One of the most unique and romantic ways to experience Africa is via Rovos Rail’s bespoke luxury train. Since 1989 Rovos has offered a number of world-class itineraries, lasting from 48 hours to 15 days, linking some of the greatest destinations across Southern Africa: passing through the countries of South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania, and to legendary Southern African cities such as Pretoria, Durban, Lobito, Victoria Falls, Dar es Salaam, Walvis Bay and Cape Town.
Guests can relax, enveloped in friendly first class service, with gourmet cuisine, fine wine and exquisite cocktails, from vintage wood paneled coaches and luxury cabins as the train rolls past unimaginable scenery. Rovos Rail brings back a simpler, more elegant era of timeless grace and the high romance of early twentieth century exploration in Africa.
The beautifully rebuilt trains carry a maximum of 72 passengers in 36 suites and provide passengers luxury accommodation and comfort to amazing destinations, not easily accomplished using 4x4 safari vehicles in sometimes inhospitable conditions or a combination of small aircraft to remote airstrips and complicated over- the- road transfers. Through arid deserts, bucolic landscapes, a thousand-year-old history and a unique culture, it is a real change of scenery that awaits you from the modern comfort of your cabin or through the observation car located at the back of the train.
You can take part in guided group tours at each daily stopover, exploring the towns on your journey, going on a safari or taking a sunset river cruise. Some itineraries also include overnight lodge stops to visit “must-see” sites like Victoria Falls or the red dunes of Sossusvlei in the Namib desert.
Depending on your routing you can try your hand at rafting, enjoy a cruise on the Zambezi River, observe wildlife on a photographic safari in the heart of Hwange National Park to capture the "Big Five" of African mammals in your lens: lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo, or traverse the Valley of a Thousand Hills and the imposing Drakensberg Mountains to visit the 1870s diamond mining village of Kimberley. You will be accompanied during your stopovers on land by experienced guides and historians who will share with you the history of the regions visited. For golf lovers, the "Golf Safari" itinerary will take you to world-class golf courses, also combining visits to the heart of national parks such as the Kruger Park in South Africa.
The comfortably appointed lounge cars encourage time to rest, read some inspiring books, chat with your fellow travelers or observe the beautiful landscapes rushing past your eyes. The 36 suites are divided into 3 categories: Pullman suites, Deluxe suites and Royal suites. All are equipped with twin or double beds, a bathroom, a sitting area, as well as amenities to enhance your stay such as a safe and a mini-bar with drinks of your choice. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Decorated in an Edwardian style with wood paneling, the amenities and facilities of these suites guarantee a high level of comfort and quality in an optimized space. The Pullman suites are very comfortable and measure 75 sq ft, the Deluxe suites are more spacious and measure 110 sq ft, and the Royal suites are the most luxurious with a surface area of 170 sq ft.
Rovos Rail maintains a smart-casual dress code throughout the journey. As the evenings tend to be more formal, guests are encouraged to dress in elegant and sophisticated attire. For gentlemen, this may include jackets, ties, and trousers, while ladies may opt for dresses, skirts, or dressy pantsuits. It’s important to note that the dress code is part of the overall ambience and contributes to the refined atmosphere of the train. A review from the travel blogger. “the open suitcase”, amply describes the Rovos experience as such: “Taking a journey on Rovos Rail is an immersive experience in a by-gone era and is worthy of a spot on your bucket list. The train is meticulously maintained and well-appointed, the service is spot on, and, if you’re as fortunate as me, you’ll have delightful traveling companions. If there’s anything better than snuggling into a nest of pillows with a mellow wine buzz at 2 in the afternoon to watch an exotic landscape roll by, you’ll have to let me know.”