Rovos Rail The Ultimate Luxury Trek, Cape Town-Dar es Salaam


15-day Escorted Tour

Luxury

The Tour

If you do just one high-end rail trip in your life, make it this one.

Rovos Rail runs one of the world’s ultimate luxury rail trips between Cape Town and Dar es Salaam several times annually. The experience is unforgettable.

This 15-day private rail tour aboard The Pride of Africa stretches across South Africa and Botswana, touches Zimbabwe at Victoria Falls, and crosses Zambia to Tanzania.

From Kimberley’s diamonds to a deluxe South Africa game lodge, from the very British Victoria Falls Hotel to Africa’s Great Rift Valley, every day is unique.

One highlight: a two-night stay at the five-star Tau Game Lodge with many game drives.

Combine with the Blue Train, another South African luxury train, for a unique view of the African subcontinent’s diverse, spectacular scenery.

Latest News: Click here to enjoy IRT’s “just-back-from-Africa” report and photos about safaris that mesh perfectly with a Rovos Rail cruise.

Latest Photos: Click here to see a photo essay of our Cape Town – Dar es Salaam Rovos Rail adventure.

Inside Track: We dined with Rovos Rail’s Alicia Taljaard recently. Her favorite trip? It’s not what you might think. Click here.

 

 

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“There’s no comparison. This IS the trip of a lifetime.”

— E. Fogg, IRT Pullman Club member, Cape to Dar, September, 2010

“The train was truly extraordinary. The staff was superb. 3,500 miles is a long trip, but the train and staff remained excellent. Rohan Vos runs a business that you can trust…”

— L. Barber, IRT Pullman Club member

The Itinerary

Northbound Itinerary (NB)

Day 1: Cape Town
Depart Cape Town Station aboard Rovos Rail’s The Pride of Africa this morning.

Upon boarding, you might want to head straight to the open-air deck and wave goodbye to Cape Town and spectacular Table Mountain. Or settle in to your private and spacious compartment and unpack.

Before you know it, a hostess is chiming you to a fabulous luncheon with beautiful South African wines paired with delicious food.

Arrive Matjiesfontein for a stop this evening; explore this tiny Victorian village and poke around its museums and stretch your legs, before dinner and overnight on the train.

Day 2: Kimberley
Breakfast and lunch on board before afternoon arrival in Kimberley. Visit Big Hole and Diamond Museum. Return to train for dinner and overnight.

Day 3: Pretoria
Arrive Pretoria this afternoon. A light lunch is followed by a city tour.

Enjoy visiting Capital Park, which is Rovos Rail’s lovely headquarters filled with locomotives, carriages and lots of pet animals. Dinner and overnight on the train.

Day 4: Tau Game Lodge
Arrive in Zeerust and leave your train “home” today. (IRT and Rovos supply small bags for taking just what you need with you. Leave your main suitcases safely on the train.)

We drive an hour by motorcoach to the Tau Game Lodge. It’s a full board, two-night stay at the five-star lodge, and you’ll probably spot animals galore just on the way from the entrance of the game reserve to the lodge.

This afternoon, enjoy lunch followed by a game drive. Cocktails as you watch the sun set is a tradition you’ll grow to love. Then head back to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Day 5: Tau Game Lodge
Optional early morning game drive, evening game drive or other activities. Overnight at lodge.

Or, if you’d rather, opt out and make a spa appointment. Or luxuriate in your giant bathtub or your outdoor shower. Sip a drink and watch the waterhole by the lodge. There’s always giraffe, elephant, lion, wildebeest seeking water there.

Day 6: Tau Game Lodge; Botswana
Early morning game drive.  By this time, most of our group in July 2011 had seen all the “Big Five” from lions to leopard and everything in between.  We were happy but tired as our motorcoach transferred us to Gabarone, Botswana. Here, we go through border formalities before heading to the train.

Day 7: Zimbabwe
After border formalities, travel through Zimbabwe, with lectures by a historian in the morning and afternoon.

(Don’t miss the lectures! Learn about Cecil Rhodes, about Victoria Falls, David Livingstone and more. When we were on board, the onboard lecturer was a huge hit.)

Day 8: Victoria Falls
Arrive Victoria Falls this morning. Walk from the train to the “Grand Imperial Lady,” the Victoria Falls Hotel, a short way down the path. The train staff transfers your small luggage. Established in 1904, and recently redecorated, this gracious colonial-style hotel is set in lush tropical gardens.

Enjoy lunch at “Jungle Junction,” named after an early train station there, but now a lovely open-air dining area with delicious, fresh food.

You’ve got plenty of time for a hike, a nap, or just gazing at the miracle before you, as your hotel is situated just a few minutes’ walk from the Falls.

Enjoy a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River. Keep your eyes open for hippos. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.(Optional steam dinner train excursion, see below.)

Day 9: Victoria Falls
Day at leisure. Optional activities include tour of the Falls, round of golf, helicopter tour of the Falls, more. (These are optional and require US$ cash.)

Depart Victoria Falls late afternoon and complete border formalities for entry to Zambia.

Day 10: On board
Pass through Lusaka, Zambia. Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board with lectures in the morning and afternoon.

As you pass into Zambia, you will notice many small villages of circular thatched huts. When the children hear the train, they dash to wave, thrilled to greet the visitors.

Day 11: On board
Day at leisure as the train continues through Zambia. All meals on board, with morning and afternoon lectures.

This sounds like a long day — but we loved it. Shall we go to the lecture? What about sipping a drink on the rear, outdoor deck? Or, shall we just hang out in our beautiful room with all the windows open?

Wherever you perch in this luxurious train, look for villages, animals, Baobab trees.

Day 12: Arrive Tanzania
Disembark in Kasama for an excursion to Chisimba Falls. This is of course not as fantastic as Victoria Falls, but still magical. There’s a path for travelers of all walking abilities to admire this national park. The Rovos staff sets up a bar for refreshments.

Afternoon arrival at Nakonde/Tunduma for Zambian/Tanzanian border control. Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board.

Day 13: Mlimba
Arrive Makambako. Descend spectacular pass to Mlimba. Much of the day, descend over gorges and through tunnels. It’s a spectacular day of railroading through rugged terrain.

Day 14: Selous Game Reserve

Game drive in Selous Game Reserve, largest in Africa (time permitting). Travel towards Gwata for an overnight stop.

Day 15: Dar es Salaam
Travel east toward the coast to Dar es Salaam. Breakfast on board before morning arrival (scheduled for 10 a.m.).

Please note: Due to rough track and delays, the train often arrives late into Dar es Salaam. It is best to schedule an overnight in Dar es Salaam before flying out.

See “Other” for optional pre- and post-tour programs.

2017 Dates:

Cape Town-Dar es Salaam:
July 1-15
September 30-October 14

Dar es Salaam-Cape Town:
July 18-August 1
October 17-31

2018 Dates:

Cape Town-Dar es Salaam:
January 13-27
February 24-March 10
June 30-July 14
August 18-September 1
September 29-October 13

Dar es Salaam-Cape Town:
January 30-February 13
March 13-27
July 17-31
September 4-18
October 16-30

The Prices

2017 & 2018 Price
Accommodations Double Single
Pullman
$12,450
$17,980
Deluxe
$16,500
$23,650
Royal Suite
$21,550
on request

Other

Deposit Required: 25%

Please note that this trip is not for everybody:  this is an adventure experience.
The track is very rough, especially in Zambia and Tanzania. This contributes to delays and can mean missed or truncated outings off the train.

Pre and Post-Tours available

Three-night Cape Town package, with all-day tours of Cape Winelands and the Cape Peninsula. Includes transfers, meals, tours and three overnights at deluxe, five-star hotel.

Add a three- to seven-night deluxe Tanzania game park extravaganza. We suggest adding Crater Lodge on the Ngorongoro crater rim;  Kirawira/Grumeti River Camp with game drives in the Serengeti; and Zanzibar with Stone Town walking tour and Spice Tour.  All meals, transfers and internal flights included. Call or e-mail for pricing.

Three-night Zanzibar/Spice Island tour also available.

In Victoria Falls, there are several options on your free day which are additional cost: some require cash payments. IRT travelers recommend the flight sightseeing over Victoria Falls, which is about $100 USD per person in cash.

Several visas, yellow fever inoculation, malaria prevention and medical/evacuation insurance required for this journey. Note: entry into South Africa requires passport with three full open visa pages facing each other. Passport should have seven months’ validity.

Royal Livingstone Dinner Train: Optional excursion available on steam-hauled, dinner train across border from Victoria Falls Hotel in Zambia. More info, click here.

Latest News: Click here to enjoy IRT’s “just-back-from-Africa” report and photos about safaris that mesh perfectly with a Rovos Rail cruise.

Latest Photos: Click here to see a photo essay of our Cape Town – Dar es Salaam Rovos Rail adventure.

Inside Track: We dined with Rovos Rail’s Alicia Taljaard recently. Her favorite trip? It’s not what you might think. Click here.

 

 

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The Highlights

  • Eleven nights on board one of world’s top luxury trains, with all meals and drinks included; complimentary mini-bar in your compartment
  • Two-night stay at five-star Tau Game Lodge, with four game drives and all meals included
  • Fabulous meals and service on board Pride of Africa
  • Kimberley Diamond Mine and Museum
  • Victoria Falls Hotel overnight with plenty of time to explore the falls
  • Zambezi River Sunset Cruise
  • Chisimba Falls excursion
  • Makambako-Kiduna Tanzania rail descent into pass
The Pride of Africa's entry into Rovos Rail's Capital Park facility in Pretoria being handled by a steam locomotive. (IRT Photo by Daniel Du Plessis)
The Pride of Africa's entry into Rovos Rail's Capital Park facility in Pretoria being handled by a steam locomotive. (IRT Photo by Daniel Du Plessis)
IRT Pullman Club member D. Young of Vancouver Island, B.C., loved the train, its personal service, the cab rides -- and the open windows. (IRT photo by Eleanor Hardy.)
IRT Pullman Club member D. Young of Vancouver Island, B.C., loved the train, its personal service, the cab rides -- and the open windows. (IRT photo by Eleanor Hardy.)
IRT Pullman Club member J. Bilisoly of Louisiana loved admiring the view from the open windows of the dining car. (IRT photo by Owen Hardy)
IRT Pullman Club member J. Bilisoly of Louisiana loved admiring the view from the open windows of the dining car. (IRT photo by Owen Hardy)
Rovos Rail's Pride of Africa sits majestically on the bridge between Zambia and Zimbabwe. (IRT Photo by Owen Hardy)
Rovos Rail's Pride of Africa sits majestically on the bridge between Zambia and Zimbabwe. (IRT Photo by Owen Hardy)