Cruises to Africa offer a once in a lifetime cruise experience. Africa thrills, delights, surprises and intrigues even the most seasoned of travellers. Exhibiting a wonderful blend of beautiful barren landscapes, extraordinary wildlife and a whole host of attractions at each port. Africa is the ideal destination for a cruise of both adventure and discovery. As the second-largest continent, Africa covers a fifth of the world’s total land area and simply begs to be explored.
The Mediterranean Sea, the Suez Canal, the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean all surround the African coastline, so it’s not surprising that both North and South Africa are some of the most popular cruise destinations for those looking for a sensational and enchanting holiday. Africa is one of the few places in the world where nature still reigns supreme.
The central and southern areas of the continent contain both game-rich savannahs and dense jungle regions that house a diverse range of animal populations, including carnivores, herbivores, jungle mammals, and bright and vibrant aquatic life, as well as the world’s largest frog, and the world’s smallest butterfly. The vast array of wildlife travellers can catch glimpses of in Africa is truly unbelievable.
Major cruise lines offer itineraries to Mombasa, Kenya, and Cape Town, South Africa, which are two of the best cities in which to view the majestic ‘Big 5’ - lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos, and rhinos. Kenya’s Masai Mara National Park and South Africa’s Kruger National Park both offer a variety of safari excursions, ranging from customisable self-drive trips to hot air balloon rides, really giving travellers a unique chance to view these magnificent creatures in their natural environment.
A cruise to Africa isn’t all about wildlife, however. Stepping off the ship, passengers are presented with an excellent opportunity to immerse themselves in a rich culture that’s full of colonial history, religious folklore and belief, energetic song and dance, traditional arts and crafts, and perhaps most importantly to some - sport! It’s also a chance to sample some of the delicious local cuisine. In the Savannah regions, where animals are greatly protected and were once considered to be the ultimate display of wealth, vegetarian meals are common, with restaurants making use of pulses and beans, spiced and fragranced with the likes of cinnamon and orange. In South Africa, don’t miss out on a big pot of meat and vegetable stew - a classic staple.
Picking up souvenirs in Africa to take home to family and friends is easy, and shopping in the many bazaars, and buying from local street vendors, is an activity not to be missed. Many types of African gifts really are one-of-a-kind - quite literally - having been lovingly handcrafted by skilled individuals. Woodcarvings, Masai jewellery, and traditional batik cloth are just some of the most popular items that visitors to the continent purchase as presents and as little luxuries and treats.
Many cruise lines around the world include African itineraries to appeal to true adventurers and explorers, and the major ports can be visited as part of a no-fly cruise holiday, or as a section of a prestigious world cruise, in between trips to the Middle East and South America. However, many travellers prefer to opt for a fly cruise, which allows them to maximise their time in Africa, and minimise sea days. Most sailings leave during the cold winter months, allowing travellers to escape the gloomy British winters and enjoy a touch of winter sun - Cape Town experiences temperatures of up to 30 degrees Celsius in December!
Top cruise destinations in Africa include Port Said in Egypt, Casablanca in Morocco, Port Elizabeth in Cape Town, Dakar Port in Senegal, Reunion Island in Madagascar, and Mombasa in Kenya. There are plenty of activities to do, and sights to see, in all ports, ranging from the beautiful beaches of Agadir to the modern Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town.
Whichever port you choose, an African cruise is truly astounding and is sure to leave an imprint on its visitors forever. Africa is the perfect mix of natural charm and man-made beauty - a combination that creates an ideal recipe for an unforgettable experience with magical lifelong memories. With so many interesting and fascinating ports of call, cruising is perhaps one of the best ways to see it all!