Safaris are often thrilling, even life-changing, but they are seldom restful. Most morning game drives begin before sunrise, the dirt roads are bumpy and the tsetse flies can be infuriating. True, upscale lodges generally have a pool, and it is possible to relax during the heat of the day, when the animals have sought refuge in the shade. But it still makes sense to spend a few days relaxing on the beach before returning to normal life, soothed by the sea breeze and free from the tyranny of the 5:30 a.m. wake-up call.
While there are no Hideaway Report-recommended beach resorts in Kenya, safari travelers to East Africa can choose between the coastline of the continent and the islands of the Seychelles archipelago, which lies approximately 1,000 miles out into the Indian Ocean. (On the coast of East Africa, the rainy season extends from April to June. We recommend visiting outside of those dates to avoid the suffocating humidity.)
Many of Tanzania’s best beaches are found on the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba, both of which can be reached by a short flight from Dar es Salaam. Beaches on the mainland coast are wild and extremely beautiful, but they tend to be less protected from the Indian Ocean swells, which also bring seaweed and other marine detritus. Currently there are no resorts of Hideaway Report quality, though I suspect this may change before too long. In contrast, the east coast of Zanzibar is sheltered by a mini barrier reef, inside which there is a picture-perfect azure lagoon, with perpetually calm water.