Rovos Rail: Dar es Salaam to Cape Town

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Rovos Rail - Dar es Salaam to Cape Town

Rovos Rail
Dar es Salaam to Cape Town

15 Days • 5800km • Small Escorted Group
Departs Dar Es Salam – 31 January 2023

Overview

Come and join us on this small group tour, departing 31 January 2023 on board Rovos Rail, one of the most luxurious trains in the world, for a journey through Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa.

This epic Rovos Rail expedition is one of the most famous train journeys in the world. Shortly after the bustling departure from Dar es Salaam, traverse the fertile lands of Tanzania to the Selous Reserve, the largest on the continent and a vision of timeless Africa. Travel the jungled Udzungwa Mountains and negotiate the dramatic switchbacks, viaducts and tunnels of the escarpment. Pass baobab forests and ascend the Rift Valley to the border, almost exactly the midpoint between Africa’s two Great Rift Valley lakes. Join the TAZARA railway line – an engineering tour de force – as it passes through remote territory to Chishimba Falls where a rock-pool excursion is enjoyed. Cross the mighty Zambezi River into Victoria Falls and explore one of the natural wonders of the world. Travel south along the edge of the Kalahari Basin to Madikwe to enjoy the Big Five. After a tour of South Africa’s capital, Pretoria, traverse the Karoo with visits to Kimberley’s Diamond Mine Museum and the historic village of Matjiesfontein before descending through the winelands to journey’s end in Cape Town.

Step aboard the vintage wood-panelled coaches and sit back as some of the most varied scenery imaginable unfolds beyond the windows. With discreet and friendly service, top cuisine and a selection of South Africa’s finest wines, Rovos Rail harks back to a simpler, more elegant era encompassing the timeless grace and high romance of African exploration.

The beautifully rebuilt trains, which may be hauled by diesel or electric locomotives, carry a maximum of 72 passengers in 36 superbly appointed suites.

Contact us for more information on the Rovos Rail: Dar es Salaam to Cape Town tour.

Itinerary

Day 1: 31 January 2023 – Dar es Salaam

09:30 : Check-in reception at the Kivukoni Room, Serena Hotel, Ohio Street, Dar es Salaam. Transfer to Tazara Station.

12:00 : Depart from Tazara Station in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Guests may freshen up in their suites before joining fellow travellers in the lounge car and observation car, which will be at the front of the train for the first 72 hours – a different aspect that our rail enthusiasts enjoy.

13:00 : Lunch is served in the dining cars. The train travels the fertile lands of Tanzania towards the Selous.

16:30 : Tea is served in the lounge and observation cars.

19:30 : Dinner is served in the dining cars en route to Fuga Halt for overnight. Dress: Formal

Day 2: 01 February 2023 – Selous Game Reserve

05:30 : Breakfast is served in the dining cars.

07:00 : Enjoy a game visit in the Selous Game Reserve, the largest in Africa at 55,000km2 (time permitting).

13:00 : Lunch is served in the dining cars. The train travels towards the jungled Udzungwa Mountains and negotiates the dramatic switchbacks, viaducts and tunnels of the escarpment.

16:30 : Tea is served in the lounge and observation cars.

19:30 : Dinner is served in the dining cars en route to Mlimba for overnight. Dress: Formal

Day 3: 02 February 2023 – Makambako (Optional)

07:00 : Breakfast is served in the dining cars until 10:00.

09:00 : Arrive at Makambako and enjoy a stroll through the town (time permitting).

13:00 : Lunch is served in the dining cars. The train passes baobab forests and ascends the Rift Valley to the border, almost exactly the midpoint between Africa’s two Great Rift Valley lakes.

16:30 : Tea is served in the lounge and observation cars.

19:30 : Dinner is served in the dining cars. Dress: Formal

Day 4: 03 February 2023 – Chisimba Falls

07:00 : Breakfast is served in the dining cars until 10:00. Border formalities take place.

13:00 : Lunch is served in the dining cars. The train travels the TAZARA railway line, an engineering tour de force and one of Africa’s best-kept secrets as it passes through remote territory.

14:30 : Enjoy a visit to Chisimba Falls where guests can take a pleasant walk down to the rock pools at the base of the falls or admire them from various viewpoints. Return to the train by 18:00.

19:30 : Dinner is served in the dining cars. Dress: “Africa” Theme or Smart Casual

Chisimba Falls is a series of three waterfalls named Mutumuna, Kaela and Chishimba (Chisimba), which are separated over 300m along the Luombe River. According to Bemba tradition, the nature spirit “Chishimba” lives in a cave behind the falls therefore no bad behaviour (including fights, insults and arrogance) is allowed in this area. Though the Bemba people arrived here in the 17th century, they weren’t the first as the land surrounding the falls is dotted with evidence of Iron Age activities including kilns, smelting pipes and iron ore deposits.

Day 5: 04 February 2023 – At Leisure On Board

07:00 : Breakfast is served in the dining cars until 10:00.

13:00 : Lunch is served in the dining cars. The train is turned at Kapiri Mposhi.

16:30 : Tea is served in the lounge car and observation car.

19:30 : Dinner is served in the dining cars. Dress: Formal

Day 6: 05 February 2023 – At Leisure On Board

07:00 : Breakfast is served in the dining cars until 10:00. The train departs Lusaka, capital of Zambia.

After breakfast the train crosses the Kafue Railway Bridge – a 477-metre long steel girder truss bridge of 13 spans each at 33 metres supported on concrete piers.

13:00 : Lunch is served in the dining cars. The train travels to Zimbabwe.

16:30 : Tea is served in the lounge car and observation car.

19:30 : Dinner is served in the dining cars. Dress: Formal

Day 7: 06 February 2023 – Victoria Falls (Off-train accommodation:  Victoria Falls Hotel)

07:00 : Breakfast is served in the dining cars until 10:00. Border formalities take place. Cross the Victoria Falls Bridge.

11:00 : Arrive at the incomparable Victoria Falls. Disembark with an overnight bag and walk across to the hotel for an overnight stay.

Welcome address on the lawn followed by lunch at Jungle Junction. Luggage will be delivered to the rooms.

15:45 WINTER / 16:15 SUMMER Meet in the hotel foyer before departure for the sunset cruise on the Zambezi.

19:30 : Dinner at the Livingstone Room, Victoria Falls Hotel. Dress: Smart Casual (strictly no safari-wear, shorts, sandals or sneakers)

Plunging over the lip of the Victoria Falls is the largest body of falling water on earth. The mighty Zambezi, fourth longest river in Africa, is about 2kms wide above the falls and cascades dramatically over a precipice 1.6km in length and 108m at its deepest, compressing the vast volume of water into a chasm 50m wide. The sound can be deafening, the aspect magnificent and the memory indelible. In autumn, the spray is so great it inhibits photography while in spring the seasonal flow considerably reduces leaving large slabs of brown basalt exposed on the lip.

Day 8: 07 February 2023 – Victoria Falls

06:30 : Breakfast is served at the Jungle Junction Restaurant until 10:00. Day at leisure in the Victoria Falls.

12:00 : Lunch at Jungle Junction Restaurant, Victoria Falls Hotel.

16:00 : Meet on station platform.

17:00 : Depart Victoria Falls.

19:30 : Dinner is served in the dining cars. Dress: Formal

Day 9: 08 February 2023 – At Leisure On Board

07:00 : Breakfast is served in the dining cars until 10:00. Border formalities take place.

13:00 : Lunch is served in the dining cars. The train crosses the Tropic of Capricorn and the eastern edge of the Kalahari Basin. Known as ‘Kgalagadi’ in Botswana, the Kalahari (which extends to 900 000km2 and covers much of Botswana, parts of Namibia and South Africa) is not a true desert as it does experience small amounts of rain, with some areas enjoying up to 250mm. The surrounding basin covers over 2,500,000km2 extending farther into Botswana, Namibia and South Africa and encroaching into parts of Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is part desert, part plateau. The only constant river, the Okavango, flows into a delta in the northwest forming marshes that are rich in wildlife.

16:30 : Tea is served in the lounge car and observation car.

19:30 : Dinner is served in the dining cars. Dress: Formal

Day 10: 09 February 2023 – Madikwe Game Reserve (Off-train accommodation:  Madikwe)

07:00 : Breakfast is served in the dining cars until 09:30.

10:00 : Transfer (±90 min) to a lodge in Madikwe for a two-night stay. Border formalities will take place en route and guests are required to present themselves to officials. Lunch is served upon arrival.

Afternoon tea and game drive (approximately 3 hours).

19:00 : Dinner at the lodge. Dress: Casual

Madikwe is a prime malaria-free Big 5 wildlife reserve bordering Botswana. It lies within a transition zone between the North West Province bushveld and Kalahari thornveld with enormous volcanic intrusions, wide open plains and the riverine environment along the Marico River. As a result, the region is host to an incredible diversity of species from both ecosystems with a rich assortment of vegetation and more than 300 resident and migrant bird species.

Day 11: 10 February 2023 – Madikwe Game Reserve (Off-train accommodation:  Madikwe)

Early morning game drive (approximately 3 hours).

07:00 : Breakfast is served at the lodge until 09:30.

12:30 : Lunch at the lodge.

Afternoon tea and game drive (approximately 3 hours).

19:00 : Dinner at the lodge. Dress: Casual

Day 12: 11 February 2023 – Madikwe Game Reserve

Early morning game drive (approximately 2 hours).

07:00 : Breakfast is served until 09:30. Please ensure that your bags are ready for collection by 10:30 and proceed to check out.

11:00 : Depart the lodge and transfer to the train at Zeerust.

13:00 : Lunch is served in the dining cars.

16:30 : Tea is served in the lounge car and observation car.

19:30 : Dinner is served in the dining cars. Dress: Formal

Day 13: 12 February 2023 – Pretoria

07:00 : Breakfast is served in the dining cars until 10:00. The train travels through the goldfields.

10:00 : Arrive at Rovos Rail Station in Pretoria. Enjoy a city tour of Pretoria followed by lunch on the Rovos Rail platform and a walking tour of the station and locomotive workshops (weather permitting).

16:30 : Tea is served in the lounge car and observation car.

19:30 : Dinner is served in the dining cars. Dress: Formal

Day 14: 13 February 2023 – Kimberley

07:00 : Breakfast is served in the dining cars until 10:00.

Enjoy a tour of Kimberley’s Diamond Mine Museum and the Big Hole. Capital of the Northern Cape, Kimberley is well known for the discovery of diamonds that led to its establishment in 1871.

13:00 : Lunch is served in the dining cars. Travel through the Karoo, a vast semi-desert region that was once an enormous inland sea. Over millions of years, volcanic matter was ground down and deposited as silt upon the seabed to form what geologists call the Karoo system.

16:30 : Tea is served in the lounge and observation cars.

19:30 : Dinner is served in the dining cars. Dress: “1920s” Theme or Smart Casual

Day 15: 14 February 2023 – Matjiesfontein & Cape Town

07:00 : Breakfast is served in the dining cars until 10:00. During breakfast, there is a chance for guests to disembark the train at Whitehill Siding and walk the 5km into Matjiesfontein. A member of staff will accompany the group.

Disembark at Matjiesfontein for an opportunity to stroll through the historic village. Of special interest is the museum on the platform and a collection of historic cars and railway carriages to the right of the Lord Milner Hotel.

About an hour after Matjiesfontein, the train arrives at the first of four tunnels on the pass. The first tunnel is 13.5km long so guests are to be careful when walking through the train and may wish to turn on necessary lights.

13:00 : Lunch is served in the dining cars. The train climbs ±750m down the escarpment through the Hex River Valley.

16:30 : Tea is served in the lounge and observation cars.

18:00 : The train arrives at journey’s end at Cape Town Station.

Price + Inclusions

Rovos Rail: Dar es Salaam to Cape TownPrice per person
Twin Share
Single Room Supplement
Based on Pullman Gold Suitefrom USD 13,600USD 6,050

Rates one way per person sharing include:

  • Accommodation
  • All meals
  • All beverages on board
  • Room service
  • Limited laundry service
  • Excursions with a qualified guide (where applicable)
  • Entrance fees as per itinerary
  • On-board historian, hairstylist and doctor
  • Government tax

Rates Exclude:

  • International/French Champagne
  • Gratuities
  • Personal expenses
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Pre-and post-tour transfers, accommodation and flights

Included in off-train accommodation:

  • Overnight bag
  • Meals, water, tea/coffee and breakfast juices
  • Snacks and drinks on sunset cruise

Excluded from off-train accommodation:

  • All other beverages
  • Meals at unspecified venues
  • Laundry
  • Personal expenses

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