Wildlife & Waves
Bucket-list bush & beach adventures brought to you by Atelier Africa
Dreaming of an African adventure, but can’t choose between safari or sun, sand and sea?
With our roundup of unforgettable combos, you can do both!
Sabi Sands, South Africa & Vilanculos, Mozambique
Known by many as ‘the ultimate African safari destination’, Sabi Sands offers the opportunity to marvel at the Big 5 in five-star style, with a range of fantastic luxury lodges catering to all preferences.
The sprawling 65 000 hectare private game reserve actually shares a border with the Kruger National Park, and is renowned the world over for its close encounters with wildlife – most notably the elusive leopard. In addition to its famous leopard sightings and great numbers of game, it is beloved by bird watchers for its over 300 species of birds.
Expect once-in-a-lifetime sightings and unparalleled photo opportunities within the awe-inspiring natural beauty of the reserve, which offers rich biodiversity thanks to its position between the Sabi and Sand Rivers.
Once you’ve ticked a world-class safari off your bucket list, hop on a direct Airlink flight from Nelspruit to Vilanculos, and you’re ready to start your island immersion!
A picturesque coastal town in Mozambique, Vilanculos offers sprawling white beaches and sparkling, calm waters ideal for swimming, water sports and general fun in the sun. In fact, it’s affectionately known as the Mozambican ‘capital of water sports’!
The town itself is easy to navigate by foot, and offers a myriad of markets, restaurants, bars, and more. Be sure to try the famous Mozambique prawns at a local eatery…
A wide range of accommodation options is available, from five-star hotels and beach lodges to guest houses and self-catering resorts.
A visit to Vilanculos would not be complete without a quick dhow trip to the nearby Bazaruto Archipelago Islands, where Mozambique’s only underwater national park can be discovered.
Viewed by many as the highlight of eastern Zambia, South Luangwa National Park spans an impressive 9 050 square kilometres of the Luangwa Valley floor, between 500 and 800 metres above sea level.
The topography of the area is fascinating, thanks to the fact that its western and northwestern edge is bounded by the Muchinga Escarpment, and its southern border lined with the Luangwa River.
The park’s open, grassy plains and magical woodlands are known for the abundant wildlife that enjoy the unspoiled vegetation. Whether driving or walking through the area, you’re bound to see everything from endangered African wild dogs, lions and leopards to elephants, buffalo, hippo, zebra, and a variety of antelope. In fact, the area is renowned for being amongst the highest concentration of animals in Africa, and the guiding is world-class.
A wide range of accommodation options is on offer in South Luangwa, from luxury lodges with formal dining and private plunge pools to remote tented bush camps with open-air facilities.
While there is no direct connection from South Luangwa to Lake Malawi, you can travel to Mfuwe Airport, fly to Lilongwe, and then drive to Lake Malawi National Park on this popular route.
Once you reach Lake Malawi, you will no doubt be blown away by the remarkably clear waters of one of the world’s deepest lakes. It is surrounded by striking natural beauty, with rugged landscapes contrasting with the sparkling waters.
Located between Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania (but mostly in Malawi), Lake Malawi is Africa’s third largest lake, and a major food source to locals and wildlife alike.
For thousands of years, people have been attracted to its vastness, exquisite landscapes, wildlife and adventures. It’s said to play home to the world’s largest population of fish, and is a visiting fisherman’s dream (as well as home to scores of hippos, crocodiles and fish eagles).
Must-do activities include kayaking, sailing, canoe rides, snorkelling, scuba diving, and scenic boat cruises.
We absolutely love staying at the Kaya Mawa Luxury Resort on the white sandy beaches of Likoma Island, Malawi’s very own ‘love island’.
Madagascar & Nosy Be
One of the most popular bush and beach combos in Madagascar starts in the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park in eastern Madagascar.
The exquisite protected rainforest is home to the famous lemurs, including the large Indri lemur, which can only survive on the endemic trees here.
The rich biodiversity of the area also plays host to 15 species of mammals and over 100 species of birds, many of which are endemic (like the Madagascar yellowbrow, Madagascar braza, Madagascar wagtail and Madagascar serpent-eagle). Add to this over 80 amphibians and 50 species of reptiles (including the biggest chameleon on the island), and it offers plenty of opportunities for colourful encounters.
With its dense forest, lakes, waterfalls, and rare orchids and ferns, Andasibe-Mantadia really is a natural heaven on earth.
After your rainforest immersion, drive back to Antananarivo for a flight to Nosy Be, the largest of the islands in the Nosy Be Archipelago.
Literally meaning ‘big island’, Nosy Be is a large island off the northwest coast of Madagascar. It’s filled with natural splendour, from majestic volcanic lakes to colourful coral reefs and fragrant ylang ylang plantations.
Nosy be is beloved as Madagascar’s top beach destination, thanks to its soft white sands and turquoise waters. It’s sunny for most of the year, and a hot spot for water sports, from swimming to snorkelling, diving, sailing and fishing.
The seafood is out of this world, and there is plenty of fine local rum to be tasted!
If you’re keen to see the Big 5 and incredible gorillas and chimpanzees, Uganda is an absolute must-visit.
Don’t be deceived by its small size – its diverse range of landscapes will leave you in awe. The Rift Valley of Uganda’s western edge offers a breathtaking backdrop of mountains, volcanoes and craters, dense ancient forests and sparkling, hippo-filled lakes.
Several of the country’s protected forests are home to chimpanzees, with Kibale protecting no fewer than 13 primate species. In addition, chimpanzee sightings are best in Budongo from February to September, as well as in the mystical ‘underground’ forest of Kyambura in a deep gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Over half of the earth’s 800 or so mountain gorillas live in Uganda, and trekking is best in the misty forests of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – home to 11 habituated families.
Uganda’s national parks offer other amazing wildlife, including the Big 5 which can be seen on safari in Murchison National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.
A direct flight from Entebbe will get you straight to Zanzibar City, where your Indian Ocean Island adventure will begin.
Immerse yourself in a world of colour, spice and seaside splendour in this tropical archipelago off the coast of East Africa, with its striking historic culture and stretching white beaches lined with five-star hotels.
Zanzibar consists of many small islands and two large ones – Unjuga (informally referred to as Zanzibar) and Pemba Island. The islands’ main industries are spices and tourism, and the area is as renowned for its nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper as it is for its popular resorts.
Must-do activities include visiting the historic trade centre of Stone Town, exploring the Spice Route, spotting colobus monkeys in Jozani Forest, meeting giant tortoises on Prison Island and – of course – enjoying the many opportunities for watersports and relaxing in the sun afforded by its world-class beaches.
If you’re looking for a classic, ‘Out of Africa’ safari experience, Kenya is the place to be.
Start in the colourful capital of Nairobi – a metropolis of museums and malls interspersed with market stalls, galleries and game reserves.
From there, head to the Maasai Mara for the famous Great Migration from July to October, when millions of wildebeest and zebra travel from the Tanzanian Serengeti over the Kenyan Maasai Mara, where they have to cross the Mara River and then return back to Tanzania.
Last but certainly not least, Amboseli National Park, with its mighty Mount Kilimanjaro backdrop, is filled with wildlife and luxury safari accommodation.
After your classic safari experience, a direct flight will take you from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to Seychelles International Airport.
The spectacular Seychelles archipelago is made up of no fewer than 115 picture-perfect islands, and visitors are spoilt for choice in terms of where to go and what to do.
An ideal destination for an island-hopping adventure, the Seychelles will satisfy every kind of traveller – from leisure-seekers looking for long lazy days on the beach or out on the water to adventure-seekers wanting to explore jungle-clad mountains and even cultural enthusiasts wanting to immerse themselves in the local art, markets and cuisine.
The three main islands are connected via ferry transfer, and many of the other smaller islands are reachable by boat as part of a daily excursion or a short stay.
Visit one of the most popular beaches, Beau Vallon, on Mahé – the largest island of the Seychelles. Take advantage of the excellent snorkelling conditions off the island of Saint Anne. Visit the Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve on Praslin Island. Discover lush mangrove forests and majestic giant tortoises on Curieuse Island. Discover the area’s largest variety of endemic plant and animal species on Cousin Island. Enjoy the quiet isolation of the undisturbed beaches and natural landscapes of Silhouette Island. Last but certainly not least, visit the beautiful Anse Source d’Argent beach on La Digue.