Summary : Explore one of Africa’s most vibrant (and curiously underexplored) regions from a hotel that goes wherever you do. A solid combination of activity and leisure, you’ll have ample time to spot rare birds and endemic wildlife with skilled naturalists, mingle in local markets, and learn about the region from an experienced expedition staff, including naturalists, historians, anthropologists, and ornithologists. Plus, visit multiple UNESCO World Heritage Sites, learn about colonial architecture, and explore remote archipelagos via Zodiac. Enjoy South African wine tastings from a sommelier and enjoy daily lectures from experts while at sea. There will be time to relax on deck, in the well-stocked library or lounges, or meet up with new friends in the ship’s pub.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Photography
AARP Discount: Members of AARP save $100 per person. Not combinable with other discounts.
$999,999,999 to $0
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.
The tour today starts with a 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. Enjoy 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, board the Expedition to begin the 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 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.
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.
Upon arrival in Walvis Bay, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the landscapes of the Namib Desert en route to a tour of the town of Swakopmund.
Enjoy the amenities of your expedition vessel—workout in the gym, read in the library, or relax in the pub with friends—during this time at sea.
Enjoy a visit to the quaint town of Sao Felipe de Benguela in Angola. Benguela was founded by Portuguese in 1617, and has a big part in the history of the slave trade.
Continue the journey with a day at sea as the Expedition heads toward Pointe Noir.
Today, 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.
Journey toward São Tomé and Príncipe today and enjoy the delightful food and company onboard.
This Portuguese colonial island nation is a tropical paradise of beaches, waterfalls, forests and friendly people. 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, 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. Keep your eyes out for African grey parrots. There will be an option to visit the tiny town of Santo Antonio, the world’s smallest city.
Relax during the travels to Cotonou, Benin today.
Disembark in Cotonou and head to the town of Ouidah, home to voodoo and an important embarkation point for the slave trade. Walk the “Route des Esclaves,” rich in reminders of a dark time in the region’s history. In the afternoon, 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, 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 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 yourselves.
Depart for your homeward bounds at anytime today.
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-nights’ hotel accommodation (Cape Town and Accra); 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.