• Advertisement

  • Travel: Africa January 2023

    travel SAFARI

    Although it’s winter in Calgary, January in South Africa is warm and sunny! Paul and I had a group of clients going on this trip in 2022, but of course, Omicron covid variant changed our plans. So, we are rebooked for January 2-16, 2023, and we still have cabins available in our group if anyone is interested in joining us.

    This trip consists of 2 parts. A 12-day Norwegian cruise with port stops in South Africa and Namibia, and a Private 3 day, 2 night Safari and Cape Town tour. If you’re wondering what it is like on a cruise ship, check out this video. 

    Here are just a few of the highlights of the experiences you would have on this trip.

    In Cape Town, our first day will include travel through the city to see historical monuments and buildings including a stop in the Bo-Kaap (Cape Malay Quarter) for a photo opportunity of the colorful houses, which carry great historical significance. At Table Mountain we will explore one of the new Seven Wonders of Nature via the cable car to the top of the mountain.

    Maiden’s Cove is one of the most scenic photos you will capture on this tour with views of the Twelve Apostles Mountain ranges on one side and the white sand and blue ocean on the other. We will then take a boat to the Seals Island known as Duiker Island to see thousands of Cape Fur Seals in their natural habitat.

    A visit to the African Penguin colony at Boulder’s Beach, is high on everyone’s must-see list and you simply can’t leave without saying hello to these monochromatic friends. 

    A visit to Cape Town is certainly not complete without a photo behind the Cape of Good Hope name board. It is the most south-western point of Africa, the mystic meeting place of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. 

    The next day we will head to the Clock Tower Precinct, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront where we will start with a tour of Robben Island which is where Nelson Mandela & Other Prominent South Africans politicians were imprisoned for many years.

    We will follow this with a wine tour and tasting at one of the oldest wineries in South Africa and conclude the tour with a visit to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. We will be dropped off at the ship at the end of the tour where we will board our cruise ship and start the next part of this adventure.

    Located along the Southern Cape, Mossel Bay is our first port stop. You can sink your toes into the sands of Santos Beach or hike up the trail to the Cape St. Blaize Lighthouse where the 19th century structure provides stunning views of the surrounding area. According to local legend, an ancient milkwood tree became South Africa’s first mailbox in the 1500s. Sailors passing through the area often left messages to one another dangling from the tree in old boots and pots. Today, people continue to come to the landmark to send letters around the world through a large mailbox in the shape of a boot at the base of the tree. Aloe tours, wine tours and short game drives are also available at this stop. 

    Our next stop, Port Elizabeth is one of South Africa’s major municipalities and bears the nickname “The Friendly City.” Spot some big game on a local game park nature reserve, explore the rich history of South Africa’s Eastern Cape at the Donkin Reserve or try local dishes like potjiekos, an indigenous stew cooked outdoors in a cast-iron pot. Penguin and elephant sightings are also possible at this stop.

    Situated on the deepest natural harbour in the Southern Hemisphere, Richards Bay will thrill both nature and culture seekers. Spend the day walking through the Umlalazi Nature Reserve where you might see one of the rarest birds of prey in South Africa, the Palm-Nut vulture. Catch some sun or some waves at Aklantstrand Beach or learn about South African history and art at the Empangeni Museum. 

    The port city of Durban is home to the largest population of Indians outside India and to millions of Zulu (South Africa’s largest ethnic group). Visit an authentic Zulu village for a glimpse into their traditions, or 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. 

    After a couple of days at sea enjoying all the Norwegian Jade has to offer, we arrive in Namibia. Both its geographical location and German art nouveau architecture make Lüderitz a unique destination to explore. Situated between the barren Namib Desert and the weathered South Atlantic coast lies what appears to be a charming Bavarian village surrounded by seemingly unforgiving landscapes. The region is home to diverse wildlife, including penguins, whales, dolphins and a large array of breeding seabirds.

    Our second stop in Namibia is Walvis Bay meaning “Whale Bay”. It is located along a natural deepwater harbour by the Namib Desert and is an ideal location for both migrating and resident birds. This is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with more than 150 bird species having been recorded in the area including thousands of flamingos 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 exhilarating sandboarding experience.

    After one last day at sea, our cruise comes to an end in Cape Town and we are on to our final adventure, the Safari Game Drive. Early the next morning we will be picked up from the ship and travel via private transfer vehicles from the ship to the game lodge where we will enjoy a luxurious stay at a beautiful resort just 4 hours from Cape Town. We will participate in 2 early morning and 2 evening drives in search of the Big 5 which includes the African Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Leopard, Lion and Rhinoceros.

    Between drives enjoy an informative guided tour of the Reptile and Interpretive Centre, enjoy a dip in the sparkling pool or just relax and unwind until the evening safari departs. When we return to the lodge, we will enjoy refreshments around the fire until dinner is served. Afterwards, you are welcome to relax in a lounge chair in front of the roaring fire.

    Day 3 we will be picked up and travel via private transfer vehicles back to Cape Town and the airport to board our flights home.

    The current promotional offer with Norwegian can include these perks: 

    • FREE OPEN BAR

    Enjoy all the spirits and cocktails, wines, draft beer, juice, and pop for all guests 21 years or older.

    • FREE SPECIALTY DINING

    Savour meals at Specialty Dining venues free for Guests 1 & 2.

    • FREE EXCURSIONS

    Receive a US$50 Shore Excursion Credit per tour per cabin.

    • FREE WIFI

    Stay connected with internet you can use throughout the ship.

    • SECOND GUEST FLIES FREE

    Buy NCL airfare for one guest, and the second guest flies FREE. Offer includes roundtrip flights to and from where this cruise departs. Cruising solo? You’ll receive 50% off our airfare.

    Cruise only prices as low as $2,264.00 CAD per person (based on double occupancy), including 2- 4 of the perks above, and roundtrip airfare! As part of our Cruise group, you will receive a bonus $100 Onboard credit to spend as you choose! A deposit of $312.50 is required to hold your cabin, with the balance only due September 4, 2022. Please note as always, pricing, availability and promotional offers are subject to change. The Safari and Cape Town tours are optional, and pricing is available upon request.

    Doesn’t it sound amazing? Next year at this time we’ll be packing, and the excitement will be building as we head out to enjoy New Year’s in South Africa!

    We’re hosting a Zoom call with our Safari host as our group is excited to learn more about our adventure! If you’d like to join the call CLICK HERE and we’ll send you details, or if want more information on this trip, don’t hesitate to contact us at 403 474-6985 or pdumouchel@tpi.ca.

    Happy Holidays!