Road Scholar : Home
Africa’s West Coast: A Grand Voyage from South Africa to Morocco

Program Number: 20963RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/5/2014 - 5/8/2014; 4/4/2015 - 5/8/2015;
Duration: 33 nights
Location: South Africa/Namibia/Angola/Congo/Sao Tome and Principe/Benin/Togo/Ghana/Sierra Leone/Guinea-Bisseau/Gambia/Senegal
Price starting at: $19,999.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Small Ship Cruising
Meals: 93; 32 Breakfasts, 30 Lunches, 31 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Voyage up the beautiful west coast of Africa, go ashore in 12 countries and discover many UNESCO World Heritage Sites on this in-depth expedition. Encounter wildlife up close, discover remote islands by Zodiac boat, interact with locals and much more.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day; some uneven terrain. Wet landings by Zodiac. Tourism infrastructure of Africa is still developing so facilities may not meet Western standards.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Cape Town (South Africa), 1 night; aboard M/S Expedition, 29 nights; Marrakech (Morocco), 1 night.



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


Days 2-3: Arrival Cape Town (South Africa) / embark M/S Expedition:

Ride a cable car to the top of Table Mountain for spectacular views. Lodging: Four-star hotel.



Days 4-6: At Sea / Luderitz (Namibia) / Walvis Bay:

Explore the German-style town of Luderitz and the stunning Namib Desert.



Days 7-9: At Sea / Lobito (Angola):

Discover the colonial town of Sao Felipe de Benguela and learn its slave trade history.



Days 10-11: At Sea / Pointe-Noire (Congo):

Discover the cliffs of Diosso Gorge and Pointe-Noire’s lively market.



Days 12-14: At Sea / Sao Tome and Principe:

Spend two days exploring this island paradise of rainforests and waterfalls.



Days 15-17: At Sea / Cotonou (Benin) / Lome (Togo):

Walk Benin’s “Route des Esclaves.” In Togo, Ewe people welcome you to their village.



Days 18-19: Accra (Ghana) / Takoradi:

Experience the busy capital and visit a school there. Discover the slave castles of Ghana.



Days 20-22: At Sea / Freetown (Sierra Leone):

A shore excursion includes the capital and Tacagumu Chimpanzee Sanctuary.



Days 23-24: At Sea / Bissagos Islands (Guinea-Bissau):

Zodiac excursions bring you to villages and uninhabited islands in this unspoiled archipelago.



Days 25-28: Banjul (The Gambia) / Dakar (Senegal) At Sea:

Encounter the monkeys, crocodiles and birds of Abuko Nature Reserve. Disembark in energetic Dakar and visit infamous Goree Island.



Days 29-31: Dakhla (Western Sahara) / At Sea / Fuerteventura (Canary Islands):

Journey into the Sahara Desert in a 4x4 vehicle. Experience beautiful Fuerteventura.



Days 32-34: Agadir (Morocco) / disembark / coach to Marrakech / departure:

Visit the famous Djemaa el Fna square in Marrakech. Lodging: Comfortable hotel.



M/S Expedition

Refurbished in 2009, this 345-foot, Finnish-Swedish Ice Class-rated expedition ship has lots of space for 132 passengers. A 360° Observation Deck and large common areas provide panoramic views of the sea and land around you. The ship boasts a fleet of 14 Zodiac boats. Complimentary Wellington boots provided for shore excursions.


Meals and Lodgings
   The Commodore Hotel
  Cape Town, South Africa 1 night
   M/S Expedition
  Aboard the M/S Expedition, At Sea 29 nights
   Hotel Kenzi Farah
  Marrakech, Morocco 1 night
 The Commodore Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Ship Information: n/a
  Contact info: PortsWood Rd, Portwood Square
V&A Waterfront
Cape Town,   South Africa
phone: +27 (0) 21 415 1000
web: www.thecommodore.co.za
  Room amenities: The Commodore offers 236 elegantly furnished standard rooms and suites. All rooms have individual air conditioning, tea and coffee making facilities, bathroom with toilet and separate bath and shower, direct dialing phones, electric razor plugs, hair dryers, DStv and 24-hour room service. Our service ethic is one of utmost efficiency, allowing you to leave everything to us so that you can find time to enjoy the beautiful 'Mother City'.
  Facility amenities: 24 hour room service For those who prefer some privacy or to sleep in for a change, you may order breakfast to your room. We also have a 24 hour menu which you may order from at any time. Business centre Our business centre is conveniently located in the foyer. Guests are able to go about their business with the use of wifi available freely in the business centre. DStv With a bouquet of 20 different channels to choose from, our guests can enjoy the privacy and comfort of their rooms as they find their desired programme to watch. Complimentary internet access All our guests are welcome to enjoy complimentary internet access Health & wellness centre - Casuarina Spa Casuarina Spa is a Premier Wellness Centre ideally located on the 1st floor of The Commodore Hotel at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Gymnasium For the fitness fanatics who enjoy a healthy and balanced lifestyle, you may utilise our fully equipped gym open 24 hours a day. Valet service Our efficient valet service will allow you to enjoy a swift check-in with fewer hassles. Enjoy a refreshment as we park your car and bring you your luggage Foreign exchange Should you require such services, we will be happy to assist you at the reception desk Medical service on call In the event of a guest needing medical attention we have access to highly trained medical professionals on call
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Contact PD for pricing Additional nights are booked by Program Development with G Adventures.

 M/S Expedition
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: The M/S Expedition provides an intimate small-ship cruising experience. Completely refurbished in 2009, she boasts spacious cabins, each featuring ocean-facing windows or portholes and private en-suite facilities. Large common areas and observation decks provide panoramic views of the distinctive landscapes of some of the world's most remote regions.
  Ship Information: Built: Helsingr Skibsvaerft, Denmark, 1972 Ice Class: Swedish/Finnish 1B Length: 105m (345ft) Breadth: 18.6m (61ft) Max Draft: 4.7m (15ft) Gross Tonnage: 6334 GRT Cruising Speed: 14.5 knots Stabilizers: Fins, Type Brown/AEG Max Group Size: 132 (Max Passenger Capacity: 140) Crew: 55
  Contact info: 19 Charlotte Street
Toronto, ON M5V 2H5 Canada
phone: 416-260-0999
  Facility amenities: 360° Observation Deck All cabins with private ensuite and outside views Raised Canada Goose Observation Deck Fleet of 14 zodiacs with four stroke engines Complimentary Wellington Boots for duration of your cruise Complimentary destination guides for every passenger Large headed mud room Lonely Planet Library Discovery Lounge Fine dining- international cuisine in one sitting Large aft-deck with barbeque facilities Polar Bear Club Gift Shop Medical Clinic Sauna Computer room with internet where available Gym Mobile phones for rent
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Hotel Kenzi Farah
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: A classic venue, typical of the Imperial City, a haven of peace set like a gem in a 3 hectors’ private splendid park of luxuriant greenery and dappling hues and vivid colors, the mythical, iconic KENZI FARAH HOTEL is located in the very heart of the prime, trendy, cosmopolitan district “L’Hivernage".
  Ship Information: n/a
  Contact info: Avenue du President Kennedy
Marrakesh,   Morocco
phone: +212 (0) 524 44 74 00
web: www.kenzi-hotels.com/kenzifarah/default-en.html
  Room amenities: All rooms are spacious and sound proofed with double glazing. Modern amenities and bathroom facilities LCD satellite TV Wi fi broadband high speed internet connection in all rooms 60 rooms with either terrace or veranda Direct dial telephone Air conditioning Hairdryer Separate toilet Mini bar Personal electronic safe 220 volts power supply
  Facility amenities: Guest transfer service Private parking and valet service Duty Manager 24-hour concierge service 24-hour security team 24-hour room service Wireless internet in public areas O-Spa by Kenzi Car Hire Fitness room Boutiques Baby sitter on request Laundry service Doctor on request Non-smoking rooms In-room safe and at reception Foreign exchange Conference rooms Business Center Hotel - city center shuttle service Outdoor and indoor pool Fitness center Cultural excursions: the Medina, bustling souks and Jamâa El Fna square, palaces and ancient Koranic school, famous Koutoubia Mosque, les Jardins Majorelle Yves Saint Laurent’s Majorelle Gardens, museums … Golfing session packages Tennis court General sports ground Bowling pitch Table-tennis Playground equipped for child Accepted credit cards: Visa, American Express, MasterCard, Diner’s
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
This program starts in the late afternoon on Day 2 at the program hotel in Cape Town, South Africa. You will be staying at The Commodore Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
This program ends at the program hotel on Day 34 in Marrakech, Morocco. Flights can depart at any time. You will be staying at Hotel Kenzi Farah the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. The visa prices listed above are the prices you would pay if you were to apply for each visa individually, in advance. IMPORTANT: As a service to our passengers, the MS Expedition will apply for group entry visas for shore excursions during West Coast of Africa cruise. Each passenger is responsible for the costs associated with each visa. We expect the total cost of all Visas to range from $500 to $1000 USD per passenger. Visa costs will be charged to each passengers shipboard account and settled at the end of the cruise. Note that visa costs are at the discretion of each government and in our experience exact costs can change at short notice. Passengers should confirm prior to departure that they are eligible to obtain a visa for each of the countries visited. As always all countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). The number of blank pages required (listed above) is an estimate only. You will want to have at least 1 full page for each visa, plus an additional 1/2 page for entry/exit stamps. Countries Visited: • Benin • Gambia • Ghana • Namibia • Sao Tome and Principe • Senegal • Sierra Leone • South Africa • Togo • Angola • Congo • Morocco
  Required innoculations:
Yes: **A Yellow Fever vaccine is required.** The CDC recommends that routine vaccines such as for influenza, chickenpox, polio, MMR, and DPT are up to date. Routine vaccines are recommended even if you do not travel. Malaria is present in nearly all of the countries that you will be visiting on this itinerary. We recommend visiting the CDC webpage and speaking with your doctor for prophylaxis recommendations.
  Parking availability:
We do not recommend driving to the site.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Cape Town
  Transportation to site: All participants who arranged their air travel through Road Scholar will be transferred from Cape Town airport to the program hotel. If you did not purchase your air through Road Scholar, you may join the designated group transfer as long as your flight arrives before or at the same time as the group flight. All participants who are joining this program from the South Africa Safari Extension (program #20984) will be transferred from the Cape Town airport to the hotel.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Marrakech
  Transportation from site: All participants who arranged their air travel through Road Scholar will be transferred from the hotel to Marrakech's Menara Airport (RAK). If you did not purchase your air travel through Road Scholar, you may join the designated group transfer as long as your flight departs at the same time, or after the group flight.


Required innoculations:

Yes: **A Yellow Fever vaccine is required.** The CDC recommends that routine vaccines such as for influenza, chickenpox, polio, MMR, and DPT are up to date. Routine vaccines are recommended even if you do not travel. Malaria is present in nearly all of the countries that you will be visiting on this itinerary. We recommend visiting the CDC webpage and speaking with your doctor for prophylaxis recommendations.

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: Depart US for flights to Cape Town
(Saturday, April 5)
   
 In Transit: In Flight

Day 2: Arrivals / Cape Town, South Africa
(Sunday, April 6)
   
 Arrive To: Arrive to Cape Town, South Africa. Transfer to the hotel and check-in for one night.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for the program orientation, followed by a welcome dinner.
   
Accommodations: The Commodore Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Cape Town / Embarkation
(Monday, April 7)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: The day starts with the cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain. The plateau at 3km wide has it's highest point over 1,000 meters, and provides spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch, travel to Boulders Beach, a beautiful sandy beach dotted with massive granite boulders. Since 1982 it has been the home of over 3000 tunnel nesting African Black footed penguins. In the late afternoon, board the M/S Expedition to begin your journey up one of the most underexplored coastlines in the world.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: At Sea
(Tuesday, April 8)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Days at sea will be filled with a fascinating and entertaining educational program presented by the expert expedition team. Lectures and presentations on the history, anthropology, flora and fauna of the region will be interspersed with seminars on painting, photography, and South African wine tastings. The Expedition has ample public space in the lounge and library, and you can always join new friends in the ship's popular pub. Alternatively, spend time relaxing on the ship's deck or scanning the horizon with binoculars and camera in search of seabirds and marine life. As always, high end dining experiences will be enjoyed in the ship's dining room.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Educational programming at sea continues.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Luderitz, Namibia
(Wednesday, April 9)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Morning will be spent on board the ship as you sail into Luderitz, Namibia.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Today, visit the small Namibian town of Luderitz and the ghost town of Kolmanskop. Because of their isolation and predominantly German population, these towns are typically German in their architecture and culture. Kolmanskop was abandoned soon after it was founded when the new diamond prospects drew the population further south. Today it is a ghost town and a fascinating place to explore.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Walvis Bay, Namibia
(Thursday, April 10)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Morning will be spent on board the ship sailing towards Walvis Bay.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Upon arrival in Walvis Bay you will have the opportunity to explore the landscapes of the Namib Desert en route to a visit to the town of Swakopmund.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: At Sea
(Friday, April 11)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Days at sea will be filled with a fascinating and entertaining educational program presented by the expert expedition team. Lectures and presentations on the history, anthropology, flora and fauna of the region will be interspersed with seminars on painting, photography, and South African wine tastings.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Educational programming at sea continues.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: At Sea
(Saturday, April 12)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Days at sea will be filled with a fascinating and entertaining educational program presented by the expert expedition team. Lectures and presentations on the history, anthropology, flora and fauna of the region will be interspersed with seminars on painting, photography, and South African wine tastings.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Educational programming at sea continues
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Lobito (Benguela), Angola
(Sunday, April 13)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Today, enjoy a visit to the quaint town of Sao Felipe de Benguela in Angola. Benguela was founded by Portuguese in 1617 and has a big part in the history of the slave trade.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Free time in the afternoon to explore the port of Lobito (if time allows)
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: At Sea
(Monday, April 14)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Days at sea will be filled with a fascinating and entertaining educational program presented by the expert expedition team. Lectures and presentations on the history, anthropology, flora and fauna of the region will be interspersed with seminars on painting, photography, and South African wine tastings.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Educational programming at sea continues
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Pointe Noire, Congo
(Tuesday, April 15)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Today, visit the Congo's Pointe Noire. This morning you will visit the cliffs of Diosso Gorge.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue exploring Point Noire with visits to the local museum and the city's lively market.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: At Sea
(Wednesday, April 16)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Days at sea will be filled with a fascinating and entertaining educational program presented by the expert expedition team. Lectures and presentations on the history, anthropology, flora and fauna of the region will be interspersed with seminars on painting, photography, and South African wine tastings.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Educational programming at sea continues
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Sao Tome and Principe
(Thursday, April 17)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: This Portuguese colonial island nation is a tropical paradise of beaches, waterfalls, forests and friendly people. You'll visit the capital, Sao Tome- once an important slave-trade post- and explore a nearby plantation. Sao Tome is famous among birders, with over 140 species identified in the surrounding area. On a birding excursion, try to catch a glimpse of the islands' endemic inhabitants.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue exploring Sao Tome.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Sao Tome and Principe
(Friday, April 18)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Today we will explore Principe via Zodiac boat to experience it's beaches, waterfalls and rainforests. A swim in the tropical waters is a great way to relax. Birdlife, including many endemic species, is abundant here and we'll keep our eyes out for African grey parrots. Option to visit the tiny town of Santo Antonio, the world's smallest city.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: If time allows, continue exploring Sao Tome and Principe before the ship sets sail for Benin.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: At Sea
(Saturday, April 19)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Days at sea will be filled with a fascinating and entertaining educational program presented by the expert expedition team. Lectures and presentations on the history, anthropology, flora and fauna of the region will be interspersed with seminars on painting, photography, and South African wine tastings.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Educational programming at sea continues as you sail towards Cotonou, Benin
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Cotonou, Benin
(Sunday, April 20)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Today we disembark in Cotonou and head to the town of Ouidah, home to voodoo and an important embarkation point for the slave trade. We'll walk the "Route des Esclaves", rich in reminders of a dark time in the region's history. In the afternoon we'll cross Lake Nokoue on small boats and visit the fishing village of Ganvie, famous for it's bamboo stilt houses perched above the water. The village offers an interesting look inside modern African village life and boasts a fascinating market tradition.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship or at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continue exploring Cotonou and Ouidah.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Lome, Togo
(Monday, April 21)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Outside of Lome we'll vist an Ewe village and interact with the locals to learn about their way of life and traditions.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship or at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: A visit to Lome town includes a trip to the Centre Artisanal de Kpalime, a market famous for Batik.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: Accra, Ghana
(Tuesday, April 22)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Today's excursion takes us from the port at Tema to the busy capital of Accra. Our first stop is at a casket-maker's shop where caskets are carved to depict the beliefs, hobbies and life stories of the deceased.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship or at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Later, visit a local school to interact with the children and staff before heading off to a local market, the national museum and the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19: Takoradi, Ghana
(Wednesday, April 23)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: From the dock at the Ghanaian town of Takoradi, we'll explore a region steeped in the sad history of the slave trade. A visit to Elmira Castle and Cape Coast Castle brings us face-to-face with the horrible conditions of the dungeons and quarters slaves inhabited while awaiting their fate. A visit to the West African Historical Museum is included in our visit to Cape Coast Castle.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship or at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continue exploring the Castle Coast before the ship sets sail for Sierra Leone.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 20: At Sea
(Thursday, April 24)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Days at sea will be filled with a fascinating and entertaining educational program presented by the expert expedition team. Lectures and presentations on the history, anthropology, flora and fauna of the region will be interspersed with seminars on painting, photography, and South African wine tastings.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Educational program at sea continues.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 21: At Sea
(Friday, April 25)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Days at sea will be filled with a fascinating and entertaining educational program presented by the expert expedition team. Lectures and presentations on the history, anthropology, flora and fauna of the region will be interspersed with seminars on painting, photography, and South African wine tastings.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Educational program continues as the ship sails towards Sierra Leone.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 22: Freetown, Sierra Leone
(Saturday, April 26)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Spend the morning on board as the ship sails towards Freetown, Sierra Leone.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Today we disembark in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone is recovering from a civil war that almost tore the country apart, but today it is a progressive African state with a great future. Tourism is part of the recovery process. We'll explore the city and the Tacagumu Chimpanzee Sanctuary.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 23: At Sea
(Sunday, April 27)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Days at sea will be filled with a fascinating and entertaining educational program presented by the expert expedition team. Lectures and presentations on the history, anthropology, flora and fauna of the region will be interspersed with seminars on painting, photography, and South African wine tastings.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Educational program at sea continues as you sail towards Guinea-Bissau.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 24: Bijagos Archipelego, Guinea-Bissau
(Monday, April 28)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the Bijagos Archipelego off the coast of Guinea-Bissau is one of the most unexplored places on earth. The island's inhabitants are descendants of an ancient culture that practices an animist religion. Tides will dictate our experience here, and we'll utilize our fleet of zodiacs to explore traditional villages, uninhabited islands and mangroves. Birds will delight in the varietyof species to be found here. Two full days of exploration are warranted for this one-of-a-kind destination that is sure to be the highlight of the adventure for many passengers.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue exploring the Bijagos Islands. The tides will affect docking times, so some flexibility will be needed at this unique destination.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 25: Banjul, The Gambia
(Tuesday, April 29)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Today's a special day for the bird lovers! The Gambia is known for it's abundant birdlife: Over 500 species! Today we'll visit the Abuko Nature Reserve for a walk with our guides. Birds, monkeys and crocodiles inhabit the area. Alternatively, travellers will have the option to visit the museum of a local artist. Before arriving at the museum, we'll visit the Serrekunda market, one of Africa's busiest. At the museum, the artist herself will give us a guided tour of the space and its works while giving us some insight into her life as an African artist.
 Lunch: Participate in a local cooking class with a local woman who will show us how to make traditional Gambian cuisine.
 Afternoon: Visit a fruit distillery to learn about local liqueurs and be treated to a tasting.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 26: Dakar, Senegal
(Wednesday, April 30)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Today we arrive in Dakar, Senegal; a bustling and energetic West African capital. We'll visit the infamous slave-trading post of Goree Island and learn about the history of the region and its importance to the slave trade. The tour includes visits to the dungeons and slave quarters, the traders' opulent homes, the House of Slaves and Le Castel, offering a fascinating look into this dark time. We'll also visit the IFAN Historical Museum to learn more about the history of Senegal.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch, explore Dakar's incredible markets, Great Mosque and colonial architecture before checking into the hotel for the final night on the African continent.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 27: At Sea
(Thursday, May 1)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Days at sea will be filled with a fascinating and entertaining educational program presented by the expert expedition team. Lectures and presentations on the history, anthropology, flora and fauna of the region will be interspersed with seminars on painting, photography, and South African wine tastings
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Educational programming at sea continues as you sail towards Western Sahara.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 28: At Sea
(Friday, May 2)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Days at sea will be filled with a fascinating and entertaining educational program presented by the expert expedition team. Lectures and presentations on the history, anthropology, flora and fauna of the region will be interspersed with seminars on painting, photography, and South African wine tastings
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Educational programming at sea continues as you sail towards Western Sahara.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 29: Dakhla, Western Sahara
(Saturday, May 3)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: At tranquil Dakhla, the Sahara meets the sea. Venture into the desert in four-wheel-drive vehicles through beautiful desertscapes to the White Dune.
 Lunch: Enjoy a local gala lunch in tents set up especially for this occassion.
 Afternoon: Return to the ship after lunch. If time allows, you will have some free time to explore Dakhla before the ship sets sail for Agadir.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 30: At Sea
(Sunday, May 4)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Days at sea will be filled with a fascinating and entertaining educational program presented by the expert expedition team. Lectures and presentations on the history, anthropology, flora and fauna of the region will be interspersed with seminars on painting, photography, and South African wine tastings.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Educational programming at sea continues as you sail towards Morocco.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 31: Fuerteventurea, Canary Islands
(Monday, May 5)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Fuerteventura is best known for its world class beaches. Choose to relax on the golden sands, wander through one of the quaint villages nestled into the volcanic island.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue to explore Fuerteventura
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 32: Agadir / Marrakech
(Tuesday, May 6)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Disembark in the whitewashed Moroccan seaside city of Agadir, and drive to Marrakech for a spectacular end to our journey. Visit the extraordinary Djemaa el Fna square - a human carnival with magicians, snake charmers, acrobats, water sellers and food stalls.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Check into the hotel, and enjoy a free afternoon to explore Marrakech.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Kenzi Farah
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 33: Marrakech / Departures
(Wednesday, May 7)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Free morning to explore Marrakech.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own in Marrakech.
 Afternoon: Meet back at the hotel and transfer to the airport for flights returning to the U.S.
 Evening: Your Road Scholar group will overnight in London at the London Gatwick Airport Northway Hotel due to airline flight schedules.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 34: Flights arrive in the U.S.
(Thursday, May 8)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer with your group to London Heathrow Airport for international flights.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
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.



African Wildlife


Author: James Kavanaugh


Description: Slip this laminated foldout guide in your pocket for quick reference in the field.



Another Day in the Life


Author: Ryszard Kapuscinski, William R. Brand (Translator), Katarzyna Mroczkowska-Brand (Translator)


Description: Kapuscinski's visceral eye-witness account of the Portuguese withdrawal from Angola and of the civil war that engulfed the West African nation in the 1960s.



King Leopold's Ghost, A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa


Author: Adam Hochschild


Description: An enthralling narrative of the 19th-century colonization of the Belgian Congo, written by an award-winning journalist. The focus of the book is Belgian King Leopold, who oversaw the colonization.



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 Southern Africa


Author: Alan Murphy


Description: This hefty practical guide to the nine nations of southern Africa, including Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Swaziland, Malawi, Mozambique and Lesotho, is ideal for independent travelers on a multicountry tour.



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.



Long Walk to Freedom


Author: Nelson Mandela


Description: An unpretentious tale of an extraordinary life, Mandela's autobiography is essential reading for an understanding of South Africa. His grace and his love for his country shine throughout.



My Traitor's Heart


Author: Rian Malan


Description: Afrikaner journalist Malan recounts his journey back to his homeland just before the collapse of Apartheid. He grapples with the black and white heart of South Africa, drawing on the 300-year history of his family in Africa and legends of the Zulu nation, in this beautifully written and brutally honest story of return.



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.



Search Sweet Country


Author: Kojo Laing


Description: One of the great novels of Africa presented here in a 25th anniversary edition, it follows the lives of an eclectic and inextricably interconnected group of Ghanaians living in and around the sprawling, chaotic city of Accra in the mid-1970s.



Skeleton Coast


Author: Amy Schoeman


Description: This revised edition of Shoenman's classic, first published in 1971, shows the magnificent landscapes, wildlife and nature of the Namib desert, Skeleton Coast and Northwest Namibia in 160 color essays and accompanying essays on geology, climate, nature and history.



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 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.





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