Do you love trains? Are you looking for that Out of Africa experience? Want to find way to combine games drives, historical sites, beautiful scenery, great food AND comfort? If you are looking for any or all of these things when planning your trip to Southern Africa then look no further than the Rovos Rail.
Since its establishment in 1989, Rovos Rail has earned an international reputation as a world-class travel experience and as a fun and unique way to see Southern Africa. In a series of train journeys lasting from 48 hours to 28 days Rovos Rail links some of Africa’s greatest destinations from Cape Town, to Victoria Falls, to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to the dunes at Sossusvlei in Namibia. Along the way the train stops to allow passengers to participate in activities ranging from game drives to wold class golfing to visits to museums, the famous Ardmore Ceramics Gallery, vineyards, and historic battlefields.
The trains themselves offer passengers a five star experience in beautifully restored wood-paneled coaches. The train carries a maximum of 72 passengers in 36 suites; 4 Royal Suites, 22 Deluxe Suites and 10 Pullman suites. While in a Royal Suite you would enjoy the luxury of your own bathtub, suites of all sizes are private, beautiful, comfortable and refurbished to mint condition, offering every modern convenience. The smallest suites, the Pullman (±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 hot showers.
Meals are served in a the charming Victorian atmosphere of the dining cars. There’s an emphasis on fresh local ingredients and traditional dishes such complemented by a selection of fine South African wines. An enthusiastic team of chefs is responsible for ensuring guests’ every need is catered for.
In the Dining and Lounge cars train passengers can get to know each other, read or watch the scenery pass without the distraction of smart-phones, laptops or tablets which are forbidden common areas! On her recent overnight trip to Johannesburg on Rovos Extraordinary Journeys co-Founder Elizabeth Gordon’s favorite pass time while on the train was to sit and watch the passing scenery in the open Observation Balcony at the back of the train.
The Rovos Rail offers a great variety of itineraries from 2 night trips within South Africa and to Victoria Falls which leave regularly year-round to longer trips from 8-14 days which take passengers to around Southern Africa, to Namibia and far as Dar es Salaam. These trips have set departure dates a few times a year. There is even a 28-day trip that will carry travelers all the length of the continent from Cape Town to Cairo! Read more about these longer trips in up-coming blogs.
Rovos Rail Extensions
Rovos Rail’s 2-3 night trips are a great addition to any Southern Africa trip and can be a fun and unique way to travel between destinations you already plan to visit. Although the Rovos Rail is a great addition to any trip many travelers are so excited about it they plan the rest of trip around their time on the train!
Rovos Rail’s 2-3 Day Trips
Pretoria – Cape Town | Pretoria – Victoria Falls | Pretoria – Durban
Both the Pretoria-Cape Town and Victoria Falls routes are extremely popular but at Extraordinary Journeys we actually recommend the Pretoria-Durban Route. The scenery is beautiful, there is great game viewing at Nambiti and the guided tour of the battlefield at Spionkop is an absolutely fascinating piece of South African history. Once arriving in Durban we recommend the Oyster Box Hotel or few days in Phinda Private Game Reserve at Phinda Forest Lodge, Phinda Vlei, or Phinda Rock Lodge.
-Prices for the above itineraries range from (approx.) $1600-$3600 per person sharing depending on the specific itinerary and room (Royal, Deluxe, Pullman). Prices include accommodation, meals and excursions as well as alcoholic beverages while on the train. Single supplement 50%.
-Most itineraries can be booked running in either direction.
-Rovos Rail has it’s own station in Pretoria so don’t go to Pretoria Central Station! (The Blue Train does leave from Pretorial Central Station).
-Rovos Rail’s private station in Pretoria is 45 minutes by car from O.R. Tambo International Airport Johannesburg.
-Passengers can easily stay in Johannesburg prior to departure but for those who want to stay in Pretoria we recommend 131 Herbert Baker, a boutique hotel that is grandly situated on the famous Herbert Baker street in Pretoria and offers breathtaking views of the city.