Life on Board of Rovos Rail!
General make-up of the train 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 Club Lounge and Observation Car (32 guests) at the tail.
Cuisine Meals on board are served in one sitting only in 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. All meals are served at these times unless otherwise stated in the timetable: breakfast 07:00-10:00, lunch 13:00, tea 16:30, formal dinner 19:30; bar service is from 07:00-±01:00. A gong heralds lunch and dinner.
Dress 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. On long journeys we enjoy theme evenings where guests can dress up accordingly or opt for smart casual. See General Info.
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.
Smoking is only allowed in the Club Lounge.
The Royal Suites, each of which take up half a carriage, are spacious and elegant measuring ±16 sq metres in size. Each has its own private lounge area and full bathroom with Victorian bath and separate shower. The epitome of luxury with handsome wood panelling and period Edwardian features, the air-conditioned suites accommodate two people offering the option of side-by-side twin or spacious double beds. In the en-suite bathrooms, original fittings combine with the modern technology of hot showers, hair dryers and shaver plugs.
The very spacious suites offer passengers the opportunity to travel in privacy, comfort and luxury, with fittings and facilities that are of the highest standard. All are equipped with a writing surface and a personal safe for valuables. There is also a bar fridge filled with beverages of the passengers’ choice and room service is available 24 hours a day.
The Deluxe Suites (±10 sq metres/±108 sq feet) accommodate two passengers in either twin or double beds and have a lounge area and en-suite bathroom with shower. The wood-panelled rebuilt sleeper coaches, remodelled and refurbished to mint condition, offer every modern convenience and comfort.
In the en-suite bathrooms, original fittings combine with the modern technology of hot showers, hair dryers and shaver plugs. The spacious suites offer passengers the opportunity to travel in privacy, comfort and luxury, with fittings and facilities that are of the highest standard. All are equipped with a writing surface and a personal safe for valuables. There is also a bar fridge filled with beverages of the passengers’ choice and room service is available 24 hours a day.
The Pullman Suites (±7 sq metres/±76 sq feet) are equipped with a comfortable sofa-seat during the day with a conversion to double or twin beds for the evening, and also have an en-suite bathroom with shower. The wood-panelled rebuilt sleeper coaches, remodelled and refurbished to mint condition, offer every modern convenience and comfort. In the en-suite bathrooms, original fittings combine with the modern technology of hot showers, hair dryers and shaver plugs.
The spacious suites offer passengers the opportunity to travel in privacy, comfort and luxury, with fittings and facilities that are of the highest standard. All are equipped with a writing surface and a personal safe for valuables. There is tea drawer and room service is available 24 hours a day.
Cape Town Journey
This 1 600-kilometre meander is a perfect illustration of South Africa as a world in one country. Travel the grasslands of the gold-rich Highveld to the haunting barrenness of the Great Karoo; trundle through the spectacular mountain ranges and scenic winelands of the Cape. Journey’s end is Cape Town, the Mother City of South Africa, cradled by the imposing bulk of Table Mountain, Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head. Highlights of the north- and southbound routes include a visit to the historic village of Matjiesfontein; this authentic perfectly preserved Victorian Village – founded by Mr Logan as a refreshment stop in 1890 – also boasts an impressive museum on the platform. Another stop is made in Kimberley providing an opportunity to enjoy a city tour and a visit to the Diamond Mine Museum and the world’s largest man-made excavation, the Big Hole. Available in reverse.
This three-night adventure begins with the train’s departure from Rovos Rail Station in Pretoria. It then winds its way north through Warmbaths, so named for its mineral waters, and Nylstroom, christened by the Voortrekkers as the source of the Nile River as the town’s river happened to be north flowing. The train then passes the edge of the escarpment and crosses the Tropic of Capricorn en route to the border with Zimbabwe. After formalities at Beitbridge the next morning, the train travels towards Bulawayo, second city of Zimbabwe, capital of Matabeleland and industrial capital of the country. The following day sees the train travelling along one of the world’s longest stretches of straight railway line – 114 kilometres – before traversing Hwange National Park, a rich and diverse wildlife sanctuary where animals can be spotted from the train and a game drive excursion is enjoyed. After a service stop at Thompsons Junction, the sojourn ends at the incomparable Victoria Falls on the mighty Zambezi River. The surrounding areas offer travellers many recreational opportunities including cruises, whitewater rafting as well as superb game viewing and photo safaris. Available in reverse. Depending upon railway capacity, this journey could be routed through Botswana.
This three-day safari between Pretoria and Durban departs during the summer months and includes game drives, a battlefields tour with a world-class historian and a look at unusual African ceramics. Experience the Nambiti Conservancy – a Big Five private retreat set on 20 000 acres of malaria-free bushveld in KwaZulu-Natal. It has an incredible biodiversity including savannah, grasslands, thornveld and tall acacia trees. Situated on an expansive game farm, Spionkop Lodge – which adjoins an 11 000-acre nature reserve – is the perfect base for exploring the mountains, bush, birds and battlefields of the region. Ardmore Ceramics is a story about the Zulu people whose sense of rhythm, colour, dance and song, as well as the spirit of the African imagination, is exerting its influence on the other continents of the world. Visit this charming centre in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands before travelling the Valley of a Thousand Hills to Durban. Available in reverse.
Since its establishment in 1989, Rovos Rail has earned an international reputation for its truly world-class travel experiences. Join the nine-day Golf Safari travelling the northeastern reaches of South Africathat will entertain the most discerning golfers with a delightful itinerary for non-playing guests. Travel from Pretoria to Sun City* in the hills of the Pilanesberg for game viewing. Cross the spectacularDrakensberg Mountains to Spionkop*, the perfect base for exploring the mountains, bush, birds and battlefields of the region. Traverse the scenic Valley of a Thousand Hills to Durban* for a tour of the city and botanical gardens. The game viewing continues at Hluhluwe in Zululand (one of the oldest reserves in the country), Mkhaya* (Swaziland’s refuge for endangered species) and the world-famous Kruger Park in Malelane*, after which this memorable journey ends in Pretoria.
This panoramic 10-day sojourn winds its way from Pretoria to Cape Town and includes a golfing and non-golfing itinerary. After a game drive in Kruger Park* guests travel through Swaziland to Hluhluwe for game viewing and along the coast to Durban* for a city tour. Traverse the Valley of a Thousand Hills to Spionkop Lodge*, the perfect base for exploring the mountains, bush, birds and battlefields of the region.Continue to Port Elizabeth* for a game drive at Addo Elephant Park then on to Oudtshoorn for an ostrich-farm visit followed by an impressive descent through the Outeniqua Mountains to George*. After visiting the natural paradise of Knysna*, the train traverses the spectacular Garden Route to the winelands and Cape mountains before this magnificent expedition ends in Cape Town. Available in reverse.
This nine-day 3 400-kilometre journey 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 1870s atmosphere of the mine village. The train traverses the stark vistas of the Northern Cape to the Fish River Canyon – second in size to the Grand Canyon – and Garas Park with its Quiver Tree Forest and the Giant’s Playground. Guests continue across the untamed beauty of the Kalahari Desert to Namibia’s capital for a tour; Windhoek is a lively, cosmopolitan city with a strong German flavour. Then it’s a short flight to 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 and Walvis Bay – an unforgettable end to a remarkable journey. Available in reverse.
Dar es Salaam
This epic 15-day train journey travels through South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania and is one of the most famous in the world. The sojourn begins in Cape Town taking guests to the historic village of Matjiesfontein, the diamond town of Kimberley and the capital city of Pretoria for short tours followed by two nights in the Madikwe Game Reserve*. Continue through Botswana into Zimbabwe where guests overnight at the Victoria Falls Hotel. After crossing the mighty Zambezi River, the train joins the Tazara line in Zambia and continues to Chisimba Falls where guests enjoy a bush walk. The train climbs to the Tanzanian border then descends into the Great Rift Valley negotiating the tunnels, switchbacks and viaducts of the spectacular escarpment. Climbing again, it traverses the Selous Game Reserve – the largest on the continent and a vision
of timeless Africa – before the bustling arrival in Dar es Salaam the following day. Available in reverse. Please note that depending upon the railway’s capacity this journey could be routed northwards through Beitbridge and Zimbabwe. *Or Kwa Maritane in Pilanesberg Game Reserve
Have a look below at the itinerary of one of the popular Rovos Rail journeys - Victoria Falls - and if you are interested in any of the above journeys, contact us for full details.
Pretoria - Victoria Falls
10h00 The train departs Rovos Rail Station in Pretoria.
13h00 Lunch is served in the dining cars as the train travels north through Warmbaths and Nylstroom, crossing the Tropic of Capricorn.
Enjoy afternoon tea and dinner en route to Messina and Beitbridge for Zimbabwe border formalities.
(Breakfast 07h00-10h00 • Lunch 13h00 • Tea 16h30 • Dinner 19h30)
Day at leisure. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served as the train travels towards Bulawayo via West Nicholson. Overnight stop on board at Mpopoma.
07h00 Breakfast is served as the train departs Mpopoma.
13h00 Enjoy lunch while travelling along the eastern edge of Hwange Park along one of Africa’s longest stretches of straight railway line – 114 kilometres.
15h00 Arrive at Kennedy Siding for a game drive at The Hide.
19h30 Dinner is served in the dining cars en route to Thompsons Junction for the overnight stop.
07h00 Breakfast is enjoyed while travelling towards the Zambezi River.
10h00 Arrive at journey’s end in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
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