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It’s difficult to get lost in Cape Town because gorgeous Table Mountain looms above the city as a reference. For breathtaking views, ride the cable car to the top, or explore this urbane city on foot. Visit the fascinating South African Museum and Planetarium and the culturally significant St. George’s Cathedral.
You may want to pack a thesaurus when embarking on one of our African voyages, because descriptors such as exciting, awe-inspiring and breathtaking will only scratch the surface. From Mossel Bay to Mombasa and Lomé to La Digue, your journey will take you to destinations that many Westerners never get a chance to experience. Learn about everyday life in one of the tiny countries along the West African coast, or wonder at the incredible power and beauty of the animal kingdom on a safari in South Africa or a birdwatching excursion in the Seychelles. When you choose to travel in this region, you can be sure that your voyage will be extraordinary.
Although rimmed by the inhospitable Namib Desert, Walvis Bay boasts a huge natural lagoon that attracts hundreds of thousands of birds, including flamingos, pelicans and migratory species. The desert’s Dune 7 is the highest sand dune near town and offers a spectacular view. The wooden Rhenish Mission Church is also noteworthy.
Off the beaten path, São Tomé and Principe is a tropical paradise that offers lush rainforests, birdwatching, secluded waterfalls and pristine, isolated beaches. Enjoy spectacular views on a hike to the peak of Pico de São Tomé, go in search of the 109 species of orchid that decorate the landscape, or marvel at the impressive Boca do Inferno blowhole.
Wedged between a lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean, Togo’s convivial, beach-rich capital of Lomé has emerged from its colonial past as pure African. For a glimpse of its history and unique Togolese art, visit the National Museum. The spired Lomé Cathedral is also noteworthy.
The twin city of Sekondi-Takoradi was Ghana’s first deepwater seaport and has prospered greatly. Still, the ambiance is rather laid-back, especially in the inviting beach areas. Monkey Hill, a tropical reserve for primates, lies in heart of city. Nearby Fort Orange was built by the Dutch in the 17th century and now serves as a lighthouse.
The Ivory Coast’s largest city and former capital, skyscraper-studded Abidjan curves around placid Ebrié Lagoon. Being one of the world’s largest French-speaking cities, it’s often referred to as the “Paris of Africa.” Abidjan’s more affluent Le Plateau and Cocody neighborhoods exude a palpable European ambiance.
Although the capital of Gambia, Banjul remains one of Africa’s smallest cities. Nestled on St. Mary’s Island at the mouth of the Gambia River, it exudes a village-like atmosphere. Spend a carefree day admiring the 19th century architecture in MacCarthy Square or visiting the landmark King Fahad Mosque with its twin minarets.
After three centuries of French rule, Dakar can’t help but exude a certain French flair, especially architecturally. Senegalese attire tends to be rather formal and conservative, but the city is full of life. Art galleries are plentiful, the beaches inviting, and the views fantastic from the Les Mamelles Lighthouse.
Enjoy charming São Vicente and the amazing landscape here and on nearby Santo Antão. Stroll through town past vibrant markets and the replica of Lisbon’s Belem Tower. Visit the stark but lovely lunar-like beach at Catfish Bay. On Santo Antão see lush and rugged landscapes and picturesque villages.
Volcanic in origin, Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands. While in port, you’ll notice the Auditorium of Tenerife, an amazing, organic structure that instantly became an icon when completed in 2003. Another modern landmark is the Oscar Domínguez Institute, a contemporary art gallery named after the 20th century surrealist. For a respite from the urban environment, visit the Palmetum, a botanical garden with more than 400 species of palms.
Soft breezes caress this small volcanic island just 79 miles off the west coast of Africa. A land of contrasts: you can explore some of the world’s most spectacular caves in the morning and relax on a white sand beach in the afternoon.
Agadir is the capital of the Agadir Ida-U-Tanan Prefecture and of the Souss-Massa economic region. The majority of its inhabitants speak Amazigh language, one of the two official languages of Morocco. It was the locale for the Agadir Crisis of 1911 between France and Germany that presaged the First World War.
Visit the ornate Belem Tower and Jeronimos Monastery and stroll the narrow, winding streets of the charming Alfama district. Enjoy marvelous old Sintra, a royal country retreat, and Cascais, a beautiful seaside resort. Explore medieval Obidos or make a pilgrimage to Fatima, where the Virgin Mary appeared repeatedly to three shepherd children in 1917.