins at Boulders Beach.
But for good old-fashioned hedonism, it’s hard to beat the dazzling, Capri-esque chic of the Clifton beaches—a linked series of four, fronting the protected Atlantic cove of Camps Bay. Overlooked by the breathtaking Twelve Apostle mountain range, and edged by dramatic cliffs where multimillion-dollar homes perch on high, these beaches boast powdery white sand, aquamarine water, and a well-heeled (if barefoot) crowd. Though you can daytrip there from other parts of the city, staying locally is ideal—especially if you choose a Micato partner property like Ellerman House, where the 13 plush rooms and suites, the private art gallery, the landscaped lawns, and the guests-only dining room all look out over the sparkling sea.