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African Rail Journeys – Exeter Safari Company & Rovos Rail

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Since its establishment in 1989, Rovos Rail has earned an international reputation for its truly world-class travel experiences. With discreet and friendly service, five-star cuisine and a selection of South Africa’s finest wines, Rovos Rail harks back to a simpler, more elegant era encompassing the timeless grace and high romance of African exploration.

In a series of journeys lasting from 48 hours to 15 days, Rovos Rail links some of the sub-continent’s greatest destinations from Cape Town at its tip to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, from scenic splendours as diverse as the game reserves of Mpumalanga to the Victoria Falls, from the desert landscapes in Namibia and the stark beauty of the Karoo to the lush cane fields of KwaZulu-Natal and the magnificent Garden Route along the Cape south coast.

The trains – which may be hauled by diesel or electric locomotives – carry a maximum of 72 passengers in 36 superbly appointed suites and are also available for charter.

Upcoming Rail Journeys

African Collage - From Cape Town to Pretoria Over 10 Days

This panoramic 10-day sojourn winds its way from Pretoria to Cape Town and includes a golfing and non-golfing itinerary. After a game drive in Kruger Park guests travel through Swaziland to Hluhluwe for game viewing and along the coast to Durban for a city tour. Traverse the Valley of a Thousand Hills to Spionkop Lodge, the perfect base for exploring the mountains, bush, birds and battlefields of the region.Continue to Port Elizabeth for a game drive at Addo Elephant Park then on to Oudtshoorn for an ostrich-farm visit followed by an impressive descent through the Outeniqua Mountains to George. After visiting the natural paradise of Knysna, the train traverses the spectacular Garden Route to the winelands and Cape mountains before this magnificent expedition ends in Cape Town. Available in reverse.

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From Pretoria to Cape Town Over 3 Days

This 1 600-kilometre meander is a perfect illustration of South Africa as a world in one country. Travel the grasslands of the gold-rich Highveld to the haunting barrenness of the Great Karoo; trundle through the spectacular mountain ranges and scenic winelands of the Cape. Journey’s end is Cape Town, the Mother City of South Africa, cradled by the imposing bulk of Table Mountain, Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head. Highlights of the north- and southbound routes include a visit to the historic village of Matjiesfontein; this authentic perfectly preserved Victorian Village – founded by Mr Logan as a refreshment stop in 1890 – also boasts an impressive museum on the platform. Another stop is made in Kimberley providing an opportunity to enjoy a city tour and a visit to the Diamond Mine Museum and the world’s largest man-made excavation, the Big Hole. Available in reverse.

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From Cape Town to Dar es Salaam Over 15 Days

This epic 15-day train journey travels through South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania and is one of the most famous in the world. The sojourn begins in Cape Town taking guests to the historic village of Matjiesfontein, the diamond town of Kimberley and the capital city of Pretoria for short tours followed by two nights in the Madikwe Game Reserve*. Continue through Botswana into Zimbabwe where guests overnight at the Victoria Falls Hotel. After crossing the mighty Zambezi River, the train joins the Tazara line in Zambia and continues to Chisimba Falls where guests enjoy a bush walk. The train climbs to the Tanzanian border then descends into the Great Rift Valley negotiating the tunnels, switchbacks and viaducts of the spectacular escarpment. Climbing again, it traverses the Selous Game Reserve – the largest on the continent and a vision of timeless Africa – before the bustling arrival in Dar es Salaam the following day. Available in reverse. Please note that depending upon the railway’s capacity this journey could be routed northwards through Beitbridge and Zimbabwe. *Or Kwa Maritane in Pilanesberg Game Reserve

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Trail of Two Oceans - From Dar es Salaam to Lobito Over 15 Days

An east-west African adventure uniting the Atlantic and Indian Oceans In July 2019 Rovos Rail set off on a new 15-day expedition traversing Tanzania, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Angola. It was the first time in history that a passenger train travelled the famous east-to-west copper trail on this route. The trip was a great success. This voyage sets off from the Tanzanian capital, Dar es Salaam (a city familiar to Rovos Rail as it has been running its 15-day Cape to Dar trip since 1993), and includes a game visit in the Selous Reserve, a fly-in two-night safari in the South Luangwa National Park (Zambia) and a city tour of Lubumbashi (DRC). Thereafter it joins the Benguela line for short walking tours detailing Angola’s recent history with journey’s end in Lobito. Available in reverse.

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Durban Safari - Pretoria to Durban Over 3 Days

This three-day safari between Pretoria and Durban departs during the summer months and includes game drives, a battlefield lecture with a world-class historian and a look at unusual African ceramics. Experience the Nambiti Conservancy – a Big Five private retreat set on 20 000 acres of malaria-free bushveld in KwaZulu-Natal. It has an incredible biodiversity including savannah, grasslands, thornveld and tall acacia trees. Situated on an expansive game farm, Spionkop Lodge – which adjoins an 11 000-acre nature reserve – is the perfect base for exploring the mountains, bush, birds and battlefields of the region. Ardmore Ceramics is a story about the Zulu people whose sense of rhythm, colour, dance and song, as well as the spirit of the African imagination, is exerting its influence on the other continents of the world. Visit this charming centre in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands before travelling the Valley of a Thousand Hills to Durban. Available in reverse.

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Golf Safari - A 9 Day Golf & Safari Adventure

Since its establishment in 1989, Rovos Rail has earned an international reputation for its truly world-class travel experiences. Join the nine-day Golf Safari travelling the northeastern reaches of South Africa that will entertain the most discerning golfers with a delightful itinerary for non-playing guests. Travel from Pretoria to Sun City* in the hills of the Pilanesberg for game viewing. Cross the spectacular Drakensberg Mountains to Spionkop*, the perfect base for exploring the mountains, bush, birds and battlefields of the region. Traverse the scenic Valley of a Thousand Hills to Durban* for a tour of the city and botanical gardens. The game viewing continues at Hluhluwe in Zululand (one of the oldest reserves in the country), Mkhaya* (Swaziland’s refuge for endangered species) and the world-famous Kruger Park in Malelane*, after which this memorable journey ends in Pretoria. *Course selection is dependent on availability: Sun City Gary Player/Lost City, Champagne Sports Resort, Durban Country Club/Beachwood/Zimbali, Royal Swazi, Leopard Creek/White River/Nelspruit.

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Namibia Safari - From Pretoria to Walvis Bay Over 9 Days

This nine-day 3 400-kilometre journey takes the train from the savannahs of the Highveld to the Atlantic in the west. Departing from Pretoria, the first stop is Kimberley, centre of one of the world’s famous diamond rushes where there is an opportunity to savour the 1870s atmosphere of the mine village. The train traverses the stark vistas of the Northern Cape to the Fish River Canyon – second in size to the Grand Canyon – and Garas Park with its Quiver Tree Forest and the Giant’s Playground. Guests continue across the untamed beauty of the Kalahari Desert to Namibia’s capital for a tour; Windhoek is a lively, cosmopolitan city with a strong German flavour. Then it’s a short flight to Sossusvlei, a stunning pan in the Namib Desert, for an overnight stay followed by a night in the game-rich Etosha National Park. On the last morning, the train travels the Namib to the perfectly preserved 19th-century German Hansa town of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay – an unforgettable end to a remarkable journey. Available in reverse

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A Victoria Falls Adventure - From Pretoria to Victoria Falls Over 4 Days

This three-night adventure begins with the train’s departure from Rovos Rail Station in Pretoria. It then winds its way north through Warmbaths, so named for its mineral waters, and Nylstroom, christened by the Voortrekkers as the source of the Nile River as the town’s river happened to be north flowing. The train then passes the edge of the escarpment and crosses the Tropic of Capricorn en route to the border with Zimbabwe. After formalities at Beitbridge the next morning, the train travels towards Bulawayo, second city of Zimbabwe, capital of Matabeleland and industrial capital of the country. The following day sees the train travelling along one of the world’s longest stretches of straight railway line – 114 kilometres – before traversing Hwange National Park, a rich and diverse wildlife sanctuary where animals can be spotted from the train and a game drive excursion is enjoyed. After a service stop at Thompsons Junction, the sojourn ends at the incomparable Victoria Falls on the mighty Zambezi River. The surrounding areas offer travellers many recreational opportunities including cruises, whitewater rafting as well as superb game viewing and photo safaris. Available in reverse. Depending upon railway capacity, this journey could be routed through Botswana.

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Rovos Rail Rates & Dates

Follow the below link to Download the complete list of departure dates and the various rates depending on class of carriage booked. Alternatively, please feel free to reach out either via our contact form, email or telephone and we will be happy to explore the many options available to you.

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