Summary : Discover a fascinating region of Africa on this incredible 12-day voyage. Experience the rich culture first-hand during a visit to a local school and while wandering a local market in Accra. A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the Bijagos Archipelago will delight birders and nature enthusiasts during two-days of exploration. Continue the voyage to Gambia, where you’ll learn how to make traditional Gambian cuisine in a cooking class, and later visit a fruit distillery to taste local liqueurs. There will be time to relax on deck, in the well-stocked library or lounges, meet up with new friends in the ship’s pub, or and learn about the region from an experienced expedition staff, including naturalists, historians, anthropologists, and ornithologists. Plus, enjoy South African wine tastings from a sommelier and enjoy daily lectures from experts while at sea.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Photography
AARP Discount: Members of AARP save $100 per person. Not combinable with other discounts.
$999,999,999 to $0
Arrive at any time and check into the hotel.
Today's excursion takes you from the port at Tema to the busy capital of Accra. The 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, 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, witness local bead-making and give it a try yourself.
From the dock at the Ghanaian town of Takoradi, explore a region steeped in the sad history of the slave trade. A visit to Elmira Castle and Cape Coast Castle brings you face-to-face with the horrible conditions of the dungeons and quarters slaves inhabited while awaiting their fate. A visit to the West African Historical Museum is included in a visit to Cape Coast Castle. Alternatively, travelers may visit Kakum National Park to witness its 100-foot-high Canopy Walkway. From high above the treetops, the Walkway gets you incredibly close to the flora and fauna of the region.
Days at sea will be filled with a fascinating and entertaining educational program presented by your 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.
Disembark in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone is recovering from a civil war that almost tore the country apart, but today it is a progressive African state with a great future. Tourism is part of the recovery process. Explore the city and the Tacagumu Chimpanzee Sanctuary.
Enjoy the amenities of your expedition vessel—workout in the gym, read in the library, or relax in the pub with friends—during this day at sea.
A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the Bijagos Archipelago off the coast of Guinea-Bissau is one of the most unexplored places on Earth. The island’s inhabitants are descendants of an ancient culture that practices an animist religion. Tides will dictate the experience here, and the fleet of Zodiacs will be used to explore traditional villages, uninhabited islands and mangroves. Birders will delight in the variety of species to be found here. Two full days of exploration are warranted for this one-of-a-kind destination that is sure to be the highlight of the adventure for many passengers.
Today’s a special day for bird lovers! The Gambia is known for its abundant birdlife: Over 500 species! Visit the Abuko Nature Reserve for a walk with your guides. Birds, monkeys and crocodiles inhabit the area. Alternatively, travelers also have the option to visit the museum of a local artist. Before arriving at the museum, you’ll visit the Serrekunda market, one of Africa’s busiest. At the museum, the artist herself will give a guided tour of the space and its works while giving some insight into her life as an African artist. For lunch, participate in a cooking class with a local woman who will show you how to make traditional Gambian cuisine. Later, visit a fruit distillery to learn about local liqueurs and be treated to a tasting.
Your final port of call is Dakar, Senegal; a bustling and energetic West African capital. Visit the infamous slave-trading post of Gorée Island and learn about the history of the region and its importance to the slave trade. The tour includes visits to the dungeons and slave quarters, the traders’ opulent homes, the House of Slaves and Le Castel, offering a fascinating look into this dark time. Also, visit the IFAN Historical Museum to learn more about the history of Senegal. After lunch, explore Dakar’s incredible markets, Great Mosque and colonial architecture before checking into a hotel for your final night on the continent.
Depart for homeward bound flights.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
As a requirement of participation on the Expedition, all passengers must purchase medical and emergency evacuation insurance with a minimum medical coverage of $200,000 USD and this insurance must cover personal injury, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, and evacuation expenses. Clients must be able to provide proof of insurance purchase and adequate coverage as per the required amounts above. We also strongly recommend that all passengers purchase comprehensive travel insurance which would include coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.
All meals onboard the ship and on land as per itinerary (excluding drinks other than coffee, tea and water); accommodation aboard the Expedition; two-night hotel accommodation (Accra and Dakar); shore excursions and Zodiac cruises; services of Expedition staff and naturalists; lecture and educational programs; and a waterproof jacket (beginning in Nov 2013).
Airfare; travel insurance (required); passport and visa fees; departure taxes; gratuities are at your discretion; items of a personal nature including laundry, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (except coffee, tea and water); optional excursions.