This epic Rovos Rail 15-day train journey travels through South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania. 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 Chishimba Falls. The train then 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 before the bustling arrival in Dar es Salaam the following day.
Depart from Platform 23 at Cape Town Station. Visit the historic village of Matjiesfontein at 18h00. Dinner and overnight on board.Dinner and overnight on board.
Tour of Kimberley’s Big Hole and Diamond Mine Museum. Ten minutes after departing Kimberley a shallow lake appears on the left-hand side of the train where, on most occasions, there are spectacular flocks of Lesser Flamingos (approximately 23 000). Travel from the Karoo to the Highveld. Dinner and overnight on board.
Day 3Pretoria – Zeerust
Arrive at Rovos Rail Station in Capital Park, Pretoria. Enjoy a walking tour of the station and locomotive workshops (weather permitting) followed by lunch on the platform and a city tour of Pretoria. Depart for Zeerust in the North West Province. Dinner and overnight on board.
Day 4Zeerust – Madikwe
Disembark at Zeerust and transfer by coach to Madikwe Reserve for a two-night stay at TAU Game Lodge. Lunch is served upon arrival at the lodge. Afternoon tea and game drive (approximately 3 hours). Dinner and overnight at the lodge.
Enjoy an early morning game drive, afternoon game drive and other guest activities. Overnight at the lodge.
Day 6Madikwe – Gaborone – Plumtree
Early morning game drive followed by breakfast. Transfer to the train at with border formalities en route to Gaborone, Botswana. Depart Gaborone and travel to Plumtree for border formalities and overnight.
Day 7Plumtree – Hwange National Park
Day at leisure on board. Lectures will be given during the course of the morning and/or afternoon by the on-board historian. The train passes Gwaai and Dete along one of Africa’s longest stretches of straight railway line – 114 kilometres – and along the eastern edge of the Hwange National Park where occasional sightings of animals can occur. The train heads for Thompson’s Junction for the overnight stop.
Day 8Victoria Falls
Arrive at the incomparable Victoria Falls and walk across to the hotel. Enjoy lunch. Sunset Cruise on the Zambezi River. Buffet dinner at Jungle Junction. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 9Victoria Falls – Livingstone
Day at leisure in the Victoria Falls with activities (tour of Falls, helicopter over Falls, elephant-back safari, walk with lions, whitewater rafting, bungee-jumping, golf, etc). Depart Victoria Falls and cross the bridge to Livingstone, Zambia.
Day 10Livingstone – Kapiri Mposhi
Day at leisure on board. Lectures will be given during the course of the morning and/or afternoon by the on-board historian. The train travels across the Kafue railway bridge – a 477-metre long steel girder truss bridge of 13 spans each at 33 metres supported on concrete piers – towards Kapiri Mposhi and the start of the TAZARA railway line.
Day 11Kapiri Mposhi – Kasama
Enjoy a day at leisure on the train. Lectures will be given during the course of the morning and/or afternoon by the on-board historian. The train passes through Serenje and Mpika to Kasama.
Day 12Kasama – Tanzania
Disembark at Kasama for a morning excursion to Chishimba Falls. Depart from Kasama and travel towards the Tanzanian border.
Arrive at Makambako where guests may enjoy a stroll through the town – time permitting. Depart and travel towards Mlimba. The train descends into the Rift Valley and through the Udzungwa Mountains as it negotiates the tunnels, switchbacks and viaducts of the escarpment. Day at leisure on the train with lectures by the on-board historian.
Day 14Makambako – Gwata
Game visit in the Selous Reserve (time permitting). Travel towards Gwata for an overnight stop.
Day 15Arrive Dar es Salaam
Depart Gwata in and travel in an easterly direction towards the coast. Breakfast is served in the dining car/s. Arrive at journey’s end in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.