I cruised for 14 days from Cape Town, South Africa east and northward along the coast of Africa to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on the small luxury ship the Silversea Silver Wind. Join me on an amazing Africa cruise adventure.
With three days in Cape Town you can visit:
At Sea on the Silver Wind
Our first night at sea we dined at La Terrazza and had rough, windy seas until we made the turn around the Cape of Good Hope and headed east during the night. Although many think the Cape of Good Hope is the southernmost point of South Africa and the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, that honor actually goes to Cape Agulhas, which is about 100 miles southeast of Cape Town.
We spent our first day at sea exploring the refurbished ship, enjoyed lobster for formal night, and admired how nice everyone looked in their finery.
As we approached the park, I began to get excited about seeing wildlife. South Africa established the Addo Park in 1931 to protect the elephants and increase the herd. Today, there are over 400 elephants in the 164,000 hectacre park, along with many other types of wildlife.
We rode in 4x4 open vans on a paved road to explore the park. Both sides of the road were covered by tall, thick brush. As thick as it was, I was afraid we would not see anything. However, we soon saw wart hogs of all sizes and many tortoises, which were a preview of more wildlife to come.
We sat there on the van for about 30 minutes watching the elephants cavorting in the water and mud. A dozen or so wart hogs also shared the watering hole, although the younger elephants seemed to love chasing them away. I felt like I was in a National Geographic TV special.
Soon it was time to leave. We continued on the loop and suddenly saw a half dozen private cars blocking the road. We impatiently waited our turn to see what was ahead, and finally our driver maneuvered the van to the viewing spot. There they were! A young female lion and a young male lion lying in the shade only 10 feet from the road.
Durban is a major city, with the largest Indian population outside of India. We drove through Durban with our guide, marveling at the contrast between the modern buildings and the tiny township matchbox houses.
It was very hilly on the drive to Tala, and everything was very green. One passenger commented that it looked much like England, and she could see why so many settlers didn't mind moving here. We saw acres and acres of sugar cane growing and dozens of huge chicken houses that were much nicer than the ones back home in Georgia.
We saw wart hogs, impalas, gnus (blue wildebeast), black boks, red boks, white rhinos, Egyptian geese, blue herons (and many other birds), hippos in the pond, giant kingfisher, giraffe, zebra, kudu, monkeys, nyala and other types of antelope/deer.
We returned to the ship, arriving at about 7:30 pm. Mom and I had a drink in the bar and ordered the Silver Wind's room service dinner. Very yummy!
We cruised along the waterway for two hours, taking photos of hippos, birds, and crocodiles. We never saw a hippo out of the water, but we certainly saw all sizes of them--from babies to big guys.
That evening we dined in La Terraza, enjoying superb Italian food.
We arrived at the game reserve and were in the 8-passenger 4x4s before 6:30 am.
Driving along the dirt trails in this hilly area was great fun! We saw many animals, including zebras, rhinos, cape buffaloes, giraffes, and hyenas. The surprise of the day was a leopard, which is normally a nocturnal animal. That leopard completed our viewing of the traditional "big five" of Africa - lion, elephant, cape buffalo, rhinoceros, and leopard.
In true Silversea style, we enjoyed mimosas along with our snacks at the mid-morning break.
We were supposed to sail in the late afternoon for Madagascar, but a strong cyclone kept us in Mozambique for an extra day.
We took naps in the afternoon and went to the theater at 6:00 pm (11:00 am in Washington, D.C.), where they were showing the USA Presidential inaugural festivities on the big screen. Isn't technology amazing? Here we were in Maputo, Mozambique, drinking martinis and bellinis and enjoying appetizers while watching the inaugural live on a big screen TV on a luxury cruise ship.
The purpose of the trip was to see some of the African countryside and to collect another country on my quest to eventually join the Travelers' Century Club. Despite a few inconveniences such as a late start, a flat tire in the middle of nowhere, and having to pay twice at the border - to both leave and return to Mozambique, we had a a laugh-filled day. Unfortunately, we only drove about 1.5 miles into Swaziland, but I can say I've been there!