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The Great South African Rail Adventure

Book by 5pm August 31, 2019 and enjoy the following offer:

Two complimentary nights in Cape Town including transfers and a full day Cape Peninsula tour!

Duration: 17 days

Highlights:

Enjoy two complimentary nights in Cape Town and a full day Peninsula Tour before embarking on your comprehensive train journey of South Africa. This itinerary covers many of the country’s highlights. Meander the Garden Route, explore the Kingdom of Swaziland, and enjoy a game drive in Kruger National Park The train departs from Cape Town and finishes in Pretoria with many memorable stops in between.

Dates:

Mar 15, 2020

Trip Type:

Rail Travel, Active & Adventurous, Locally Escorted Touring,

Inclusions:

2 nights accommodation in Cape Town - Portswood Hotel (Gold Cabin Shongololo), Victoria and Alfred Hotel (Emerald Package Shongololo) 14 nights Accommodation on board the Shongololo Express, Meals as per itinerary, Excursions accompanied by a qualified tour guide, Entrance fees as per itinerary and Government tax

Destinations:

Cape Town, Knysna, Durban, Sun City, Pretoria & Johannesburg

Price is per person based on twin/double, subject to availability and current exchange rates. Pricing reflects discount. Savings listed are the total savings per person (twin/double). Please enquire about, single supplements, extensions or upgrades. Limited spaces available.

This 17-day train journey enhances one of Goway's most popular Africa rail itineraries with two nights in Cape Town, including a Cape Peninsula tour that explores some of the local highlights, before embarking on the journey to Johannesburg - with time to tee off on some top notch golf courses along the way.

It also includes a city tour including a walk through the Company Gardens followed by a visit to the Bo-Kaap Museum. The first Malays arrived in the Cape as political refugees and slaves during the 17th century. Later, these Islamic people moved into the area known today as the Bo-Kaap, building mosques with picturesque minarets and their own Georgian-style houses with a Dutch influence. Then it’s on to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront with a stop at Diamond Works for a tour of the diamond cutting studio, a jewellery manufacturing workshop, a jewellery design studio as well as a gemological laboratory. The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is a development that has brought new life to the old harbour and has shops, craft markets, restaurants, taverns, cinemas, theatres as well as great views over the harbour.

In the afternoon drive through District Six named after the Sixth Municipal District of Cape Town in 1867 and established as a mixed community of freed slaves, merchants, artisans, labourers and immigrants, The District Six Museum works with the memories of the District Six experience. Then on to a visit to the Castle of Good Hope, the oldest surviving building in South Africa.

The next morning after the train has travelled to Worcester, drive the scenic route over the Rooihoogte and Floorshoogte passes via the Overberg towns of Villiersdorp and Botrivier to Hermanus, once a renowned fish market and whaling station. It is one of the best whale-viewing sites in the world but it tops the list when it comes to land-based whale watching from the town’s natural cliffs. Return to the train in Worcester. Travel to Voorbai for an overnight stop. Golfers can go today to Arabella to have a round of golf.

Next morning, travel by road along the coast from George situated in the heart of the Garden Route. The town sits on a plateau between the majestic Outeniqua Mountains to the north and the Indian Ocean to the south. Then drive along the scenic Old Passes Route back to Knysna, winding through the primeval forest of the Homtini. In Knysna, have a cruise on the lagoon to the Featherbed Nature Reserve. The Knysna Heads, two sandstone cliffs guarding the mouth of the lagoon connecting the estuary with the sea, is a dramatic viewpoint. Golfers will transfer to the Ernie Els Oubaai Golf Club for tee off. Overnight in George.

The following day, drive through the Outeniqua Pass to visit the Cango Caves, a series of colourful underground chambers with breathtaking limestone formations. In the afternoon, visit an ostrich farm. The ostrich boom of the early 20th century turned out many millionaires. Golfers will tee off at the Fancourt Golf Estate in the morning.

Later, board the train in Oudtshoorn and depart for Graaff Reinet where the next day, you have a walking tour of the town. Tucked into the bend of the Sundays River, the Karoo town of Graaff Reinet was established in 1786 and is the fourth oldest settlement in South Africa. It’s a stylish town with at least 200 historical buildings, restored pre-Victorian homes in almost every street and a collection of museums and galleries celebrating its past. Later in the morning, return to the train and depart for Kimberley, well known for the discovery of diamonds which led to its establishment in 1893. Here visit to the Big Hole and Diamond Museum. In the afternoon, visit the William Humphreys Art Gallery and McGregor Museum. Golfers will tee off at the Kimberley Golf Club. In the late afternoon, return to the train and travel to Bloemfontein for an overnight stop. Bloemfontein is the seat of the South African judicial system. At the end of the 19th century it was also the capital of the old Boer Republic of The Orange Free State.

A full day in Bloemfontein includes the Women’s Memorial, the Anglo Boer Museum with its graphic depiction of the hardship endured by all during the war and relates the history of South Africa from 1652 and the Oliewenhuis Art Museum, the former State President’s residence which now houses an extensive collection of South African art. The train then departs for Ladysmith.

In Ladysmith, there will be a full day of the battlefields taking in the Siege Museum, Wagon Hill where both the South Africans and British suffered heavy losses and was subsequently declared a National Monument in 1938 and Spionkop where you walk in the footsteps of three great leaders, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi and General Louis Botha. Golfers transfer today to the Champagne Sports Resort for tee off. Later, the train departs for Durban.

In Durban, you will have an all-day city tour. Drive along the Golden Mile promenade where numerous hotels and restaurants are situated with a visit to the Victoria Market. Enjoy the botanical gardens or uShaka Marine World, Africa’s largest marine theme park, where you can have lunch and spend your afternoon. Or you can have a spiritual tour to Mariannhill Monastery, and the Hare Krishna Temple, the spiritual settlement created by Mahatma Gandhi. You will see the Juma Musjid, the largest mosque in South Africa as well as the most opulent Hindu structure in the Southern Hemisphere, the Kendra Hindu Temple and Community Centre. Golfers will tee off at the Durban Country Club. Return to the train and continue to Empangeni.

The next morning, visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of , St Lucia (iSimangaliso) Wetland Park which covers over 600 000 acres from St Lucia in the south to the Mozambique border in the north and has spectacular diversity. The park boasts the highest bird count in all of Africa, the southern-most breeding spots for turtles in Africa, Africa’s tallest forested dunes, the largest remaining stands of sand forest and the biggest peat beds in the Southern Hemisphere. Later, visit Bushlands and DumaZulu Cultural Village situated in the heart of Zululand, near Hluhluwe. Golfers have the option to play golf at Zimbali. The train then departs for Hluhluwe.

Enjoy game drives in the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa. Hluhluwe is known for its rich wildlife and conservation efforts. The park is the only state-run park in KwaZulu-Natal where all the Big Five game animals can be seen. Later board the train for Mpaka in Swaziland.

The tiny Kingdom of Swaziland is the second smallest country in Africa. The day’s tour will commence from Mpaka driving through the Ezulwini Valley passing the Ludzidzini Royal residence, stopping at Swazi Candles and Manzini where guests experience the Swazi market displaying a wide variety of skilfully crafted woodcarvings, colourful textiles and superb basketwork. After a visit to the capital city Mbabane, visit the Ngwenya Glass Complex. Golfers can transfer to Nkonyeni Golf Estate for tee off. Rejoin the train at Mpaka and depart for Malelane.

Here you will have a full day’s game viewing in Kruger National Park. This world renowned park is unrivalled in the diversity of its wildlife. Golfers can tee off at Leopard Creek, Nelspruit or White River. Return to the train at Malelane and depart for Nelspruit.

From Nelspruit, you will have an amazing experience visiting Pilgrim’s Rest where in 1873, gold was discovered in the area around this quaint town, now a living museum and national monument. Also visit the breathtaking Blyde River Canyon, a huge gorge carved into the face of an escarpment. The Three Rondavels, three huge rock spirals rising out of the far wall of the canyon and resembling African huts, present an unforgettable sight. Then it’s on to Bourke's Luck Potholes, strange deep cylindrical cavities formed by river erosion and floodwater. Finally take in the awesome God's Window where you have a panoramic view of a large part of the area.

Next day, continue to Pretoria, South Africa’s capital where you will have a choice of a tour of Pretoria and Soweto or a tour of Johannesburg and Soweto. The Pretoria tour includes the parliamentary Union Buildings, and the Voortrekker Monument which commemorates the Great Trek of the 1830s. The Johannesburg tour of the city includes Constitution Hill, Newtown to visit the Museum of Africa and Rosebank, which showcases a mix of first and third world cultures and arts and crafts from all over the African continent. Later, visit Soweto infused with the history of the struggle against apartheid with one million people. Soweto was made famous by the laws of Apartheid and is an amazing place to visit. Drive past the only street in Africa that once housed two Nobel Peace Laureates -- Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela.

After this, return to Pretoria where your Shongololo train tour comes to an end


PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Meet and Greet on arrival at Cape Town
  • Transfers between Cape Town Airport, Hotel and Railway Station
  • 2 Nights accommodation in Cape Town;
    • Portswood Hotel for Gold Cabin Guests
    • Victoria and Alfred Hotel for Emerald Cabin Guests
  • Full Day Small Group Cape Peninsula Tour
  • 15 Day Shongololo Good Hope Rail Journey including;
    • 14 nights onboard accommodation in selected cabin type
    • All onboard meals
    • Off Train excursions accompanied by a qualified tour guide
    • Entrance fees as per itinerary
    • Government tax

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Lunches
  • Beverages unless otherwise stated
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Optional excursions
  • Gratuities
  • Laundry
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Park fees
  • Green Fees
  • Travel insurance
  • All international and domestic airfares and airfare taxes unless specified


Photo credit: tim" class="redactor-linkify-object">https://www.flickr.com/photos/tim_ellis/248604576/... ellis on VisualHunt /CC BY-NC

Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.

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