Learn the history of voodoo and the slave trade, visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites, observe wildlife up close, explore local markets and colonial architecture in historic ports, visit remote archipelagos via Zodiac. Interact with our expert expedition team while enjoying the comfort and cuisine of the MS Expedition.
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From the M/S Expedition, you’ll get the chance to explore one of Africa’s most vibrant (and curiously underexplored) regions from a hotel that goes wherever you do. The second leg of the 32-day West Africa Cruise, this 17-day trip focuses prominently on the roots of the West African slave trade with numerous chances for cultural and natural interaction in port cities and nature preserves along the coast. On-board activities range from open-air painting lessons on the deck to sommelier-led wine-tastings featuring top South African vintages.
Arrive at any time and check into the hotel.
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.
From the dock at the Ghanaian town of Takoradi, we’ll explore a region steeped in the sad history of the slave trade. A visit to Elmira Castle and Cape Coast Castle brings us 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 our visit to Cape Coast Castle. Alternatively, travellers may visit Kakum National Park to witness its 100-foot-high Canopy Walkway. From high above the treetops, the Walkway gets us incredibly close to the flora and fauna of the region.
Today, we disembark in Freetown, Sierra Leone and spend two days exploring. 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. We’ll explore the city, the Tacagumu Chimpanzee Sanctuary and visit one of least visited beaches in the world.
Today’s a special day for the bird lovers among us! The Gambia is known for its abundant birdlife: Over 500 species! Today, we’ll visit the Abuko Nature Reserve for a walk with our guides. Birds, monkeys and crocodiles inhabit the area. Alternatively, travellers also have the option to visit the museum of a local artist. Before arriving at the museum, we’ll visit the Serrekunda market, one of Africa’s busiest. At the museum, the artist herself will give us a guided tour of the space and its works while giving us some insight into her life as an African artist. For lunch, we’ll participate in a cooking class with a local woman who will show us how to make traditional Gambian cuisine. Later, we’ll visit a fruit distillery to learn about local liqueurs and be treated to a tasting.
Today we explore Dakar, Senegal; a bustling and energetic West African capital. Today we will have either the option to tour Bandia Park and explore the Senegal countryside. This will include viewing the Baobab forest in Sandia. Or, We’ll 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. Lunch will be had on land for this day, after which we’ll explore Dakar’s incredible markets, Great Mosque and colonial architecture before returning to the ship.
Tranquil Dakhla is where the Sahara meets the sea. Venture into the desert across the beautiful desert landscape to the White Dune, look for flamingoes and enjoy a gala local lunch in tents set up especially for the occasion.
A day at sea brings us to Fuereventura Canary Islands. This particular island is part of the newly designated UNESCO bioreserve. It's believed that the first settlers came from North Africa, then followed by Spanish, Portuguese and French.
Today is a mecca for those escaping the winter cold up to the north. You will see evidence of this when we tour the island's beaches. Like the rest of the canaries, Fuereventura is an ancient volcanic island, that has eroded. The climate on Fuerteventura is pleasant throughout the year. The island is also often referred to as the island of eternal spring. The sea adjusts the temperature making the hot Sahara winds blow away from the island. It is also and island housing endemic insects and many bird species.
Disembark in the whitewashed Moroccan seaside city of Agadir before a drive to Marrakech and a spectacular end to our journey. Visit the extraordinary Djemaa el Fna square—a human carnival filled with magicians, snake charmers, acrobats, water sellers and food stalls.
After breakfast, depart for the airport and flights homeward.
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