Africa is the second-largest continent in both mass and population – spanning over 20% of the world’s land area and 6% of the total surface. It is the birthplace of the human species and is one of the most wildly diverse parts of the world – with thousands of different ethnic groups, most of which have distinct languages, dialects and cultures. Many countries incorporate this diversity and even have numerous official languages. Zimbabwe, for example, is home to 16 – including its three most popular: Shona, Ndebele and English.
Discover more of this diverse and fascinating continent when you embark on one of our Africa Safaris & Wildlife Cruises.
Soweto’s Global Impact
Soweto, short for "South Western Township," is a predominantly Black neighborhood in Johannesburg, South Africa. This community gained prominence almost half a century ago as the epicenter of the struggle against South Africa's Apartheid regime. The Soweto Uprising, a protest led by students, was ignited in response to the government's mandate that specific subjects be taught in Afrikaans, even though many students hadn't been instructed in the language until then. On June 16, 1976, around 10,000 students marched through Soweto's streets, encountering a group of police officers who attempted to quell the protest with tear gas. This resulted in a violent clash, causing about 600 casualties, including the tragic loss of 13-year-old Hector Pieterson, whose memory is preserved at the Hector Pieterson Museum in Soweto.
Despite the tragic outcome, this protest marked a pivotal moment in South African history, ultimately leading to the dismantling of the Apartheid regime in the early 1990s.
During our Stars of South Africa, Wildlife & the Falls, and Golden Trails of East Africa itineraries, you will have the opportunity to visit Soweto, delving into the profound historical significance of this unforgettable neighborhood. Additionally, you will have the privilege of enjoying a meal at Nelson Mandela's former residence, where his favorite dishes are expertly prepared by his long-time personal chef, Xoliswa Ndoyiya.
Heritage Along the Chobe
All our Africa Safaris & Wildlife Cruise itineraries offer a cruise along the Chobe River on board Zambezi Queen, taking you through the vast and ecologically diverse Chobe National Park situated between Namibia and Botswana.
Among the communities that have established their roots in this area are the Subiya people. This South African ethnic group settled in the Chobe River region roughly four centuries ago. Their traditional way of life centers around fishing, agriculture, and a symbiotic connection with the surrounding natural world. The Subiya people continue to pass down their cultural heritage through oral narratives, music, and dance, often showcasing the customary Seperu folk dances which are used to commemorate significant life milestones.
Our itineraries include a visit to a Subiya village, providing you with the chance to meet the tribe's members and get a glimpse into their daily lives along the Chobe. Moreover, you'll have the opportunity to spend time with residents of these Subiya villages on board Zambezi Queen, as many of the ship's crew members hail from these local villages.
The Colors of Bo Kaap
Bo Kaap, nestled in the heart of Cape Town, South Africa, is a captivating neighborhood that stands as a living testament to the city's multicultural history. Characterized by its vibrantly colored houses lining narrow streets, Bo Kaap holds a rich cultural significance as the home of the Cape Malay people, many of whom are descendants of slaves brought to the cape by the Dutch in the 17th century. The area's unique architecture, steeped in Islamic influence, reflects the community's heritage and faith. Bo Kaap's cobblestone streets and quaint cafes—along with the backdrop of Table Mountain—create an enchanting atmosphere, drawing in locals and visitors alike to appreciate its beauty and embrace its cultural fusion.
You will have the opportunity to enjoy time in this culturally rich and colorful neighborhood on our Rivers and Rails of Africa, Stars of South Africa, and Discover Africa itineraries as part of your tour of Cape Town.
'Find Africa' for yourself on AmaWaterways' itineraries such as Discover Africa, Rivers & Rails of Africa, Wildlife and the Falls, Stars of South Africa and Golden Trails of Africa.