Wonders of West Africa
aboard the SH Vega

A Voyage from Angola to Ghana

Wonders of West Africa
aboard the SH Vega

A Voyage from Angola to Ghana


This voyage to the mid-Atlantic region of Africa is an extraordinary opportunity to explore a part of the world largely untouched by tourism. An impressive 9 countries are included on our voyage, most very challenging to visit on your own. Although the stretch of coastline between Angola and Ghana are less visited than the neighboring African shores, it is no less fascinating—encompassing an astonishingly rich variety of wildlife in an environment of lush rainforests, and a history both proud and tragic.

Discover the colonial architecture in Luanda, Sao Tome, and Porto-Novo juxtaposed to the simple houses of the traditional villages along the banks of the Ogooue River in Gabon and on the shores of Lake Togo. Compare and contrast the hustle and bustle of great oil-exporting ports with the pace of life on display in the markets with carefully handcrafted goods for sale. Delve into the unspoiled tropical paradise of Bom Bom Island. The rich biodiversity of both flora and fauna is apparent everywhere, birds in particular abound in and around these lakes and rivers.

Throughout the voyage, guest lecturer Ambassador Robert E. Gribbin will draw on his extensive experience of Africa as he traces the history of this region from early European contacts with West Africa, through the slave trade, colonialism and the struggle for independence, to the Cold War. He will also offer thoughts on what he calls the “curse of oil,” and on current politics, disease and terrorism.

We look forward to welcoming you aboard Vega. Coda will be a small group among a mixed guest list of travelers from the USA and Great Britain.

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Cruise Overview

Countries Visited: 1) Angola, 2) Rep. of Congo, 3) Gabon, 4) Principe & Sao Tome 5) Benin, 6) Togo, 7) Ghana
Starts In: Luanda (LAD), Angola
Ends In: Luanda (LAD), Angola
Duration: 13 days/11 nights
Cruise Date: April 2–18, 2024
Group Size: Max 152 passengers
Accommodations: Luxury (5★)
Activity Level: Easy
Experiences: Culture, Food, Wildlife
Int'l Air Route: USA/Luanda (LAD) | Accra (ACC)/USAUSA/Luanda (LAD) | Accra (ACC)/USA

Highlights

  • Coda Tours signature small group size
  • Coda Tours signature comprehensive sightseeing programs
  • Coda Tours signature inclusive meal plan
  • Coda Tours signature luxury accommodations
  • Sample traditional cuisine and get to know the Congolese locals at Grand Marché market
  • Learn about conservation efforts in Congo’s biodiverse Conkouati Reserve
  • Keep an eye out for forest elephants and buffalos, lowland gorillas and chimpanzees in Gabon’s South Loango National Park
  • Sneak a peek at animal skins, skulls and talismans in the world’s oldest voodoo market

About SH VEGA

Cabins & Prices

Cabin CategoryDouble/TwinSingleCabin Square Footage
Cat E - Oceanview staterooms with two large oval windows$14690$Inquire206 sq. ft.
Cat D - Oceanview staterooms with two large oval portholes$15790$Inquire206 sq. ft.
Cat C - Suites with balcony & living room area$17290$Inquire300 sq. ft.
Cat B - Suites with balcony & living room area. $17990$Inquire300 sq. ft.
Cat A - Suites with balcony and living room area. $18990$Inquire300 sq. ft.
Cat AA - Suites with large balcony, separate bedroom & living room$22290$Inquire520 sq. ft.
Deposit:

A deposit of $1500 per person is required to hold your place on the cruise. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure.

Special Notes:
  • Single Occupancy rates can be avoided if you wish to be matched with another single traveler who also wishes to share. If no share is available, the single rate will apply.
  • Rates are based on current rates and currency exchange rates at the time of publishing the tour online.
  • Rates are subject to change until final payment has been made. Rates are based on a minimum participation and if the minimum participation is not met rates may need to be revised.

 

Do these dates not fit in with your schedule?
CODA can help design a tailor made tour to suit you!

Tour Map

Itinerary

  • DAY 1 | APRIL 2 | Depart USA

    Depart the USA on any regularly scheduled flight to Luanda (LAD), Angola.

  • DAY 2 | APRIL 3 | Luanda | Welcome Dinner

    Arrive in Luanda and transfer to our deluxe hotel. This evening, gather for a welcome dinner and meet fellow travelers.

    Hotel Intercontinental (or similar).

  • DAY 3 | APRIL 4 | Luanda City Tour | Embark on the Vega

    After breakfast at the hotel, our tour of Angola's capital includes the Museum of Anthropology, with interesting exhibits on traditional folklore; the Church of Remedios, built in 1628; and the 16th-century Fortaleza de Sao Miguel that guards the port where we will embark Vega in late afternoon and set sail.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • DAY 4 | APRIL 5 | At Sea

    During days at sea, you may treat yourself to the amenities aboard and attend informative lectures and briefings from expedition staff and guest lecturers. You may also simply relax and enjoy cruising along the African coastline with vast horizons under open skies.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • DAY 5 | APRIL 6 | Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo

    Congo’s main port, Pointe-Noire, is relatively prosperous with wealth generated primarily by the offshore oil industry.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • DAY 6-7 | APRIL 7-8 | Conkouati National Park

    Spend two days exploring this protected area of rainforest, mangrove, and sandy beaches, habitats for a wide range of fauna, from elephants, gorillas, and chimpanzees in the forest to hippos, manatees, and leatherback turtles on the beaches and in the mangroves. Our ship remains anchored just offshore and serves as the base for excursions that include guided walks along the beach, kayaking in the Tchitembo Lagoon, a visit to a local fishing village, a cruise aboard local boats on the Noumbi River, and time with researchers at the chimpanzee sanctuary at Camp Help, where we learn about conservation efforts in the Conkouati Park and beyond.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • DAY 8-9 | APRIL 9-10 | Sette Cama, Gabon/South Loango National Park

    During our time in Gabon, Vega will anchor offshore at the tiny village of Sette Cama on a peninsula between the Atlantic and the Ndogo Lagoon. Once a major center for trade in timber and ivory, Sette Cama serves today as our entry point to South Loango National Park. As in our visit to Conkouati, a variety of excursions will allow us to sample the incredibly rich biodiversity of this region, often referred to as "Africa's last Eden." The beach here is among the few places in the world where elephants still go down to the sea, and Ndogo Lagoon is world famous for its incredible bird life. On walks in the jungle and along the beach, 4X4 drives through the mangrove and forest, and cruises on local boats, we are very likely to see buffalo, hippos, crocodiles, manatees, elephants, chimpanzees and gorillas. And sightings of rare birds like quail finch, rosy bee-eaters, and Congo River martins are common.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • DAY 10 | APRIL 11 | At Sea

    in the world where elephants still go down to the sea, and Ndogo Lagoon is world famous for its incredible bird life. On walks in the jungle and along the beach, 4X4 drives through the mangrove and forest, and cruises on local boats, we are very likely to see buffalo, hippos, crocodiles, manatees, elephants, chimpanzees and gorillas. And sightings of rare birds like quail finch, rosy bee-eaters, and Congo River martins are common.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • DAY 11 | APRIL 12 | Sao Tome, Sao Tome & Principe

    Sao Tome was a prized possession of the Portuguese, who ruled it from the 15th century until 1975, when Sao Tome and the nearby island of Principe gained independence and formed the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe. We call at the island’s capital and main port, also called Sao Tome, a picturesque and friendly town featuring colonial architecture. Also explore the island’s lush interior and rich biodiversity, and visit an active coffee plantation, where we witness a lifestyle largely unchanged since the colonial era and where we will be invited to sample some of what the locals claim is the world’s best chocolate.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • DAY 12 | APRIL 13 | Bom Bom Island, Sao Tome & Principe

    Bom Bom Island Resort sits at the northern tip of Principe. Here we encounter an impressive landscape of soaring volcanic peaks covered with dense forest and beautiful clear-water beaches that line the shore of this tropical paradise. Wander in the charming colonial town of Santo Antonio, walk through the abandoned plantation of Porto Real, watch villagers make palm oil, and hike through the pristine rain forest.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • DAY 13 | APRIL 14 | Aboard the Vega | Lectures & Leisure

    During days at sea, treat yourself to the amenities aboard and relax. Enjoy cruising along the African coastline with vast horizons under open skies. Informative lectures and briefings from expedition staff.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • DAY 14 | APRIL 15 | Cotonou and Porto-Novo, Benin

    The small country of Benin, home to an ancient and sophisticated culture, is emerging as a popular travel destination. From the port of Cotonou, drive to the nearby capital, Porto-Novo, set on green hills surrounding a large lagoon. Formerly the center of a prosperous African kingdom, it later became the capital of the French colony of Dahomey. Explore this pleasant city, including visits to the Ethnography Museum, the restored palace of King Toffa, and the Handicraft Center. After lunch, board local motorboats for a ride across Lake Nokou to the picturesque fishing village of Ganvie.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • DAY 15 | APRIL 16 | Lome and Agbodrafo, Togo

    For centuries, Togo was claimed by successive African empires, later becoming part of the French and German colonial empires. Today, Togo’s capital Lome, famous for its palm-lined waterfront, is among West Africa’s most exciting and friendly cities. From Lome, drive a few miles up the coast to Agbodrafo, set on the shores of Lake Togo, to explore the lake’s traditional villages aboard local pirogues. Return to Lome proper to visit its bustling handicraft markets selling traditional goods from all over West Africa, and noted especially for sculpture and batiks.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • DAY 16 | APRIL 17 | Tema, Ghana | Disembark | Accra | Depart to USA

    After breakfast, disembark and transfer to the airport in Accra for flights homeward.

    Meals: Breakfast

What's Included

What's Included

  • Accommodations at deluxe hotels before the cruise, as mentioned in the itineraries.
  • Cruise aboard the new expedition cruise ship Vega.
  • Welcome dinner at the hotel.
  • All meals aboard ship with a selection of wines, beers and soft drinks with lunch and dinner.
  • Coffee, including espresso and cappuccino, tea and soft drinks throughout the day and night aboard ship.
  • Open bar with select alcoholic beverages aboard ship.
  • 24-hour room service aboard ship.
  • Airport/hotel/pier transfers and handling of luggage.
  • Complete program of tours, excursions and other activities ashore, led by professional local guides and on board experts.
  • Educational program of lectures and discussions by the on board experts and guest lecturers.
  • The services of an experienced Thalassa Journeys trip director.
  • Gratuities to shipboard personnel, local guides, drivers and porters.
  • All local taxes and service charges, including port and embarkation taxes.
  • Basic Wi-Fi aboard ship.
  • Complete pre-departure material.

What's Not Included

  • International Airfare.
  • Travel insurance, Expenses of a personal nature.
  • Any meals and other items not mentioned in the itinerary and the Program Inclusions.

Travel Prep

Many airlines partner with United Airlines to provide flights from New York to Luanda, Angola (LAD). And United, Delta, and TAP Air Portugal partner with other airlines to provide flights from Accra (ACC) to New York or Miami (MIA). Please request a quote if you would like Coda Tours to assist with international airfare bookings. We often can offer favorable rates for Business or Economy class at a standard fee of $35 per ticket.

No internal flights during the cruise.

A valid passport is required for international travel and must be valid for 6 months after the return date of travel and have two blank pages available per country visited.
A visa is required for Angola, Gabon,  Benin, Togo, and Ghana. Only visas for Angola & Benin are required in advance of travel. Information will be provided once you are confirmed.

PROOF OF A YELLOW FEVER VACCINATION IS REQUIRED FOR THIS VOYAGE. For information about Yellow Fever vaccinations, go to https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/yellow-fever
A Yellow Fever vaccination is good for life for most people.

Angola – www.angola.org
Gabon – www.gabonembassyusa.org/en/visa-consular/visa
Cameroon – www.cameroonembassyusa.org
Benin – www.beninembassy.us/visas/
Togo – www.embassyoftogousa.com/visa-application-requirements/
Ghana – www.ghanaembassydc.org/visa/.

The weather during this tour will be pleasantly warm and muggy with lots of cloud coverage. Please pack and dress accordingly. 

Average Temperature Low High
Luanda 77 89
Pointe-Noire 75 87
Sao Tome 72 86
Porto-Novo 79 90

The cruise is guaranteed. A Coda representative will accompany Coda clients if 12 or more book through Coda Tours.

A portfolio of pre-departure information will be mailed approximately three weeks prior to departure.

 

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