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South African Luxury Rail

These rail journeys are simply an indication of what is possible, however many of our tours can be combined and our travel consultants will personally put together a package based on your preferences, travel dates and budget.

Whether you’re a honeymooning couple, a family looking for a unique travel experience or you'd simply like to combine rail travel with a wider African itinerary, a journey by rail is something you'll never forget.

There are two luxury trains operating in South Africa - Rovos Rail and the Blue Train. Rovos Rail is the epitome of grandeur and sophistication, furnished in period décor to capture the romance of days gone by. The Blue Train provides a more modern experience although, like Rovos, the emphasis is on personal service. So you may have an iPod docking station in your carriage suite, but you’ll also have a personal butler.

The Blue Train travels from Cape Town to Pretoria in 30 hours, stopping off at Matjiesfontein in the Karoo on the northbound trip and Kimberley on the southbound trip. Rovos has a variety of routes to choose from, ranging from 2 night trip between Pretoria and Durban to an epic 8 night safari through Namibia. You can read more about the differences between the trains and their exact routes here.

Below we highlight the popular Rovos classic, Pretoria to Cape Town in 2 nights and 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.

Day 1

15h00 Depart from Rovos Rail Station in Pretoria aboard the Pride of Africa and travel south via Johannesburg through the goldfields of the Witwatersrand.

16h30 Tea in the lounge and observation cars.

19h30 Dinner is served in the dining car/s.

Recommended Accommodation

The Blue Train

Travel from Cape Town to Pretoria in 30 hours on The Blue Train, stopping off at either Matjiesfontein in the Karoo or the mining town of Kimberley.

Rovos Rail

Choose from a number of Rovos routes that take you through South or Southern Africa, with options to stop for golf, see Victoria Falls or take an extended trip through Namibia.

Day 2

07h00 Breakfast is served until 10h00.

10h00 Arrive in Kimberley. Passengers visit the Big Hole and the Diamond Mine Museum.

12h30 The train departs for Matjiesfontein via De Aar.

16h30 Lunch is served in the dining car/s. Tea in the lounge and observation cars.

19h30 Dinner is served in the dining car/s.

Day 3

07h00 Breakfast is served until 10h00.

08h15 Visit the historical village of Matjiesfontein.

10h30 The train departs for Cape Town via Worcester.

13h00 Lunch is served in the dining car/s.

16h30 Tea in the lounge and observation cars.

18h00 Arrive at Cape Town Station, Platform 24

This itinerary is also available in reverse, and can easily be combined with some further sightseeing and other itineraries.

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Not what you're looking for?

These itineraries are merely an indication of what's possible. Our team of specialist travel consultants will piece together any itinerary according to your requirements, travel dates and budget.

Pricing on these itineraries may vary due to seasonality and availability - for a free consultation contact us!