South Africa : Train journeys
A train journey across Africa's stunning scenery can be an exciting part of any holiday. These trains combine luxury accommodation, a chance to view vast tracts of the country and a unique way of getting to a destination in style. The Rovos Rail and the Blue Train are the most luxurious and have both recreated the Victorian image The Shongololo Express is a mid range train that has set departures with exciting itineraries that explore each stopping point in detail.
This train has been lovingly restored to its former glory and now travels from Pretoria to Cape Town on a regular basis. From the coast, the 1600 kilometre route follows an old pioneering trail carved out of the African bushveld, passing through the winelands and climbing up to the interior through the Hex River Valley. Highlights of the north and southbound routes include visits to the historic village of Matjiesfontein, a 100-year-old refreshment stop in the arid Karoo, and Kimberley (city of De Beers), the diamond boom-town that's home to the Big Hole, the world's largest man-made excavation. The rebuilt sleeper coaches contain the most spacious train suites in the world and are the epitome of luxury.
Recently voted as the ' World's Leading Luxury Train', the Blue Train is a five star travelling masterpiece. The journey from Pretoria to Cape Town takes just over a day and is conducted through some of South Africa's most diverse and spectacular scenery. Accommodation on the train is offered in luxury and deluxe compartments, all with double fold down beds and en-suite facilities. The train also boasts a luxury bar, a superb restaurant and a lounge car, all for the added convenience and pampered comfort of the passengers.
The Shonogolo Express is a comfortable, not luxurious, but affordable way of exploring Africa by trains. The set departures allow you to travel through the night, arriving each day at a new destination, where your guides will organise activities depending on the area. Air-conditioned mini buses are kept in special compartments on the train and are off loaded each day. This is an ideal holiday for those who want security of travelling in a group but the flexibility to choose their own activities. Please ask Farside Africa for the details of their set departures.