Join us to trace the Gold Coast of Ghana and follow the African coastline northward, stopping in the Cape Verde Islands, majestic Morocco and ending in the ornate city of Lisbon, Portugal. We will visit several UNESCO World Heritage sites, including castles in Ghana that pre-date the African slave trade. You will be amazed to experience dramatic differences in ecology and climate as we go, from volcanoes to lagoon to desert, and so much in between. Visit with chimpanzees at the Tacugama Chimpanzee sanctuary within the Western Area Forest Reserve south of Freetown and stand with your back to the desert facing a stunning lagoon in Dakhla. Encounter a fascinating local culture against the backdrop of one of the world’s most breathtaking desert landscapes, and visit vibrant, active markets. Throughout the voyage, learn about the history, geology, wildlife and botany of this remarkable area from lecture presentations offered by your knowledgeable onboard Expedition Team.
Elmina and Cape Coast Castle, Ghana –
See two castles in Ghana, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which pre-date the slave trade and have been restored to explain their use and history during slave trade years. Elmina Castle is the oldest European building in existence south of the Sahara, while the Cape Coast Castle was the last stop on the slave trade before crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
Kakum National Park, Ghana –
Walk in the Kakum National Park rainforest and see butterflies, birds, primates and other endangered mammals. Traverse the canopy walk (one of only three in Africa), a rope bridge that spans a portion of the tropical rainforest. This park, unlike most in Ghana, was established at the initiative of the local people.
Dakar, Senegal –
Visit the small island Goree (UNESCO World Heritage site) and wander its narrow sandy streets. From the 15th to the 19th century this island was held in succession by Portuguese, Dutch, English and French slave traders. As such, visitors will notice the contrast of the elegant slave trader homes alongside the grim slave quarters.
Sao Felipe, Fogo, Cape Verde Islands –
As the name implies, Fogo (fire) was a fiery place, with the last major eruption taking place in December 2014. Inside the caldera and at Monte Velha one can see the contrast between the green flora and the dark lava. The mountain is quite fertile and has a varied microclimate.
Agadir, Morocco –
Agadir’s Oufella Fort was built in 1540. Even though an earthquake destroyed much of this ancient Kasbah, it sits at an amazing vantage point. Inland from Agadir is Taroudant, one of the oldest cities of Morocco located in the Sous valley, between the High and Anti Atlas mountains. Taroudant had been the capital of the Saadians who used it as a base to attack the Portuguese in Agadir. The town prospered through the riches of the Sous plain, marketing goods such as sugar cane, cotton, rice and indigo. Taroudant is fondly called the "Little daughter of Marrakech" and it retains the feel of a small market town on a caravan route, containing nearly the entire city within its walls.
- Learn the difficult yet important history of the African slave trade.
Wildlife Watch List:
- Birds of note: Yellow-billed Kite, Little Swift, Common Bulbul, African Pied Hornbill, Fork-tailed Drongo, Village and Yellow-mantled Weaver, Great White Egret, Long-tailed and White-breasted Cormorants, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Western Grey Plantain-eater, Yellow-billed Stork, Reef Heron, Hooded Vulture, Common and Sandwich Terns, Greater Flamingo
- Mammals: Chimpanzees, velvet monkeys
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.
Please note that in certain Muslim countries on your voyage women must cover their hair with a headscarf, as well as their shoulders and knees, while men must cover their shoulders and knees. A hat is not a suitable alternative. You will be informed of where and when this is necessary, but we kindly ask you to please pack appropriate clothing accordingly.
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: