“For those of you who want to discover Africa – in the woodpanelled, gleaming five-star luxury of a bygone era.”
London Daily Mail
Tanzania ~ Zambia ~ Democratic Republic of Congo ~ Angola
An east-west African adventure uniting the Atlantic and Indian Oceans
In July 2019 Rovos Rail will set off on a new 15-day expedition traversing Tanzania, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Angola. It will be the first time in history that a passenger train will travel the famous east-to-west copper trail on this route.
“To be able to introduce a new adventure after 29 years in operation is exciting and presents me with a refreshing operational challenge,” says Rohan Vos, owner and CEO. “It’s taken over two years to acquire permission and have our proposed itinerary approved by the respective authorities. My team and I have flown across our borders on a few occasions to meet the relevant officials, drive the route and conduct site visits in an effort to smooth the way as best we can for our band of intrepid travellers who will hopefully join us on this expedition.”
This inaugural voyage sets off on 16 July 2019 from the Tanzanian capital, Dar es Salaam (a city familiar to Rovos Rail as it has been running its 15-day Cape to Dar trip 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. The voyage is available in reverse departing from Lobito (Angola) on 2 August 2019.
Discover Africa via Luxury Rail Travel
CAPE TOWN TO PRETORIA / 3 DAYS
This 1 600-kilometre 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; this authentic perfectly preserved Victorian Village – founded by Mr Logan as a refreshment stop in 1890 – also boasts an impressive museum on the platform. Another stop is made in Kimberley providing an opportunity to enjoy a city tour and a visit to the Diamond Mine Museum and the world’s largest man-made excavation, the Big Hole.
Available in reverse.
PRETORIA TO VICTORIA FALLS / 4 DAYS
This three-night adventure begins with the train’s departure from Rovos Rail Station in Pretoria. It then winds its way north through Warmbaths, so named for its mineral waters, and Nylstroom, christened by the Voortrekkers as the source of the Nile River as the town’s river happened to be north flowing. The train then passes the edge of the escarpment and crosses the Tropic of Capricorn en route to the border with Zimbabwe. After formalities at Beitbridge the next morning, the train travels towards Bulawayo, second city of Zimbabwe, capital of Matabeleland and industrial capital of the country. The following day sees the train travelling along one of the world’s longest stretches of straight railway line – 114 kilometres – before traversing Hwange National Park, a rich and diverse wildlife sanctuary where animals can be spotted from the train and a game drive excursion is enjoyed. After a service stop at Thompsons Junction, the sojourn ends at the incomparable Victoria Falls on the mighty Zambezi River. The surrounding areas offer travellers many recreational opportunities including cruises, whitewater rafting as well as superb game viewing and photo safaris. Available in reverse. Depending upon railway capacity, this journey could be routed through Botswana.
DURBAN SAFARI / 3 DAYS
This three-day safari between Pretoria and Durban departs during the summer months and includes game drives, a battlefields tour 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. Available in reverse.
GOLF SAFARI / 9 DAYS
Rovos Rail has designed a delightful nine-day safari to entertain the most discerning player with optional excursions for non-playing guests at all venues. The Golf Safari begins in Pretoria and travels west to Sun City in the hills of the Pilanesberg for a day at this renowned facility including a game drive for non-golfers. In the foothills of the imposing Drakensberg Mountains, 18 holes await at the Champagne Sports Resort with a guided tour of the battlefields a further highlight for non-golfers. Enjoy a game at Durban Country Club (or Beachwood) or tour the city. Then it’s on to Zululand for game viewing at Hluhluwe before heading to Swaziland. Tee off at Royal Swazi or enjoy a game drive at Mkhaya and a visit to Ngwenya Glass and Guava Gallery. Golfers then play the challenging Leopard Creek course (dependent) while non-golfers enjoy a game drive in the world-famous Kruger Park, after which this memorable journey ends in Pretoria.
AFRICAN GOLF COLLAGE / 10 DAYS
This panoramic 10-day 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 head to Swaziland for game viewing at Mkhaya** and along the coast to Durban* for a city tour. Traverse the Valley of a Thousand Hills to Spionkop Lodge*, an expansive game farm that adjoins an 11 000-acre nature reserve. Continue to Port Elizabeth* for a game drive at Addo Elephant Park, then on to Oudtshoorn for an ostrich-farm visit followed by a spectacular descent through the Outeniqua Mountains to George*. After visiting the natural paradise of Knysna*, the train traverses the spectacular Garden Route to the winelands and Cape mountains before this magnificent expedition ends in Cape Town.
*Courses: Leopard Creek in Kruger (dependent), Durban Golf Club/Zimbali, Champagne Sports Resort in Ladysmith, Humewood in Port Elizabeth, Fancourt and Ernie Els Oubaai in George.
** As of 2018, we will be doing a game drive in Hluhluwe, South Africa.
NAMIBIA SAFARI / 9 DAYS
This nine-day 3 400-kilometre 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 mine 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 and the Giant’s Playground. Guests continue across the untamed beauty of the Kalahari Desert to 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. Available in reverse.
CAPE TOWN TO DAR ES SALAAM / 15 DAYS
This epic 15-day 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. Available in reverse. Please note that depending upon the railway’s capacity this journey could be routed northwards through Beitbridge and Zimbabwe. *Or Kwa Maritane in Pilanesberg Game Reserve