The Washington Post quite rightly calls it a ‘time machine on tracks’, but a luxury Rovos Rail ticket means far more than just a mere train ride. It recalls a bygone era of glamorous railway travel and with its plush interiors, superb service ethic and ‘dress-for-dinner’ protocol, it has also evolved into offering the real thing when it comes to the concept of gateway-to-Africa pampering.
The most popular Rovos Rail journeys are the 2 night trip between Cape Town and Pretoria, with fewer 4 night departures going as far as Victoria Falls and Dar Es Salaam.
The Cape Town to Pretoria route can be done in either direction and passengers disembark for tours of Kimberly’s Big Hole and Diamond Museum as well as the historic Karoo town of Matjiesfontein. Besides the romantic clackity clack of luxury rail travel, the ever changing landscape is mesmerising.
The Pretoria to Victoria Falls route is a 3 night trip and highlights include travelling through Botswana, crossing the Tropic of Capricorn, going on safari in Hwange National Park and finally seeing the magnificent Victoria Falls. This journey is also possible in reverse.
The Cape Town to Dar Es Salaam journey has only two departures per year, so you’d need to book long in advance. Highlights on this route include stopping in the diamond town of Kimberly, seeing the animals in the Madikwe Game Reserve, stopping at Victoria Falls, descending into the Great Rift Valley and finally crossing the Selous before arriving in exotic Dar Es Salaam.
The sound of a gong heralds the call to mealtimes on Rovos Rail. Local ingredients and traditional dishes, with game a firm favorite at lunch and dinner, are served in one sitting in a wood-paneled dining car, and accompanied by the best of South African wines. There is a non-smoking lounge car, two non-smoking dining cars and a smoking lounge to cater for all travelers’ preferences.
As for the sleeping quarters, the Royal Suites rank highest for space and luxury appointments while the Pullman Suites are more economical.
Please note that there is no WiFi and limited cellular phone coverage. Also note that Rovos Rail is an adult environment and children need to be respectful.
- Meal on Request
- Credit Card
- Foreign Exchange
- Laundry Service
- Room Service
- Room Service (24 hours)
- Travel Desk
- General Sightseeing
- Historical Tours