South Africa’s Blue Train
Traveling by train is a highly enjoyable romantic escape into another world. The preferred method of adventure by millions, trains carry wide-eyed travelers to the brink of all that’s wild and wonderful, smoothly covering diverse terrains to connect the four corners of the world.
Each continent boasts a legendary train trip, from the Glacier Express in Switzerland to the Orient Express in Southeast Asia to The Ghan in Australia. Yet of all the world’s great trains, South Africa’s Blue Train is truly unique.
Most every world traveler has heard about Rovos famous Blue Train in South Africa. What most don’t realize is that the ultimate luxury train travels the length of Eastern Africa. You can board in Cape Town and you will travel through South Africa, Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls), Botswana, Zambia and arrivie in Dar Es Salaam,Tanzania. Here is a description of this elegant and gorgeous journey.
This epic 14-day journey travels through South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania and is one of the most famous train journeys in the world. Starting in Cape Town, this magnificent sojourn will take guests through the historic village of Matjiesfontein, the diamond town of Kimberley and the capital city of Pretoria, then for a two-night stay at the Madikwe Game Reserve. The train then passes through Botswana into Zimbabwe where guests overnight at the Victoria Falls Hotel. After crossing the mighty Zambezi River, the train travels northeast through Zambia where guests can enjoy a bush walk at Chisimba Falls. The train continues the climb towards the Zambian/Tanzanian border, almost the midpoint between Africa’s two Great Rift Valley lakes.
Descend into the Rift Valley itself and witness spectacular scenery as the train negotiates the tunnels, switchbacks and viaducts of the escarpment. Early on the last day, the train passes through the Selous Game Reserve – the largest on the continent and a vision of timeless Africa – shortly before the bustling arrival in Dar es Salaam. * Please note that depending upon the railway’s capacity this journey could be routed northwards through Beitbridge and Zimbabwe.
The Blue Train is a unique window into Africa
The Blue Train does not go around mountains; it goes through them. It glides through thick forests where leopards stare down from trees with fiery and curious eyes, and over deserts where watering holes draw giraffes, elephants, wildebeests and zebras. It chases galloping herds of gazelles across great fields of wildflowers and races cheetahs through rocky brush.
If you’re feeling Anthony Bourdain-like and want to something perhaps new and certainly interesting, try the Karoo lamb with a side of ostrich soup. You can drink a South African Shiraz from a vineyard passing just outside your window. For the Blue Train’s finest grace is its luxury, second to none in the train world, rolling down the track as both a train and a world-class hotel.
Call it an all-inclusive luxury rail cruise. This “cruise” comes complete with breathtaking views of South Africa’s soul-inspiring landscapes and visits to intriguing attractions and remote villages along the way. As for the all-inclusive luxury, the Blue Train does not disappoint. From butlers turning down your bed to complimentary kimonos and slippers, the Blue Train cradles each guest in an opulence that perfectly balances the wild surrounds outside the train.
Voted the world’s most luxurious train by the international travel trade, the Blue Train got its name from its distinctive sapphire-blue carriages. The track, originally laid in the 19th century in an audacious bid to connect Africa’s southern tip with Cairo, stretches nearly 2,000 miles from Cape Town, South Africa’s capital, north through Pretoria and up to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
A journey into a timeless world of grace, elegance and romance
The Blue Train could provide a world-class holiday even if the entire trip was through a tunnel at night. But the main reason people ride is for the scenery. Southern Africa has always attracted adventurers-romantic souls in pith helmets searching for an experience unlike any other the world could provide. The Blue Train provides these experiences through four different routes, roaring along prime corridors of wildlife and incredible vistas.
From Pretoria to Cape Town, the train travels south through spacious farmlands to Kimberly, the epicenter of the worldwide diamond rush. After an off-train excursion through this historic town with the “Big Hole,” a name that screams “Must See,” passengers continue south through the heart of Great Karoo, where vineyards and summer roses line the train’s descent through beautiful valleys and mountains toward Cape Town’s imposing and instantly recognizable Table Mountain.
The second route from Pretoria to Victoria Falls is a journey deep into the continent, through the enduring plains of Botswana and Zimbabwe. The train rambles through Matobo Hills National Park, commonly described as a moonscape of endless granite humpbacks, before reaching Victoria Falls, the greatest curtain of falling water on earth, known in Zimbabwe as “the smoke that thunders.” On the return trip, an excursion to Hwange National Park, one of Africa’s last great elephant sanctuaries, completes the experience.
While the trip from Pretoria to Hoedspruit is the shortest of the Blue Train routes, it may be the best for viewing the big five: elephants, rhinos, buffalos, lions and leopards-oh my! The train cuts through the Valley of the Olifants, the largest aggregation of privately-owned wildlife reserves in the world, along with Kruger National Park, the Drakensberg escarpment and Blyde River Canyon.
Renowned for its dramatic views of the Indian Ocean, the Garden Route transports passengers from Cape Town east to Port Elizabeth. The route wanders lazily through the Langeberg mountains, across fruit and wine regions toward the spectacular eastern seaboard. Giant yellowwood trees and wildflowers surprise passengers en route to the friendly city of Port Elizabeth, an historic landing place of the British settlers of 1820.
Whether you’re starting in Cape Town or Pretoria, or you know that Victoria Falls is your final destination, the Blue Train will get you there in pure South African style.
The Blue Train is widely regarded as one of the world’s most luxurious trains
We’ll help you choose the best to visit South Africa, which months are best for viewing the wildlife around watering holes, and when the climate is best for touring. They can set up your off-train excursions, book multiple Blue Train tickets for longer rides, combine trips though other fine train retailers and help you hopscotch across South Africa’s greatest attractions.
Take in the five-star scenery of South Africa from the five-star comfort of the Blue Train. Contact us agent today to plan a personal safari that’s right for your and your family, and get ready to enjoy the perfect vacation to wild and wonderful Africa.