Explore West Africa Cruise
Aboard the MS Expedition
Capetown - Accra
- 18 days April 2013
- *Combine "West Africa Discovery Cruise" & "Explore West Africa Cruise" and receive 15% off Cat 2-5.
Book before 30 Sep 2012
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
Welcome to Cape Town, the most cosmopolitan city on the continent and one of the most stunning urban areas on Earth! Today is an arrival day, so there are no planned activities. Settle into the hotel.
Our tour today starts with the cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain. The plateau at 3 km wide has its highest point over 1,000 meters, and provides spectacular views of the surrounded landscape. Lunch at the Seaforth Restaurant before visiting Boulder Beach, a beautiful sandy beach dotted with massive granite boulders. Since 1982 it has been the home of over 3,000 tunnel nesting African Black footed penguins. In the afternoon, we board the M/S Expedition to begin our journey up one of the most underexplored coastlines in the world.
Days at sea will be filled with a fascinating and entertaining educational program presented by our expert expedition team. Lectures and presentations on the history, anthropology, flora and fauna of the region will be interspersed with seminars on painting, photography and South African wine tastings. The Expedition has ample public space in the lounge and library, and you can always join new friends in the ship’s popular pub. Alternatively, spend time relaxing on the ship’s deck or scanning the horizon with binoculars and camera in search of seabirds and marine life. As always, high-end dining experiences will be enjoyed in the ship’s dining room.
Today, we visit the small Namibian town of Luderitz and the ghost town of Kolmanskop. Because of their isolation and predominantly German population, these towns are typically German in their architecture and culture. Kolmanskop was abandoned soon after it was founded when new diamond prospects drew the population further south. Today, it is a ghost town and a fascinating place to explore.
WALVIS BAY, NAMIBIA
Upon arrival in Walvis Bay we’ll have the opportunity to explore the landscapes of the Namib Desert en route to a tour of the town of Swakopmund.
LOBITO (BENGUELA), NAMIBIA
Today we'll enjoy a visit to the quaint town of Sao Felipe de Benguela in Angola. Benguela was founded by Portuguese in 1617 has a big part in the history of the slave trade.
POINTE NOIRE, CONGO
Today, we visit the Congo’s Pointe Noire. On the agenda today are visits to the cliffs of Diosso Gorge, the museum and the city’s very lively market.
SÃO TOMÉ AND PRÍNCIPE
This Portuguese colonial island nation is a tropical paradise of beaches, waterfalls, forests and friendly people. We’ll visit the capital, São Tomé—once an important slave-trade post—and explore a nearby plantation. São Tomé is famous among birders, with over 140 species identified in the surrounding area. On a birding excursion, try to catch a glimpse of the islands’ endemic inhabitants. The next day we explore Príncipe via Zodiac boat to experience its beaches, waterfalls and rainforests. A swim in the tropical waters is a great way to relax. Birdlife, including many endemic species, is abundant here and we’ll keep our eyes out for African grey parrots. Option to visit the tiny town of Santo Antonio, the world’s smallest city.
Today, we disembark in Cotonou and head to the town of Ouidah, home to voodoo and an important embarkation point for the slave trade. We’ll walk the “Route des Esclaves,” rich in reminders of a dark time in the region’s history. In the afternoon we’ll cross Lake Nokoue on small boats and visit the fishing village of Ganvié, famous for its bamboo stilt houses perched above the water. The village offers an interesting look inside modern African village life and boasts a fascinating market tradition.
Outside of Lomé we’ll visit an Ewe village and interact with the locals to learn about their way of life and traditions. A visit to Lomé town includes a trip to the Centre Artisanal de Kpalime, a market famous for Batik.
Today's excursion takes us from the port at Tema to the busy capital of Accra. Our first stop is at a casket-maker’s shop where caskets are carved to depict the beliefs, hobbies and life stories of the deceased. Later, we’ll visit a local school to interact with the children and staff before heading off to a local market, the national museum and the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum. Wildlife enthusiasts may choose to visit the Shai Game Reserve instead to view baboons, green monkeys and antelope as well as an abundance of birdlife: Senegal Parrots, Swallow-tailed Bee-eaters and Vieilot's Barbet. After the reserve, we'll witness local bead-making and give it a try ourselves. Overnight hotel in Accra.
Depart at any time. Passengers with flights on day 17 can leave anytime after dinner.