Rovos Rail: Cape Town to Pretoria (or v.v)
- 3 Days
- 3 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 1,388
Departing from Cape Town or Pretoria, stopping en-route to view Kimberley's 'Big Hole' and the Mine and Diamond museums, while enjoying the stark beauty of the Northern Cape.
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.
For many visitors to South Africa, there is no finer way to see the country than on the popular 48-hour weekly journeys between Cape Town and Pretoria. This 1600-kilometre journey is a perfect illustration of South Africa as a world in one country. Depart Cape Town, the Mother City of South Africa, cradled by the imposing bulk of Table Mountain, Devil's Peak and Lions Head. Trundle through the spectacular mountain ranges and scenic wine lands. Travel the grasslands of the gold rich Highveld to the haunting barrenness of the Great Karoo and onto Pretoria.
Highlights 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 platform. A stop is also made in Kimberley providing an opportunity to enjoy a city tour and a visit to the Mine Museum and the world's largest man-made excavation, the Big Hole.
- 3 Days
- 3 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 1,388
Itinerary View Trip Map
Depart from Pretoria
The 'Pride of Africa' train departs from Rovos Rail's Station in Capital Park at 3:00 pm for Cape Town. This 1 600 kilometre (960 miles) southbound journey follows the path of a 160-year-old pioneering train from the African bushveld in reverse. Guests may freshen up in their suites before joining fellow travellers in the midway Lounge car or Observation carriage at the rear of the train. The 'Pride of Africa' leaves the Golden City, heading towards the Vaal River, which marks the boundary between Gauteng and the Free State provinces. You will pass through Bloemhof and Leeudoringstad en route to Kimberley, thereafter heading for Warrenton, named after Sir Charles Warren, who led an 1885 expedition that annexed the Bechuanaland Protectorate, now Botswana. Dinner is served in the dining car at 7:30 pm.
Pretoria is the Administrative Capital of South Africa, filled with grand buildings and foreign embassies, giving the whole city a dignified presence. Sculptures and monuments attest to the city's Afrikaner history, along with well-preserved fine architecture, such as the Church Square in the city center. Overlooking the whole of the city from hilltop is the magnificent Sir Herbert Baker designed Union Buildings, built in golden stone with Italian tiled roofs, a Romanesque amphitheatre and African sculptures. Progress has brought high tech shopping centres, museums, art galleries and multi-culinary restaurants. The city has four universities, a number of scientific institutes and an abundance of open spaces with parks, bird sanctuaries, nature reserves and a zoo.
Rovos Rail Suite Class
The golden age of luxury train travel has been renewed in the heart of the African bush. These beautifully restored trains consist of up to 20 coaches that can be drawn by steam, diesel or electric locomotives operating at various stages of the journey. The …
The golden age of luxury train travel has been renewed in the heart of the African bush. These beautifully restored trains consist of up to 20 coaches that can be drawn by steam, diesel or electric locomotives operating at various stages of the journey. The sleeping cars as well as the observation and dining cars have been splendidly refurbished in the style of the period but with an eye for modern comfort. The train carries a maximum of 72 passengers who are attended by highly motivated members of staff, and provides a cuisine of superb standard. Rovos Rail offers unique rail safaris through some of the most spectacular scenery in Africa.
Photo galleryPhoto 1 of 4
Breakfast is served in the dining car from 7:00 am until 9:45 am. Ten minutes before arriving in Kimberley, there is a shallow lake on the right hand side facing forward. On most occasions, there is a spectacular display of flamingos (approximately 23,000). Arrive into Kimberley at 9:45 am. In Kimberley, the 'Pride of Africa' enters one of the finest Victorian railway stations in Africa. A product of the railway heyday of the 1870s, the cast iron girders encased in glass soar over the platforms to recall the intricate patterns of a bygone era. Guests disembark and proceed by coach for a tour of the city, the 'Big Hole' and the Mine Museum. The 'Pride of Africa' departs Kimberley at 12:30 leaving the Diamond City and continues its journey southwards towards De Aar, a major railway junction to Namibia and the Northern Cape line. The changing vegetation provides guests with an indication of the increasingly arid nature of the region as the train heads southwards into the heart of the Karoo. Lunch is served in the dining car at 1:00 pm. The train is now speeding its way along the great central spine of Africa, which stretches all the way to Ethiopia at an average height of around 1200 metres (4000 feet) above sea level. The edge of the escarpment is always more dramatic on the east side of the train than on the west. Dinner is served in the dining car at 7:30 pm.
Kimberley was among those South African towns besieged by the Boers during the Anglo Boer War (1899). The British Army under Lord Methuen attempted to relieve the town but suffered two serious setbacks at the battle of Modder River (28 November 1899) and Magersfontein (11 December 1899). The famous Black Watch regiment suffered terribly during this campaign, exposed to the intense heat and unable to advance or retreat under withering Boer Mauser fire. Finally, they broke and fled, a humiliating defeat, which lead to the siege being maintained for another two months. Rhodes was among the town's citizens who lived through the siege.
|Meal Plan||Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner|
Arrive at Cape Town
Breakfast is served in the dining car from 7:00 am until 10:00 am. There is an opportunity to disembark the train at Whitehall sliding and walk or jog the 5 kilometres into Matjiesfontein. The Train Manager or a staff member will accompany you. Comfortable walking or running shoes are essential. The train arrives into Matjiesfontein at 8:25 am, where you will have a chance to stroll through this historic settlement. Of special interest is the museum on the platform and a collection of historic cars and railway carriages to the right of the Hotel. In this village one hundred years ago, the Laird Logan set up a small refreshment hotel for the hungry and thirsty travelers of the Cape Government Railways (CGR). Major Buist, a descendant of Logan's still lives here.
Upon leaving Matjiesfontein at 10:30 am, the train continues southwards through Tweedside and Touws River. At 12:00 pm, you will reach the first of four tunnels that will take you through the Hex River Pass. Be careful while walking through the train as it passes through a second tunnel, 13.5 km long. If you are in your suite, you may wish to turn on a light. Lunch will be served at 1:00 pm as you pass through the Hex River Valley and the town of Worcester. The train continues to lose altitude, reaching the first mountain terrace and the town of Worcester before heading for Paarl, in the heart of the Winelands. Arrive at Platform 24 in Cape Town Station at 6:00 pm where your journey ends.
Cape Town, internationally known for the majestic beauty of Table Mountain, is the 'Mother City' of South Africa, being the site of the first European landings and settlement in Southern Africa. The subtle interplay of sea and mountain that characterizes the Cape of Good Hope moved intrepid explorer Sir Francis Drake to call it 'the fairest Cape in all the circumference of the globe', a description that settles quickly into the consciousness of all visitors.
|Meal Plan||Breakfast and Lunch|
Cape Town to Pretoria
Fridays and Select Wednesdays
|January '21||2, 4, 11, 18, 23, 25||July '21||5, 12, 19, 26|
|February '21||1, 8, 10, 13, 15, 20, 22||August '21||2, 9, 16, 23, 28|
|March '21||1, 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 29, 31||September '21||1, 6, 11, 13, 18, 20, 27|
|April '21||5, 12, 19, 26||October '21||To Be Advised|
|May '21||3, 10, 17, 24, 29, 31||November '21||To Be Advised|
|June '21||7, 14, 21, 28||December '21||To Be Advised|
Pretoria to cape Town
Mondays and select Saturdays
|January '21||1, 6, 8, 15, 20, 22, 29||July '21||2, 9, 16, 23, 30|
|February '21||5, 12, 17, 19, 24, 26||August '21||6, 13, 20, 25|
|March '21||3, 5, 10, 12, 17, 19, 26||September '21||3, 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, 24|
|April '21||2, 9, 16, 23, 30||October '21||To Be Advised|
|May '21||7, 14, 21, 28||November '21||To Be Advised|
|June '21||4, 11, 18, 23, 25||December '21||To Be Advised|
- 2 nights aboard the train
- All meals and beverages onboard thge train
- 24 hour full room service
- Sightseeing as per itinerary
- Travel insurance
- International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
- Meals and beverages not specifically indicated in the itinerary
- Visa fees if applicable
- Items of a personal nature
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please enquire.
23 Sep 2020