General Information on Rovos Rail
Locomotive, generator car, staff car, guest sleepers, a non-smoking lounge car (26 guests), two non-smoking 42-seat dining cars (if required, plenty of space for the maximum of 72 guests carried), kitchen car, guest sleepers, smoking lounge and Observation Car (32 guests) at the tail.
Use of steam has become increasingly difficult over the years as more and more water and coaling facilities have been scrapped. Diesel or electric locomotives are used while steam is used in and around the area of Rovos Rail Station.
The track over which the train travel is inconsistently maintained. If you wake at night imagining the train is travelling at high speed, be assured it is the state of the track below that is creating that impression. The speed of the train is restricted to 60km/h and over the bad sections reduce speed to as little as 20km/h. If you find it noisy, earplugs are available.
Meals are served in one sitting only in the charming Victorian atmosphere of the dining cars and are complemented by a selection of fine South African wines. An enthusiastic team of chefs is responsible for overseeing the very important task of ensuring guests’ every need is catered for. There’s an accent on fresh local ingredients and traditional dishes such as game are a specialty. Breakfast is between 07h00 and 10h00, lunch at 13h00, tea at 16h30 and a formal dinner at 19h30. A gong heralds lunch and dinner.
Rovos will do their best to cater for dietary requirements provided a detailed request has been made at time of booking. If a special request has not been made, the chefs will endeavour to prepare suitable meals with the ingredients available on board.
For days on the train dress is smart casual. Evening attire is more formal – for the gentlemen a jacket and tie is a minimum requirement while for ladies we suggest cocktail/evening dresses or suits. Please include warm clothing for cold mornings and evenings. With regard to off-train excursions, we strongly recommend comfortable walking shoes, sun lotion and hats as well as warm clothing for the game drives, which are on open vehicles and can get very cold.
Mobile Devices and Internet
In maintaining the spirit of travel of a bygone era, there are no radios or television sets on board. The use of mobile phones, laptops and essentially anything that has the ability to disturb other passengers is confined to the privacy of your suites only. The reception is poor while the train is moving.
is only allowed in the privacy of your suite and in the Club Lounge.
Please be sensitive to the adult nature and atmosphere of the train by keeping your children respectful and quiet. Long journeys are not recommended for under 13s. There are no child-minding facilities or activities for children on board.
There is a limited laundry service on board comprising household washers, dryers and steam irons. The turnaround is 48 hours so we are not able to handle a week’s worth of washing. Please note that while we are providing a complimentary service we cannot be held responsible for items that may be damaged or lost in the process. There are no dry-cleaning facilities en route or on board the train.
Each suite has a luggage rack that runs its length providing ample space for storage. On selected annual journeys, guests are provided with a Rovos Rail tog bag that can be used for overnight trips or hand luggage on aircraft. On the Cairo journey, luggage will be limited to the requirements of each aircraft.
There is a small gift shop on the train and at Rovos Rail Station. Due to the varying exchange rates, credit cards are preferred. The host/ess on duty has a basic First Aid Kit and personal essentials (toothbrushes, razors, earplugs etc.). He/she will also fulfil any administrative requirements and check your onward arrangements. Stamps are available for sale and postcards may be posted in the post box at the entrance to the Observation Car or at Rovos Rail Station.
Books, Magazines and Games
There are board games, playing cards, a card table (dependent), books and magazines available for your use in the Lounge and Observation Cars whilst on board the train.
Electrical Current and Adaptors
220V AC 50Hz 3-point round-pronged wall plugs, 110V/220V 2-pin plugs for shavers. International adaptors available.
An electronic safe is provided in the cupboard in each suite.
There is an internal telephone system on board. Numbers are listed on the provided Guest List.
All public cars are fitted with gas-filled air-conditioning systems. Each suite has an individual air-conditioner with individual temperature controls that can also be set to heat mode. Fresh-air intake is solved by opening a window. Windows should be closed while operating the air-conditioning unit. Electric under-blankets are fitted on the bed.
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