>>>On a cruise around Africa
Foto: Variety Cruises

On a cruise around Africa

The African Queen may be at the bottom of Lake Victoria, and there are no more captains like Humphrey Bogart, but a cruise in Africa can still be a real adventure.
“You go away for a long time and return a different person – you never come all the way back,” the travel writer Paul Theroux notes in ‘The Dark Star Safari’. Those who also want Africa to change them can cover the journey from Cairo to Cape Town by lorry, bus, ferry, train and shared taxi, just as Theroux did for his book. Or you can choose a more comfortable option and embark on a cruise.
Aride Island is a bird reserve.
Foto: Variety Cruises

A cruise along the Nile

Going to Egypt and not sailing up the Nile from Luxor to Aswan means missing out on one of life’s great travel experiences. By doing so, you can witness what life was like 3,000 years ago, not least by gazing upon its awe-inspiring pyramids.

When you imagine a cruise around Africa, you immediately think of sailing along the Nile, in Egypt, or the Chobe, between Namibia and Botswana. Another classic trip is sailing aboard the Bou el Mogdad along the Senegal River. However, you don’t need to renounce the luxury of an ocean liner, or bathing on idyllic beaches. Mediterranean cruises usually make a stopover in North Africa, for example in Tunisia or Morocco. Though if you want to fully immerse yourself in this fascinating continent, it’s far better to travel alone and discover the different African ports by yourself.
The South African cities of Cape Town and Durban welcome large numbers of cruise ships throughout the year; they are even the end destination for many ocean crossings or round-the-world journeys, giving travellers the chance to combine an ocean adventure with a safari in Kruger National Park. The most popular cruise, though, is the one that joins South Africa with Mombasa, in Kenya. You can stop over in Tanzania, Mozambique and some of the paradise islands found off the mainland. The busiest time of year is between November and May, although the islands in the Indian Ocean also receive a high number of visitors until July. Madagascar, Zanzíbar, Mauritius or the Seychelles are rightly synonymous with clean white beaches and crystal clear waters. A cruise round these islands is also a must if you love nature or scuba diving. Alternatively, the ships that sail up the west coast of Africa offer you a journey of contrasts, of jungles, deserts and beaches, passing Namibia, Ghana and Senegal until reaching the islands of Cape Verde, Madeira or the Canaries.
No cruise on the Nile is complete without a visit to the temples of Karnak, Edfu and Luxor.

A safari on a cruise

The latest trend in photographic safaris is to enjoy them on board a boat. The Zambezi Queen is a luxury houseboat with only 14 cabins, made especially for sailing along the Chobe between Namibia y Botswana. This area is well known for the high number of elephants that live there.

A large number of operators include trips around Africa in their brochures, from the luxurious Silversea Cruises and Oceania Cruises, both offering trips that last up to 35 days, to yacht crossings with Variety Cruises, or more adventurous routes aboard the National Geographic Explorer with Lindblad Expeditions. If you have white beaches with turquoise water in mind, it is a good idea to make sure the trip includes a stop in the Seychelles. On the other hand, if you fancy exploring sand dunes without going too far from the coast, you need to disembark in Namibia. Book an excursion to Maputo, in Mozambique, to buy souvenirs in its markets, or Durban, in South Africa, to learn about Zulu culture. There are hundreds of African adventures to choose from.
The Chobe River boat cruises include excursions for taking close-up photos of elephants.
Foto: LMspencer / Shutterstock.com

Related articles

“Mauritius is the opposite of a busy lifestyle”

Kitesurfing instructor Kathrin Ernest reveals the best places for practising water sports on Mauritius, one of the favourite locations in...

The garden of South Africa

Shakespeare wrote that, ‘A rose by any other name would smell as sweet’. And what Africa calls a garden smells...

The Urban Jungle of Madagascar

If Madagascar is like an alien island because of its avenues of baobab trees and lemur population, then the capital,...

‘Martian’ holidays in Africa

Otherworldly. That’s the best word to describe the most extreme landscapes on the African continent, where nature rules the land.