Safari Holidays: 7 Days in the Serengeti and the Seychelles

From the bush to the beach, this unique itinerary delivers the best of Eastern Africa.

by Syeda Ali

Tour the Serengeti with the local Masaai, savannah guides extraordinaire. Wander in awe as they point out local wildlife and geologic landmarks in their backyard.

There’s something mystical about being in the Serengeti, surrounded by a striking silence that’s interrupted only by the wind whistling through your hair, or the roar of a lion in the distance. A short distance away, another untamed paradise awaits. Leave the vast calm of the Serengeti for an island adventure in the Seychelles, a remote archipelago blessed with pristine beaches and lush jungles—the perfect location to complete your holiday in Africa.

A few days on safari followed by an indulgent stay on the beach is the classic African holiday pairing. Experience these two distinct facets of the continent through the seven-day Safari Unplugged itinerary, set in two of the most picturesque Four Seasons retreats. Follow a stint at the luxurious Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti in Serengeti National Park with some pampering on the beach at Four Seasons Resort Seychelles: From otherworldly Tanzanian sunrises to kaleidoscopic Indian Ocean sunsets, a Serengeti-and-Seychelles sojourn showcases Eastern Africa at her best.

Day one: Stalking the Big Five in the Serengeti

On African safari, the big five are the must-see animals. Lion, elephant, rhino, leopard and buffalo abound in Serengeti National Park.

The drive from the airstrip to Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti is an adventure in itself: “The 45-minute transfer through the park can sometimes turn into a two-hour game drive. It’s not uncommon to see three or four of the Big Five [lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, rhino] before guests have even reached the lodge,” says Oliver Dreike, manager of the Lodge Discovery Centre. “If migration is under way, it might take even longer—lines and lines of wildebeest cross the road, creating natural roadblocks along the way.”

Once at the Lodge, soothe your weary bones at the Spa, where the signature Kifaa massage incorporates Tanzanian baobab oil to help you re-energise. If there’s still time before your afternoon game drive, go for a dip in the infinity pool overlooking the watering hole—you might even see a few animals from the pool.

Then embark on a thrilling quest to track wildlife in their natural environment. While the famed plains of the Serengeti are aglow in the late-afternoon sun, your skilled guide will point out animals you didn’t even realise were lurking nearby and share personal experiences that will give you a new-found appreciation for the natural realm.

End your evening with a buffet dinner at the Boma Grill, an open-air firepit where you’ll feast on grilled meats and fish or a Zanzibar lobster curry.

Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, Tanzania

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Day two: Exploration on the savannah

Watching the first rays of daylight trickle across the African wilderness as you thrash through the bush on a quest for a wildlife sighting is one of the most meditative experiences you’ll ever have. For a comprehensive vantage point, begin the day with a hot-air balloon safari at dawn.

Once back on solid ground, enjoy breakfast on the savannah before returning to the Lodge, where a visit to the Discovery Centre, the place to learn about the Maasai people and the surrounding wildlife and history, is a must. Stretch your legs with an afternoon guided walking safari to get a closer perspective on the animals than you did in the morning, then end the day with a sunset meditation experience at the Spa.

Day three: Follow the migration

Dining in the Serengeti is a first-class affair during the Bush Dining experience.

Get up bright and early the next morning for an all-day game drive that will take you farther afield than you’ve travelled thus far. Staff will pack you a picnic lunch before you set out in your Land Cruiser at first light.

The direction of the drive depends on the migratory patterns of the season—you might head south, to the expansive Serengeti plains where hundreds of thousands of wildebeest gather to give birth each February; or west, to watch them try to cross the crocodile-populated Grumeti River in April or May; or north to the border with Kenya’s Masai Mara region for the legendary Mara River crossings in August and September.

For your final evening in the Serengeti, the Lodge can arrange a romantic bush dinner under the stars.

Day four: Relaxation

Relax by the pool in the morning and enjoy lunch at Maji Bar and Terrace. Afterwards, embark on a final game drive en route to Seronera Airstrip for a short, scenic flight over the Tanzanian Plains to Arusha, where a relaxed evening amongst the picturesque coffee plantations awaits.

Day five: Paradise bound

Retreat to an island paradise in the Seychelles, where turquoise waters rejuvenate the body after a few days in the bush.

After a few days in the wild, you’ll be ready to explore some of Mother Nature’s other creations: her finest ocean beaches. Catch sight of Africa’s highest mountain as you board a short flight to Nairobi from from Kilimanjaro Airport. Once in Nairobi, a connecting flight will take you to the Seychelles, arriving at Four Seasons Resort Seychelles by late afternoon.

Here, you’ll stay in one of 67 tree house–inspired villas on a hill verdant with mango, jackfruit and coconut trees—picture a dense jungle cascading down towards sugary white sands. Those sands and the azure waters beyond are, of course, the main event in the Seychelles. As delicious as the Resort’s plush villas (each with its own plunge pool), Spa and restaurants may be, the property’s finest features are the sweeping views that slope to the ocean.

Four Seasons Resort Seychelles

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Once you’ve checked in, head straight for the water. Try stand-up paddleboarding or surf lessons, book a diving course, or just go snorkelling. If you’re not ready to get wet just yet, try teeing off instead: At sunset, the Resort’s beach transforms into a driving range where you can sip a cocktail while sending specially designed, biodegradable balls full of fish food flying into the Indian Ocean.

Day six: R&R on the beach in the Seychelles

While your time in the bush was hallmarked by exploration, discovery and activity, the sojourn in the Seychelles is calming, reflective and introspective.

Start the morning with yoga on the beach or at the Spa, followed by a languid breakfast buffet at Zez Restaurant, which is perched on a stunning hillside to offer unobstructed vistas.

To ensure you take home a memorable keepsake, book a painting lesson with local artist Nigel Henri well in advance of your stay. Henri will guide you on a 15-minute hike to the top of a granite plateau, where he’ll help you create your own landscape painting of the ocean expanse below. You can save the canvas as a souvenir, and have postcards made to send home.

Options abound for the rest of the day: Loll by the beach or pool, or, if you’re up for a culinary adventure, try your hand at a Creole cooking class, where Chef Sherla Mathurin will show you how to make octopus salad, Creole fish curry and other local dishes.

Take in the sunset with a cocktail and canapés atop the Spa’s roof, and end your night with a romantic dinner on the beach.

Day seven: Memorable excursion to Mahé

Trade the baobab trees of the Serengeti for coco de mer trees in the Seychelles.

Spend your last full day on an excursion arranged by the Resort: Choose either a day-long tour of Mahé island in a BMW SUV, which includes a driving tour of the charming capital of Victoria, or a tour of St Anne Marine National Park.

End your stay with dinner back at the Resort’s Kannel, where globally inspired options include Thai beef salad, chicken biryani rice and Singapore-style chilli crab.