Enjoy all the extravagances of yesteryear on a luxury journey on Africa’s most luxurious train, enjoying all-inclusive drinks and multi-course dining as you sweep through gorgeous vineyards and remote deserts. We’ve also included plenty of excitement either side, beginning with a stay among Cape Town’s natural icons. Then, after a pause in South Africa’s historic capital, Pretoria, you’ll finish with a luxurious Big-Five safari in one of the world’s greatest parks – Kruger. Expect to pair rhinos and leopards with an all-inclusive spread of sundowner drinks and fine dining.
Day 1: Depart UK
Fly overnight from London to Cape Town, South Africa. After making the most of your complimentary airport lounge access, board your overnight flight to South Africa.
Days 2-4: Cape Town
You’ll be met, on arrival, by a private driver, who’ll see you to your luxury accommodation. Alongside its cocktail bar and spa, it offers a privileged setting on the waterfront, enjoying gorgeous views of Table Mountain. Over your three days here, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to explore this city great, from its gorgeous beaches and penguin colonies to Table-Mountain cable car rides and Robben Island – the imposing site of Mandela’s incarceration. Of course, there’s also the nearby vineyards and the city’s famed dining scene to taste your way through.
Day 5: Rovos Rail
After a private transfer to the station, you’ll settle in to your spectacular wood-panelled cabin. It comes complete with an en suite and, each evening, your steward will convert its plush sofa to a double or twin bed. Then, be sure to head to the open-air balconies of the observation carriages to watch as the Winelands rush by – views best paired with a drink from the open bar. A gong signals the first of your full-board meals, with a lunch of regionally inspired fine dining served up in the Edwardian grandeur of the dining cars. River valleys, tunnel hops and a chance to explore the colonial-village charm of Matjiesfontein will then see you through to the evening, when you’ll change for a formal dinner.
Day 6: Rovos Rail
Between a leisurely gourmet breakfast and lunch today, be sure to find some time to relax in the wingback chairs of the lounge cars. It’s the chance to soak up the dramatic scenery of the Karoo – South Africa’s barren, semi-arid desert. You’ll then arrive in Kimberley for an included tour of its Victorian heritage, Diamond Mine Museum and the Big Hole – a great open pit claimed to be the deepest hole excavated by hand. Returning to the train, look out on the left for a 23,000-strong flock of flamingos before tea is served in the lounge and a final formal dinner in the restaurant cars.
Day 7: Pretoria
A last indulgent breakfast and the goldfields of the Witwatersrand will then see you to Pretoria, arriving around midday. Here, a private driver will bring you to your boutique accommodation for sweeping pool views over the South African capital. You might also want to explore, perhaps taking in the Botanical Gardens, its excellent museums or the grand neoclassicism of the governmental Union Buildings.
Days 8-11: Sabi Sands Game Reserve
Included transfers will bookend your flight down to Sabi Sands Game Reserve in Greater Kruger National Park. Here, you’ll stay in one of just a dozen 1920s cottages; think claw-foot baths and private verandahs. You’ll also begin your series of guided nature walks and twice-daily game drives, heading out to uncover everything from rhinos and lions to hyena and hippo. The region is particularly well-known for its leopard sightings. Each day, you’ll return to all-inclusive fine dining and drinks, perhaps best taken by the boma fire or open-lip swimming pool. The optional spa treatments are a nice touch.
Days 12-13: Depart for UK
After breakfast, a last included transfer will see you to the airport for your flight home.
Blog: The Best of South Africa guide
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