Rail Cruise to the
Capital of South Africa
10 to 28 November 2024
This Rail Cruise through South Africa will be unforgettable
No continent captures people’s imagination as much as Africa. Myth and reality combine to create a dream that has inspired adventurers and explorers for centuries. On this trip we experience the boundless diversity of Southern Africa. The noble ride on board the luxury train through the enchanting picture-book landscapes of Africa is probably one of the most beautiful ways to travel. In the nostalgic “Rovos Rail” we experience the romance and atmosphere of a bygone era.
We start the trip with a stay in Cape Town. It is one of the most beautiful metropolises in the world – located in a natural box seat between mountains and two oceans, with an excitingly styled harbour pier and magnificent colonial architecture. The cosmopolitan city is the tourist highlight of South Africa.
Since its inception in 1989, Rovos Rail has become a symbol of stylish, luxurious rail travel in Southern Africa. Rohan Vos, South African entrepreneur and train enthusiast has travelled all over South Africa for the past 30 years, always in search of disused historic train carriages and steam locomotives. With passion and great attention to detail, more than 75 luxury carriages were subsequently created, combining the elegantly romantic ambience of the Victorian and Edwardian eras with all the comforts of modernity.
Each carriage has its own story – some of them once carried royal highnesses, others stood unused for many years abandoned on a siding in southern Africa. “Pride of Africa” – the pride of Africa is the name given to the three nostalgic trains with which “Rovos Rail” is resurrecting the golden age of train travel today. And Rohan Vos has every right to be proud – he is not only regarded by train connoisseurs as the operator of some of the world’s most beautiful luxury trains.
Customized flight to Cape Town according to your personal travel plans.
Upon arrival, transfer to the 5-star Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel. This famous luxury hotel is set in large gardens that is unparalleled in Cape Town. It is about a 15-minute walk to the city centre. In the evening we meet for dinner.
No trip to South Africa is complete without the Cape of Good Hope. On the beautiful Chapman’s Peak Drive along the coast until you can’t go any further. Here, where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet, we have almost a 360-degree view. On the coast of Good Hope, an infinitely wide rocky landscape impresses. The prevailing tides cause the rocks to rise out of the water at low tide, only to hide them almost completely at high tide – a real spectacle of nature. In the past, the Cape of Good Hope was feared by sailors due to its treacherous cliffs, but today it is a breathtaking natural paradise. Lunch included.
Day trip to the wine region. Endless vineyards, historic estates, excellent wine tastings. Wineries are not uncommon in South Africa and especially the area around Cape Town, which has historically been strongly influenced by Europeans, is known for its wine culture. Two different weather conditions – the Mediterranean climate on the one hand and the influences of the cool Atlantic Ocean on the other – favour the cultivation of a wide variety of wine varieties. Lunch included.
The morning is at leisure. Afternoon flight to Walvis Bay in Namibia. Upon arrival, transfer will be made to Flamingo Villas Boutique Hotel.
After breakfast, drive to the train station in Walvis Bay for the journey on the “Rovos Rail” from the coast of Namibia to the capital of South Africa. Around noon, the rail cruise begins and we spend a leisurely day on board as the ever-changing landscape passes us by. Our trip begins at the Atlantic Ocean in Walvis Bay, Namibia. The Namib stretches for more than 2,000 km along the Atlantic coasts of Angola, Namibia and South Africa. The landscape consists of sandy seas near the coast, while gravel plains and scattered mountain outcrops occur further inland.
In the morning, excursion to a cheetah conservation project in Otjiwarongo. Founded in Namibia in 1990, the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) is dedicated to saving the cheetah in the wild.
Excursion to the Etosha National Park. The national park offers great game viewing with many species of mammals, birds and reptiles. It owes its name to the Etosha pan, which lies almost entirely in the park. Etosha is a large salt clay plain and is part of the Kalahari Basin. First game drive in the afternoon. Overnight at a lodge.
Early wake-up call and re-game drive before breakfast. Later in the morning, return to the “Rovos Rail”.
During breakfast we drive to Windhoek. From Eros Airport we travel by small aircraft to a lodge in the dunes of Sossusvlei. In the afternoon, a first desert drive is on the program. The dunes of the Namib Desert were formed by sand carried by the wind from the coast of Namibia. This is over five million years old and has a red color due to its iron oxide content. As the light changes during the day, so does the characteristic color of the dunes. The wind in the Sossusvlei area blows from all directions, causing the sand to take on a star shape with several arms, hence the name “Star Dunes”.
Also today we start the day early with a desert drive. In the afternoon we will take a city tour and discover the highlights of Namibia’s capital. Located in the Central Highlands, Windhoek is an attractive city surrounded by the Auas and Eros mountains. In the evening, the “Rovos Rail” travels south through the Kalahari Desert.
In the afternoon, excursion to visit Keetmanshoop and Garas Park, which is home to about 300 specimens of the aloe dichotomy (or quiver tree). These prehistoric trees, which grow up to 9 m high, have fairly long bare branches, at the ends of which rosettes of very thick leaves grow.
Day trip to the ghost town of Kolmanskop and Lüderitz. Lüderitz is known for its museums, colonial architecture and wildlife such as seals, penguins, flamingos and ostriches. On the way, we may see the legendary wild horses that are rumored to roam the Namib.
In the morning, visit the Fish River Canyon. The Fish River rises in the centre of the country before flowing south into the Orange River at the border with Namibia. It formed the great Fish River Canyon – the largest canyon in the Southern Hemisphere and probably second only to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The vast rocky landscape breaks down into a series of spectacular cliffs. Its size is impressive: 161 km long, up to 27 km wide and almost 550 m deep.
In the morning we take a short tour of Upington and experience a boat trip on the Orange River. The Orange River is the longest river in South Africa at 2,432 km. It rises in the Drakensberg Mountains in Lesotho and flows westward through South Africa to the Atlantic Ocean. It forms part of the borders between South Africa and Lesotho and South Africa and Namibia. After continuing our journey, we travel through the Karoo, a vast semi-desert region that was once a vast inland sea. Over millions of years, volcanic material has been ground up and deposited as silt on the seafloor to form what geologists call the Karoo system.
In the morning we discover the Diamond Museum in Kimberley and the Big Hole – the largest man-made hole on earth. Kimberley, the capital of the Northern Cape, is known for the discovery of diamonds that led to its creation in 1871.
At around 5.00 pm, the “Rovos Rail” arrives at its home station in Pretoria. Afterwards transfer to the 5-star Fairlawns Boutique Hotel in Sandton, located between Pretoria and Johannesburg.
In the morning we visit Johannesburg and the Apartheid Museum. It documents apartheid in South Africa – from its early beginnings, its emergence from 1948 to its end in 1994. After the farewell lunch drive back to the hotel and later room check-out. Transfer to Johannesburg Airport.
Arrive at your home airport according to your personal itinerary.
Prices per person
plus 0.25% risk contribution for the guarantee fund
Three nights’ accommodation in a deluxe room in Cape Town, one night in a deluxe sea view room in Walvis Bay and one night in the Grand Château Suite in Sandton including breakfast and all taxes; Transfers according to the program; Flight from Cape Town to Walvis Bay in economy class including taxis, rail cruise with “Rovos Rail” as described from Walvis Bay to Pretoria including full board (11 nights), drinks on board according to the drinks menu, drinks with meals outside the train, excursions and sightseeing with English-speaking guides; Excursions and sightseeing in Cape Town and Johannesburg according to the program with an English-speaking guide; all entrance fees; one dinner and two lunches in Cape Town as well as one lunch in Johannesburg each with accompanying table drinks, documentation, tips, travel accompaniment.
Flight from your home airport to Cape Town and back from Johannesburg; “Rovos Rail” drinks at the bar outside meals during excursions; international spirits and French champagne on board; personal extras; Travel insurance.
We reserve the right to make changes to the program, routes and traction. The general information and travel conditions of the organizer apply. The implementation requires a minimum number of participants.