Road Scholar : Home
Into Africa: From the Strait of Gibraltar to Ghana’s Gold Coast

Program Number: 21039RJ
Start and End Dates:
1/12/2013 - 2/1/2013;
Duration: 20 nights
Location: Spain/Morocco/Senegal/Gambia/Sierra Leone/Ghana
Price starting at: $15,145.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Small Ship Cruising Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 57; 19 Breakfasts, 19 Lunches, 19 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Once busy with the ships of explorers, colonists, traders, and missionaries, West Africa is rarely visited by contemporary travelers. Accompanied by an experienced team of expedition staff and study leaders, voyage to this “unknown” Africa of vanished empires, colonial fortresses, pristine tropical islands, lush rain forests, immense deserts and amazing wildlife.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile per day on uneven, sometimes hilly terrain. Small boats used for disembarkation and re-embarkation.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Granada (Spain), 2 nights; aboard Corinthian, 17 nights.



Day 1: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.


Days 2-4: Arrival Málaga (Spain) / coach to Granada / embark Corinthian:

Discover the Alhambra, a majestic Moorish palace-fortress, and experience historic Granada. Lodging: Elegant hotel in the city center.



Day 5: Casablanca (Morocco):

Explore Casablanca including the vast Hassan II Mosque, built on a promontory facing the sea.



Day 6: Rabat:

Journey to Rabat to find colorful souks, the Kasbah des Oudaias, the evocative quarter of the old Almohad and the Chellah Citadel.



Day 7: Marrakech:

Venture through palm groves to fabled Marrakech to discover the Bahia Palace and Djemaa el-Fna, the city’s bustling central square.



Days 8-9: At Sea / Laayoune:

Cross the dunes to Laayoune, the main city in Morocco’s Western Sahara, and view its Spanish-Saharan architecture.



Day 10: Dakhla:

Walk among the whitewashed hourses of Dakhla, the former capital of a Spanish colony located on a scenic peninsula.



Days 11-13: At Sea / Dakar (Senegal):

Spend two days in beautiful Dakar, a center of African art and culture. Visit Gorée Island to confront legacies of the slave trade.



Day 14: Banjul (The Gambia):

Journey to the Abuko Nature Reserve, its tropical riverine forests home to many colorful birds.



Days 15-16: At Sea / Freetown (Sierra Leone):

Visit the Sierra Leone Museum and Freetown’s markets then continue to the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary.



Days 17-20: At Sea / Takoradi (Ghana):

Explore two of Ghana’s most important sites: the Kakum National Park and the historic coastal forts built by colonial powers.



Days 21-22: Accra / disembark / departure on overnight flight to the U.S.A:

In the bustling capital of Ghana, visit the excellent craft market and the National Museum.




Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Carmen
  Granada, Spain 2 nights
   Corinthian
  Aboard the Corinthian, At Sea 17 nights
 Hotel Carmen
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Hotel is located in Granada's commercial and historical center, 5 minutes from the Cathedral, 10 minutes from the Alhambra and 500 meters from the Convention Center. Distance between hotel and the points of interest: - In the historical city centre - In the commercial centre - In the financial centre - In the fairground - 500 m. from the Palacio de Congresos - 15 km. from the airport - 2 km. from the train station - 3 km. from the bus station - 7 km. from the golf course - 60 km. from the port
  Contact info: Acera del Darro , 62
18005 Granada,   Spain
phone: +34 95 825 83 00
web: www.hotelcarmen.com/granadahotel/eng/index-eng.htm
  Room amenities: - Air conditioning - Individual heating - Safe deposit box - Mini-bar - Tv satellite - Private connection for fax and personal computer - Pipe music - Direct telephone - Complete bathroom - Hair-dryer - Wi-Fi Internet connection - Room service and laundry - Non-smokers rooms
  Facility amenities: - 270 standard rooms - 11 Junior Suites - 2 Suites - Coffee shop - Live music bar - Private garage - Boutiques - Facilities for handicapped - Private parking - Jacuzzi - Outer swimming pool (opened from 22/06 to 07/09) - Terrace - Restaurant - Animals allowed - Money exchange - Car rental - Laundry service
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: No Before/After Nights 

 Corinthian
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: This private yacht-like cruise ship accommodates only 100 guests in 50 suites.
  Ship Information: Gross Tonnage: 4,077 Overall Length: 290 feet Beam: 50 feet Draft: 12 feet Flag Malta
  Contact info: 132 East 70th Street,
New York ,, NY 10021 USA
phone: 800-257-5767
web: www.traveldynamicsinternational.com/
  Room amenities: All accommodations aboard the Corinthian are suites. And include a bedroom with two twin-sized beds or one queen sized bed, sitting area, mini bar, VCR/DVD/CD player, color TV, Marble appointed bathroom with spacious shower and other amenities.
  Facility amenities: Public facilities include a restaurant tha accomodates guests at a single, unassigned seating, two lounges, expansive library with Internet access, state-of-the-art gym/spa, beauty salon, boutique,Jacuzzi, hospital and ample deck areas for sunbathing and relaxing.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
The program begins at 8:00 p.m. on day 2 with the Welcome Dinner at the hotel in Granada You will be staying at Hotel Carmen that night.
  End of Program:
In the evening after dinner in Accra. You will be staying at Corinthian the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. **A Yellow Fever vaccine is required**
  Required innoculations:
Yes: A Yellow Fever Vaccination is required for some of the countries visited on this itinerary. It is recommended that you update routine vaccinations against hepatitis, tetanus, and measles and consult a travel clinic for specific vaccinations for the countries being visited.
  Parking availability:
n/a
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Granada
  Transportation to site: The Carmen Hotel is located in Granada, Spain -approximately 140km from the Malaga International Airport. The transfer will take approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. Taxis are readily available at the airport. A taxi from the airport to the hotel will cost approximately 80-95 Euros (depending on the time of day). Participants who would like to join the group transfer should arrive no later than 3:55 pm.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Aboard the Corinthian
  Transportation from site: Participants will disembark the ship at the Port of Tema, located approximately 33km (21 miles) from Kotoka International Airport in Accra. Metered taxis are the only recommend form of public transportation.


Required innoculations:

Yes: A Yellow Fever Vaccination is required for some of the countries visited on this itinerary. It is recommended that you update routine vaccinations against hepatitis, tetanus, and measles and consult a travel clinic for specific vaccinations for the countries being visited.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Overnight Flight from the US
(Saturday, January 12)
   
 Depart From: Depart the US for international flights to Malaga, Spain

Day 2: Arrive Malaga / Transfer to Granada / Welcome Dinner
(Sunday, January 13)

Note: The transfer from Malaga to Granada will take approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.



   
 Arrive To: Arrive in Malaga, Spain and transfer to the hotel in Granada.
 Dinner: In the evening, join your group leader and fellow travelers for a welcome dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Carmen
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Granada / Alhambra
(Monday, January 14)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: In the morning, join your group leader for your program orientation, followed by a panoramic discovery of Granada.
 Lunch: Experience Spanish cuisine with lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Visit to the Alhambra: The Alhambra is more than just a palace; it is an entire walled city within the city of Granada. There are royal apartments, forts, gardens, pavilions, barracks... All this surrounded by an impressive wall. Explore the site and imagine it coming to life 1000 years ago.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own
   
Accommodations: Hotel Carmen
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Malaga / Embark the Corinthian
(Tuesday, January 15)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Check out of the hotel and coach to Malaga. Enjoy a panoramic overview of the city.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant
 Afternoon: Embark the Corinthian where the friendly staff will greet you with h'ordeuvres and a welcome drink. Have some free time to relax and unpack before dinner.
 Dinner: Dinner aboard the ship.
 Evening: The ship sets sail for Casablanca. If the opportunity arises, step outside on deck to see Gibraltar.
   
Accommodations: Corinthian
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Casablanca, Morocco
(Wednesday, January 16)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet aboard the ship.
 Morning: The morning will be spent at sea sailing towards Morocco. Enjoy a presentation from one of the on board experts.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: This afternoon dock in Casablanca- Morocco's largest port city and commercial center. Explore the city, including the vast Hassan II Mosque, built on a promontory facing the sea.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
 Evening: The ship will be docked in Casablanca overnight.
   
Accommodations: Corinthian
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Casablanca / Rabat / Casablanca
(Thursday, January 17)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: From Casablanca, drive to Rabat, Morocco's elegant capital. Tour Rabat's main sites, including its Medina. Within the Medina are colorful souks, the Kasbah des Oudaias, the evocative quarter of the old Almohad, the Chellah Citadel, and Merenid and Andalusian towns.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant
 Afternoon: Continue discovering Rabat before returning to the ship
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: Corinthian
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Safi / Marrakech / Safi
(Friday, January 18)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: From Safi drive to fabled Marrakech, one of Morocco's four Imperial Capitals, founded in the 11th century and set among gardens and palm groves. Our exploration includes the 12th century Koutoubia Minaret, the Bahia Palace, the Ben Youssef Medressa, the Jewish Quarter, and Djemaa el-Fna, the city's central square at the heart of the medina.
 Lunch: Lunch in Marrakech, or on the ship
 Afternoon: Continue exploration of Marrakech and Safi, then return to the Corinthian II.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Corinthian
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: At sea cruising along the coast of Morocco
(Saturday, January 19)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: At Sea
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: At Sea
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: Corinthian
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Laayoune, Western Sahara Morocco
(Sunday, January 20)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: From the port of El Marsa, drive inland across Saharan dunes to reach Laayoune, the main city in Morocco's Western Sahara. Explore the Spanish-Saharan architecture of the city's old district, the Museum of Traditional Arts, and the Artisans Center's craft workshops.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant, or on the ship
 Afternoon: Continue exploring Laayoune
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Corinthian
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Dakhla, Western Sahara
(Monday, January 21)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Dakhla is the southernmost town of Western Sahara, located on a long peninsula jutting into the Atlantic. Discover the city them drive north through the scenic peninsula, with the Atlantic on one side and a tranquil bay on the other.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant, or on the ship
 Afternoon: Continue exploration - whitewashed houses characterize this easygoing and friendly town.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Corinthian
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: At Sea
(Tuesday, January 22)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: At Sea
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue sailing en-route to Dakar, Senegal
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Corinthian
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Dakar, Senegal
(Wednesday, January 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Dock in Senegal's beautiful capital city, Dakar. Explore this vibrant city known for African arts, culture and music. Dakar has become a center of African commerce and culture, and represents some of the best of Weat Africa. Experience what Dakar has to offer at the Museum of African Art, and the artisan market.
 Lunch: Lunch in Dakar, or on the ship
 Afternoon: Continue exploring Dakar City and the Dakar Peninsula.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Corinthian
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Dakar / Goree Island, Senegal
(Thursday, January 24)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Board small vessels for the trip to picturesque Goree Island. This vibrant island has had a storied past. Today many artists call its historic buildings home. Goree's "Door of No Return", is an island icon. The story is now told that this was the exit from Africa - the last piece of Africa touched by captured individuals before making the passage over the Atlantic, into slavery. Over the past decade Goree has gained notoriety and has seen many famous visitors including former U.S. presidents Bush and Clinton.
 Lunch: Lunch on Gore Island, or on the ship
 Afternoon: Continue exploration of Goree Island, then return to the Corinthian.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: Corinthian
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Banjul / Abuko Nature Reserve / Makasutu Culture Forest
(Friday, January 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: Founded by the British in the early 19th century, Banjul is the capital and commercial center of The Gambia. Drive to Abuko Nature Reserve, one of the last surviving examples of tropical riverine forests in the country. Within its confines are about 300 species of birds, as well as red colobus and callithrix monkeys.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant, or on the ship
 Afternoon: Continue to the Makasutu Culture Forest, a private nature habitat with beautiful woodlands and waterways.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
 Evening: At leisure
   
Accommodations: Corinthian
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: At sea
(Saturday, January 26)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: At sea
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: At sea
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: Corinthian
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Freetown, Sierra Leone
(Sunday, January 27)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: Explore Freetown, the country's capital, including the Sierra Leone Museum, St. George's Cathedral (1828), and the city's colorful markets.
 Lunch: Lunch in Freetown, or on the ship
 Afternoon: Discover why Sierra Leone is one of West Africa's most attractive destinations. See some of is lush forests as you venture to Regent Village with its early 19th century Krio-style houses tucked into the hills above the city.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: Corinthian
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: At sea
(Monday, January 28)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: At sea
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: At sea
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: Corinthian
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: At Sea
(Tuesday, January 29)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: At Sea
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: At Sea
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: Corinthian
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19: Takoradi / The Castle Coast
(Wednesday, January 30)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: The Castle Coast is named for the string of forts that were built to protect trading interests. This morning visit two of the most important forts, Cape Coast Castle and St. George Castle, both UNESCO World Heritage sites.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: Continue visiting the historic sites of The Castle Coast and Takoradi
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: Corinthian
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 20: Takoradi / Kakum National Park, Ghana
(Thursday, January 31)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship
 Morning: From Takoradi, travel to Kakum National Park, one of the most extensive rain forest habitats in Ghana and home to elephants, colobus monkeys, antelopes, 300 species of birds, 600 varieties of butterfly, and an abundance of plants.
 Lunch: Lunch on the shore excursion or on the ship
 Afternoon: Experience the highlight of Kakum! Walk on a 1,000ft long elevated walkway in the rain forest canopy. Return to Takoradi to the Corinthian II.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: Corinthian
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 21: Tema / Accra, Ghana
(Friday, February 1)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship
 Morning: Arrive in Tema, the port of Accra, Ghana's capital and a city that vibrates with energy and an air of excitement and industry.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant in Accra
 Afternoon: Visit the excellent crafts market, which showcases the best of local artisans throughout the region, as well as the National Museum of Ghana, and the Center for National Culture with its exhibits by local painters and sculptors.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant
 Evening: Transfer to the airport for late night flights returning to North America
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Africa Map


Author: Collins Maps


Description: This folded, full-color map shows the continent and surrounding islands, including the Arabian Peninsula, on a single sheet at 1:10,000.000.



Africa, A Biography of the Continent


Author: John Reader


Description: With the ease of a practiced journalist, Reader weaves a masterful and lively tale of the continent, from ancient cultures to modern times. Both authoritative and informal, this is a splendid introduction to all of Africa.



Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles


Author: Richard Dowden


Description: Africa editor of The Independent and The Economist, Richard Dowden draws on decades of experience in this multi-faceted, vivid portrait of contemporary Africa -- an Africa that, Dowden effectively argues, can only be developed by its own people.



African Art, An Introduction


Author: Frank Willett


Description: A concise, well illustrated overview of the art and culture of Africa, portraying the range of spectacular art produced throughout the ages.



African Silences


Author: Peter Matthiessen


Description: In this narrative of Equatorial Africa, Matthiessen recounts several trips to The Gambia, Senegal, Zaire and the Congo Basin in search of rhinos, elephants and other endangered wildlife.



Cadogan Guide Marrakesh, Fez and Rabat


Author: Barnaby Rogerson


Description: This personal, comprehensive handbook combines Rogerson's insightful cultural and historical background with his savvy practical information and recommendations on what to see and where to stay and eat.



Journey Without Maps


Author: Graham Greene


Description: No one captures local personalities and complicated morality better than Graham Greene, who had a particular interest in West Africa. This account traces his trek to the Liberian coast.



Kingdon Pocket Guide to African Mammals


Author: Jonathan Kingdon


Description: A convenient compact edition of Kingdon's gloriously illustrated Field Guide to African Mammals. With abbreviated information on identification, distribution, ecology and conservation status and the same 480 outstanding color illustrations and maps as its bigger cousin.



Lonely Planet West Africa


Author: Lonely Planet


Description: A comprehensive guide to all West Africa, this is the book to carry for travels from Mauritania to Niger, with both a good overview of culture and history and the usual Lonely Planet attention to practical travel information.



No Sweetness Here and Other Stories


Author: Ama Ata Aidoo


Description: A collection of eleven short stories about the lives of women and men in postcolonial Ghana and the tensions between traditional village and urban life; Aidoo's stories emphasize Ghana's prominent oral culture.



Radcliffe Bailey, Memory As Medicine


Author: Carol Thompson


Description: Carol Thompson, curator of African art at High Museum of Art in Atlanta contribues an essay to this celebration of the work of Radcliffe Bailey, whose paintings, sculptures, installations, and large mixed media works that draw inspiration from African and other sources of visual representation.



Sahara Unveiled, A Journey across the Desert


Author: William Langewiesche


Description: Traveling across the Sahara from Algiers to Dakar, Langeweische has written an uncommonly good memoir of the desert, with meditations on its history, inhabitants and allure.



The Caliph's House, A Year in Casablanca


Author: Tahir Shah


Description: Shah is a marvelous storyteller, weaving Moroccan customs and history with deft portraits of neighbors, craftsmen and others in this entertaining tale of the transformation of a crumbling palace in Casablanca.



The Scramble for Africa


Author: Thomas Pakenham


Description: Absorbing and meticulously researched, this in-depth history of the Victorian land grab in Africa includes excellent portraits of the egomaniacal personalities who overran the continent.



The Sheltering Sky


Author: Paul Bowles


Description: Bowles' most famous work, by turns stark and transcendent, is a tale of three people whose lives unravel in the desert of North Africa. Originally published in 1949.



The Slave Trade


Author: James Walvin


Description: Photographs, paintings and contemporary maps give insight into the reality and global impact of the transatlantic slave trade in this lively entry in the incisive History Files series.



The World and a Very Small Place in Africa


Author: Donald R. Wright


Description: In this fascinating uncovering of the impact of globalization, Wright studies the settlement of Niumi, located at the mouth of the Gambia River in West Africa, considering how global events and history have affected this apparently sleepy backwater.



Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa


Author: Mungo Park


Description: Park chronicles the culture, society and nature of West Africa before the colonial period in this classic account of a 24-year-old Scotsman exploring, often alone, in uncharted Africa. First published in 1799.



West African Folktales


Author: Jack Berry, Richard Spears


Description: These 123 unembellished tales reflect the rich oral tradition of cultures throughout West Africa, particularly Ghana and Nigeria, where the pioneering Berry did much of his field work.





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