This extravagantly luxurious 7-day steam train rail journey begins in the bustling city of Cape Town, traverses a variety of diverse regions across South Africa, and ends in the wonderfully warm seaside city of Durban.
En route you will travel through the picturesque Cape Winelands, the spectacularly scenic semi-desert Great Karoo region, and the lush subtropical Valley of a Thousand Hills. Enjoy many stops along the way including a visit to the quaint historic village of Matjiesfontein; a tour of the world’s largest man-made excavation in Kimberley; and a leisurely one-night stop-over at an exclusive hotel in the city of Pretoria. Other highlights include a visit to the Ardmore Ceramics Centre in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains and a thrilling safari adventure in the Nambiti Conservancy, an impressive private game reserve, inhabited by the Big-Five as well as over forty other species of game. The journey ends in the seaside town of Durban, known for its sub-tropical climate, decadent cuisine, and stunning beaches.
Once you have settled into your private coach on the Pride of Africa, one of Rovos Rail’s classic luxury trains, you will begin your journey through the lush mountains and valleys of the famously scenic Cape Winelands region towards Worcester.
Accommodation: Rovos Rail
The train continues its journey to the strikingly beautiful Great Karoo desert. It is here that the train makes its first stop at the delightful little village of Matjiesfontein, known for its beautifully-restored Victorian architecture and its array of charming tourist sights. These attractions include the Transport Museum, showcasing an impressive array of vintage cars and the Marie Rawdon Museum, containing an astonishing collection of Victoriana, which provides a fascinating glimpse into life at this old colonial outpost in the late 1800s.
Accommodation: Rovos Rail
Arrive in Kimberley, a historic mining town renowned for being the site of the world’s largest man-made excavation known as ‘The Big Hole’. The train makes a stop here for guests to enjoy a tour of this enormous hole as well as the Kimberley Mine Museum, featuring a variety of large-scale dioramas and exhibits including a recreation of a nineteenth-century mine shaft and a large vault full of real diamonds. After departing from Kimberley, guests can take in the view of a shallow lake on the left-hand side, which is regularly inhabited by incredibly large flocks of up to 23,000 flamingos. You will then travel through the Highveld region on your way to South Africa’s administrative capital, the city of Pretoria.
Accommodation: Rovos Rail
Upon your arrival at the Rovos Rail Station in Pretoria, you will be transported to the Sheraton Hotel. Guests will be treated to a leisurely one-night stay in this luxurious hotel, which serves as an excellent base. Enjoy a tour of Pretoria with lunch included.
Accommodation: Sheraton Hotel
In the morning, guests will be transported back to the Rovos Rail Station in Pretoria, where the train will set off towards the breathtakingly beautiful Drakensberg Mountains. In the afternoon the train climbs Majuba Hill, the site of a battle in which the Boers of the Transvaal regained their independence from the British during the First Boer War. The train then heads to Elandslaagte a farming and coal-mining center, known as the scene of the Battle of Elandslaagte, one of the first battles of the Second Boer War in 1899.
Accommodation: Rovos Rail
The sixth day of your journey starts with an early wake-up call followed by some tea, coffee, juice and pastries served in the train’s dining car. Guests will then embark on an exhilarating game drive in the Nambiti Conservancy, a private game reserve set on 20,000 acres of malaria-free bushveld in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province. This impressive expanse of wilderness is inhabited by the ‘Big Five’ - elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and wildebeest - as well as over forty other species of game including cheetah, giraffe, hippo, hyena, impala, eland and zebra.
Accommodation: Rovos Rail
In the morning, the train descends the escarpment en route to Lions River, a tiny village in the center of KwaZulu-Natal’s extraordinarily scenic Midlands area. Upon arrival at the Lions River Station, guests will disembark and head for the Ardmore Ceramics Centre, a renowned pottery studio and gallery set on a beautiful farm in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains. You will then return to the train which will set off at noon to travel through the spectacular Valley of a Thousand Hills, before arriving at your journey’s end in the sunny seaside city of Durban.
On your arrival in Durban, you will connect with your onward travel arrangements.
Jan 11, 2023
Unorgettable trip in South Africa
We have spent 12 days as a family in South Africa with my 3 children and my wife who is in a wheelchair. Thanks to Pascal, Safari.com consultant, we were able to spend an unforgettable moment with a great program while being well accompanied despite our constraints. I recommand particularly the "Monwana game lodge" for a safari in Hoedspruit. It's an amazing place with very nice people and a real family atmosphere. Thank you to the entire Safari.com team for this unforgettable trip.
Nov 26, 2022
We had an amazing first safari…
We had an amazing first safari experience with Safari.com! 💯Thanks to Dolan for the well planning and ensure our itinerary goes smoothly and safely!
Oct 21, 2022
Superior service, knowledgeable, transparent, amazing can-do attitude
These guys get 10/10. I have booked with them a few times. To Kruger National Park, including both public and private(concession) camps, flights and car hire. Their senior agent, Dolan is exceptional. Nothing is too much trouble. Attention to detail, transparency, and 'can-do' attitude are out of the ordinary. I recently came into contact with Tanya at safari.com as well. It looks like all their agents are similarly well trained. Thank you. I cannot recommend Dolan and his team highly enough.
Nov 18, 2022
Cape Town miracle
I was in Cape Town, South Africa recently for an athletic competition and had allowed myself a week of personal time to relax and properly conclude the trip, but had not bothered to plan a safari to occupy the time. I was skeptical of the cost and whether I would enjoy the experience, however a couple days into that final week it occurred to me, in a bit of a panic attack, what a waste it would be not to take advantage of this opportunity. I hopped online and started looking at flights to Johannesburg (almost all the safaris in SA start there with an early morning pick up), but it was basically impossible to get a flight early enough and/or to coordinate with the multiple safaris operating in or just outside of Kruger. With no apparent options available to turn my remaining 4 1/2 days into even a 3 day safari I stumbled on the most obvious website one could imagine, Safari.com. I'd completely given up negotiating all the variables on my own but here was a safari travel agent that might be able to help me .. and they were based right out of Cape Town, literally a stones throw from my lodgings. Serendipity, or so i hoped. I immediately sent out an email and crossed my fingers .. for roughly an hour and a half, at which point Dolan from Safari.com responded to me requesting I give him a call so that we could expedite potential arrangements. My in country phone plan wasn't able to make calls, but we arranged for him to call me and not 3 hours after being in the grip of despair Dolan got through to me and far from notifying me of how absurd it was to hold out hope for a literally, last minute safari adventure with barely 4 days available to me, he had already worked out all the details I'd sent and created a preliminary safari trip that would bypass Johannesburg airport for a flight the next morning to a closer, much, much smaller airport where I would be picked up taken, not to a 3 day safari, but a full 4 day safari, then back to the tiny, tiny airport for a return flight to Cape Town with 2 hours to spare for my return leg all the way home. It almost feels like an afterthought, after the minor miracle Dolan was able to conjure up, but the safari itself at Simbavati Lodge was just an absolutely stunning experience. The single "tent" he booked me was as luxurious as any 4 star hotel I've stayed in, the game drives, one every morning, one every evening were more amazing than I could have ever imagined, and the food, 3 meals a day with snacks and an open bar was sublime. I could go on about the wonderful staff, or the wonderful other safari goers you can meet and grab a drink with, or the different animals walking through the open lodge facilities daily .. but I've gone on long enough. I'll simply conclude by saying .. safari, absolutely, yes, do it, it is amazing. And when you do decide, Safari.com will do you right and if you have the pleasure of working with Dolan, do give him my thanks .. the entire experience was the best part of my trip :)
Nov 12, 2022
A great company
What to say! We planned a South African Safari for 2020 with Safari.com. We researched companies and took a chance on one we had never heard of before. Henry Franklin was our agent, we gave him our budget and wish list. He came up with a wonderful looking trip and we made our choices! Then came Covid, preventing us from going. We couldn’t have been in better hands. Henry rebooked everything for the next year. He kept us updated on how things looked there. When in 2021, we decided it still looked iffy, he rebooked us a second time for 2022. We couldn’t have been happier with the service we had in a rough time for all. We had a wonderful experience on our trip when we finally got to go!! Henry had everything so well organized and gave us a detailed list of what transfer companies would be meeting us and when. When Airlink bumped us and put us on standby returning from Victoria Falls, we called the concierge number Henry had given us and Catherine worked hard on this and got us back on our flight. The Safari.com team had our back and we have no regrets. Would definitely use them again. Our lodging was wonderful, saw the big 5 within first 2 drives. Henry definitely knew the territory and did a great job matching what we wanted with where he suggested we go and stay. Thanks Safari.com, Henry and Catherine!
Sep 5, 2022
Trip of a life time
Well where to starter, África always been my number one dream vacation, I found safari.com didn’t know anything about, but pascal made me feel very confident.pascal put my whole trip together (everything I wanted) a trip of a life time. Had the best time in Africa, was everything that I except and a little more. Pascal is the best and I will go back to Africa and will go through safari.com that I recommend and is 💯 legit.thank you for everything pascal, you rock!!!
Sep 5, 2022
For a second time I booked a safari in…
For a second time I booked a safari in South Africa by Safari.com and had the great pleasure to be assisted and followed by Dolan Sequera. I have to say I really appreciate his way to communicate with me by phone and/or WhatsApp/mail, I always got a very quick answer to my questions with solutions and or suggestions which solved the doubts/problems I had. A really very very knowledged and professional person I will surely suggest to friends of my or who ever is plannig to visit South Africa! Thank you very much Dolan
Aug 31, 2022
I've recently interacted with Dolan and…
I've recently interacted with Dolan and hands down he's been the best travel agent that I've every worked with. He was a wealth of experience and knowledge which shows volumes. He took into consideration my budget and my individual needs to tailor make a package with recommendations for my preference,he knows Kruger and Greater Kruger like the back of his hands and I will wholeheartedly recommended his services. He is truly an asset to his institution.
Apr 21, 2022
The best company
I have booked several trips with Safari.com and they are the best. They are personal and professional and always pay attention to the details to make your trip special. Casper is the best agent I have worked with. We are looking forward to booking another trip!!