Johannesburg
Rovos Rail

This iconic and unique sleeper train adventure takes you from South Africa all the way to Vic Falls, 870 miles away! It combines contrasting African scenery and game-viewing with the glamour and excitement of rail’s golden age.

 

*A selection of 11 journeys are available with Rovos Rail around Southern and Eastern Africa on selected dates. Please enquire.

Some of the journey options are:

Cape Town – 3 nights
Durban Safari – 2 nights
Victoria Falls – 3 or 4 nights
Golf Safari – 9 nights
Namibia Safari – 11 nights
Dar Es Salaam – 14 nights

Facilities & Activities

Pretoria to Victoria Falls 3/4 nights

Your three-night adventure begins with the train’s departure from Rovos Rail Station in Pretoria. Lunch is served in the dining cars as the train travels north through Warmbaths and Nylstroom before crossing the Tropic of Capricorn en route to the border with Zimbabwe, but not before you’ve enjoyed a sumptuous afternoon tea and dinner!

After custom formalities at Beitbridge the next morning, you’ll travel towards Bulawayo, second city of Zimbabwe. The following day sees the train travelling along one of the world’s longest stretches of straight railway line – 114 km – 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.

Arrive at the incomparable Victoria Falls on the mighty Zambezi River where you can take your pick from a range of optional activities, including sunset cruises, white-water rafting as well as superb game-viewing and photo safaris.  If an iconic sleeper-train adventure is on your travel bucket list, this one ticks all the boxes!

The period Rovos Rail coaches have been painstakingly rebuilt and refurbished ensuring a supremely comfortable journey for passengers. In keeping with the ethos of train travel in bygone times, furnishings are traditional and the period decor evokes elegance and grandeur. Each train has one or two Lounge Cars as well as an Observation Car seating 32 passengers positioned at the rear of the train – with the enlarged windows they are the perfect spot to do some game-viewing as you pass through Hwange National Park. There are also two formal Dining Cars.

Please note that there are no televisions onboard and the use of mobile telephones and laptop computers is forbidden in all the public areas.

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Feeling inspired? Start planning your next adventure by contacting us today.

Dining

All meals plus afternoon tea, alcoholic and other beverages are included in the price. There’s also 24-hour full room service and bar facilities.

Every morning there’s a full breakfast with dishes cooked to order. A selection of cold meats, croissants, pastries, fresh fruit, yogurts, cereals and preserves make up a tempting breakfast buffet. For lunch and dinner there is a starter and a choice of fish, meat or vegetarian dishes, followed by a tempting dessert and all are complemented by a selection of excellent South African wines.

Please note that dinner is a formal affair and men are requested to wear a jacket and tie and ladies evening wear.

Rooms

Spacious suites offer passengers privacy, comfort and luxury, with top notch fittings and facilities. All are equipped with air-conditioning, a writing surface and a personal safe for valuables. There is also a bar fridge and room service 24-hours a day. The wood panelled rebuilt sleeper coaches, remodelled and refurbished to mint condition, offer every modern convenience and comfort whether you choose Pullman, Deluxe or the ultra-glam Royal Suites. In the en-suite bathrooms, original fittings are combined with the modern technology of hot showers, hair dryers, heaters and shaver plugs.

The Pullman Suites 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 shower.

The Deluxe Suites accommodate two passengers in either twin or double beds and have a lounge area and en-suite bathroom with shower.

The Royal Suites, the epitome of luxury, each of which take up half a carriage, benefit from a private lounge area and full bathroom with separate shower.

Take a Video Tour

Family

Whilst Rovos Rail will accommodate children, the train experience is better geared to adults and the recommended age is 13+. The onus is on parents to ensure children are respectful and quiet and it’s important to note that there are no child-minding facilities or children’s activities on board. Suites accommodate two guests max. so there are no triple or family units. The exception to this is if you are travelling with one child aged under 5 in a Deluxe or Royal category suite, in which case they may be allowed to share with you.

Children under 2 years travel free of charge and those aged 3-9 years pay 75% of the adult per person sharing rate. Older children pay full rates.

Sustainability

Rovos Rail is involved in a host of sustainable initiatives including:

Purchasing their meat products from local accredited ethical farms.

Working with the “Spinach King” for their bread supply – this remarkable story about Lufefe, who began his business in the township of Khayelitsha (Cape Town) by growing his own spinach and using his neighbour’s oven to bake bread.

Ethical and where possible plastic free items are purchased for their gift shop.

They are supporter of a variety of foundations including Thembelihle Primary School, The Good Work Foundation, LifeMatters and the Amy Foundation.

Location

You can fly into Johannesburg and transfer by road to Pretoria (approx. 45 minutes depending on traffic).

For Rovos Rail passengers, a highlight of their journey is a visit to the private station in Capital Park, Pretoria. The once bustling hub of steam locomotion in the old Transvaal is now the headquarters for Rovos Rail. The gracious colonial-style railway station serves as the new departure or arrival point for all train journeys and boasts its own small museum.

The itinerary is usually as follows

Day 1

10:00 Depart from Pretoria Rovos Rail Station heading north. Freshen up in your suite before joining fellow travellers in the Observation Car.

13:00 Lunch is served in the Dining Cars as the train travels through Warmbaths and Nylstroom.

16:30 Tea is served in the Lounge Car or Observation car at the rear of the train.

19:30 Dinner is served in the Dining Cars as the train crosses the Tropic of Capricorn en route for the Zimbabwean border.

Day 2

07:00 – 10:00 Breakfast is served in the Dining Cars as the train travels on the BBR railway line via West Nicholson.

13:00 Lunch is served in the Dining Cars as the train passes Bulawayo, the industrial capital of the country.

16:30 Afternoon tea is served in the lounge and observation cars.

19:30 Dinner is served in the Dining Cars en route to Mpopoma.

Day 3

07:00 – 10:00 Breakfast is served in the Dining Cars.

13:00 Lunch is served in the Dining Cars as Rovos Rail journeys along the eastern edge of Hwange National Park along one of Africa’s longest stretches of straight railway line at 114km.

15:00 Disembark at Kennedy for a game drive at The Hide in Hwange National Park.

19:30 Dinner is served in the Dining Cars en route to Thompsons Junction for the overnight stop.

Day 4

07:00 – 09:30 Breakfast is served in the Dining Cars as the train departs from Thompsons.

10:00 Journey’s end at Victoria Falls.

 

You can also travel in reverse and depending upon railway capacity, this journey could be routed through Botswana.

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