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Pretoria to Namibia (Rovos Rail)

This journey takes the train from the savannahs of the Highveld to the Atlantic in the west. Departing from Pretoria, the first stop is Kimberley, centre of one of the world’s famous diamond rushes where there is an opportunity to savour the 1870s atmosphere of the mining village.

The train traverses the stark vistas of the Northern Cape to the Fish River Canyon – second in size to the Grand Canyon – and Garas Park with its quiver-tree forest. Guests continue across the untamed beauty of the Kalahari Desert to a cheetah conservation project and a stop in Namibia’s capital for a tour; Windhoek is a lively, cosmopolitan city with a strong German flavour.

Then it’s a short flight to Sossusvlei, a stunning pan in the Namib Desert, for an overnight stay followed by a night in the game-rich Etosha National Park. On the last morning, the train travels the Namib to the perfectly preserved 19th-century German Hansa town of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay – an unforgettable end to a remarkable journey. Available in reverse.

Day 1
Arrive Pretoria

Depart from Rovos Rail Station, Pretoria. Travel south via the goldfields of the Witwatersrand. Guests may freshen up in their suites before joining fellow travelers in the lounge car or observation car at the rear of the train.

Meals includes: Lunch/Dinner

Day 2

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 3

Enjoy a walking tour of Upington with a sundowner cruise on the Orange River.

The Orange River is the longest river in South Africa (1511mi). It rises in the Drakensberg Mountains in Lesotho and flows westwards through South Africa to the Atlantic Ocean. It forms part of the borders between South Africa and Lesotho and South Africa and Namibia. Except for Upington, it does not pass through any major cities. Attorney General of the Cape, Sir Thomas Upington was principally responsible for liquidating the business activities of all the Orange River pirates and capturing their leader, Klaas Lucas. When the desperadoes were finally chased away in 1884, the town was founded on the banks of the Orange River and named in his honour.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner.

Day 4

The train travels along the southern reaches of the Kalahari Basin.
Transfer (±60 min) to the Fish River Canyon.

The Fish River rises in the centre of the country before flowing south into the Orange River on Namibia’s border with South Africa. It has formed the great Fish River Canyon – the largest canyon in the southern hemisphere and probably only second to Arizona’s Grand Canyon in terms of size. The vast rocky landscape breaks up into a series of spectacular cliffs. Its size is impressive: 161km long, up to 27km wide and almost 550m at its deepest.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner.

Day 5

Transfer (±60 min) to the ghost town of Kolmanskop followed by lunch in Lüderitz. Lüderitz is known for its museum, colonial architecture and wildlife including seals, penguins, flamingos and ostriches. Look out for the illusive legendary horses rumoured to roam the Namib. Return to the train. Depart for Keetmanshoop. The observation car will be leading the train until after dinner

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner.

Day 6

Visit Keetmanshoop and Garas Park (Quiver Trees), home to roughly 300 specimens of the Aloe dichotomy.
The prehistoric trees have forked branches that reach up to 5m making for great photographic opportunities.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner.

Day 7

Transfer to the airstrip. Depart in a light aircraft for a one-hour flight to a Sossusvlei lodge for overnight.
After check-in, enjoy lunch and an afternoon at leisure.
Afternoon desert drive and a bush dinner after sunset.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner.

Day 8

Depart in a light aircraft for the one-hour flight to Windhoek.
Lunch at Windhoek Country Club followed by a city tour. Visit the Trans-Namib Transport Museum, the Independence Memorial Museum, the Evangelical Lutheran Church (a striking landmark) and the Namibia Craft Centre in the old Breweries Building.
Depart for Kranzberg.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner.

Day 9

Transfer (±60 min) to a cheetah conservation project in Otjiwarongo. Founded in Namibia in 1990, the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) is dedicated to saving the cheetah in the wild.
Depart for Otavi.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner.

Day 10

Transfer (±60 min) to an Etosha lodge for overnight. Check-in and enjoy lunch.
Afternoon game drive (approximately 3 hours).

Etosha National Park offers great game viewing with many species of mammals, birds and reptiles. It gets its name from the Etosha pan, which almost entirely lies within the park. Etosha is a large salt pan forming part of the Kalahari basin and means ‘Great White Place’.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner.

Day 11

An early wake-up call with tea and coffee followed by a game drive in the Etosha National Park.
Return to the lodge for a late breakfast and check-out.
Transfer (±60 min) to the train at Tsumeb Station.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner.

Day 12

Traverse the Namib Desert towards Walvis Bay. Arrive at journey’s end in Walvis Bay, Namibia.

The Namib stretches for more than 1242.742miles along the Atlantic coasts of Angola, Namibia and South Africa. The geology consists of sand seas near the coast while gravel plains and scattered mountain outcrops occur further inland. The name is of Khoekhoegowab origin and means “vast place”. Having endured arid or semi-arid conditions for roughly 55-80 million years, the Namib may be the oldest desert in the world.

Meals: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner.

  • 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