South Africa Cruises

Cruising in South Africa

On a cruise around the South African coast there are several port cities to visit, including Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, and Durban, each of which has its own unique attractions. Cape Town is a major highlight, with its well-deserved reputation as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. As in many countries with roots in colonial history, there are many diverse architectural styles on display, from Dutch and Victorian British buildings, to Gothic churches and more modern styles.

You’ll see one of Cape Town’s most prominent attractions even before you arrive in port—Table Mountain, so-called due to its flat top. You can journey to the summit via cable car, for an amazing view of the city and surrounding coastline. From Cape Town you can also visit Robben Island, where the late Nelson Mandela was once imprisoned; now, the island is home to a museum dedicated to documenting his life.

Port Elizabeth, on South Africa’s eastern coast, is the gateway to several of the country’s major game parks. From here, you can take a trip to a nearby park for the chance to see buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, and rhino, or visit the Bayworld Museum Complex, an extensive natural history museum that includes a marine aquarium and reptile zoo.

Further north on the coast, the city of Durban is where you’ll find the Golden Mile, a long stretch of golden-sanded beach that has earned the city its nickname as the South African Riviera. Along with the famous beaches, there are beautiful gardens, and several museums. Also near Durban is Shakaland, a former television set recreated as a Zulu village. Here you can see fascinating demonstrations of hunting, weaving, and tribal dances, enjoy a meal of traditional Zulu cuisine.

With hot, dry summers and wet, cool winters, Cape Town’s climate is almost Mediterranean in nature, but as you progress up South Africa’s eastern coast, the climate is bordering on subtropical. The cruise season from September to May provides plenty of sunshine and warm weather, with temperatures reaching the high 20s in mid-summer.

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