Day 6, West Africa Cruise – At Sea, Off the Coast of Northern Namibia

Latitude: 17° 46.8330’ S
Longitude: 11° 31.5789’ E

The next stop for the G Expedition is Angola, which is the first real country we visit which will require visas for everyone.

Traveling to West Africa with a boat full of people from multiple countries is a giant immigration nightmare. Most of the countries we will be visiting require a visa for all visitors and some of the countries have a reputation for being some of the most expensive and difficult to get in the world. Our next stop in Angola has a reputation for being one of the hardest countries to enter if you don’t live in Africa.

One of the benefits of traveling by ship is that the visa process is easier and cheaper than it would be if you were to travel to all these countries individually. I spoke with the ship’s bursar Lawrence, who is responsible for dealing with all the paperwork for the visas for all the ship’s passengers. Here is some information which he shared with me about the visa process and what passengers need to know.

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Day 5, West Africa Cruise – Walvis Bay / Swakopmund

Latitude: 22° 40.6211′ S
Longitude: 14° 31.4368′ E

Day 5 brought the good ship Expedition to the port of Walvis Bay, Namibia.

Walvis Bay is the most important port in all of Southwestern Africa. It not only is the primary port for Namibia, but also Botswana and parts of Angola, South Africa and Zambia. Formerly a whaling station (walvis means ‘whale’ in German), today it is the best natural deep water port in this corner of the continent.

Prior to 1990 Namibia was a territory of South Africa known as South West Africa. After Namibia gained independence in 1990, Walvis Bay remained a small South African enclave because of its importance. It wasn’t until 1994 when Nelson Mandela became the president of South Africa that Walvis Bay was returned to Namibia.
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Day 4, West Africa Cruise – Luderitz, Namibia

Latitude: 26° 38.4852′ S
Longitude: 15° 09.2238′ E

Today we made our first stop on the trip: Luderitz, Namibia.

I had been looking forward to Luderitz for one reason: the Kolmanskopf Ghost Town. I had seen photos taken by other photographers that blew me away. Kolmanskopf is a German diamond mining town just outside of Luderitz that was established in the very early parts of the 20th century and abandoned about 50 years ago. The buildings and some of the furnishings are still in place and are slowly being reclaimed by the desert.

My goal was to get several images of the abandoned buildings, half filled with sand. To that end, I’d say my mission was accomplished.


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Day 3, West Africa Cruise – At Sea, Off the Coast of Namibia

Latitude: 28° 30.4763’ S
Longitude: 15° 34.7887’ E

A day at sea for a passenger vessel is a challenge for the crew. You have a group of people who are stuck in a small space with nothing to do. There is no television. Internet and telephone connectivity is either non-existent or severely limited.

On larger cruise ships, they usually try to fill time with frivolous things like bingo, movies and shopping for cheesy art and jewelry. The Expedition, thankfully, fills time with more informative and intellectual pursuits.

Today, for example, there was a lecture on the German colonial involvement in Namibia and the Namibian resistance. Another lecture which was an introduction to photography and finally an even lecture on African cosmology, including a nighttime walk on the deck of the ship to look at the stars (with the ships lights turned off).

Future lectures include native birds, more history, geology more history, more photography and more wildlife.

What is wonderful isn’t just the fact that these lectures are offered, but that almost all of the passengers are willing to show up to every single one.

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Day 2, West Africa Cruise – Cape Town

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

Checking passengers on to a ship is not the same as checking into a hotel. You can’t just have people check-in willy nilly over the course of a day. There are issues with security, immigration and the port authority, so the first day is usually at a hotel so everyone can then board the boat at the same time in an organized fashion.

It also gives an opportunity for everyone to explore Cape Town and meet the other travelers before we board the ship. Exploring the endpoints of cruise are usually up to the individual, so this actually a great opportunity for people who haven’t been to Cape Town before.
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Day 1, West Africa Cruise – Cape Town

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 G Adventure’s 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.

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This Week In Travel – Episode 164

This week’s guest Dick Jordan from Tales Told from the Road.


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My #Awesome #BlogHouseDetroit Experience!!! #OMG!!!

This is the #bloghouse where I spent a week with several #amazing #bloggers in #Detroit!

I just finished up the most incredible week in #Detroit with the #AwesomeBlogger Media group where we learned about #blogging, #socialmedia and #monetization. We also got to visit one of the best cities in the world: #Detroit!

The house was packed with an #All-Star line up of #Bloggers. The instructors were some of the most internet famous travel people in the #WORLD. Many of them have appears of such sites as #Matador or the #HuffingtonPost! The whole week was tots cray cray!

Here were some of the #bloggers in attendance:
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April 2014 Desktop Wallpaper

April 2014 Desktop Calendar

This month’s image is of the island of St. Helena as seen from the deck of the RMS St. Helena.

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OnTravel Interview: St. Helena

Jamestown, St. HelenaAfter an aborted attempt to record while I was on the island, if finally managed to contact Paul and Elizabeth from OnTravel when I was in Cape Town to talk about my recent trip to St. Helena. This is the first of my reports from my 3 week trip to the island.

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