River cruises in Africa

on the Zambezi Queen enjoy a wildlife safari cruise on the Chobe River

African vacation packages are always on the savvy traveler's bucket list, and for good reason. The African continent is massive and offers lots of opportunities for discovery, adventure and exploration, from the treasures of ancient Egypt or Morocco in the north, Kenya safaris in East Africa, to imbibing in the winelands and touring private game reserves of Southern Africa.

While larger cruise ships do visit African ports from time to time on world cruises and other longer itineraries, there are a couple of newer river cruises offering travelers the opportunity to explore Africa from the comfort of their river cruise ships. The shorter itineraries allow one to combine a trip to Africa with one of these cruise options.

In 2012, AMA waterways will offer several departures on the 28-passenger Zambezi Queen. Using the river boat for accommodations and meals, the 3- or 4-night luxury cruise on the Zambezi explores Chobe National Park.  Included are game drives ashore and exploring the river via traditional dugout canoes. The cruise includes a visit to a Kasenu village, an African barbeque in Namibia, and a traditional boma dinner.

Variety Cruises, whose core product are yacht cruises in the Mediterranean, offers 7-day cruise on Pegasus, on the Gambia and Saloun Rivers. The cruises operate roundtrip from Dakar, Senegal, in west Africa. The Pegasus offers 23 cabins. The unusual itinerary includes visits to Joal Fadiout, a fishing village built with shells, Kiang West National Park and Baobolong Reserve, River Gambia National Park and the Nature Reserves of Abuko and Makasutu.

If an African river cruise whets your appetite, our cruise agency works with both Variety Cruises and AMA Waterways, and can make all your arrangements.