AFRICAN TRAIN JOURNEYS
- The Blue Train, South Africa
- Rovos Rail, South & East Africa (Itineraries)
- Shongololo Express, Southern Africa
- Country Quickfacts
- Things to know before you go
- Best Time to Go
- Arrival Guide
- South African Trivia
- Phrases and Words in 4 of the official languages
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Cape Town, 4 days
- Johannesburg, 3 days
- Beautiful Knysna, 3 days
- Sun City, 3 days
- Durban, 3 days
- Cape Winelands, 3 days
INDEPENDENT TRAVEL IDEAS
- Cape Town and Kruger, 12 days
- Cape Highlights and Safari First Class Option
- Panoramas Best, 3 days
- Winelands and Wildlife, 10 days
- Kruger Park Adventure, 3 days
- Savanna Style, 10 days
INDEPENDENT LUXURY TRAVEL
- Cape Gourmet, 8 days
- Cape Highlights and Safari Deluxe Option
- Route of the African Sun, 9 days
- Ultimate South Africa, 12 days
- Zululand Spectacular
- Splendours of the Cape, 9 days
- Cape Town to Kenya, 41 days
- Cape Desert Safari, Northbound, 11 days
- Cape Desert Safari, Southbound, 11 days
- Great Kruger Walking Trek, 5 days
- Transkalahari Adventure, 21 days
- World in one Adventure Lodge Safari, 19 days
- South West Safari, 19 days
- Zanzibar, Victoria Falls and Kruger, 22 days
FAMILY FRIENDLY HOLIDAYS
UNIQUE SMALL ESCORTED GROUPS
HOLIDAY OF A LIFETIME
- Magic of Africa, 20 days
EXCLUSIVE GAME LODGES
- Kruger Area
- Eastern Cape Area
- Northern Cape Area
- Kwa Zulu Natal, 3 days
- North West Province
- Limpopo Province
- Project Rhino Kwa-Zulu Natal
- Mpumalanga Excursions
- Car Rental
- Eastern Cape Beach Safari, 9 days
- Garden Route, Winelands & Whales, 7 days
- Kwa-zulu Natal, Beach & Bush, 7 days
- Scenery, Culture & Game, 7 days
AFRICA STAYS OF DISTINCTION
- 15 on Orange, South Africa
- Alfajiri Villas, Kenya
- Billa Lodge, Tanzania
- Burj Al Arab Hotel, Dubai
- Cape Grace, Cape Town
- Chedi Muscat, Oman
- Chobe Chilwero, Botswana
- Desroches Island, Seychelles
- Fairmont Zimbali, South Africa
- Feynan Eco-Lodge, Jordan
- Franschhoek Country House and Villas, South Africa
- Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, South Africa
- Kasbah Tamadot, Morocco
- Kempinksi Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi
- Little Kulala, Namibia
- Little Ongava, Namibia
- Makololo Plains, Zimbabwe
- Maradiva Villas, Maurtius
- Matemwe, Tanzania
- Medjumbe Private Island, Mozambique
- Melrose Arch, South Africa
- Mount Kenya Safari Club, Kenya
- Oberoi Mena House, Cairo
- One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai
- Oyster Box, South Africa
- The Palace of the Lost City, Sun City
- Pezula, South Africa
- Royal Livingstone, Zambia
- Singita Sabora Tented Camp, Tanzania
- Six Senses Evason Ma'ln Hot Springs, Jordan
- Table Bay, Cape Town
- Taj Hotel, Cape Town
- Victoria Falls Hotel, Zimbabwe
- Westcliff, South Africa
Rovos dining in style
South Africa Great Train Journeys
- GENERAL INFORMATION
Rovos Rail has earned an international reputation for its truly world-class travel experiences. Step aboard the wood-panelled coaches - classics remodelled and refurbished to mint condition - and enjoy fine cuisine in five-star luxury as some of the most varied scenery imaginable unfolds beyond the windows. Recapture the romance and atmosphere of a by-gone era, when privileged travellers experienced the magic and mystery of Africa in a relaxed and elegant fashion.
In a series of journeys lasting from 24 hours to a fortnight, the Pride of Africa links some of Africa's greatest destinations from Cape Town at the tip of Africa to Dar-Es-Salaam in Tanzania, from scenic splendours as diverse as the game reserves of Mpumalanga to the Victoria Falls, from the desert landscapes of Namibia and the stark beauty of the Karoo to the lush cane fields of KwaZulu-Natal and the magnificent Garden Route along the Cape South Coast.
There's a story behind all of the Rovos Rail locomotives, their acquisition and restoration. Each one has a distinctive character and charm and all are named after members of owner Rohan Vos' family. The first engine acquired was No 2702 Bianca, a Class 19D locomotive built by Borsig in 1938. It was purchased in 1986 from Loewenthal's Scrap Metal. Dunn's Locomotive in Witbank was commissioned to return the 50-year old workhorse to running condition. The Rovos Rail staff then carried out cosmetic improvements, including a superb paint job, making Rovos Rail's first loco a beautiful sight. No 2701 'Brenda', a Class 19D locomotive with coincidentally a number just one digit away from Bianca, was bought from Chick's Scrap Metal while staged at Volksrust in Natal and restored at the workshops in Witbank.
Rohan Vos had had his eye on No 3360 Shaun since he first saw it standing on the scrap line at Witbank, way back in 1986. It was purchased a decade later and restored by Rovos personnel. The oldest engine in the stable is also the smallest. No 439 Tiffany a Class 6 locomotive, is one of 40 locomotives, the first of which was delivered in 1983, and was built by Dubbs & Co. The Vos family first saw the dainty locomotive on the platform at Winburg Station in the Eastern Free State, For Rohan and Anthea Vos; it was love at first sight. The engine was purchased in 1987 and returned to the rails by Dunn's of Witbank. The locomotive is named for their youngest daughter.
The latest addition to Rovos Rail is a Class 25 NC locomotive that has been converted from a coal burner to an oil-fired engine. It completed an 18-month overhaul and refurbishment, which brought a gleam to every bit of brass and a glow to the faces of the team of people who had painstakingly restored her to her prime. A highlight of the official opening of the new Capital Park Station on the 7th of May 1999 was the christening ceremony performed by Rohan's mother, Mrs. Marjorie Vos, as she cracked a bottle of champagne across the 'bows' of Class 25NC No 3484. Use of steam has become increasingly difficult over the past years, as more and more water and coaling facilities have been scrapped. Wherever practical the trains may be drawn by any one of the five vintage steam locomotives. Where facilities no longer exist, diesel or electric locomotives will be used. Rovos Rail will, however, endeavour to ensure that arrivals and departures in Pretoria are steam hauled.
Experience the extravagant elegance of rail travel on the most luxurious trains in the world. Rovos Rail's unique steam train safaris through the heart of Africa combine some of the most magnificent scenery with the glamour and excitement of the golden age of steam.
These beautifully restored trains carry a maximum of 72 passengers.
Combines the opulence of pre-war travel with subtle modern innovations. Each of the tastefully appointed Deluxe or Royal suites has twin or double beds, a lounge area, air-conditioning and a private en suite bathroom with hot water shower, hair dryer, shaver point, toilet and basin.
Due to the dignified atmosphere of the train, many guests prefer to dress for dinner. We recommend you take formal dress.
The dining, lounge and observation cars and the suites are equipped with air-conditioning. Carriage corridors are not air-conditioned.
Use of steam has become increasingly difficult over the past years as more and more water and coaling facilities have been scrapped.
Wherever practical the trains may be drawn by any one of four vintage steam locomotives. Where facilities no longer exist, diesel or electric locomotives will be used.
All meals, alcoholic and other beverages, sightseeing excursions accompanied by a qualified tour guide, entrance fees to places of interest, 24-hour full room service, bar facilities and government taxes. Staff gratuities are not included.
The Royal Suites, each of which takes up half a carriage, are named after colourful characters of the Victorian era in South Africa, including Cecil John Rhodes, Barney Barnato and Alfred Beit. Spacious and elegant, the Royal Suites measure 16 sq. metres in size (172 sq. ft.). Each one has its own private lounge area and full bathroom with Victorian bath and separate shower.
The Deluxe Suites (11 sq. metres/118 sq. feet,) restored with the same care as the Royals suites also accommodate two passengers in either twin or double beds and have a lounge area and an en suite bathroom and shower.
The suites offer guests the space to relax in privacy and the opportunity to travel in comfort and luxury, with fittings and facilities that are of the highest standard. All are equipped with a writing desk and, for valuables, a personal safe. There's also a bar fridge filled with the drinks of the passengers' choice and room service is available 24 hours a day. In the en-suite bathrooms, original fittings are combined with the modern technology of hot showers, hair dryers, heaters and shaver plugs. The train has an onboard water and sewerage system, so showers and toilets may be used at any time.
(7 sq or 76 sq ft) While it includes the identical bathroom to the deluxe suites, the bedroom is smaller with a one up une down bunk for twin requirements or a double bed for couples. During the day this can be converted into a comfortable couch.
The Old Karoo Pioneering Trail
For many visitors to South Africa, there is no finer way to see the country than on the popular 48-hour weekly journeys between Pretoria and Cape Town.
Cape Town offers a blend of cosmopolitan city life, magnificent mountains and superlative wine lands, while the twin cities of Pretoria and Johannesburg form the economic heartland of South Africa and the ideal departure point for Mpumalanga's world-famous Game Reserves.
This 1600-kilometre journey is a perfect illustration of South Africa as a world in one country. Travel the windswept grasslands of the gold rich Highveld to the haunting barrenness of the Great Karoo, the spectacular mountain ranges and scenic wine lands of the Cape to the Mother City of South Africa, Cape Town, cradled by the imposing bulk of Table Mountain, Devils' Peak and Lions Head.
Highlights of the north and southbound routes include a visit to the historic village of Matjiesfontein. This authentic, perfectly preserved Victorian Village, which was founded by Mr. Logan as a refreshment stop in 1890, also boasts an impressive museum on the Station platform. A stop is also made in Kimberley with an opportunity to enjoy a city tour, the Mine Museum and visit the world's largest man-made excavation, the 'Big Hole'.
- Pretoria to Cape Town:
Selected Wednesdays and Fridays
- Cape Town to Pretoria:
Selected Mondays and Saturdays
- Pretoria to Durban:
- Durban to Pretoria:
- Pretoria to Victoria Falls:
- Victoria Falls to Pretoria:
- Edwardian Train Safari - Cape Town to Dar Es Salaam:
16 January 2012
30 June 2012
29 September 2012
- Edwardian Train Safari - Dar Es Salaam to Cape Town:
12 March 2012
16 July 2012
15 October 2012
Exchange rates differ from time to time. For the most up-to-date prices of this holiday idea please fill out our Africa Travel Quote form.
- Three meals a day
- All alcoholic and other beverages
- Sightseeing excursions accompanied by a qualified tour guide
- Entrance fees to places of interest.
- 24 Hour full room service and bar facilities
- Government Tax
Children are accommodated on Rovos Rail but parents are asked to be considerate of the sophisticated adult atmosphere Rovos Rail endeavours to maintain.
Child rates available upon request, please enquire for details.
Due to the size of the suites, additional beds cannot be provided, therefore not more than two persons per suite can be accommodated. Baby cots can be arranged