Rovos Rail

Do you crave the nostalgia of luxury train travel? Are you looking for an Out of Africa experience? Do you want to combine game drives, historical sites, beautiful scenery, great food, comfort, and glamor? If you are looking for any—or all—of these things when planning a luxury safari to southern Africa, then look no further than Rovos Rail.

What is Rovos Rail?

Since its establishment in 1989, Rovos Rail has earned an international reputation as a world-class travel experience. It’s also a fun and unique way to see southern Africa. In a series of train journeys that range from 48 hours to 28 days, Rovos Rail links some of Africa‘s greatest destinations. Travel from Cape Town to Victoria Falls, to far-flung Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), or to Sossusvlei‘s dunes in Namibia.

Along the way, the train stops to allow passengers to participate in activities ranging from game drives and world-class golf to visits to museums, vineyards, and historic battlefields.

Rovos Rail luxury accommodations

Rovos Rail offers passengers a five-star experience set within beautifully restored wood-paneled coaches. The train carries a maximum of 72 passengers in 36 suites. There are four Royal Suites, 22 Deluxe Suites, and 10 Pullman Suites.

In a Royal Suite, you would enjoy the luxury of your own bathtub, but suites of all sizes are private, beautiful, comfortable, and refurbished to mint condition, offering every modern convenience. The smallest suite, the Pullman (±76 sq feet), is equipped with a comfortable sofa that converts to double or twin beds in the evening. They also have an en-suite bathroom with hot showers.

Dining & lounging on Rovos Rail

Meals are served in the charming Victorian atmosphere of the dining cars. Fresh local ingredients and traditional dishes are emphasized, complemented by a selection of fine South African wines. An enthusiastic team of chefs and servers ensures 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 phones, laptops, and tablets which are not permitted in common areas!

On her trip, Extraordinary Journeys, co-founder Elizabeth Gordon‘s favorite pastime was sitting in the open Observation Balcony at the back of the train and watching the shifting landscapes.

Rovos Rail luxury safari itineraries

The Rovos Rail offers a variety of itineraries.

There are brief two-night trips within South Africa and Victoria Falls which regularly depart year-round.

Longer journeys span eight to 14 days, taking passengers to destinations around southern Africa, to Namibia, and as far north as Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) in East Africa. These trips have set dates and depart just a few times a year.

Rovos Rail two- to three-day trips

  • Pretoria – Cape Town
  • Pretoria – Victoria Falls
  • Preroria – Durban

The best Rovos Rail itinerary

Both the Pretoria – Cape Town and Pretoria – Victoria Falls routes are extremely popular, but Extraordinary Journeys safari experts overwhelmingly 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 a fascinating piece of South African history. Once travelers arrive in Durban, we recommend the Oyster Box Hotel or spending a few days on safari in Phinda Private Game Reserve at Phinda Forest Lodge, Phinda Vlei, or Phinda Rock Lodge.

Rovos Rail extensions

Rovos Rail’s two- and three-night trips are a great addition to any luxury southern Africa safari and can be a fun and unique way to travel between destinations you already plan to visit. Conversely, many travelers are so excited about Rovos Rail that they plan the rest of their trip around their time on the train.

Rovos Rail luxury train travel tips

  • Prices for the above itineraries range from (approx.) $1,600-$3,600 per person sharing depending on the specific itinerary and room (Royal, Deluxe, Pullman).
  • Rates include accommodation, meals, excursions, and alcoholic beverages (while aboard the train).
  • The single supplement is +50%.
  • Most itineraries can be booked running in either direction.
  • Rovos Rail has its 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 grandly situated on the famous Herbert Baker street in Pretoria and offers breathtaking views of the city.

Luxury safari itineraries featuring Rovos Rail

train car with green landscape and blue sky
  • Itinerary

Old-World Glamour: Africa by Rail

From Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe to Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa

10 Days | $12,250 per person

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