Meteor Cruise M121 was dedicated to the investigation of the distribution of dissolved and particulate trace metals and their isotopic compositions (TEIs) in the full water column of the Angola Basin and the northernmost Cape Basin. A key aim was to determine the driving factors for the observed distributions, which includes the main external inputs, as well as internal cycling and ocean circulation. The research program of the cruise is official part of the international GEOTRACES program (www.geotraces.org) and cruise M121 corresponds to GEOTRACES cruise GA11. Subject of the cruise was the trace metal clean and contamination-free sampling of waters and particulates for subsequent analyses of the TEIs in the home laboratories of the national and international participants. Besides a standard rosette for the less contaminant prone metals, trace metal clean sampling was realized by using for the first time a new dedicated, coated trace metal clean rosette equipped with Teflon-coated GO-FLO bottles operated via a plastic coated cable from a mobile winch of GEOMAR Kiel. The particulate samples were collected under trace metal clean conditions using established in-situ pump systems operated from Meteor’s Aramid line. The cruise track led from Walvis Bay northwards along the West African margin until 3°S, then turned west until the Zero Meridian, which was followed southwards until 30°S. Then the cruise track turned east again until the Namibian margin was reached and then completed the near shore track northwards until Walvis Bay. The track crossed areas of major external inputs including dust from the Namib Desert and exchange with the west African continental margin and with the oxygen depleted shelf sediments of the Benguela upwelling, as well as with the plume of the Congo outflow, that was followed from its mouth northwards. Our investigations of internal cycling included the extremely high productivity associated with the Benguela Upwelling and the elevated productivity of the Congo plume contrasting with the extremely oligotrophic waters of the southeastern Atlantic Gyre. The links between TEI biogeochemistry and the nitrogen cycle forms an important aspect of our study. The major water masses contributing the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation were sampled in order to investigate if particular TEI signatures are suitable as water mass tracers, in particular near the ocean margin and in the restricted deep Angola Basin. A total of 51 full water column stations were sampled for the different dissolved TEIs, which were in most cases accompanied by sampling for particulates and radium isotopes using the in-situ pumps. In addition, surface waters were continuously sampled under trace metal clean conditions using a towed fish and aerosol and rain samples were continuously collected.