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Hi Everyone

 

For all of you who have been to the ports of Banjul (The Gambia), Abidjan (Cote d'Ivorie), Takoradi (Ghana), Luanda (Angola), Wavis Bay (Namibia) and Luderitz (Namibia) I need your advice!

Any visa issues? Did Seabourn organise them or did you buy them yourselves? e-visas or visit the embassy visas?

Money: did you take local currency or did you pay with plastic / dollars notes?

Health issues?

Any other advice welcome too!

 

I'm on an Azamara cruise from Lisbon to Cape Town in November and would obviously appreciate any help.

 

Many thanks.

 

Stephen

 

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Good evening - in any west african country you will need a visa.  And those must be obtaineded before you leave your home country.  You buy them yourself and you also must obtain the right vaccinations - yellow fever, et. All.  I  lived in Ghana and Ivory Coast - get their currency before you leave and always always do a malaria pill before you get there.  You will need that.  Do the excursions from the ship - do not book independently unless you know the excursion operators personally, and always make sure that your valuables are protected before going ashore. Though I love Seabourn and have cruised on them many, many times, know your ports and make sure you are covered in each of them.  If anyone in any port wants you to 'dash' them - you are getting scammed.  

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We did this itinerary on Silversea, not Seabourn, but I imagine that things would be similar.  The ship dealt with all of our visas on board.  There were no complications.  US dollars were acceptable as tips and for small purchases (only made one of these).  I work extensively in Africa, so am up to date with advice - you should have all of your jabs, but, in general, you only need to think about malaria prophylaxis if the ship is overnighting in a malarial area.  If it is sailing between dusk and dawn,it it generally not necessary to take malaria pills.  

Would agree that ship's tours are probably better - there is not a large tourism infrastructure, so options are limited.  Also, almost all of the ports are industrial, so you want tours where buses come right to the ship, rather than having to make your own way to the port exit and try to pick someone up there.  There aren't that many cruise terminals out there.  

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On 2/7/2020 at 5:52 PM, crazyman3 said:

 

I'm on an Azamara cruise from Lisbon to Cape Town in November and would obviously appreciate any help.

 

 

I am sure as can be seen people are happy to help anyway but are you on a Seabourn cruise or an Azamara cruise. If Azamara it might be best to check on that board as they may have other suggestions.

 

Julie

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2 hours ago, frantic36 said:

 

 

I am sure as can be seen people are happy to help anyway but are you on a Seabourn cruise or an Azamara cruise. If Azamara it might be best to check on that board as they may have other suggestions.

 

Julie

 

Thanks Julie.

It's an Az cruise but that line is new to West Africa so there's not a lot of advice from them at the moment.

 

WinWin and Tsavorite thank you for your advice ---- much appreciated!

 

Stephen

 

 

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5 minutes ago, crazyman3 said:

It's an Az cruise but that line is new to West Africa so there's not a lot of advice from them at the moment.

 

 

 

No worries crazyman...great name by the way...it sounds like a great cruise and interesting itinerary. I think Cape Town is wonderful and enjoy the Victoria and Albert wharf where you will dock. The food and wine is wonderful at a few places we ate there and the price conversion made it even better 🙂.

 

Julie 

 

 

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Stephen - I did a West Africa trip on a Silversea ship.  You can read my blog here:

https://boards.cruisecritic.co.uk/topic/2202390-west-africa-on-the-cloud/

 

I think cruise lines have cut back on these itineraries recently for various perceived security issues. Places like Togo and Benin are out nowadays.  Make sure your trip goes to Sao Tome - a fabulous place to see.

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On 2/10/2020 at 2:24 PM, Fletcher said:

Stephen - I did a West Africa trip on a Silversea ship.  You can read my blog here:

https://boards.cruisecritic.co.uk/topic/2202390-west-africa-on-the-cloud/

 

I think cruise lines have cut back on these itineraries recently for various perceived security issues. Places like Togo and Benin are out nowadays.  Make sure your trip goes to Sao Tome - a fabulous place to see.

 

Thanks Fletcher. An interesting read.

Sadly, page 2 refused to load and that was an especially important one for me. Any chance you could copy and paste it to me directly at crazymaddancer at gmail.com  ?  

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1 hour ago, crazyman3 said:

 

Thanks Fletcher. An interesting read.

Sadly, page 2 refused to load and that was an especially important one for me. Any chance you could copy and paste it to me directly at crazymaddancer at gmail.com  ?  

Try this -

 

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Hi Crazyman

Looks like a great trip. I have a recommendation for a great trip or trips when you are in Walvis Bay. I know they book up fast if a cruise is in as they have a good reputation. The company is Mola Mola they do a great morning boat trip. I’ll not spoil it but if you look on their website and Facebook you will get the idea. The regularly have sealions jump on board and pelicans flying with the boat. I wouldn’t be surprised if Azamara uses them for this trip and their jeep Sand dunes trip which is also good. Otherwise not a lot in Walvis Bay but Swakopmund the next bigger town along is interesting and safe to walk around for a half day too.

Regarding currency Namibia is pegged to the South African Rand and they will accept both. Before you leave ask a store to change any Namibian dollars to Rand so you can use in Cape Town. You’ll get a straight swap/better rate. You won’t need to organise a visa for South Africa or Namibia before hand. Not required for UK citizens for up to 90 days stay. Sorry can’t help with the rest but if you check out the www.gov.uk website for each country you’ll get the most accurate, up to date information. 

 

Enjoy! Maddie

Edited by maddie2312
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/7/2020 at 1:52 AM, crazyman3 said:

Hi Everyone

 

For all of you who have been to the ports of Banjul (The Gambia), Abidjan (Cote d'Ivorie), Takoradi (Ghana), Luanda (Angola), Wavis Bay (Namibia) and Luderitz (Namibia) I need your advice!

Any visa issues? Did Seabourn organise them or did you buy them yourselves? e-visas or visit the embassy visas?

Money: did you take local currency or did you pay with plastic / dollars notes?

Health issues?

Any other advice welcome too!

 

I'm on an Azamara cruise from Lisbon to Cape Town in November and would obviously appreciate any help.

 

Many thanks.

 

Stephen

 

Stephen,

 

My husband and I just got home from the first leg of the Seabourn World Cruise which included the African ports you mention.  We are US citizens so maybe it’s different than the UK but we did it need to get any visas in advance for these countries. Seabourn offered those needed on board for a price.  I believe the only ones we needed were Gambia, Ghana, and Angola ( which was at no cost).  I think Gambia and Ghana were about $85 each. 

 

We used dollars everywhere and hired quite a few private guides on our own in advance.  They all wanted dollars.  If you were going to use local taxis not arranged in advance or bargain to buy goods you might need to change some local currency.   We did take Malaria tablets but really they were only needed in the game parks we did following the cruise in the Sabi Sands.  Malaria really depends on the time of year, the weather, and the location.  We have been to Africa by land many times and in their winter ( our summer) we see no bugs.  In Southern Africa in the Sabi Sands and Kruger in feb it is hot, humid, and there are bugs so best to take the tablets.  However they weren’t really needed in Senegal, Gambia, Ghana O.R. Namibia.  Namibia notbnecessary in the desert areas as no malaria, but the others depends on time of year.  Above the equator it was the dry season.  As we got further south- eg Angola it was hot and there were some bugs at the port.  And of course they are not needed at all in Capetown.

Overall we really enjoyed the trip.  Having been all over Eastern, Northern and Southern Africa by land, we had always wanted to visit West Africa and thought the best way to do it was by ship.  I can confirm that is the case excluding Namibia which we had also done by land previously.

 

it is advisable not to use credit cards in most west Africa ports except in major hotels.  Namibia and South Africa are exceptions.  The Gambia being British would likely take pounds but not sure about the coins.  I advise bringing cash in small denominations.

 

Let me know if you have additional questions.  I hope this helps!

 

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2 hours ago, kej1 said:

Stephen,

 

My husband and I just got home from the first leg of the Seabourn World Cruise which included the African ports you mention.  We are US citizens so maybe it’s different than the UK but we did it need to get any visas in advance for these countries. Seabourn offered those needed on board for a price.  I believe the only ones we needed were Gambia, Ghana, and Angola ( which was at no cost).  I think Gambia and Ghana were about $85 each. 

 

We used dollars everywhere and hired quite a few private guides on our own in advance.  They all wanted dollars.  If you were going to use local taxis not arranged in advance or bargain to buy goods you might need to change some local currency.   We did take Malaria tablets but really they were only needed in the game parks we did following the cruise in the Sabi Sands.  Malaria really depends on the time of year, the weather, and the location.  We have been to Africa by land many times and in their winter ( our summer) we see no bugs.  In Southern Africa in the Sabi Sands and Kruger in feb it is hot, humid, and there are bugs so best to take the tablets.  However they weren’t really needed in Senegal, Gambia, Ghana O.R. Namibia.  Namibia notbnecessary in the desert areas as no malaria, but the others depends on time of year.  Above the equator it was the dry season.  As we got further south- eg Angola it was hot and there were some bugs at the port.  And of course they are not needed at all in Capetown.

Overall we really enjoyed the trip.  Having been all over Eastern, Northern and Southern Africa by land, we had always wanted to visit West Africa and thought the best way to do it was by ship.  I can confirm that is the case excluding Namibia which we had also done by land previously.

 

it is advisable not to use credit cards in most west Africa ports except in major hotels.  Namibia and South Africa are exceptions.  The Gambia being British would likely take pounds but not sure about the coins.  I advise bringing cash in small denominations.

 

Let me know if you have additional questions.  I hope this helps!

 

 

Thanks so much, Kej ,

I appreciate your detailed response and it will certainly help with the decision-making in a few months.

The biggest call to make will be about malaria: one of our excursions is into the backwaters/mangroves and because I tend to attract gnats, midges and other such creatures (they come out to dine if 'Stephen' is on the menu) I may well play it safe...

Thanks once again.

Stephen 

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13 hours ago, crazyman3 said:

 

Thanks so much, Kej ,

I appreciate your detailed response and it will certainly help with the decision-making in a few months.

The biggest call to make will be about malaria: one of our excursions is into the backwaters/mangroves and because I tend to attract gnats, midges and other such creatures (they come out to dine if 'Stephen' is on the menu) I may well play it safe...

Thanks once again.

Stephen 

I am also a target for the bugs!  If you are doing the type of excursions you mention I would take the malaria tablets and use lots of Deet. My husband always says he can likely forgo them when traveling with me as I will surely keep them away from him!  Having said that he took them too just in case.  

Have a great trip!  I’m sure you will enjoy!

Kim

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