A blue push pin marks a spot on a colorful map of South Africa

The Rovos Rail: What to Expect on the Pride of Africa

A blue push pin marks a spot on a colorful map of South Africa

The Rovos Rail: What to Expect on the Pride of Africa

Explore Africa by riding the Rovos Rail. This private passenger train hosts exciting journeys, luxurious accommodations, and delicious food.


For some people, life is more about the journey than the destination, and traveling by rail perfectly suits this way of thinking. When it comes to touring the African landscape in comfort, nothing beats Rovos Rail, a private passenger train based in Pretoria, South Africa. Featuring luxurious accommodations and breathtaking scenery, the train offers several select trips that deliver a feast for the senses. Learn what to expect from this remarkable ride:

Journeys

Rovos Rail offers seven exceptional journeys for world-class train travel:

1. African Golf Collage

Starting in Pretoria and ending in Cape Town, this 10-day extravaganza blends a sublime golfing experience with popular attractions like Addo Elephant National Park, the Valley of a Thousand Hills, and the Cape winelands. With itineraries for golfers and non-golfers, this voyage provides a spectacular trip for everyone on board.

2. Cape Town Journey

This three-day journey provides a quicker and more direct route from Pretoria to Cape Town. A stop in Kimberley features exciting diamond mining attractions, and the village of Matjiesfontein provides history buffs with the perfect amount of Victorian charm.

A close up of steel train tracks with rocks underneath, fading into a sunset background
Source: Shutterstock

3. Dar Es Salaam Journey

For 15 amazing days, the train meanders from Cape Town through South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Tanzania. Special features include a night in the Victoria Falls Hotel, views of the Zambezi River, a bush walk at Chishimba Falls, and a tour of the Selous Game Reserve.

4. Durban Safari

Available in the summer, this three-day trip features a tour of the Nambiti Private Game Reserve, a stop at the beautiful Spion Kop Lodge, and options for a historic battlefield tour. The final day features a trip to the renowned Ardmore Ceramics Gallery before arriving in Durban.

5. Golf Safari

Perfect for the avid golfer, this nine-day adventure features five first-rate courses. Notable stops include Champagne Sports Resort, Royal Swazi, and Leopard Creek. Non-golfers enjoy an action-packed itinerary that includes game drives at Hluhluwe and Kruger National Park.

6. Namibia Safari

This nine-day journey takes travelers from Pretoria to the West Coast, with many beautiful stops in between. Attractions include the cities of Kimberley and Windhoek, the Kalahari and Namib Deserts, Fish River Canyon, Etosha National Park, and Garas Park, featuring Quiver Tree Forest and the Giant’s Playground.

7. Victoria Falls Journey

From Pretoria to Victoria Falls, this three-day ride provides a whirlwind of scenic beauty. As the train heads north through Warmbaths and Nylstroom, it crosses the Tropic of Capricorn. Passengers enjoy viewing an abundance of game at Hwange National Park before arriving in beautiful Victoria Falls at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe.

An aerial view of Victoria Falls with the large waterfall in the background and a long pedestrian bridge in the forefront
Source: Shutterstock

Accommodations

Rovos Rail accommodates up to 72 guests for a trip back in time. Edwardian-style furnishings include tasseled curtains, plush carpets, and lustrous dark woods. Three types of suites range in size and luxury, but all provide ample overnight comfort. Amenities include a cozy double bed or twin beds, a writing surface, and a fully-stocked bar fridge. Extras like 24-hour room service, evening tea and biscuits, and goggles for enjoying the view al fresco-style make passengers feel extra-pampered.

Cuisine

Meals aboard Rovos Rail are served precisely on time. A gong announces lunch and dinner, and passengers dine from comfortable, tufted-leather chairs. In late afternoon, the staff serves tea in the Lounge Car and in the Observation Car at the rear of the train. Mouthwatering dinner options include classic entrees or traditional South African dishes paired with exceptional local wines. Rovos Rail happily fulfills special dietary requirements if requested in advance.

Train Policies

The owners and staff of Rovos Rail take pride in offering an exceptional, adult-focused travel experience. Because the train doesn’t have babysitting service or activities for children, long journeys are not recommended for kids under 13 years of age.
For daytime, the dress code is smart casual, but dinner requires a jacket and tie for men and an evening dress or a suit for women. Additional policies and recommendations include the following:

  • Walking shoes, sunscreen, and hats are suggested for off-train touring, and warm clothing is recommended for game drives.
  • All personal electronic devices are restricted to private suites.
  • Smoking is allowed on board but only in the Club Car.

If seeing the world is on your bucket list, why not ride the rails in Africa? A ticket on Rovos Rail delivers the experience of a lifetime and is worth every penny. For more travel inspiration, be sure to follow us on Instagram.


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