Join us on a voyage up the West Coast of Africa. From dry desserts and lunar landscape to lush mountains, from abandoned towns to thriving communities, from small villages to capitals of several countries, you will be amazed by the dramatic scenery and the variety of impressions during the visits ashore.
Throughout the voyage, learn about the history, geology, wildlife and botany of this spectacular area from lecture presentations offered by your knowledgeable onboard Expedition Team.
• Optional Excursion: Fly low over the famous Sossusvlei Dunes
Lüderitz, Namibia –
We will visit the abandoned diamond-mining town of Kolmanskop, a ghost town where the stately homes, abandoned decades ago, are gradually becoming sand-covered. Some of the iconic houses and its three most important landmarks, the Goerke Haus, Felsenkirche and the Lüderitz Museum will be seen during a walking tour of Lüderitz.
Walvis Bay, Namibia –
In the Namib Naukluft Park you will be passing endless waves of sand dunes, the scene that comes to mind when you think of African deserts, to reach the Welwitschia Drive, where the landscape is dotted with the extraordinary Welwitschia mirabilis. Another option in Walvis Bay will be a boat cruise in the protected outer lagoon area where the water is calm and abundant with birdlife and playful Heaviside’s and bottlenose dolphins around the boat. A shuttle service to Swakopmund, located 19 miles north of Walvis Bay at the mouth of the Swakop River will permit to explore this quaint town, a beach resort area and a fine example of German colonial architecture on one’s own.
Luanda, Angola –
Luanda is the capital of Angola, and home to more than four million, making it one of the largest Portuguese speaking cities in the world. The Fortress of Sao Miguel de Luanda, dating back to 1575, sits atop this bustling city. Cidade Alta, or “Uptown” – a pleasant, airy and calm suburb with several pink colonial buildings - and Baixa, or “Downtown” –with the old and new Houses of Parliament – are just some of the different facets this city has to offer. Another ‘outstanding’ structure is the mausoleum for Angola’s first president, Agostinho Neto. The anthropology museum houses an array of traditional masks along with art, sculptures, tools, and weaponry, as well as jewellery, clothing and musical instruments. At the Benfica market one will see several similar items for barter and sale.
Sao Tome and Principe –
One of Sao Tome’s impressive sites is the São Nicolãu waterfall, which not only invites to have a swim in its pool, but also is surrounded by mossy rocks, covered in liverworts, ferns, wild raspberries and impatiens that will delight botany lovers. A drive into the mountains will show coffee plantations, with the possibility of a tour of the coffee processing facilities and obviously tasting some of the local coffee as well. Sao Tome’s city centre with its colonial architecture, including the pink and white presidential palace, the 16th century Cathedral de São Tome, as well as Faro São Sebastião, now the São Tome National Museum, show the Portuguese influence.
Limbe, Cameroon –
The Limbe Botanical Gardens was founded by Germans in 1892. It served as a trials and acclimatisation centre for the introduction of exotic crop species such as coffee, cocoa, rubber, oil palm, banana, teak and sugarcane for distribution within "Kamerun" and other German colonies. In its heyday it was said to be one of the most important tropical botanic gardens in the world. The Limbe Wildlife Centre is home to some critically endangered wildlife species and a variety of primate species including Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees, drill monkeys, western lowland and Cross River gorillas, plus several species of long-tailed monkeys such as the locally endemic Preuss’s guenon are being looked after.
Lomé, Togo –
Lomé, capital of Togo, is the starting point to head inland and reach Ewe village. This will be one of the best opportunities to learn about village life in Togo. One can also see how fascinating fabrics are prepared locally. Togo is also known for voodoo ceremonies, a practice that is still widespread.
• Meet several small communities and attend a Voodoo ceremony
Wildlife Watch List:
• Cape fur seals
• Heaviside’s and bottlenose dolphins
• Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees, drill monkeys, western lowland and Cross River gorillas, Preuss’s guenon and other species of long-tailed monkeys (not in the wild)
• Birds: Ruddy Turnstones, Damara Terns, Whiskered Terns, Great White Pelicans, Lesser Flamingos, Greater Flamingos, Reef Egrets, Little Egrets, sunbirds, White-browed Coucal, African Grey Parrot, Golden Weavers, Yellow-billed Kites, Purple Rollers, tropicbirds, Pied Kingfishers, Grey-headed Kingfisher
Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather and wildlife activity. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.
Not sure what to wear while onboard? Visit our shop and gear up. We've got layers to keep you dry and warm, breezy wear to keep you covered and cool, and accessories to keep everything packed up and ready to go. So, no matter the weather, you'll be better prepared for your expedition.
Our Gear Shop has an expert outfitting staff and features all the essentials: