Highlights
  • Ride a cable car to the top of South Africa’s Table Mountain for spectacular views.
  • Spend two days exploring the Bissagos Islands, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, on Zodiac boat excursions.
  • Encounter the monkeys, crocodiles and birds of Abuko Nature Reserve in The Gambia.

This trip has been discontinued. Instead see

Cycle Tanzania & South Africa

A South Africa Family Safari

South Africa Highlight










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.

Travel Theme
Cities & Attractions
Flights & Transport
  • Only ground transport

30
Road Scholar Travel Reviews & Ratings
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
87% Recommend

4.5 out of 5
Excellent 23 Great 3 Average 1 Disappointing 1 Terrible 2
Value
4.5 Guide
4.6 Activities
4.5 Lodging
4.3 Transportation
4.4 Meals
4.3
Africa’s West Coast: A Grand Voyage from South Africa to Morocco

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Road Scholar .

K

Does Not Recommend

Road Scholar Owes My Mom A Huge Apology and Refund. Highly advise AGAINST using them. May 2018

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
Let me preface this story with some background about myself: I backpacked through most of Europe by myself when I was studying abroad in Ireland. I suffered through horrendous bus rides, getting kicked out of seats on trains, sleeping in questionable hostels, and going weeks without being able to really do laundry. I know how crappy it can be to actually get from one place to another, and how worth it is to suffer through all of that just to lay eyes on something magnificent.

And yet, Road Scholar has, without a doubt, managed to give me the single worst travel experience I've ever had in my entire life, and we didn't even make it off the ground. I would never, ever, EVER recommend them to anyone looking to go anywhere, and as far as I'm concerned, Road Scholar needs to seriously reconsider their travel-making procedures and give my mother a huge apology and refund. (Also, I'm only in my twenties, so I have a lot of years ahead of me to make referrals.)

It all started with Road Scholar not getting us flights. We claimed our spot on a trip to the Lake region in Northern Italy, but no one ever called us back about any travel arrangements. It appeared we were on the trip IN Italy, but no one had bothered to make any arrangements to get us there. My mother called and left messages, emailed people, and the only response we got was that our flight should be booked at some point in early May (when our trip was set to start on May 22). Road Scholar urges people to book their flights through their preferred travel agency, which is who didn't call us back. Road Scholar, to market themselves as educational tourism rather than shallow "I just want to see things" tourism, partners up with different educational institutions, and ours was through Trinity College. The director of the Italian programs called us asking for our travel information, since she didn't have it yet. Interesting news to us. We were then told that we could make travel arrangements of our own (even though we were paying Road Scholar to do it for us) and then inform the program of our travel plans and how we were getting to our hotel. So we started to investigate making our own plans, when someone finally called us back saying that they were taking care of our travel arrangements, and they "didn't know why we hadn't had them made for us already." The director of the program was happy to hear this, because the Lake region of Italy is not as easily accessible as other areas.

We asked for upgraded seats because my mom has had both of her knees replaced, and while that doesn't inhibit her in the slightest from being active, it limits where she can sit on planes. In a cramped regular economy seat with no leg room on an international flight that was going to last 8-10 hours, she wouldn't have been able to walk off the plane because of how her knees would cramp up. But they said they could make the arrangements (which is also advertised on their website) so that was that. We got our itinerary, accommodations, and were all set. We were booked through United and Lufthansa (neither of which either of us will EVER book through again), so I downloaded the United app onto my iPhone so I could check us in and make sure we had mobile copies of our boarding passes in addition to the paper ones my mom printed out. We were all set to fly from Cincinnati to Washington D.C., from D.C. to Frankfurt, and from Frankfurt down to Verona where we would be meeting up with the group -- which, by the way, we never received any information regarding where the group was meeting, the transportation to the lake resort, etc. Nothing. Just "after you get there" stuff.

Then this morning, I woke up to a notification from United Airlines (and a text message alert that I had set up) saying that our flight to D.C. had been cancelled due to weather. Obviously I'm not blaming Road Scholar for that. What I am holding Road Scholar accountable for is what happened next: my mom called the Emergency Hotline (which is a recording -- and I HIGHLY recommend that they change this, because when I studied abroad, we had two emergency hotlines, both of which were always answered by real human beings, one for anything happening in the United States, and the other for the program, which was a different number for each location and a direct line to one of the program directors on the ground in the country you were actually in). We left a voicemail, someone named Mike called us back, and he was an absolute asshole. When you book your flight through a travel agency/group travel organization, if anything happens to your flight, it is the THEIR responsibility to take care of it. We were told by Road Scholar, and it's available on their website: "When you book your airfare through Road Scholar, we're there to help you in case of any emergencies." When Mike called us back and we told him that our flight to D.C. had been cancelled, he told us that he couldn't look up any other flights (on both United and any other airlines) for us to potentially get on to get to D.C for our transatlantic flight. Instead, he told us to call United ourselves and to go to the airport and talk to the desk agent. I then ended up on the phone (and on hold) the entire drive to the airport, which resulted in nothing because tons of flights had been cancelled due to airline politics and weather. We finally got to the desk agent at the airport, had a hell of a time getting rebooked on another flight, and weren't able to get the upgraded seats that we paid extra money for. When we called Road Scholar and Mike back to ask if during the course of our day when we would be traveling (and unable to make phone calls) he would call Lufthansa to at least make the airline aware of our need for better seating due to my mother's knee replacements, he was unhelpful and rude, at first attempting to refuse calling on our behalf and finally agreeing to, but only after repeatedly telling us "there's no guarantee of those seats" (something we definitely understood because we're not stupid).

Our rebooked flight wasn't set to leave until 7:45 PM tonight, putting us in Verona at 4:05 PM the next day (4 hours after the group transfer to the hotel), so we returned home instead of waiting around the airport for 12 hours. We got on both United and Lufthansa's websites and discovered that not only had our original itineraries not been removed, we had been double booked, one for a flight out of North Carolina to Munich through Delta, and another out of D.C. (the 7:45 PM flight) which had a 23 hour layover in Munich. A call to Road Scholar resulted in us being told that we had to contact the airlines. My mother was on the phone, talking to either United representatives or Lufthansa representatives, from about 9:30 AM to 2:00 PM. We were told we had reservations but no tickets, told we had tickets but couldn't see the numbers, told there were seats available for us to get upgraded to but we would have to try to get the desk agent in D.C. to arrange that for us, told that there was no guarantee we could get those seats, and more. It was incredible the amount of bureaucratic bullshit we had to put up with, especially since each airline wouldn't take any responsibility for us getting the seats we paid for and on a new flight, telling us "we'd have to talk to the other company about that." We finally called Road Scholar to see if there was anything more they could do, who encountered the same mess we already had, and all they did was eventually advise us to go back to the airport (a 45 minute drive) and talk to the desk agent to see IF they could put us in the upgraded seats -- ones we had already paid for and my mom couldn't make the trip without!

Then when asked how they would be getting us to our destination in the Lake region (which is not an easy place to get to, as I looked up the train and bus schedules myself, because - remember - I have tons of experience at this point traveling on the ground across Europe), they wouldn't outright say what our plans would be, which could've been anything from picking us up in the airport in a car, giving us a damn rental to drive ourselves, or simply paying for tickets and expecting us to haul all our luggage from the airport to the shuttle to the train station in Verona, take the 2+ hour train to a town an hour away from our destination, have to catch a bus to the actual town we were supposed to be in, and then walk the rest of the way there. Seeing what all happened, I would bet it would've been the latter, which isn't a problem for someone like me, but is an issue for someone like my mom.

The moral of the story here is that my mom and I shouldn't have had to be on the phone with anyone other than Road Scholar, PERIOD. Seeing as we paid well over $10,000 for this trip, the minute the flight was cancelled, Road Scholar should've called us to let us know that they would be making other arrangements for us to get to our trip in the Lake region of Italy. THEY should've been the ones on the phone, dealing with the airline bureaucrats, working their hardest to get us any combination of flights to get us to Italy in the seats that we paid for. Or, if it really came down to it, they should've made arrangements for us to be on this trip at another point in time, offered us another excursion in its place, or simply given us a refund. Instead, they didn't want to do the jobs that we paid them to do, and we were the ones that had to take time out of our day, which was already scheduled to be a hectic and stressful time because traveling is simply just that, to do Road Scholar's job. They didn't look out for us one single bit and completely and utterly RUINED what was supposed to have been a wonderful trip for me and my mom.

My mother has an adventurous and curious soul and hasn't gotten to go to Europe the way she always wanted to. Since I graduated college, my mother suggested taking a mother-daughter trip. This was supposed to be incredibly special for the both of us, getting to go somewhere new together (I hadn't explored Northern Italy much and that's where we decided to go), learning about the food and the culture, and bonding over all the amazing things we were going to be able to do. I think my mom was even more excited about this trip than I was, voraciously reading all the required/recommended reading, practicing Italian in her room so she could order correctly at restaurants, not giving up when we hit little bumps in the road along the way. Instead, we have been nothing but doubtful at best in the entire planning of this trip, and deeply disappointed and angered at worst. I will never again recommend Road Scholars to anyone looking to go on group trips. Instead, I will steer people away and recommend that they either find a better travel agency, book the trip themselves, or go through Rick Steve's program.

Road Scholar should issue my mother a refund and an apology or risk being sued.
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Operator Road Scholar

S

Does Not Recommend

They take advantage of the elderly May 2018

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
I had high hopes for Road scholar. However, when I was diagnosed with cancer I got no sympathy from Road Scholar. The agents and management kept saying you should have purchased insurance. But the insurance was extremely expensive and would not have covered the cancellation fee either. I ended up attending anyways because I didn't want to lose my money. I felt sick the entire time and could barely complete the activities. The group leader was wonderful. But the program was very strict and I felt that they over charged for everything. They demonstrated shocking behavior for a non profit that is supposed to be all about education and supporting the elderly. Yet they constantly are sending catalogs and pushing expensive programs. I highly recommend taking your money elsewhere. They do not respect their customers and only care about money. They took advantage of a cancer patient and according to the others on my trip this is common.
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Operator Road Scholar

S

Does Not Recommend

A BIG DISAPPOINTMENT August 2017

3.0
  • Value 3.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 3.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 2.0
  • Meals 3.0
I would have enjoyed this trip much more if I felt I was being treated as an adult, the educated, enthusiastic traveler that I am.
Unfortunately, I took a fall and broke my arm near the end of the trip. I was shocked at the very insolent, uncaring attitude of Road Scholar. I received two calls from the insurance program my husband was encouraged to pay for for the trip (we usually use Travel Guard who is great). Both calls were very negative. Neither expressed concern about my condition and both apparently had called to state that ROAD SCHOLAR
WOULD NOT PAY FOR ANYTHING! WOW! A WAKEUP CALL FROM HELL. I WILL BE SHOUTING THIS FROM THE ROOFTOPS SO NO ONE ELSE
HAS THIS EXPERIENCE. DO NOT PURCHASE ROAD SCHOLAR INSURANCE -- IT IS A BOONDOGGLE!
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Operator Road Scholar

LG

Does Not Recommend

Don't go! March 2017

2.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
  • Value 2.0
  • Transportation 2.0
I took a four day bridge class at Jekyll Island Club Hotel. The class was mediocre. And I came home with over 50 BED BUG BITES! Please beware.

Operator Road Scholar

TCtssvawmc

Recommends

Excellent coverage of major cities and Guizhou Province January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Road Scholar (also known as Elderhostel) offers hundreds of tours worldwide, using local tour companies, sometimes universities. I have taken RS tours to Africa, China, and France and look forward to more. This was my first "tour" of China, but my 20th visit, with the rest on business. Our guide, Mei Mei, was one of the finest I've seen on tours. We started with Beijing and continued to Xian and then to Guizhou Province for a week in this fascinating area, which was new to me. We were able to meet the people in the villages, thanks to our guide, and enjoyed the chance to see and photograph such a variety of places in China. Hotels were excellent and appropriate to this type of tour (usually centrally located and very fine). Meals were family style and always good. Road Scholar makes its tours educational and doesn't push shopping as so many commercial ones do. Touring in China is very safe. You do have a lot of walking and RS tells you this in the tour, but it seems that a great deal of the walking is in those huge airports! I recommend Road Scholar and always turn to their catalogs to choose my next trip.
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Operator Road Scholar

Itinerary

Day 1: Depart US for flights to Cape Town     

In Transit: In Flight

Day 2: En Route         

In Transit Overnight: In transit

Day 3: Arrivals / Cape Town, South Africa  

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: The Commodore Hotel (or similar)

Arrive To: Welcome to Cape Town, South Africa, the most cosmopolitan city on the continent and one of the must stunning urban areas on earth. Transfer to the hotel and check-in for one night.

Dinner: Join your study leader for the program orientation, followed by a welcome dinner.

Day 4: Cape Town / Embarkation      

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: 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: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: After lunch,make your way along the famous Chapman's Peak road, a scenic drive like no other, pausing periodically to take in the sea vistas and cozy oceanside settlements, before entering the larger and more ethnically diverse towns of Hout Bay and Kommetjie. You will also have the opportunity to visit the boulders site where a small colony of African, or Jackass penguins cling to viability in a small breeding colony that is heavily protected. Enjoy the drive back to Cape Town, skirting the Constantia Winelands before making your way to the MS Expedition for embarkation at approximately 4pm.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.

Day 5: At Sea              

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: 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: Lunch on board the ship

Afternoon: Capping off the day, wine maker David van Neikerk describes his method of making Sparkling Wine in South Africa, and everyone gets to toast with a glass of his very own wine.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship

Day 6: Luderitz, Namibia          

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship

Morning: Spend your morning relaxing onboard the ship as you sail into Luderitz, Namibia.

Lunch: Lunch on board the ship

Afternoon: Within minutes of disembarking from MS Expedition on the southern coast of Namibia, you will encounter ascending blocks of architectural evidence that the seaside town of Luderitz had indeed been founded by German settlers who brought their culture with them to southwest Africa. From the brightly painted houses of Berg Street (1909-11) to the elegant 1910 Goerke House on the hill, it was also evident that a substantial number of the early 20th century newcomers to this remote seaport had achieved financial success from endeavors related to the nearby diamond fields. But the visitors of 2015 will find that these days of colorful European-style buildings repose along sleepy inclined avenues where the era of bustling prosperity that produced them a century ago, has long since been absorbed into the mists of the offshore currents. Just a few miles north, we travel through the dwellings of the mining ghost town of Komannskuppe. Glancing at faded museum photographs, listen for faint echoes of German life from the arduous era of the diamond industry.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship

Day 7: Walvis Bay, Namibia             

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.

Morning: The morning at sea may provide an opportunity to to see fur seals and Cape Gannets. Enjoy the educational programming, or simply relax on board the ship

Lunch: Lunch on board the ship

Afternoon: Upon arrival in Walvis Bay you will have the opportunity to explore the landscapes of the Namib Desert. We begin by setting off to see the fantastic Welwitschia - a living fossil that has existed since the day of the dinosaur. At first glance it looks like a misshapen dried up dying plant - but upon closer inspection you can see the adaptations that have made it such a successful and long lived plant found only in the Namib Desert. Soon after, we're off to look at the Moon landscape - which is yet another portion of the desert with formations of such unusual peaks and valleys stretching off into tomorrow. Marvel at the vastness of the world's oldest desert.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship

Day 8: At Sea             

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: 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: Lunch on board the ship

Afternoon: Educational programming at sea continues.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship

Day 9: At Sea             

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: 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: Lunch on board the ship

Afternoon: Educational programming at sea continues

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship

Day 10: Lobito (Benguela), Angola       

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: 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. The visit today covers the two towns of Lobito and Benguela, both cast in the unique Portuguese/African style, veneered slightly by the fresh paint of modern architecture and construction, and displaying the usual Portuguese national obsession with tree lined avenues and lovely central parkways and public spaces. Pause at the 16th century fort of San Pedro set on a hilltop guarding the old crossing on the Catumbela river. This offers great views of the surrounding city. Also view the 1905 steel bridge that had been responsible for so much congestion, and the governor's residence opposite.

Lunch: Lunch on board the ship

Afternoon: Free time in the afternoon to explore the port of Lobito (if time allows)

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship

Day 11: At Sea         

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: 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: Lunch on board the ship

Afternoon: Educational programming at sea continues

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship

Day 12: Pointe Noire, Congo           

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship

Morning: Today, visit the Congo's Pointe Noire. This morning you will visit the cliffs of Diosso Gorge to look at the red sandstone gulley, created by natural erosion.

Lunch: Lunch on board the ship

Afternoon: Continue exploring Point Noire with a visit to the Diosso Scientific and Cultural Museum where entusiastic museum guides will provide a tour of the collection.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship

Day 13: At Sea     

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: 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: Lunch on board the ship

Afternoon: Educational programming at sea continues

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship

Day 14: Sao Tome and Principe  

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: 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: Lunch on board the ship

Afternoon: 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.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship

Day 15: Sao Tome and Principe      

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship

Morning: Your day will take you to an old Coffee Station called Monte Cafe, reinvigorated by foreign money.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: After lunch move on to the quaint town to explore the fort at the entrance of the harbor. It's like going back in time to the colonial era and the inhabitants had just packed up and left.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship

Day 16: At Sea       

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: 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: Lunch on board the ship

Afternoon: Educational programming at sea continues as you sail towards Cotonou, Benin

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship

Day 17: Cotonou, Benin              

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship

Morning: On the surface Cotonou seems like any other noisy and colorful African city, an impression reinforced as you move through the endless labyrinth of dusty streets clogged with informal markets, trading kiosks and roadside industries. The city lacks natural resources, but what it does not appear to lack is entrepreneurial energy. Every conceivable commodity and enterprise is available somewhere not too far from anywhere else. We arrive at our first destination of Gamvie. Described as the Venice of West Africa, it is a little less than that, but nonetheless it is an extraordinary community atop the tidal Lake Nueke where historically, refuge was sought against the predation of the slave catching troops of Dahomey. Today it remains an independent water community reliant on small scale trade and fishing, existing around a small, self contined stilted village. We visited the site in a series of small boats, embarking at a bustling but rather odorous waterside market from where you weave your way through busy fishermen and paddling market ladies.

Lunch: Lunch on board the ship or at a local restaurant

Afternoon: From Gamvie, make your way through the congested countryside to the fascinating town of Ouidah. The sad history of Ouidah is that it once served as the main entrepot for slave embarkation to the New World, and a great deal of local focus and commeroration has been given over to memorializing this shameful trade. Ouidah is also the center of the local Voodoo culture, with colorful and symbolic statuary representing various aspects of the faith to be found everywhere within and around the town.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship

Day 18: Lome, Togo          

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship

Morning: Following breakfast you will disembark the ship for a day of learning and discovery in and around the city of Lome. Anticipate an action-filled day punctuated with the color and vitality of the Ewe and Akan people, who founded the city in the 18th century. Our first stop is the International Museum of Guinea. This is a small converted residence that holds treasures that will amaze anyone. You will be privileged to see rare, authentic artifacts from across West Africa that span centuries. Following this, visit an artisinal market nearby before returning back to the ship at lunch.

Lunch: Lunch on board the ship

Afternoon: In the afternoon we will travel out of town to the Akato Viepe village to meet the chief and experience village life. Upon arrival we are met wtih the welcoming face and venture into learning about patrilineal communities, their farming practices and the role of different people in the village. Leave feeling inspired by a day in Togo and return to the ship filled with new knowledge and a burning desire to return.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship

Day 19: Accra, Ghana      

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: 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

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. Wildlife enthusiasts may choose to visit the Shai Game Reserve instead to view baboons, green monkeys and antelope as well as an abundance of birdlife: Senegal Parrots, Swallow-tailed Bee-eaters and Vieilot's Barbet. After the reserve, witness local breadmakign and give it a try yourself.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship

Day 20: Takoradi, Ghana   

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: 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. Although this site was established by the Swedes in 1653, it was not until the 1700s when it fell under the control of the British, that it reached its peak of output as a commercial slaving depot. The castle itself, although forbidding from the outside, is surrounded by pleasant aspects of local fishing activity, and the relatively clean and pleasant precincts of Cape Castle village. 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: As an alternative to the Cape Castle visit, you may choose to visit Kakum National Park to witness its 100-foot-high Canopy Walkway. From high above the treetops, the Walkway gets you incredibly close to the flora and fauna of the region.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship

Day 21: At Sea              

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: 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: Lunch on board the ship

Afternoon: Educational program at sea continues.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship

Day 22: At Sea              

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: 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: Lunch on board the ship

Afternoon: Educational program continues as the ship sails towards Sierra Leone.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship

Day 23: Freetown, Sierra Leone        

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship

Morning: Today, we disembark in Freetown, Sierra Leone and spend 2 days exploring. Sierra Leone is recovering form 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.

Lunch: Lunch on board the ship

Afternoon: With so many interesting aspects to the city, what immediately strikes travelers is the combination of bustle, clutter, seething traffic and population, and of course the ever present informal sector industry. Many of the streets retain their old colonial era names, such as Goucester Road, Wilberforce Street, George Street and Regent Street, all very oddly juxtaposed against this swarming West African city. Explore the Sierra Leone National Museum, close to the famous Cotton Tree. A nearby war memorial may also be of considerable interest, rendering a sense of the extent to which this tragedy has been imprinted on the psyche of this city.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship

Day 24: Freetown, Sierra Leone          

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship

Morning: Your exploration of Freetown will continue with a visit to the Tacagumu Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Located in the much threatened Western Area Peninsula Forest Reserve, close to Freetown, the sanctuary covers 100 acres of important rainforest and watershed. Tacugama was established in 1995 to house and rehabilitate confiscated, orphaned and abandoned chimps. Much work is also undertaken towards stopping the illegal trade of this endangered species, and supporting the protection and conservation of chimpanzees in the wild through education, communication and legal enforcement.

Lunch: Lunch on board the ship

Afternoon: The city of Freetown is located at the foot of the Peninsula Mountains, and facing a great natural harbor. The peninsula boasts of having some of the most beautiful beaches in Africa. Visit one of the least visited beaches in the world.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship

Day 25: At Sea              

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: 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: Lunch on board the ship

Afternoon: Educational program at sea continues as you sail towards Guinea-Bissau

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship

Day 26: Banjul, The Gambia      

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: 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: Dinner on board the ship

Day 27: Dakar, Senegal         

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: 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.

Afternoon: Farewell dinner at the hotel

Day 28: At Sea            

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: 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: Lunch on board the ship

Afternoon: Educational programming at sea continues as you sail towards Western Sahara

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship

Day 29: At Sea             

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: 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: Lunch on board the ship

Afternoon: Educational programming at sea continues as you sail towards Western Sahara

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship

Day 30: Dakhla, Western Sahara       

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: Breafkast on board the ship

Morning: Dakhla is located in the country of West Sahara, although administered by Morocco. This is your opportunity to touch the western edge of the great Sahara Desert. The Western Sahara is a tropical desert. Hot and dry but cooled by the breeze off the Atlantic Ocean. This combination of cool and hot can often create a fog layer out at sea. A pastorial nomadic lifestyle is common here, as most make a living fishing or mining. We are planning a full day here to see the edge of the Sahara and if possible, some of the nomadic people who live here.

Lunch: Enjoy a local gala lunch in tents set up especially for this occassion.

Afternoon: Exploration of Dakhla and Western Sahara continues.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship

Day 31: At Sea 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: 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: Lunch on board the ship

Afternoon: Educational programming at sea continues as you sail towards Morocco

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship

Day 32: Fuerteventurea, Canary Islands              

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: M/S Expedition

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship

Morning: Fuereventura, in the Canary Islands, is part of the newly designated UNESCO bioreserve. It is believed the first settlers came from North Africa soon to be followed by the Spanish, Portuguese and French! Today it is a meca for those escaping winter colds further in the north. You will see why when we tour the islands beaches.

Lunch: Lunch on board the ship

Afternoon: Like the rest of the Canaries, it is an ancient volcanic island that has eroded. The climate on Fuerteventura is pleasant throughout the year. The island is also often referred to as the island of eternal spring. The sea adjusts the temperature making the hot Sahara winds blow away from the island.

Dinner: Dinner on board the ship

Day 33: Agadir / Marrakesh    

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Kenzi Farah Hotel

Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship

Morning: We make our last open sea passage back to the continent, landing in Agadir, near the foot of the famous and wild snow capped Atlas Mountains. In 1960 it was completely destroyed by an earthquake, and has been totally rebuilt into a modern city and a beach destination for many! Transfer 146 miles to Marrakesh.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant en route to Marrakesh.

Afternoon: Arrive in Marrakesh in time to take a guided walk down the Medina - the ancient central market. Visit the extraordinary Djemaa el Fna square - a human carnival filled with magicians, snake charmers, acrobats, water sellers and food stalls.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel

Day 34: Marrakesh / Departures             

Meals: Breakfast

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: Free morning to explore Marrakesh

Lunch: Lunch on your own

Afternoon: Meet back at the hotel and transfer to the airport for flights returning to the U.S.

Day 35: Flights arrive in the U.S.             

Arrive To: Flights arrive back in the United States.

Dates & Pricing

Price From

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Price Per Day:

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Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Details
Trip Includes
  • 31 nights of accommodations
  • 91 meals: 31 breakfasts, 30 lunches, 30 dinners
  • 22 Expert-led lectures
  • 16 Field trips
  • Learning led by expert instructors who are authorities in the field of study.
  • An experienced Group Leader attuned to the needs of Road Scholar participants.
  • Customary gratuities throughout the program that you would normally pay yourself.
  • The Road Scholar Travel Assistance Plan, which is purchased on behalf of every participant and provides 24-hour-a-day emergency assistance services coverage.
  • Taxes
  • State-of-the-art QUIETVOX listening devices

 

Trip Excludes
  •     International Transportation
  •     Passport and visa charges
  •     Personal Expenses
Meals Included:

93 meals: 32 breakfasts, 30 lunches, 31 dinners

Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Intimate Group - 12 max
Start City
Cape Town
End City
Marrakesh

Trip ID#: AfrWesRoa

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