African Collage for Leisure Guests

A 12-night tapestry of landscape, game, history and culture covering South Africa

Overview

12 NIGHTS • 3700km

This panoramic sojourn winds its way from Pretoria to Cape Town and includes a golfing and non-golfing itinerary. After a game drive in Kruger Park* guests travel to the Kingdom of eSwatini* to witness Swazi heritage and to Hluhluwe for game viewing. Travel along the coast to Durban* for a city tour then traverse the Valley of a Thousand Hills to Spionkop Lodge*, the perfect base for exploring the mountains, bush, birds and battlefields of the region. Continue to Port Elizabeth* for a game drive at Addo Elephant Park then on to the natural paradise of Knysna for an overnight stay at Fancourt*. ~Transfer through the Outeniqua Mountains to the impressive Cango Caves and an ostrich farm for a visit. Traverse the Karoo and the spectacular winelands and Cape mountains before this magnificent expedition ends in Cape Town. Available in reverse.

*Courses dependent on availability and direction: White River/Mbombela/Leopard Creek (on request), Nkonyeni/Royal Swazi, Durban Country Club/Mount Edgecombe/Cotswold Downs, Champagne Sports Resort, Humewood, Fancourt and Pezula/Simola.

~Parts of the railway line between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town have sadly been damaged and washed away due to fire and flooding. Repairs are underway with estimated completion to be confirmed. We have altered the routing between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town but have pleasingly retained the excursions and departure/arrival points.

Itinerary

DAY 1: PRETORIA

Please check-in a minimum of one hour before departure. Should you wish to visit our museum or do a site tour at Rovos Rail Station, we suggest arriving two hours prior to departure.

  • Depart from Rovos Rail Station, Pretoria. Guest may freshen up in their suites before joining fellow travellers in the lounge cars. The train travels on the eastern line towards the harsh eMalahleni coal-mining area and Middelburg, known as the “stainless steel capital of Africa”. The Dutch railway building company, NZASM, built the eastern line between Pretoria and Lourenço Marques (Maputo) from 1893 to 1895.
  • Dinner is served in the dining cars. Dress: Formal

Please ensure the Train Manager or Administration Deputy is in possession of your passport. It will be returned to you before the end of the trip.

DAY 2: AT LEISURE ON BOARD

  • Breakfast is served in the dining cars until 10:00. The rolling hills of eMakhazeni, eNtokozweni and Dullstroom are a welcome sight and are renowned for the genteel yet skilful sport of trout fishing.
  • Lunch is served in the dining cars. The train descends the spectacular Drakensberg Mountain escarpment, first named by the Voortrekkers who thought the unbroken chain of heavily weathered peaks reminded them of the spines on a dragon’s back, hence the name ‘Dragon Mountain’ or Drakensberg in Afrikaans.
  • Tea in the lounge and observation cars.
  • Dinner is served in the dining cars en route to Malelane. Dress: Formal

DAY 3: KRUGER PARK

  • Breakfast is served in the dining cars.
  • Game drive in the Kruger National Park with tea, lunch and an opportunity for curio shopping.
  • Return to the train.
  • Tea in the lounge and observation cars.
  • Dinner is served in the dining cars en route to Mpaka. Dress: Formal

The famous Kruger Park (2-million hectares) is a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and home to an impressive number of species, e.g. 336 species of trees, 49 species of fish, 34 species of amphibians, 114 species of reptiles, 507 species of birds and 147 species of mammals including the Big Five.

DAY 4: ESWATINI

  • Breakfast is served. Border formalities take place.
  • Transfer (±90 min) to Swazi Candles and Mantenga Cultural Village with lunch.
  • Return to the train (±75 min).
  • Depart for Golela for border formalities.
  • Tea in the lounge and observation cars.
  • Dinner is served en route to Hluhluwe. Dress: Formal

The tiny Kingdom of eSwatini (Swaziland) covers only 17 000km2, most of which is mountainous. For such a small country, it is surprising that it sustains two capital citiesMbabane is the administrative capital and Lobamba is the royal and legislative capital. In April 2018 Swaziland changed its name to the Kingdom of eSwatini and is an absolute monarchy. It is landlocked and borders South Africa and Mozambique. Mantenga Lodge is nestled mountainsoverlooking ‘Execution Rock. The village a living museum of old traditions represents a classic Swazi lifestyle during the 1800s.

DAY 5: HLUHLUWE-IMFOLOZI PARK

  • Breakfast is served in the dining cars.
  • Transfer (±30 min) to Hluhluwe for a game drive. As the oldest proclaimed reserve in Africa, Hluhluwe encompasses 960km² of hilly topography in central Zululand and is known for its rich wildlife and conservation efforts. It is the only state-run park in KwaZulu-Natal with all the Big Five game animals and is also a prime birding destination.
  • Return to the train.
  • Lunch is served in the dining cars. Travel south along the Indian Ocean coastline.
  • Tea in the lounge and observation cars.
  • Dinner is served in the dining cars. Dress: Formal

DAY 6: DURBAN

  • Breakfast is served in the dining cars.
  • Enjoy a Durban city tour, a visit to the botanical gardens and lunch at Umhlanga’s beachfront. Durban is the third largest city in South Africa and enjoys great importance due to its industry and very large port.
  • The train traverses the Valley of a Thousand Hills.
  • Tea in the lounge and observation cars.
  • Dinner is served. Dress: “Africa” Theme or Smart Casual

DAY 7: SPIONKOP

  • Breakfast is served in the dining cars.
  • Transfer (±30 min) to Spionkop Lodge to hear the historic tale of the Battle of Spionkop and walk in the footsteps of Churchill and Gandhi. Enjoy lunch.
  • Afternoon game drive OR relax at the lodge.
  • Tea in the lounge and observation cars.
  • Dinner is served in the dining cars. Dress: Formal

The Drakensberg Mountains were first named by the Voortrekkers who thought the unbroken chain of heavily weathered peaks reminded them of the spines on a dragon’s back, hence the name ‘Dragon Mountain’ or Drakensberg in Afrikaans.

DAY 8: GOLDEN GATE NATIONAL PARK & CLARENS

  • Breakfast is served in the dining cars.
  • Take a drive through the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. The park’s most notable features are its golden ochre and orange-hued deeply eroded sandstone cliffs and outcrops, especially the Brandwag Rock.
  • Visit the small and picturesque town of Clarens situated in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains. Enjoy an early lunch (own account).
  • Transfer (±60 mins) to the Sandstone Heritage Trust, a large agricultural estate that houses an impressive collection of heritage trains, tractors, busses, cars and military vehicles.
  • Transfer (±60 mins) to the train at Bethlehem and depart for Bloemfontein.
  • Dinner is served in the dining cars. Dress: Formal
    The observation car will be leading the train until Port Elizabeth – a different aspect that our rail enthusiasts enjoy.

DAY 9: BLOEMFONTEIN

  • Breakfast is served in the dining cars until departure.
  • Tour of Bloemfontein including the Women’s Memorial and Anglo Boer War Museum.
  • Depart for Coerney. Traverse the Karoo, a vast and beautiful semi-desert stretching across the great South African plateau inland from the Cape coast with scattered towns and villages. Cross the dry southeastern region with its variety of grasses, hardy shrubs, tumbleweeds and succulents and descend the Great Escarpment towards the coast.
  • Lunch is served in the dining cars.
  • Tea in the lounge and observation cars.
  • Dinner is served in the dining cars. Dress: Formal

Bloemfontein is the seat of the South African judicial system. At the end of the 19th century it was also the capital of the old Boer Republic of The Orange Free State. Bloemfontein is capital of the Free State Province and also known as the Rose City. Loch Logan Waterfront is next to the city’s newly renovated stadium, which was one of the venues during the 2010 Soccer World Cup. The Women’s Memorial at the Anglo Boer War Museum is a reminder of life in the concentration camps and commemorates the 27 000 women and children who died in these camps. The Museum itself is a graphic depiction of the hardship endured by all during the war and relates the history of South Africa from 1652.

DAY 10: ADDO ELEPHANT PARK

  • Breakfast is served in the dining cars.
  • Game drive in Addo Elephant Park, South Africa’s third largest national reserve stretching from the semi-arid Karoo, over the Zuurberg Mountains and down through the Sundays River valley to the coast. The park is home to one of the densest African Elephant populations on earth – roughly 600.
  • Depart for Port Elizabeth.
  • Lunch is served in the dining cars.
  • Tea in the lounge and observation cars.
  • Dinner is served in the dining cars. Dress: Formal

DAY 11: KNYSNA

Please pack an overnight bag for your stay at Fancourt. Tog bags have been placed in your suites for your convenience.

  • Breakfast is served until departure.
  • Transfer (±90 min) from Port Elizabeth Station to Oudebosch Farm Stall.
  • Enjoy a refreshment stop at Oudebosch.
  • Transfer (±90 min) to Knysna for a lagoon ferry ride with lunch.
  • Transfer (±60 min) to Fancourt and check-in.
  • Dinner and overnight at Fancourt. Dress: Smart Casual

George and Knysna sit between the majestic Outeniqua Mountains to the north and the Indian Ocean to the south. The Knysna Heads – two sandstone cliffs guarding the mouth of the lagoon connecting the estuary with the sea – is a dramatic viewpoint. At lunchtime, the train travels the Garden Route, a narrow coastal terrace lying between the deep-set coastal cliffs rising sheer out of the sea and the mountains a short distance inland – a topology that facilitates heavy rainfall, hence the name as it is always lush and green.

DAY 12: OUDTSHOORN

You may call Reception to collect your bag or take it to check-out on departure.

  • Breakfast is served until 09:30. Check out.
  • Transfer (±60 min) to an ostrich farm for a visit followed by lunch.
  • Transfer (±30 min) to the Cango Caves for a visit.
  • Transfer (±150 min) to Prince Albert Rd Station.
  • Dinner is served in the dining cars en route to Matjiesfontein. Dress: “1920s” Theme or Smart Casual

This semi-desert region is situated at the foot of the majestic Swartberg mountain range where many rivers, streams and falls have their origins. The great natural wonder of the Cango Caves has colourful underground chambers with breathtaking limestone formations. Oudtshoorn is regarded as the centre of the Klein Karoo and is famous for feathering the world in the time of the boa and grand hats. The ostrich boom of the early 20th century turned out many millionaires who, in turn, created elaborate lifestyles in this remote part of Africa.

DAY 13: CAPE TOWN

Please ensure luggage is ready for collection 15 minutes before arrival and that you have your passport.

  • Breakfast is served in the dining cars until 10:00. Trundle through the spectacular mountain ranges and scenic winelands of the Western Cape towards the coast.
  • Lunch is served in the dining cars.
  • Arrive at journey’s end at Cape Town Station.

Information

Please dress accordingly for excursions/game drives: mornings can be cool then warm up considerably; afternoons can be warm
then cool down considerably. Warm clothing, comfortable shoes, hats and sun protection are advised. Rain capes are available.

Excursions may be changed according to schedule achieved. Times are approximate and cannot be guaranteed.
Please check with the Train Manager or reservations@rovos.co.za for any updates or changes to the itinerary.
In your suite you will find the Journeys magazine that features articles of interest related to the route.

INCLUDED: Accommodation; all meals; all beverages; room service; limited laundry; excursions with a qualified guide (where applicable); entrance fees as per itinerary; government tax. EXCLUDED: International sparkling wine; gratuities; personal expenses; visas; travel insurance; pre- and post-tour transfers, accommodation and flights.
MEALS ON BOARD (unless adjusted) Breakfast 07:00-10:00 • Lunch 13:00 • Tea 16:30 • Dinner 19:30

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