Rovos Rail never ceases to impress with its stellar service, glamorous accommodation and quintessentially African rail routes. Step aboard one of the restored classic wood-panelled coaches and enjoy scenic sojourns in style through Africa's wild and wonderful landscapes.
As the world's largest collection of privately-owned and operated trains, it's the personal touch that takes the experience from the expected to extraordinary. Established in 1989, the Rovos Rail company has a well-deserved reputation for providing the most luxurious train journeys in the Southern Hemisphere. Covering some of Africa's greatest destinations, such as Victoria Falls, Cape Town, Namibia and Dar es Salaam, the Rovos Rail experience is the finest way to travel through Southern and East Africa.
The Rovos Rail company operates two restored classic trains, each with 20 renovated original coaches – some dating back to well before the 1920s. From the ultra-luxurious Royal Suites (each taking up half a carriage) to the standard Pullman Suites, all the accommodation is more spacious and tasteful than any other train in the world. As for the food, their top-tier chefs are famous for producing dishes which rival some of the world's top restaurants.
If you want to step back into time but in the utmost style, travelling across Africa's vast plains with Rovos Rail will make your heart sing.
The Rovos Rail suites are all ultra-luxurious, but some offer just those extra bells and whistles the most discerning travellers will want. The trains can accommodate 72 passengers in 36 Suites. There are three types, namely the Royal, Deluxe and Pullman Suites.
In all of the suites, you have your own hostess at your every beck and call and a bar fridge packed with all the tipples and goodies you could need on your journey.
The Royal Suite is, well, fit for royalty! It takes up a generous half of one carriage (around 16m²), complete with its own private lounge and en-suite bathroom including a Victorian bath.
The Deluxe Suite is also sizable at 10m², with an en-suite bathroom and a small lounge area.
The Pullman is ideal for shorter trips, 7m² in size. The sofa seat is converted to double or twin beds in the evenings.
Rovos Rail has several routes throughout Southern Africa to take you through some of its most renowned scenery and landmarks.
3 Nights, 1600km
This trip takes you from South Africa's oldest city, Cape Town, through the Cape Winelands, Karoo desert, Kimberley Diamond Mine and Matjiesfontein, before ending the journey in Pretoria. Also available in reverse.
2 Nights, 800km
Traversing from the miraculous Drakensberg Mountains to the coastal Durban, you'll then stop to go on a safari in Nambiti Reserve. From here, you'll head into Pretoria to explore Spioenkop Dam Nature Reserve for another safari! Finally, you'll trundle through the Valley of a 1000 Hills. Also available in reverse.
3-4 Nights, 1400km
This journey starts in Pretoria, whereafter you'll continue through Warmbaths (Bela-Bela) and Nylstroom, crossing the Tropic of Capricorn and Limpopo River before reaching Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. Next, you'll stop for a game drive in Matobo National Park, followed by another in Hwange National Park, before ending in Victoria Falls, where you can marvel at the world's largest sheet of falling water. Also available in reverse.
10 Days, 2100km
Whether you're a golfer or not, there's plenty for everyone to enjoy on this golf safari itinerary. Golfers, in particular, will love this trip, choosing between top courses like Sun City Gary Player or Lost City, Champagne Sports Resort, Durban Country Club or Beachwood, Royal Swazi and Highland Gate (depending on availability).
You'll start in Sun City near Pretoria and then go on a safari in Pilanesberg. Then, you'll pass through the majestic Drakensberg Mountains to Spioenkop Dam Nature Reserve and travel through the Valley of a Thousand Hills to Durban. You will embark on another safari at Hluhluwe, one of the oldest reserves in South Africa, followed by Mkhaya and the famous Kruger National Park. It will end with a fly fishing lesson and an intro to whiskey before you stop in Pretoria.
9-10 Nights, 3700km
This tour features some of the best African experiences in one go. You'll travel from Pretoria, with some optional golf stops along the way. Next, you'll enjoy a safari game drive in Kruger National Park before continuing to Durban, Valley of a Thousand Hills, and then heading into Port Elizabeth (now called Gqeberha) for another game drive in Addo Elephant Park. Next, you'll visit the unique Oudtshoorn to admire its ostriches, followed by the Outeniqua Mountains, before continuing along the lush coastline of Knysna, the Cape Winelands, and ending your adventure in Cape Town.
9 Nights, 3400km
Enjoy the best Namibia has to offer while travelling in luxury. Start in Pretoria and continue to the diamond mining town of Kimberley before you enjoy the unbelievable views of the Fish River Canyon and Garas Park. You'll then travel along the Kalahari Desert to Namibia's capital city of Windhoek. From here, you'll jump on a flight to Sossusvlei, located in the world's oldest desert, before enjoying a safari in the famous Etosha National Park. You'll get back on board and continue to Swakopmund and Walvis Bay as your final stop. Also available in reverse.
14 Nights, 5800km
Want to experience the best of Southern and East Africa? On this train trip, you will go through South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania! You'll start in Cape Town and travel via Kimberley to Pretoria before you'll stay over for a two-night safari adventure in Madikwe Game Reserve. From here, you'll continue to wild and wonderful Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Finally, you'll cross the Tanzania border into the Great Rift Valley and enjoy a safari in Selous Game Reserve before ending your adventure in Dar es Salaam. Also available in reverse.
14 Nights, 4300km
You'll kick off your journey in the Tanzanian capital, Dar es Salaam. From here, you'll visit Selous Game Reserve before embarking on a fly-in safari in South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. Next is a city tour in the Republic of Congo,followed by a short walking tour in Angola. Also available in reverse.
14 Nights, 3100km
This new journey takes you from Zimbabwe to Zambia, the Republic of Congo, and Angola. You'll start at the mighty Victoria Falls before continuing to Kafue River, fly into South Luangwa National Park in Zambia, where you'll stay for a three-night safari. You'll then embark on a tour in the Republic of Congo, ending with a short walking tour giving you insight into the rich history. Also available in reverse.