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Cape Town to DAR ES SALAAM (Rovos Rail)

This epic train journey travels through South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania and is one of the most famous in the world.

The sojourn begins in Cape Town taking guests to the historic village of Matjiesfontein, the diamond town of Kimberley and the capital city of Pretoria for short tours followed by two nights in the Madikwe Game Reserve. Continue through Botswana into Zimbabwe where guests overnight at the Victoria Falls Hotel. After crossing the mighty Zambezi River, the train joins the Tazara line in Zambia and continues to Chisimba Falls where guests enjoy a bush walk.

The train climbs to the Tanzanian border then descends into the Great Rift Valley negotiating the tunnels, switchbacks and viaducts of the spectacular escarpment. Climbing again, it traverses the Selous Game Reserve – the largest on the continent and a vision of timeless Africa – before the bustling arrival in Dar es Salaam the following day. Available in reverse.

  • The historic village of Matjiesfontein
  • The diamond town of Kimberley
  • The capital city of Pretoria
  • Madikwe Game Reserve
  • Zambezi River
  • Great Rift Valley
  • Selous Game Reserve – the largest on the continent and a vision of timeless
Day 1
Cape Town, South Africa

Depart from Cape Town Station. The train travels towards the Hex River Valley.

Meals includes: Dinner

Day 2

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

The train traverses 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.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner.

Day 3

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.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner.

Day 4

Transfer (±60 min) to Pretoria for a city tour followed by lunch on the Rovos Rail Station platform. Enjoy a walking tour of the station and locomotive workshops (weather permitting). Return (±60 min) to the train.

Meals: Breakfast/Dinner.

Day 5

Transfer (±90 min) to a lodge in Madikwe for a two-night stay. Lunch is served on arrival.
Afternoon tea and game drive (approximately 3 hours).

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.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner.

Day 6

Early morning game drive (approximately 3 hours).

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner.

Day 7

Early morning game drive (approximately 2 hours). Depart the lodge. Transfer to the train at Gaborone in Botswana.

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.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner.

Day 8

Enjoy at leisure. . Pass Gwaai and Dete along one of Africa’s longest stretches of straight
railway line – 71 miles – and along the eastern edge of the Hwange National Park.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner.

Day 9

Arrive at the incomparable Victoria Falls. Disembark with an overnight bag and walk across to the hotel. 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.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner.

Day 10

Meet on station platform for departure to Zambia. Visit cross the Victoria Falls Bridge.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner.

Day 11

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

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner.

Day 12

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.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner.

Day 13

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. The train climbs to the border, almost exactly the midpoint between Africa’s two Great Rift Valley lakes

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner.

Day 14
MAKAMBAKO (optional)

Arrive at Makambako and enjoy a stroll through the town (time permitting). The train travels towards the jungled Udzungwa Mountains and negotiates the dramatic switchbacks, viaducts and tunnels of the escarpment.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner.

Day 15

Enjoy a game visit in the Selous Game Reserve, the largest in Africa at 55 000km2 (time permitting).  The train descends into the highlands and traverses the fertile lands of Tanzania towards the Selous.

Meals: Breakfast/Dinner.

Day 16

Arrive at journey’s end at Tazara Station in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Meals: Breakfast

  • Meet and greet on arrival at Airport.
  • Accommodation and meals as indicated in the itinerary (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner).
  • Entrance fees where applicable.
  • Tours as indicated in the itinerary.
  • Professional English-speaking guide/driver guide.
  • Transfers
  • Travel Protection is offered on all packages at an additional cost.

Rovos Rail