Jan & Mar 2024
The vast continent of Africa, with its immense and varied coastline, offers an exceptional array of cruising possibilities. There can be no better way to experience Africa, with its rich native cultures, its legendary wildlife, and its amazing landscapes, from mighty snow-capped mountains to rolling savannahs, from sweeping deserts to luxuriant rainforests. You can encounter all the wonders of the world's second largest continent from the comfort of a floating home base.
The majority of Africa cruise itineraries start from South African ports, typically Durban or Cape Town, and many of these connect South Africa with the continent's south-eastern coasts, including Kenya and Mozambique. The most popular cruise runs in this region include Cape Town to Mombasa, Kenya's principal port, rich in history and with plenty of historical sites to explore. There are stops at places like romantic Zanzibar, off Tanzania, Maputo in Mozambique, with its bustling markets, and the southern Indian Ocean islands.
Many people who choose these cruises are looking for a safari add-on, with the opportunity to encounter Africa's Big Five in the famous game reserves of Kenya or South Africa. Some itineraries offer specific safari cruises, and bypass the better-known but busier safari parks in favour of the less well-known but equally impressive parks, like the Addo Elephant National Park, from Port Elizabeth, or Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park, from Richard's Bay. Safari cruises can also take in the continent's rich marine wildlife, including whales, penguins, and giant whale sharks.
Other popular itineraries from South Africa follow the West Coast, rather than the East Coast, with port calls starting at Walvis Bay, Namibia's historic whaling station, the launch port for expeditions to the stark beauty of the Namib, the world's oldest desert. Further stops along the Atlantic West Coast include Accra in Ghana and Dakar in Senegal, offering a rich variety of cultural experiences. For a completely different perspective, there are exciting river cruises, particularly along the Nile, between Luxor and Aswan, or on Botswana's Chobe River, taking you among the unique wildlife of Chobe National Park.
The peak season for Africa cruising runs from October/November to May, with December and January the busiest months, especially for cruises operating from South Africa ports. Whenever you go, you are sure to find stunning traditional artwork, and experience spectacular displays of dancing and song from people who love to display their cultures, some among the oldest on earth. An Africa cruise can introduce you to the awe-inspiring wonders of the world's most exciting and mysterious continent.