The Most Luxurious Train in the World
Since its establishment in 1989, Rovos Rail has earned an international reputation for its truly world-class travel experiences. In a series of bespoke train journeys lasting from 48 hours to 15 nights, Rovos Rail links some of the continent’s greatest destinations with a variety of off-train excursions. Step aboard the vintage wood-panelled coaches and sit back as some of the most varied scenery imaginable unfolds beyond the windows. With discreet and friendly service, top cuisine and a selection of South Africa’s finest wines, Rovos Rail harks back to a simpler, more elegant era encompassing the timeless grace and high romance of African exploration. The beautifully rebuilt trains, which may be hauled by diesel or electric locomotives, carry a maximum of 72 passengers in 36 superbly appointed suites and are also available for charter, while the Events Train caters for up to 250 guests and is suitable for daytime journeys.
This 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, an authentically preserved Victorian Village founded as a refreshment stop in 1890, which also boasts an impressive museum on the platform. Another stop is made in Kimberley to visit the Diamond Mine Museum and the world’s largest man-made excavation, the Big Hole.
This safari between Pretoria and Durban departs during the summer months and includes game drives, a battlefield tale 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.
This adventure begins with the train’s departure from Rovos Rail Station in Pretoria. Travel north through Warmbaths (Bela-Bela), so named for its mineral waters, and Nylstroom (Modimolle), christened by the Voortrekkers as the source of the Nile River as the town’s river happened to be north-flowing. Cross the Tropic of Capricorn and Limpopo River towards Bulawayo, second city of Zimbabwe, capital of Matabeleland and industrial capital of the country. Enjoy a game drive (4-night journey only) in Matobo National Park, a World Heritage Site with bushmen caves, rock art and dramatic granite hills. It is also the site of Cecil John Rhodes’ grave atop the summit of Malindidzimu – ‘hill of benevolent spirits’ with a ‘view of the world’.
Travel along one of the world’s longest stretches of straight railway line – 114km – before traversing Hwange National Park, a rich and diverse wildlife sanctuary where a game drive excursion is enjoyed. Arrive at the incomparable Victoria Falls on the mighty Zambezi River where this sojourn ends. The surrounding areas offer travellers many recreational opportunities including cruises, whitewater rafting as well as superb game viewing and photo safaris.
This safari travels the northeastern reaches of South Africa and 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 spectacular Drakensberg 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.
Interact with artisans as they create highly decorative and geometric-shaped candles. The game viewing continues at Hluhluwe in Zululand (one of the oldest reserves in the country), Mkhaya* (eSwatini’s refuge for endangered species) and the world-famous Kruger Park in Malelane*. See Dullstoom’s arts and crafts and visit the Birds of Prey Rehabilitation Centre. Enjoy a presentation on flyfishing and an introduction to whisky after which this memorable journey ends in Pretoria.
This 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 mining 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.
Guests continue across the untamed beauty of the Kalahari Desert to a cheetah conservation project and a stop in 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
This panoramic 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 eSwatini 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 the natural paradise of Knysna for an overnight stay at Fancourt*.
Transfer through the Outeniqua Mountains to the impressive Cango Caves and an ostrich farm for a visit. Traverse the Karoo and the spectacular winelands and Cape mountains. The running times have been tweaked with the visits to the Kingdom of eSwatini, Golden Gate National Park, the picturesque town of Clarens and Bloemfontein, the city of roses.
Travel across the Drakensberg Mountains to join the Panorama Route with game viewing in Kruger. Tour Maputo, capital of Mozambique, before exploring the mountainous Kingdom of Eswatini
Enjoy a game drive at Kapama and a visit to the Great Zimbabwe Monument. Tour Antelope Park and World Heritage Site, Matobo National Park. Continue to Hwange for game viewing before arriving in Victoria Falls for a walking tour of the village and the thunderous falls. End with a sunset cruise on the mighty Zambezi.
Starting in Pretoria, descend the spectacular escarpment to the world-famous Kruger Park for a game drive. Explore the Kingdom of eSwatini followed by a game drive in Hluhluwe wildlife reserve and a tour of Durban and its botanical gardens. Traverse the Valley of a Thousand Hills and the imposing Drakensberg Mountains to visit the 1870s mining village of Kimberley, centre of one of the world’s notorious diamond rushes. Continue through the semi-desert region of the Karoo to Upington and the Fish River Canyon, second in size to the Grand Canyon.
Cross the untamed beauty of the Kalahari Desert to see the Quiver trees at Garas Park, home to roughly 300 specimens of the Aloe dichotomy. Take a short flight to Sossusvlei for a lodge stay surrounded by the dramatic dunes of the Namib-Naukluft Park. Enjoy desert drives, a bush dinner and breakfast near Deadvlei where camel-thorn trees contrast against the white-clay pan floor. Visit Namibia’s lively capital, Windhoek, and a cheetah conservation project before overnighting in the game-rich Etosha National Park. Leave the vast stillness of the Namib Desert for the wild Atlantic coast and journey’s end, Walvis Bay.
This epic 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.
This voyage sets off from the Tanzanian capital, Dar es Salaam (a city familiar to Rovos Rail as it has been running its Cape to Dar trip there since 1993), and includes a game visit in the Selous Reserve, a fly-in two-night safari in the South Luangwa National Park (Zambia) and a city tour of Lubumbashi (DRC). Thereafter it joins the Benguela line for short walking tours detailing Angola’s recent history with journey’s end in Lobito
In July 2019, Rovos Rail set off on this new 15-day expedition traversing Tanzania, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Angola. It was the first time in history that a passenger train travelled the famous east-to-west copper trail on this route. The trip was a great success
In July 2022, Rovos Rail will set off on this new expedition traversing Zimbabwe, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Angola. Travel across the mighty Zambezi from the incomparable Victoria Falls towards Kafue River for a sunset cruise. After a visit to Lusaka’s elephant sanctuary where teams rescue and rehabilitate orphaned elephants, fly into South Luangwa National Park (Zambia) for a three-night safari.
In July 2019, our pioneering Trail of Two Oceans journey between Dar es Salaam and Lobito travelled the famous east-to-west copper trail, making it the first time in history that a passenger train took this route. The trip was a great success. With its western and northwestern edge bounded by the Muchinga Escarpment and the southern border lined with the meandering Luangwa River, there is no shortage of dramatic and fascinating topography in this beautiful game-rich park. Enjoy a tour of Lubumbashi (DRC) then join the historical copper trail for short walking tours detailing Angola’s recent history with journey’s end in Lobito.