Top Five Train Journeys Around the World

Rovos Rail

South Africa

At a Glance

  • Travel in a rare level of style and opulence

  • Head to the dining car for a luxurious high tea

  • Sit back and watch the ever changing landscape pass by

  • Off the train excursions are arranged

  • Suites are a combination of classic and modern fittings

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Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

Year-round destination. The summers are generally warm and dry, while winters tend to be wet and cool, the rains brought on by fierce north westerly gales. Neither season experiences extremes of temperature, thanks to prevailing winds. Summer (Nov-Mar) is the hottest with temperatures 20-40°C. Mid season (Apr, May, Sep, Oct) temps between 10-30°C. Winter (from June- Aug) is the low season with temps 0-25°C.

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Insider's View

Step out on to the observation deck to really get a feel for the vastness of the scenery.

Explore Matjiesfontein - a small colonial town, which time forgot, built in 1890 as a watering hole on the way to Kimberly during the diamond rush.

Step back in time - pack a good book, cards and travel backgammon to while away time as you travel through the stunning scenery.

Call us on 858 345 1761 to start planning your vacation to Rovos Rail or take a look at our itineraries to Cape Town

Description

Rovos Rail is the ultimate way to experience the romance of a bygone era. Travel through South Africa in the beautifully refurbished train. Exquisite meals are eaten with a backdrop of stunning scenery as the train moves across the country.

Rovos Rail offers two beautifully rebuilt Classic trains, each carrying a maximum of 72 passengers who are accommodated in the most spacious and luxurious train suites in the world. The use of traditional furnishings and period décor ensure an atmosphere of elegance and grandeur in the Dining Lounge and Observation cars.

Rovos Rail was established in 1989 with the aim of recapturing the romance and atmosphere of a bygone era, when privileged travelers experienced the magic of Africa in a relaxed and elegant fashion.

The trains, which may be pulled by steam, diesel or electric locomotives at various stages of the journey, carry a maximum of 72 passengers in 36 suites.

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Accommodation

Accommodation is in 36 suites all with air-conditioning offering the option of twin or spacious double beds. In the en-suite bathrooms, original fittings combine with the modern technology of hot showers, hair dryers and shaver plugs.

The Royal Suites, each of which take up half a carriage, are spacious and elegant. Each has its own private lounge area and full bathroom with Victorian bath and separate shower. The Deluxe Suites also accommodate two passengers in either twin or double beds and have a lounge area and en-suite bathroom with shower. The Pullman Suites are equipped with a comfortable sofa-seat during the day with a conversion to double or twin beds for the evening, and also have an en-suite bathroom with shower. There is a bar fridge filled with beverages of the passengers' choice and room service is available 24 hours a day.

Childcare

There are no specific child care facilities available but children are most welcome on board Rovos Rail.

Activities

There will be numerous off-train excursions arranged for your trip and these will depend on the route taken.

Reviews

4

Louisa Ross-Taylor (Staff)

Being married to a Scot when I mentioned that we are going to travel by train from Cape Town to Pretoria by train he was quite excited at bringing back childhood memories of the sleeper train between London and Edinburgh. However when he saw our deluxe cabin on Rovos Rail he was somewhat taken aback.... No pull down bunk beds, an ensuite bathroom with a shower and the food a considerable step up from the British Rail sandwich and shortbread biscuits.

It was wonderful to be able to relax and watch the vast open scenery open up as we traveled through the lush Cape dotted with carpets of spring flowers up onto the much more arid Karoo, dotted with remote sheep and castle farms - it really made us appreciate the size and space of South Africa.

Our stop at Matjiesfontein a small one horse town which was a watering hole between the Cape and the diamond mines at Kimberly, made us both appreciate the pioneering spirit and toughness of the early pioneers and seeing the carts which would have been pulled by oxen definitely made me appreciate the suspension of cars we have become spoiled by.

There is no Wifi or TV's on the train so it was wonderful to be able to completely switch off from the modern world and loose myself in a book and card games. our trip on Rovos Rail was a wonderful way to travel through some extra ordinary scenery in supreme comfort .... British Rail could learn a lot!!!!!!

Experiences

  • Bay Harbour Market - Hout Bay

    Bay Harbour Market is situated on the water’s edge in an old fish factory in Hout Bay Harbour. The market boasts more than 100 stalls selling a huge variety of local produce from arts and crafts to fashion, jewelry and authentic South African food.

  • Bike and Saddle Cycling Tours

    What better way to experience the varied landscapes of the Cape Peninsula than by bike? Bike and Saddle has six routes ranging from a three hour tour around Cape Town, to a full day tour of the Cape Peninsula, there is something to suit everyone.

  • Cable car trip to the peak of Table Mountain

    Table Mountain, at 1086 meters above sea level, forms the impressive backdrop to Cape Town. An impressive natural landmark with a 3km flat plateau at the summit, a cable car trip to the top is the best way to experience its breathtaking views.

  • Cape Peninsula - Family

    This guided day out is perfect for the whole family with treasure hunts in Kirstenbosch Gardens, fishing in Kalk Bay, stand up paddle boarding with penguins and game viewing in the Cape peninsula reserve.

  • Classic Car Hire in Cape Town

    Hire a classic car for the day and cruise the beautiful winding coastal roads of the cape.

  • Dinner at La Colombe

    La Colombe has relocated to the Silvermist Organic Wine Estate at the top of Constantia Nek. Enjoy sweeping views of the Constantia Valley and Hout Bay, and feast on head chef Scot Kirton's creations. Commonly called the best restaurant in Constantia.

  • Dinner at The Greenhouse

    Peter Tempelhoff, executive chef at The Greenhouse, stays on the cutting-edge of South African cuisine with ever-changing seasonal menus, showcasing contemporary cooking techniques and culinary styles.

  • Explore Long Street and Kloof Street

    Explore the City Bowl area of Cape Town along the streets of Long and Kloof. Kloof Street runs downhill from the lower slopes of Table Mountain to merge with Long Street and descend to the Waterfront area.

  • First Thursdays - Cape Town

    On the first Thursday of every month explore the art galleries of Cape Town until late. Museums and cultural attractions open their doors and allow visitors to spend the evening discovering the rich culture of the city.

  • Footsteps and township private tour

    Discover the tumultuous history of South Africa with a guided walking tour around Cape Town, and meet some of the residents, with a chance to learn about how they come together to create a strong community in the city's townships.

  • Full Day Cape Point Tour

    Your driver will collect you and drive you down the West coast of the Cape Peninsula. He will introduce you to the geography and cultural history, culminating at the Cape itself. You will drive back via Boulders Beach to see the penguins.

  • Full Day Cape Town and Table Mountain

    A full-day tour visiting Table Mountain for unforgettable views, returning to the city through the Malay Quarter, and incorporating a two-hour walking tour stopping at many of the city’s most important landmarks.

  • Great White Shark Cage Diving

    Great white shark cage diving is an experience like no other. To get up close to the ocean's number one predator in its natural environment is a humbling experience you will never forget.

  • Great White Shark Diving

    Great white shark cage diving is an experience like no other. To get up close to the ocean's number one predator in its natural environment is a humbling experience you will never forget.

  • Harley Davidson in Cape Town

    Is there a cooler way to explore the Cape and wider South Africa than hiring a Harley-Davidson and winding your way along the coastal roads or through the mountainous Winelands?

  • High Tea at The Mount Nelson

    Afternoon tea at The Mount Nelson hotel is a must do whilst staying in Cape Town. The Mount Nelson Hotel serves tea from 14.30 onwards, book for a vast variety of sandwiches, pastries, and loose-leaf teas.

  • Hike or Climb Table Mountain

    Why not do something a bit different during your stay in Cape Town, get outdoors and experience some of the best climbing and hiking in the world? Take a hike or rock climbing trip up Table Mountain whilst taking in the breathtaking views all around you.

  • Horseriding on Noordhoek Beach

    For a unique day out in Cape Town, take a horseback ride along the five-mile long, picturesque Noordhoek Beach. Noordhoek is the longest beach in Cape Town and has spectacular views of Table Mountain and the Chapman's Peak.

  • Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

    Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden is acclaimed as one of the great botanic gardens of the world, and thought by many to be the most beautiful garden in Africa. Don't miss out on a visit to this magical treasure of Cape Town.

  • Paragliding over Cape Town

    For the adrenaline junky, paragliding over Cape Town is the ultimate way to witness incredible views of the city. Take off from Lions Head or Signal Hill and let your instructor do the flying while you sit back and simply take it all in.

  • Penguins at Boulders Beach

    There are few places on earth where you can enjoy an experience quite like this. Get up close to the breeding colony of penguins, share their little sandy beach and even paddle into the sea to swim with them.

  • Robben Island Trip

    A short ferry ride from the V and A Waterfront in Cape Town is the famous Robben Island, a cultural must-do when staying in Cape Town, this trip gives an insight into South Africa's difficult history, as well as brilliant views across Cape Towns harbor.

  • Seal Island

    Seal Island, is a small island, around 200 meters in length and a 15-minute boat ride from Hout Bay. The island has become a breeding colony for around 6000 Cape Fur Seals and several operators offer daily trips to the island.

  • Shopping on the V&A Waterfront

    The V&A waterfront in Cape Town houses over 226 shops and is an excellent place to visit for evening entertainment, shopping, cafés, and al-fresco dining.

  • The Garden at Babylonstoren

    Take the opportunity to explore the wonderful acres of Babylonstoren's gardens. Team up with the gardeners for a fun and interactive experience.

  • Uthando

    Uthando South Africa is an award winning, international and innovative Non Profit and Fair Trade certified organization which raises funds for community development projects in Cape Town and South Africa.

  • Visit the dramatic Capes

    The stunning cliff scenery surrounding Cape Town is part of the dramatic South African coastline. Visit the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Agulhas for the beautiful views across the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, that meet at the most southern tip of Africa.

  • Walk in the Company's Garden

    Set in the City Bowl area of Cape Town, a walk around the Company's Garden is an introduction to the very origins of the city itself. Originally established in 1647, the Dutch East India Company used this garden to re-supply its ships passing the Cape.

  • Whale watching on the Western Cape

    Southern right whales visit the Western Cape from about June to December every year. These beautiful gentle giants congregate to the shores of Hermanus all the way along the coast line towards Plettenberg Bay.

  • Wine Tasting along the Constantia Wine Route

    South Africa is well known for its exquisite Winelands and Constantia was one of the first wine-producing areas in the western cape, dating back to the 1600s, spend a day visiting the areas famous vineyards as you take in the beautiful scenery.

Location & directions

South Africa

Travel through South Africa, journeys include Cape Town, Victoria Falls, Durban, Namibia and Dar es Salaam.

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Call us on 858 345 1761 to start planning your vacation to Rovos Rail or take a look at our itineraries to Cape Town

Top Five Train Journeys Around the World

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