The Romance of Rail in South Africa

South Africa offers romantic rail journeys for any budget. Taking the road less travelled always has its advantages and exploring South Africa by rail could open your eyes to some amazing and unique experiences. A journey by rail across the South African countryside provides the traveller with luxurious, elegant surroundings while taking in the scenic beauty just outside the window. Add to this, exceptional dining cars, pampering and the kind of exceptional service normally reserved for royalty and you have a recipe for a truly unforgettable experience!

Each train, and their range of routes, is different. Rovos Rail, for instance, is pure nostalgic elegance harking back to the 1930’s. Royal Suites take up half the carriages, and are named after famous money-men of the British Colonial era. A 3 day safari from Pretoria to Durban will set you back $1,675 – this includes accommodation, meals and excursions as well as all beverages, including alcohol, while on board. Tuck yourself away in your small but comfortable apartment, or sit in the observation car at the back of the train and take high tea or sip a glass of bubbly as lovely scenery unfolds outside the big windows.

Rovos RailImage source: Rovos Rail

The Shongololo Express is marketed as a ‘fully serviced travelling hotel’ and offers Economy and Deluxe Sleeper packages to suit all budgets. The Shongololo Express offers a range of amazing experiences – from battlefield tours to hot-air ballooning and a score of other exotic adventures in between! The Good Hope Tour is  a 13 day journey offering guests a comprehensive view of South Africa and incorporates virtually every internationally regarded ‘must see’ sight and highlight, with prices starting from $4,280 pp.

The Shongololo Express

Image source: The Luxury Train Club

The Premier Classe Trains are another affordable, but luxurious option available to travellers. Premiere Classe offers all the deluxe trimmings offered on luxury trains and is popular with budget-conscious travellers.  The Cape Town and Johannesburg weekly train ride is $295 and includes exclusive use of a cosy private sleeper and all meals and afternoon tea in the elegant restaurant car as you pass the fabulous South African scenery.  The trains also run to other popular South African cities including Durban and Port Elizabeth. A truly unique way to travel and experience South Africa.

The Blue Train is undoubtedly one of the most luxurious trains in the world, and when you meet your personal on-board butler, experience the fine dining and superb service, you’ll know you’ve died and gone to Romantic Holiday Heaven! During peak season the day and a half trip from Cape Town to Pretoria can cost around $1,800!

Blue Train

Blue Train SuiteImage source: The Blue Train

When travelling by rail in South Africa, a must-see is the town of Matjiesfontein a beautifully preserved Victorian village which sits on the fringe of the Great Karoo and which has been preserved as a National Heritage Site. Visitors wander around the museum, visit the historic Lord Milner Hotel and the coffee shops of this quaint little Victorian railway village in the desert. One of the many romantic stops on the rail journeys of South Africa, it’s a must-see.

Have we inspired you to take the road less travelled?

Who to contact?

Rovos Rail

Tel: +27 (0) 12 315 8242
Email: reservations@rovos.co.za
Website: http://www.rovos.com/

The Shongololo Express
Tel: +27 (11) 486 4357
Website: http://www.shongololo.com/

The Premier Classe Trains
Tel: +27 (0) 87 802 6674
Email: mai123@southafricanrailways.co.za
Website: http://southafricanrailways.co.za/premier_classe.html

The Blue Train
Tel: +27 21 449 2672
Email: info@bluetrain.co.za
Website: http://www.bluetrain.co.za/