Day 1, West Africa Cruise – Cape Town

Posted: April 6, 2014    Categories: Africa, South Africa

Latitude: 33° 54.2614′ S
Longitude: 18° 24.9283′ E

Today I begin one of my biggest adventures yet: spending one month sailing up the West Coast of Africa on M/S Expedition. We will be spending 32 days going up the west coast of Africa from Cape Town to Morocco.

As a Wander in Residence for G Adventures, I have had the opportunity to travel with G on tours around the world. This tour, however, might very well be the most coveted one in the entire G catalog. Just to put it in perspective, since I got approval to go on the tour last year, almost every single person I’ve met who works for G, 1) knew that I was going on the trip and 2) expressed their jealously that I was going. This is from a company of well traveled people who deal with tours on a daily basis.

Two months ago I took a day trip to the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa where I met two men who worked for STA Travel in South Africa. STA is a partner of G Adventures and books many trips for them. When I told them I was going on the West Africa trip, even they expressed their jealously.

Though this is only the second year the trip has been run, it has quickly developed a reputation as one of the most desired tours in the entire G Adventures lineup.

Over the next 32 days we will be visiting some of the least visited countries in the world. Places where most travelers avoid and most tour companies don’t even think of visiting. Here is list of where we’ll be stopping during the trip.

  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • Luderitz, Namibia
  • Swakopmund/Walvis Bay, Namibia
  • Lobito (Benguela), Angola
  • Pointe Noir, Congo
  • São Tomé
  • Príncipe
  • Cotonou, Benin
  • Lome, Togo
  • Accra, Ghana
  • Takoradi, Ghana
  • Freetown, Sierra Leone
  • Bijagos Archipelago, Guinea-Bissau
  • Banjul, The Gambia
  • Dakar, Senegal
  • Dakhla, Western Sahara
  • Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
  • Agadir, Morocco
  • Marrakech, Morocco

With the exception of Walvis Bay and Cape Town, I have never been to any of these places.

This trip came about because M/S Expedition has to reposition itself twice a year. The primary mission of the M/S Expedition is exploring the polar regions. However, it has to move to the other end of the world twice a year to avoid one hemisphere’s winter and join the other hemisphere’s summer. The West Africa cruise is a way to turn a mandatory repositioning of the ship into an adventure. Hence, the trip is only done once a year, which also explains why everyone wants to do it.

During the next month I’ll be posting whenever I can to my various social media channels: Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Facebook and Pinterest. I will also be posting daily to my blog in a diary format. This not normally something I do, but because we will be visiting so many places over the next month I thought it was best to write my thoughts immediately rather than wait for the end of the trip.

There may be a delay of a day or two as I post updates. This could be due to the internet connection aboard the ship or the fact that I’ve been busy taking photos during our excursions.

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