Luxury train ride


Apr 20th, 2017, 05:05 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2013
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Luxury train ride

Looking for information on a luxury train ride in Africa Summer 2018. Would like it to include (or be tagged on) a few days of a safari.
cathied is offline  
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Apr 20th, 2017, 09:22 AM
Join Date: May 2005
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What exactly are you looking for in the way of information? Are you aware of the various options for trains in SA?

I spent time in Cape Town and, from there, traveled on the Blue Train overnight, and went on to Sabi Sands for a safari. I wrote a trip report about my experience, which was marvelous. The Blue Train is not a budget option, however.
ekscrunchy is offline  
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Apr 20th, 2017, 09:27 AM
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Good article comparing Rovos Rail to Blue Train:
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Apr 27th, 2017, 08:12 AM
Join Date: Jan 2014
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Hi there,

It’s awesome that you are considering a train experience in Africa next summer! I can’t speak to Blue Train as I haven’t been on it myself (although it looks lovely and I know many people who have enjoyed the experience). However, I can speak to the experience on Rovos Rail. I took the journey from Cape Town to Pretoria and absolutely loved it! The article above that ekscrunchy posted says it well in the last line “after all, luxury travel is about the journey not the destination”. That is a fabulous way to describe the experience on Rovos, it’s slow paced, relaxing, and takes you back to a more sophisticated, less “connected” (in terms of phones, iPad, computers, etc.) time.

In my experience being on Rovos was so much more than a means of getting from one place to the next. It made the “logistics” enjoyable! The meals are slow paced and delicious, the wine options are fantastic, the service is top notch, and the community on board is generally very well-travelled and full of interesting stories and experiences to share! I also loved that during the day you could just sit in the observation car in the back of the train with a cup of coffee (or glass of wine) and take in South Africa’s varying landscapes. I also found a lot of time to read on board which is one of my favorite ways to wind down on vacation. If you prefer to be social there was lots of people mingling and exchanging travel stories as well.

It’s not for everyone, but I really enjoyed the dress code at dinner as well. The number of places where formal attire is required seems to be dwindling, so I enjoyed the opportunity to dress up and enjoy a fine dining experience on a beautiful and historic train. It really takes you back in time!

The rooms are very nice as well, I prefer the Deluxe Suites as a minimum room category. That’s the room I stayed in and felt that the size was comfortable and cozy. As a single traveler, I might have been ok in Pullman Suite, but to me they seemed a bit too small. I personally wouldn’t want to share a Pullman with someone else, but it depends on your budget and how much you value having your own space. The Royal Suites were awesome and felt like a proper hotel room. They were roomy and hardly felt like a room on a train, I was impressed!

Personally, I’d take the train after my safari as a way to relax prior to heading home. Consider it a vacation after your vacation! I really like the Victoria Falls to Pretoria journey and that links very well with safari in Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, or South Africa. All 4 of those countries would be in peak season for safari during the northern hemisphere’s summer months: June – September/October.

Depending on how long you have to travel, you could start in Cape Town and or the Cape Winelands if that’s of interest to you – spend anywhere from 4-8 days there. Then continue up to Botswana for a safari on a direct flight from Cape Town to Maun – spend anywhere from 4-8 days there as well. Then continue on to Victoria Falls for a night or two. If you stay at the Victoria Falls Hotel you are right at the train station and can board basically directly from the hotel. Take the train to Pretoria and transfer to Johannesburg either for your flight home, spend a night or two to visit Soweto and the Apartheid Museum, or finish your trip with an action-packed luxury safari in a private reserve in the Greater Kruger eco-system – Singita, Rattrays on Mala or Royal Malewane would be amazing luxury experiences to finish of your adventure in Africa.

Hope this helps!

Enjoy your trip!


Kayla Torgerson
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