River Cruising in Africa: Pyramids and Safaris!
There is an increase in cruise lines offering itineraries in Africa, With the interest in Africa is growing, more cruise lines have expanded into this region. A river cruise in Africa promises to be like none other, with the chance to see more unique wildlife and ancient history than anywhere in the world. We are going to breakdown the two regions with available river cruises, and tell you why Africa would be a wonderful place for your next vacation.
Egypt is located in the very Northeast region of Africa. The famous Nile river flows South to North bisecting the country nearly in half. The cruising portion of an Egyptian river cruise occurs on the more southern section of the river, but both cruise lines with itineraries in Egypt include pre and post-cruise tours in Cairo (which is in the North). The cruise portion begins and ends in Luxor.
Egypt is known as the cradle of civilization with one of the oldest histories of any country in the world. Some of the most iconic world wonders can be found there, including the Giza Necropolis Pyramids and the Great Sphinx. If you are interested in this ancient world then you will love all there is to see in Egypt.
Modern Egypt has a lot to offer as well. Up until about four years ago, Egypt experienced some political upheaval and violence, leading many to avoid traveling to the country, but since 2017 tourism has begun to rebound, and travelers are once again finding Egypt a wonderful country to visit. Egypt is one of the most progressive Middle Eastern countries with a free press and more relaxed traditions. Regardless, women are expected to wear modest clothing while in Egypt out of respect for Egyptian culture.
So when is the best time of the year to visit Egypt? October to April are when the temperatures are at their best, however, December and January are peak tourist months. If you want to avoid the crowds at the iconic historical sights, then you will want to avoid December through January. If you are traveling to Luxor or Aswan (which you will be on your river cruise) then you will want to plan your excursions early in the morning, or late afternoons, as the daytime temperatures will be too uncomfortable.
If an African safari is more your style, then an itinerary by Ama Waterways is a perfect choice. AMA Waterways is the only preferred cruise line offering itineraries on the Chobe river, making this cruise about as exclusive as it gets. This trip begins in Cape Town for a couple of days, then you are off on the Zambezi Queen where you will experience a safari at a national park, and visit an African village. After the cruise portion, you’ll find yourself in the cultural hub Johannesburg with the opportunity for a visit to the impressive and gorgeous Victoria Falls.
South Africa could not be more different than Egypt. Due to the amount of colonization of the country over the centuries, there are eleven official languages, with English being ranked in the top four. Also, as a result of colonization, diversity in South Africa includes native Africans as well as Europeans, Asians, and multiracial ancestry. Cape Town is known for its incredible beaches, and you won’t have a hard time finding one along the gorgeous coast. With a relaxed vibe, you will also find many different restaurants and cafes in Cape Town with interesting themes, like a steampunk café called Truth.
All of the itineraries AmaWaterways offers in Africa visit basically the same areas and cities, but the guided excursions can be different. For example, you might choose to focus on more safaris to see more animals, or you might choose to see more landscape by taking a scenic train. Whatever you choose, it is guaranteed to be an unforgettable trip.
So when is the best time to travel to South Africa? South African climate is similar to Southern California. Summer in South Africa is long, from December to February with only three months for winter in June, July and August. Daytime temperature highs in the Summer vary but are generally comfortable in the 70's and 80's. You really can't go wrong with South Africa's climate if you love sun and pleasant temperatures.
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