Coastal Cruising: Wipe West Africa Off Your Bucket List

21 January 2014

The transfusion of ideas is a staggering and awe-inspiring experience, as we navigate cultures and subcultures daily, often without knowing it or completely unaware of the affect our presence has on other lives. Apply that then, to a land of hope and haze, where past and present cross paths often; juxtaposition permeates the air, as faith, friendliness and revelry can be levelled in an instant, as the enslaved memories of a captured and cornered Africa transform a casual conversation into a meaningful dialogue. Every expedition must begin somewhere, and while it won’t always be cherries and cheesecake, it will change your life, alter your perspective and reinvigorate your adventurous spirit to challenge, chase and strive for something more.

Though most of us have taken the road less travelled on occasion, the rolling waves of the ocean and intricate river channels rarely get a look in, particularly as a wildlife safari generally takes place hanging off the back of a Jeep; don’t despair, there will be rocky, rough-track rides and authentic tribal presentations (and oh, the food), but you’ll also be pampered, preened and spoiled on-board the MS Expedition. Yes, an expedition cruise named the Expedition. Fate probably can’t be more obvious. Climb the gang-plank and set sail, from Cape Town to Marrakech on this West Africa cruise.

Highlight 1: Cape Town

Begin your trip to Cape Town with a bash, spend and grab, circulating through the cosmopolitan oasis, a striking urban centre in at the very tip of the African continent. Get ready for the bumpy-bumpy ride to the top of Table Mountain, an attractive plateau stretching 3km wide and 1,000 metres above sea level. You’ll have the best view of South Africa from the very first day. After descending, marvel over the glorious Boulder Beach, a sandy slice littered with enormous granite boulders.

Highlight 2: Dakhla

Close your eyes for a moment and let the spicy scents of Morocco seep into your senses; though you’re not even close to the curious cross-roads of the world’s most talked about hot spot, you may feel a certain familiar resonance. Though Dakhla is administered by Morocco, the drawcard for this slip of arid land lies in the western edge of the Sahara desert. Hot, cold, stifling, muggy and arid, it’s a desert that can’t and won’t make up its mind, challenging the nomads of the region to adapt in a physical demonstration of the human spirit.

Highlight 3: Namibia

You’ll spend a couple of days ashore here, anchored to the thriving sea port, bursting with its own secrets. From the fascinations of Luderitz; the haunting atmosphere of Kolmanskop (some say it’s occupied by ghostly residents; make up your own mind); to the picturesque estuaries and fur seals of Walvis Bay, Namibia is a cultural balm and an often forgotten must see on a Namibian adventure trail.

And your days at sea? Prepare your tastebuds for the fine things in life, as you’ll be treated to three delectable meals per day, spacious lounging areas, educational and fun seminars, and a shining, relaxing deck. Capture your next adventure from the prow, land or sea.