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 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!
Nestled in the foothills of Table Mountain, the setting of Cape Town is utterly astonishing. This destination is a once in a lifetime cruise port that is full of enthralling adventures, sights and tasty food. One of the major attractions here is the superb array of parklands that wash the city alight with colour, not forgetting the extravagant botanical gardens. Such gardens combine beautifully with the many historical buildings of interest, and it’s not hard to see why Cape Town is often described as the ‘Garden City’ of South Africa.
The city of Cape Town is mesmerising in every way. Learn the history of the tribal past; witness the many influences of its time including British, Dutch and Cape Malay; gain insight into the renowned freedom fighters to have walked the streets or simply stretch out in the glory of sunny climes. There are not many cities in the world that can boast a setting to rival Cape Town. Table Mountain stands an incredible 3,000ft with its flat topped peak drawing tourists from all over the world year on year. The journey to the summit itself is fantastic with the cable car rotating 360 degrees to allow for an immersing panoramic experience. Once you’ve reached the top, the view is quite literally breath taking, if not one of the best views in the world. To the left of Table Mountain’s summit you will see Devil’s Peak, to the right is Lion’s Head and straight forward is Signal Hill. The three views combined together are often known for creating the image of an amphitheatre surrounding the city and creating a wondrous vision.
The waterfront here is excellent and the cruise port lies right alongside the Victoria and Alfred development. This area is often the first point of interest for all arriving guests. Passengers are attracted to the fabulous array of boutique stores, eccentric cafes and thriving restaurants.
Cape Town is a South African jewel and also provides the perfect location from which to explore a wide range of the enchanting Rainbow Nation. The Cape of Good Hope is magnificent and for wine lovers there is also the opportunity to explore the famous vineyards of the region. The city had a long standing association with social inequality and took a huge step forward since banning apartheid in 1990. From that point Cape Town has come on leaps and bounds with a thrilling cosmopolitan feel. The locals here are delightfully welcoming; the resident’s infectious smile spreads throughout the whole city for a wonderfully friendly experience, almost like a home away from home.
Another giant step forward for Cape Town was the arrival of the 2010 football World Cup. South Africa hosted the major tournament successfully with a vast influx of supporters from all over the world arriving to the shores of the city. The economic benefits are evident to see and have provided a foundation to build on in the form of the sensational African Renaissance Stadium close to the waterfront.
Excursions here are truly excellent. It doesn’t matter which cruise line you travel here with, the range of choice is always superb. Passengers are invited to be as active as they like. Should you prefer to simply soak up the scenery and relax at one of the many seductive beach scenes then you are in the right place but if you wish to explore in more detail, then you are in for a treat. One of the most exciting excursion opportunities here is to head out on safari and witness the marvellous wildlife of the area. The Inverdoorn Game Lodge and the Aquila Private Nature Reserve are two of the most commonly used options for cruise operators and it’s not difficult to see why. Inverdoorn Game Lodge has over 10 thousand hectares of conservation areas that house 28 different species and over approximately 1,200 animals in total. Your jeep safari will whisk you around these amazing attractions with plenty of time to stop and stare at the awe inspiring creature; a truly memorable experience. The Ostrich Ranch is also a brilliant chance to witness a unique animal.
For an indulgent experience, head for the exquisite Cape Wine lands. Stellenbosch in particular is home to some of the world’s most desirable and famous wines. Other exciting tours include the chance to see the outstanding locations of Chapman’s Peak and Robben Island, not forgetting the world renowned route of ‘Four Passes’. There is so much to see and do here, it is almost unbelievable.
Cape Town is utterly stylish, extravagant, beautiful and simply stunning in every way you could possibly imagine. One of the globes finest ports of call, this iconic destination will have you desperate for a return visit before you’ve even stepped foot on land. Marvel at the charismatic charm and enjoy the wonder that is Cape Town.
This fantastic Moroccan port of call welcomes passengers to its shores to explore the wonderfully rich heritage, culture and magnificent scenery. Casablanca lies on Africa’s North West coast and enjoys a great climate year round for cruise passengers to enjoy. The city is the largest in Morocco and definitely one of the most exciting. The area continues to expand and enhance its tourist facilities with visitors here rising year on year.
Cruise passengers arriving here are certainly in for a treat. The vibrant nature of this incredible city is captivating from the instant you set foot on land. The cruise terminal is close by to the heart of the major attractions making the day easy to navigate whether you’re exploring independently or through a cruise line organised excursion. Port de Casablanca is vastly modern, which often surprises visitors. Contemporary meets traditional here and this theme continues throughout the entire city. As you make your way along the bustling streets you will witness glorious parklands in the midst of a delightful combination of Moroccan and French Colonial architecture. Marvel at the history of this great destination with a visit to the Hassan II Mosque for a photo opportunity and the chance to take in one of the largest religious monuments in the entire world. The mosque is built right on the sea edge, so as well as the exquisite structure; the backdrop of the blissfully clear waters creates a picture postcard image. The capacity for worshippers here is 25,000, which gives you an idea of its breath taking size. Other fascinating sights include the Palace of Justice, situated in the heart of Mohamed V Square. The beauty of the palace is outstanding and a must see when visiting this port.
Excursion opportunities here will provide several ways of seeing the city’s major attractions. Often the most commonly used tour options are either a panoramic coach option for a leisurely day or a walking tour in the heart of the city. Excursions here are often extremely popular as although the port is great for exploring on your own, the tours offer extended sightseeing and often take away the frustration of queues. This district area of Anfa is a residential quarter of the city and boasts impressive mansion homes. Such trips here also include the Boulevard Zerktouni as well as the famed Arab League. The Church of Notre Dame is spectacular and be sure to also take in the Habous Quarter for the chance to purchase sublime spices and unique souvenirs.
Along with the exquisite architecture, this brilliant port of call is also great for sun worshippers. The beaches here are superb and if you’re looking for a day of total relaxation, the beach scenes will not disappoint. Other areas for relaxation and indulgence include the ‘Corniche Boulevard’ where guests will have the pleasure of many exclusive hotels and the serenity of private swimming pools.
Cruising into Casablanca is to cruise into cultural excitement with a magnificent climate to match. Whether its family fun in the sun or a romantic day for two; Casablanca is perfect for exploration and relaxation. Simply stunning in every way, this port of call is a Moroccan gem.
Durban is a city of rich cultural diversity, as the population here is extremely multi-national. The cultural influences from many destinations form together to create a unique atmosphere and a charming port of call to visit. The city of Durban is the third largest in the country and boasts a superb climate, where guests have the pleasure of enjoying the beautiful sunshine of a subtropical paradise. All year round Durban benefits from great weather so whenever you visit you can expect the sun to be shining.
One of the most attractive features of Durban is the incredible beaches here. The beach settings really are fantastic and perfect for lazing the day away in blissful tranquillity. There are though, many outdoor activities available here and passengers often comment about the range of choice being excellent. Water sports enthusiasts will love the conditions for canoeing, surfing, diving, snorkelling and sailing. Should you prefer to stay on land then take a cycling tour of the area or even a hike to experience the some of the spectacular views? There’s even the chance to practice your swing here for an exceptional round of golf with an array of impressive courses.
Staying within Durban, the Seaworld attraction is great for couples and families alike. Experience dolphin shows and a whole host of outstanding sea creatures. Should you prefer to head further afield then the options for taking an excursion are enhanced even more. There is so much to see and do here, you’ll struggle to fit it all in. Choose wisely and make the most of your time in this exceptional city. One of the most unique and exhilarating tour options with cruise lines visiting here is the Valley of a Thousand Hills to witness an authentic tribal experience at an amazing recreated Zulu village. Hear the sound of the Zulu drum and soak up the awe inspiring atmosphere of the Zulu tribes. Phezulu is the Zulu village is an absolute must for guest looking to see something truly special. This tour provides a great African experience and the chance to see some of the most spirited and enchanting people imaginable. From Zulu dress to dancing, this excursion is a day to remember.
Another option for an excursion heading away from the city is the superb Tala Game Reserve and the chance to enjoy a day of sightseeing amongst fascinating wildlife. The reserve spans over 7,000 acres and houses animals such as rhino, hippo and even giraffe’s.
The landscape here is certainly impressive and the Botanical Gardens are often a big hit with tourists visiting the area. Here you’ll find a fabulous variety of local flora to enjoy. In the city centre itself, there is much to be seen. The Victoria Embankment is beautiful and Old Market Square is a great location to stop and soak up the atmosphere. The Market Square represents Belfast’s City Hall. Other iconic locations include the Natural History Museum, the Juma Mosque, Vasco Da Gama Clock and the magnificent Moses Mabhida Stadium. All great photo opportunities and a brilliant collection of structures to admire.
Durban is a fascinating port of call and an excellent destination to experience a great day’s adventure. Explore the surrounding areas or watch the world go by at the beach, cruising into Durban is a wonderful experience.
Welcome to Port Elizabeth, one of the largest cities South Africa has to offer and certainly one of the most picturesque. The city literally blossoms with scenic delights and the residents here are renowned for their welcoming nature. The friendly locals make the visit even greater and passengers often comment on the pleasure of the native way of life. Port Elizabeth is also home to some of the finest beaches imaginable so cruise holiday passengers looking to spend the day under the glorious sunshine rays will love what this destination has in store.
For exploration, there is plenty of exciting attractions to see. The cruise port is extremely close to one of the city’s most famous game reserves, known as Addo Elephant Park and definitely a must see for guests wishing to take in the amazing wildlife. There are actually over 300 Cape Elephants here and the incredible magnetism to this place is heightened by the relaxing nature, allowing for visitors to get up close and personal with these unbelievable creatures. Along with the elephants, guests can also see over 200 species of birds here and of course, the spectacular rhinos if you’re lucky. Game reserves are quite literally stunning here and the opportunity to head off on safari is often the most popular excursion choice for cruise passengers. Port Elizabeth really does offer a once in a lifetime experience for marvelling at some of the world’s most amazing animals and it’s hard to believe there are actually four different game reserves to choose from, all in close proximity. The Laibela, Pumba, Kwantu and Kariega game reserves are all breath taking and most certainly worth visiting. We would advise doing your research before you arrive if you wish to see a specific form of wildlife as each boast their own unique characteristics for guests to enjoy. Kariega Game Reserve is often the most popular due to its vast range of diverse wildlife including some of the world’s most dangerous animals.
In the city itself there are many prominent landmarks for cruise passengers to see. One of the most commonly visited is the Campanile Monument, built in 1923 with the intention in mind to commemorate British settlers that arrived in 1820. The Nelson Mandela University Campus is extremely impressive and worth visiting if you decide to head for the area of Summerstrand. The city centre has potential points of interest including the library and the post office but the most popular has to be City Hall. This building was unfortunately heavily damaged in 1977 due to a fire, however, it has since been undergone a major restoration and transformation project, now portraying a modern day architectural structure.
Port Elizabeth’s name derives from the wife of Sir Rufane Donkin and one of the main tourist attractions here is a stone pyramid created in his memory. The Donkin Memorial is just short journey from the city centre. Sports fans will also love this port of call for the famous St George’s Cricket Ground as well as the Nelson Mandela Stadium.
Port Elizabeth is a great port of call and continues to attract cruise ships from all over the world.
With so much to see and do here, it’s a little wonder Reunion Island is renowned for being a superb cruise destination. Located in the Indian Ocean, this exquisite port of call lies just east of Madagascar and boasts a haven of French culture combined with incredible mountainous countryside. This impressive island was originally discovered by the Portuguese but the modern day population is a diverse cultural mix of ethnicity and religion including the French, Africans, Malays and Indians.
It is the natural attractions of this beautiful destination that really make a visit worthwhile especially considering that the island was born of volcanic origin. One of the most popular attractions is the chance to see the peaks of the still active Piton de la Fournaise and the Piton des Neiges, the highest point on the island. Of course the attractions do not stop here. If you head southwest you also have the opportunity to see the collapsed calderas of Cirque de Salaize, Cirque de Cilaos and Cirque de Mafate.
There are many different excursion options when visiting this port of call but a decision that you will face is whether to place more efforts into seeing the country landscapes or the capital Saint-Denis. It is possible to see both during the same visit but we highly recommend prioritising one over the other to enjoy your day rather than be forced to rush. Many visitors here are surprised by the unexpected beauty of the landscapes. The high planes and mountain ranges here provide awe inspiring views and make the ideal picture postcard photograph opportunity. For one of the best viewpoints head for the mountainous centre of Reunion Island and ascend to the edge of a high escarpment standing at over 7,000 feet. When you reach your destination you will be completely surrounded by impressive mountains and have the most spectacular view descending down into the ancient crater of the Circle of Mafate. This is a breath taking natural amphitheatre and the only one of the three on the island that remains accessible only on foot or via helicopter.
For an insight into one of the islands main industry’s head for the charming village of La Petite France where you will discover the home of a geranium oil production site. This is an industry far removed from that of a grand developed production but still places Reunion Island as the largest producer of the oil. This delicately low key process will be explained to you and the germanium oil produced is used as a fixative in perfumes. As such you will be given the chance to purchase the Geranium oils as well as perfumes at the end of the tour should you wish to do so.
To experience the capital, Saint Denis you will head along the gorgeous coastline towards the north east. This tremendous capital is surrounded by mountains on three sides and is situated right on the northern tip of the island. The capital takes its name from the boat St Denis that in fact ran aground in the nearby bay. A visit here provides a great opportunity to gain a greater insight into the island’s lifestyle, culture and local traditions. Saint Denis is the largest of the French Colonies and has a very warm and welcoming atmosphere. Here you can enjoy a range of sublime brassieres, bistros and a charming continental café culture, ideal for sampling some of the local delicacies and watching the world go by. Alternatively there’s also the chance to relax and unwind with a swim at the famous lagoons of St Gille-les Bains. Garden lovers will also relish a visit here to see the vibrant tropical flowers and fruit trees at the Domaine du Grand Hazier, an 18th century sugar planters residence.
You can choose to explore Saint Denis independently or via a cruise excursion through your cruise operator. If choosing to do an excursion your tour guide will point out some of the town’s most appealing attractions including the former East India Company building, the State Garden and the Natural History Museum, which was once the palace of the General Consul. It is here that you really gain a sense of the eclectic cultural mix as you pass the Hindu Temples and the Christian Cathedral to see the harmonious mix of races. All cultures and races are united by the Creole language at this remote island and a visit here will give you a brilliant insight into this musical linguistic.
The natural beauty of Walvis Bay is the real attraction to this wonderful cruise destination. The lagoon is truly spectacular, with awe inspiring salt flats and sand dunes that play host to an incredible array of wildlife from pelicans to flamingos and much more in between.
Without a doubt one of the most popular experiences here is to take in the dramatic scenery of the Namib Desert.Namib literally translates into “place of emptiness” and this amazing experience offers the opportunity to explore the life of this desolate landscape. Most excursions here will take place via 4X4 vehicles in order to provide optimum comfort. In this scenic drive you will seek out the famous creatures of the desert and the superb guides will be sure to assist in finding some of the stunning wildlife. The Palmato Gecko and Desert Sidewinder are two of the most popular inhabitants to find. The sand dunes of the desert provide some of the most sensational scenery imaginable and plenty of time will be provided to capture some outstanding photographs of your memories.
Another thrilling adventure experience here to see more of the destinations natural beauty is the chance to visit Namib Nauklift Park where you will be invited to explore the treasures of Namib as well as the impressive scenery at Welwitschia Valley. The journey to the park alone is fantastic as you will pass by the waves of sand dunes and it is often a great idea to make a stop at Dune 7 for a magnificent photo opportunity. This is the highest dune in the region and provides a unique platform from which to view Walvis Bay. Welwitschia Valley is an incredible place and home to the extraordinary Welwitschia Mirablis plant. This phenomenal plant species is completely unique to Namibia and is famous for its ability to adapt to such a harsh habitat. The plant will only ever produce two leaves throughout its entire lifetime and when you discover that the usual lifespan of this plant is over 500 years, that’s pretty special. From here you can also take in the remarkable ‘lunar landscape’ found in the locations vast area of eroded valleys. This really is like you are walking on the moon and if you allow your imagination to run away with itself, it’s almost believable. The awe inspiring views here are superb and make for the perfect close to the day before heading back to the ship.
Walvis Bay spent many years as part of the South Africa Union and it was only in 1995 that it returned to Namibia’s control. Re-taking control of Walvis Bay was a huge factor for Namibia considering that the Bay is the only deep water harbour on their entire coast and also a huge production area for salt water. The area is so prime for salt water production that it actually manages to produce 400,000 tons every year from its 3,500 hectares.
As an alternative to exploring the natural beauty of this destination, another option is to head into the town itself. Make your way here and you will discover an array of restaurants, bars and shops. Sample some of the local delicacies and enjoy a relaxing refreshment whilst soaking up the town vibrant atmosphere before exploring the shops and taking in the local stores to see if you can find the perfect unique purchase to take home.
» Cape Town, South Africa
» Casablanca, Morocco
» Durban, South Africa
» Port Elizabeth, South Africa
» Reunion Island, Africa
» Walvis Bay, Africa
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