Esther Ruempol, Market Manager for the Benelux at Tourvest DMC, says there is definitely a market for the dual-destination holiday and, as an example, names the Greater Kruger in combination with Mozambique and its Indian Ocean islands as offering “stunning opportunities for bush and beach packages”.
David Germain, Regional Director: Africa and the Americas for the Seychelles Tourism Board, concurs, noting that there is much opportunity for inbound travel agents to combine an African safari with an island holiday in the Seychelles, particularly for Europeans.
“For many travellers ‘bush to beach’ holidays remain aspirational and an ideal choice for African holidays lasting longer than 10 days,” says Mark Wernich, Director of Business Development for Africa at Preferred Hotels and Resorts.
He says the contrast of scenery and pace of activities available in both locations create an experience that is unique to Africa and its landscapes.
“While Preferred Hotels and Resorts’ operational model doesn’t lend itself to packaging dual centre stays at independent properties, our guests regularly twin trips to Keekorok Lodge in Kenya’s Masai Mara or Stanley and Livingstone Game Reserve in Victoria Falls with a beach escape in Mombasa, Mauritius or Zanzibar.”
Sea Cliff Resort and Spa
He says American travellers, too, are keen on this combination. As they are travelling long haul and often have a disjointed journey with connecting flights, they seek to add as much value and as much spectacle as possible.
This is echoed by Sean Kritzinger, Managing Director of Giltedge Africa, who says American clients like to include an Indian Ocean destination after their safari experience, favouring the Seychelles, Mozambique or Zanzibar.
Wernich says British and Middle Eastern travellers, along with Germans, Austrians and Swiss are widely known to combine both destinations.
On average, American holidaymakers, he says, spend three to four nights on a beach holiday and European visitors stay longer, up to around five to seven nights.
According to Nikki Wiedemann, Sales and Marketing Manager at White Pearl, Mozambique, more and more guests want to experience the excitement that safaris offer, together with some relaxing downtime at the beach.
White Pearl Resorts recently launched a new beach and bush experience, where game drives into the adjacent Maputo Special Reserve in Southern Mozambique are now on offer.
“For the first time, travellers looking for a one-of-a-kind luxury African eco-experience can combine a Mozambican tropical beach and diving holiday with an exciting bush safari, all in the same place and make the most of their holiday time.”
Indian Ocean islands make for the perfect romantic getaway, notes Lisa Bigoni, Account Supervisor for AIGO in Italy, and says Mauritius is often sold as a beach extension after a safari tour.
Sabine Blehle, CEO of GoVacation, agrees that there is a market for this combination but only in more upmarket brackets, ranging from three to five stars.
Serena Hotels offers both beach and bush accommodation in Kenya, Zanzibar and Mozambique.
Serena Beach Resort and Spa in Kenya is on the white-sand Shanzu Beach, just 30km from Mombasa. The resort is adjacent to the Mombasa Marine National Park and is within easy reach of the Shimba Hills National Reserve.