Learn the history of voodoo and the slave trade, visit multiple UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Explore bustling local markets and colonial architecture in historic West African ports, Gain insight into the region's modern history, Interact with our expert expedition team, wine taste while enjoying the comfort and cuisine of the MS Expedition.
People have been exchanging customs and ideas in Western Africa as long as there have been people. Now, it’s your turn. From the MS 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. 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 our experienced expedition staff, including naturalists, historians, anthropologists, and ornithologists. While at sea we’ll also enjoy South African wine tastings from our very own sommelier and enjoy daily lectures from experts. Africa by sea? We didn’t believe it was possible either.
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. Your arrival transfer is included.
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.
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, music 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.
Morning at sea may provide an opportunity to see fur seals and Cape Gannets 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 and possibly a chance to learn more about the wildlife of the estuary ecosystem
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.
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.
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.
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. Enroute, we will visit 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. Disembark and transfer to your hotel for your final night.
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