Luxury train travel in Africa

Sit back on a luxury train for a return to the Golden Age of Travel. Designed to deliver some of the most exclusive and personalised journeys in Africa, our luxury train safaris relive the bygone days of high tea, dressing for dinner and watching the landscape gently unfold before you.

It’s an experience-rich journey. Wending their way through southern and East Africa, luxury train tours take time to include game drives in Big 5 reserves and connect iconic destinations such as Cape Town, the Kruger and Victoria Falls. You can even finish your grand rail tour with a beach holiday on Zanzibar.

There are two options for luxury train travel in Africa: Rovos Rail and the Blue Train. Both are South African-based and lay claim to be among the most luxurious trains in the world. Find out more below.


Blue Train vs Rovos Rail

The Blue Train: South Africa in Style

Instantly recognisable by its deep blue livery, the Blue Train remains the iconic way to journey between Cape Town and Pretoria.

It’s a modern train with wood-panelled lounge car, bar and dining carriage. Suites are surprisingly spacious and convert from your daytime sitting area – complete with lounge chairs and desk – to a comfortable bedroom. Each suite has a private bathroom – the larger ones have a bathtub – and butler service.

The Blue Train is perfect for travellers with more time on their hands and who want to spend a couple of days in a unique environment. The atmosphere is refined but relaxed and inclusive – the train’s bar and lounge are popular meeting places for fellow travellers.

All meals and drinks are included on this 2-day journey – there is a formal dress code for dinner – and guests are treated to a historical tour of the towns of Kimberley or Maatjiesfontein, depending on which way they are travelling – Cape Town to Pretoria or vice versa.

The Blue Train now runs from Pretoria to Hoedspruit, the gateway town to the Kruger National Park and the Sabi Sands Private Reserve. Talk to us about a tailor-made journey that takes in the attractions of Cape Town and the Big 5 game viewing of the Kruger – a rail safari that echoes the past glories of travel.

Rovos Rail - Travel from a Bygone Era

Rovos Rail is the gold standard of luxury train travel. From the exclusivity of its private stations to the sheer indulgence of its suites, this is an experience for the most discerning traveller.

The train is essentially a luxury hotel on wheels: there is a choice of luxurious suites, including the Royal Suite which takes up half a carriage, as well as dining cars, a smoking and non-smoking lounge, and convivial observation car. Meals are first-class, the wine list extensive and everything is included during your journey.

There’s a sophisticated yet relaxed atmosphere on board the train. There are no televisions or radios on the train and all cell phone and laptop use is restricted to the privacy of your suite. The dress code is smart casual during the day and formal for dinner.

Like the Blue Train, Rovos Rail runs between Cape Town and Pretoria but takes an extra day to make it a 3-night journey. You’ll stop at both Kimberley and Maatjiesfontein for an inclusive tour.

Rovos Rail also runs longer routes into Namibia, offers golfing tours across South Africa, and even travels to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania where you can step off the train and head for the beaches of Zanzibar. Our favourite Rovos Rail route is the one from Cape Town to Victoria Falls. It’s an amazing week-long experience that includes a game drive in Hwange National Park.


Selected Tours

Browse our recommended examples below, each featuring African Luxury Train Travel. If you’d like us to tailor-make an itinerary based on your needs and budget, then simply contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

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It was a safari of a lifetime and exceeded all of our expectations!

Our mom grew up in Central and South Africa so we had visited the continent many times. My sister and I wanted to take our teens and husbands to Africa to experience the magic. We had a limited budget but big and specific expectations and by some miracle Walter was able to manage both.

Heather (USA)
Very helpful good suggestions for holiday ideas always available for questions good organising

Excellent service and they supplied good suggestions for our holiday they also organised all internal flights and arranged check in for us so we had no worries while on holiday. We have had a most memorable holiday staying at wonderful places thanks to Sabrina and Safari Online. Would recommend Safari Online to organise your holiday.

Lorraine (UK)
Walter has always been an excellent communicator and has supported us fully

We have been to Africa for 24 of the last 27 years so know a bit about what is involved. Walter has arranged the details for the last couple of years, and has done a superb job. He is always quick to respond and comes up with answers immediately…… evasive tactics, always head-on!

Roger (UK)
Professional, patient, efficient and responsive. Met all our travel needs and requirements spot on

Communication was excellent – I asked A LOT of questions and did a ton of research myself and Walter was extremely patient with me and very responsive. he was straight forward and extremely professional. Tour itself was excellent – an incredible experience and one never to be forgotten. Everything was spot on.

Karina was absolutely instrumental to our safari success.

Our experience with Safari Online was excellent. After becoming very frustrated trying to search for a safari destination on our own, we turned to Karina for help and she was a lifesaver.  We had an amazing safari adventure at the lodge–the experience of a lifetime–and are so grateful for her help. We literally couldn’t have done it without her!

Chris (USA)
Best trip I have ever been on. Highly recommend.

Would highly recommend. Safari online asked questions when booking and were efficient and knew exactly what we were looking for in terms of accommodation and animals were wanted to see. Gave advice on a few little extras with no pressure, which we did and am very grateful which make trip even more exciting. Would definitely recommend booking with them.

Safari Online were extremely efficient and absolutely charming to work with.

Our 28-day itinerary took us to South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana. A magnificent and unforgettable adventure. Everything ran smoothly and efficiently from the flights, transfers, rides, connections, etc. Absolutely wonderful! Can’t thank them enough!

Ann and Mario (Canada)
Safari Online made our fantastic family holiday dream come true!!

Safari Online have been nothing but professional and incredible from the time we made our first enquiry to the last day of our stunning holiday. Nothing was too much trouble for Walter. We are now starting to plan our next family Safari for 2019. Guess who we will be booking with??? Safari Online we hope you are ready!!!!!

Penni (AU)
Professional, quick and top of the edge service!!!

From the very first contact we’re very happy about the respond time and quality of information from Based on the received first tailor-made quote, which is a weblink with all the details about the flights, photos of the lodges etc. we knew that this is “our” partner for this trip. Our expectations were excelled!!!

Lukas (Germany)
An incredibly well organised tour with no hassles whatsoever.

Safari Online understood our needs and was able to present us with sensible options to choose from. It was evident that this tour operator has knowledgable and experienced agents who can arrange a seemless tour. We were provided with a professional online itinary which was comprehensive and easy to use, knew exactely what to expect, and encountered no stumble blocks along the way.

Gwen (AU)