SOUTH AFRICA – DELUXE
Experience the extravagant elegance of rail travel on one of the most luxurious trains in the world, combining the opulence of pre-war travel with subtle modern innovations. Rovos Rail has two trains of twenty painstakingly restored coaches, half of which date back to the twenties and thirties. Each train accommodates up to 72 passengers.
Accommodation on board Rovos Rail is of the highest standard. The coaches have been lovingly restored to their former glory with fine attention to detail, and are the last word in comfort and style. Use of traditional furnishings and period decor, with exquisite craftsmanship evident in fine wood panelling, has ensured that the atmosphere of elegance and grandeur far exceeds the original.
With the option of twin or double beds, each suite on Rovos Rail accommodates two people and also has a private lounge area and air-conditioning. In the en-suite bathrooms, original fittings are combined with the modern technology of hot showers, hair dryers and shaver plugs. There are two exquisitely restored dining cars serving world class cuisine.
The most popular journey is the 2-night journey between Pretoria and Cape Town (or vice versa). The train travels through the grasslands of the gold-rich Highveld, the desolate barren desert of the Great Karoo, and the spectacular and scenic mountain ranges and the picturesque winelands of the Cape. The journey terminates in Cape Town, the Mother City of South Africa, which is cradled by the imposing and impressive Table Mountain, Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head. Highlights of this north or southbound route include visits to the historic village of Matjiesfontein, a 100-year-old refreshment stop and old garrison town in the heart of the harsh grandeur of the Great Karoo, and Kimberley – the diamond boom-town that’s home to the Big Hole, the world’s largest man-made excavation.
The 2-night journey between Pretoria and Durban (or vice-versa) only operates during the summer months and includes a game drive in a private game reserve, a battlefields tour with a world-class historian and a look at unusual African ceramics. Experience a ‘Big 5’ safari on the Nambiti Conservancy, 20,000 acres of malaria-free bushveld in KwaZulu-Natal with an incredible biodiversity including savannah, grasslands, thornveld and acacia trees; visit Spionkop Lodge, which is situated on an expansive game farm and is the perfect base for exploring the mountains, bush, birds and battlefields of the region; whilst Ardmore Ceramics is operated by the wonderful Zulu people with their rhythm, colour, dance and song.
Another fascinating journey is the 3-night adventure between Pretoria and the awe-inspiring Victora Falls. From Pretoria the train winds its way south through Johannesburg and the gold-fields of the Witwatersrand before travelling west alongside the Magaliesberg Mountains. After border formalities at Mafikeng, the train travels north the following day through Botswana’s capital, Gaborone, crosses the Tropic of Capricorn and continues to the Zimbabwean border at Plumtree. The next day the train passes through Hwange National Park – a rich and diverse wildlife sanctuary – where animals can be spotted from the train and a game drive excursion is enjoyed. The sojourn ends at the incomparable Victoria Falls on the mighty Zambezi River. Guests can enjoy a number of excursions including a river cruise, white-water rafting as well as superb game viewing and photo safaris.
Four times per year they operate a 9-day Golf Safari which will appeal to the most discerning golf player, with optional excursions for non-playing guests. The journey begins in Pretoria and travels west to Sun City in the hills of the Pilanesberg for a day at this world-renowned playground, with the option to enjoy a safari for non-golfers. You then head to the foothills of the impressive Drakensberg Mountains wher you can play 18 holes at the Champagne Sports Resort, with a guided tour of the battlefields for non-golfers. Onto Durban where you enjoy a game at Durban Country Club or tour the city. Then it’s on to Zululand for game viewing at Hluhluwe before heading to Swaziland. Tee off at Royal Swazi or enjoy a game drive at Mkhaya and a visit to Ngwenya Glass and Guava Gallery. The final game is 18-holes at the challenging Leopard Creek course while non-golfers enjoy a game drive in the world-famous Kruger Park. The train then returns you to Pretoria to end a memorable and unique experience.
Another great adventure is the 9-day, 3,400 kilometre journey that takes the train from the savannahs of the Highveld to the Atlantic in the west. Departing from Pretoria, the first stop is Kimberley, centre of one of the world’s famous diamond rushes where there is an opportunity to savour the 1870’s atmosphere of the mine museum village. The train traverses the stark vistas of the Northern Cape to the Fish River Canyon – second in size to the Grand Canyon and truly a spectacular sight. Guests continue across the untamed beauty of the Kalahari Desert to Namibia’s capital of Windhoek for a tour. Windhoek is a lively, cosmopolitan city with a strong German flavour. Then it’s a short flight to the renowned Sossusvlei, a stunning pan in the Namib Desert, for an overnight stay followed by a night in the game-rich Etosha National Park. On the last morning, the train travels the Namib to the perfectly preserved 19th-century German Hansa town of Swakopmund – an unforgettable end to a remarkable journey.
Other journeys include an epic annual 15-day train journey From Cape Town in South Africa, through Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia and ending in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, and another 28-day journey from Cape Town to Cairo.
Tel: 01778 382 764