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.
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.
LUXURY TRAIN TRAVEL AFRICA