The Coast of Southern Africa
Africa has an amazing option of prime ports that help cruise lovers discover this breathtaking continent. Africa is surrounded by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, as well as the Mediterranean Sea. There are so many stops along the coast, and you’ll feel you’ve been to a vast array of countries all in one stop.
Let’s discover the amazing African continent on one of many cruise lines for a possible 12 day cruise of a lifetime!
Cape Town, South Africa
We begin in the vibrant city of Cape Town. Cape Town is both the legislative capital of South Africa and one of its most lively cities. Every tourist visits the top of Table Mountain for panoramic views of the surrounding city and harbor. You’ll see Robben Island in the distance and can even visit the island to see the former site of the notorious former prison that held Nelson Mandela. Explore the manicured lawns and beautiful forest in Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. Then stop by the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront for some great shopping and entertainment.
"The southwestern tip of Africa is where the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic Ocean. It was also once called the Cape of Storms due to its strong winds and ocean current, so bring a windbreaker as this place can get gusty. This landmark became part of a major trade route from Europe to Asia, where spices and pineapples were once all the rage. Even today, some ships still opt for this route instead of sailing through the Suez Canal. Don’t forget to find out about the legend of the Flying Dutchman, as rumors have it that the ghostly ship can still be seen passing through the area."
Mossel Bay, South Africa
Mossel Bay is one of South Africa’s most popular tourist destinations. It is located along the Southern Cape coastline. Visit Santos Beach for a calming, relaxing day at the beach, or hike up the trail to the Cape St. Blaize Lighthouse. You’ll find the 19th century structure provides stunning views of the surrounding area. Learn a little history and visit the Bartolomeu Dias Museum for some cultural heritage.
Port Elizabeth, now known as Gqeberha.
Growing up in South Africa, I knew it as Port Elizabeth. “Port Elizabeth is a city on Algoa Bay in South Africa's Eastern Cape Province. A major port, it's also known for its numerous beaches. The Donkin Heritage Trail takes in the Old Hill neighborhood’s Victorian landmarks.
Coastal boat tours spot whales and rare seabirds, while wildlife reserves outside the metropolitan area are home to elephants, rhinos and other big game.”
Port Elizabeth has the nickname "The Friendly City." Spend a relaxing day at the beautiful King’s Beach. Be adventurous and visit big game at the Kragga Kamma Game Park Nature Reserve. Explore the rich history of South Africa’s Eastern Cape at the Donkin Reserve. You can’t go to Port Elizabeth without tasting local dishes like potjiekos, an indigenous stew cooked outdoors in a cast-iron pot. You won’t regret it!
Durban, my home city!
I was born in South Africa, and raised in Durban, South Africa. This photo shows the beaches I frequented as a youth, along with all my friends. It was a carefree life. One filled with sand and sea salt in our hair, epitomizing the serenity of the ocean and the carefree attitude of all beach goers. Boogey boarding was a lot of fun too!
There is a rich culture, of never ending gorgeous beaches and historic landmarks intertwined within a hip, vibrant atmosphere.
Durban boasts an authentic Zulu village for a glimpse into their traditions. While touring the city’s historic sites, including Mahatma Gandhi’s house and International Printing Press, you can enjoy delicious Indian cuisine at a local restaurant. Or choose to slow it down, way down, by lounging on warm sands or taking long walks along the shoreline.
A fun rickshaw ride will truly be an experience you won’t want to miss! Meander along the Golden Mile – a nearly four-mile-long beachfront esplanade filled with vibrancy of people, lifestyles, and breathtaking views.
As we travel up the coastline you’ll find one of the deepest natural harbors in the Southern Hemisphere at Richards Bay! Walk through the Umlalazi Nature Reserve where you’ll most likely see the rarest birds of pray in South Africa. They are called the Palm-Nut Vulture. Any of course, catching some sun, getting some Vitamin D are all a must on your journey!
Alkantstrand Beach will accommodate you well! For our history people, you’ll enjoy the Empangeni Museum to learn more about South African history and art.
If we continued up the east coast, visitors can go snorkeling off the coast of Madagascar. Madagascar is a paradise for snorkelers. Its reefs are renowned for being populated by nearly 300 coral species and 400 tropical fish species, including clownfish, lionfish, angelfish, butterflyfish, and Napoleon wrasse.
Or sail up to the glorious Seychelles. My grandmother went to the Seychelles and brought back the most gorgeous large conch shell that I am honored to have, now that she has passed on.
But let’s head to the west coast of Africa for a few stops.
Luderitz, Namibia is another great find!
Both its geographical location and German art nouveau architecture make Lüderitz a very surprising and unique destination to explore. It is situated between the barren Namib Desert and the weathered South Atlantic coast. It appears to be a charming Bavarian village peppered with historic landmarks, a museum and cafes. Though surrounded by seemingly unforgiving landscapes, the region is home to diverse wildlife, including penguins, whales, dolphins and a large array of breeding seabirds. Explore the coastline or journey inland on a desert adventure.
And finally, a little more north, with a visit to Walvis Bay will bring you joy!
Walvis Bay means “Whale Bay,” and is located along a natural deep-water harbor by the Namib Desert. It is an ideal location for both migrating and resident birds. Surely a birdwatcher’s paradise, with more than 150 bird species in the area. Walvis Bay Lagoon is a major hotspot for sightings. Bring your camera and binoculars for the chance to see thousands of flamingos and other species congregating together. Or look to the ocean for a chance to see whales or dolphins. For some sand-based excitement, head inland into the desert to Dune 7 (a staggering 1,256 feet tall) for a hike or to enjoy an invigorating sandboarding experience.
Ultimately, visit Africa's Gold Coast on the Atlantic Ocean, including Ghana and Senegal, and make a stop at the tropical Cape Verde islands.
You will be delighted with all southern Africa cruises and will mostly embark in South Africa's major ports of Cape Town and Durban.