Established in 1989, Rovos Rail has earned an international reputation for offering guests a truly world-class travel experience. In a series of bespoke train journeys lasting from 48 hours to 15 days, Rovos Rail links some of the continent’s greatest destinations with a variety of off-train excursions. 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.
These beautifully rebuilt trains, which may be hauled by diesel or electric locomotives, carry a maximum of 72 passengers in 36 superbly appointed suites and are also available for charter, while the Events Train caters for up to 250 guests and is suitable for daytime journeys.
Each train has accommodation carriages, dining cars (±42 seats), a lounge car (±26 seats), a small gift shop, smoking lounge (±11 seats) and an observation car (±32 seats) with an open-air balcony. Maintaining the spirit of a bygone era, there are no radios or television sets on board.
There are three types of suites available – Pullman (7sqm), Deluxe (10sqm) and Royal (16sqm) – which offer passengers privacy and comfort with double or twin beds and fittings and facilities that are of the highest standard. All have en-suites featuring a shower, toilet, basin and bath (Royal only), tea facilities, safes, air conditioning, linen and amenities and are serviced daily. There are adequate storage and small cupboards with hangers and shelves.
Rovos Rail welcomes all travellers – singles, couples and groups. The dining cars are made up of two-seaters and four-seaters where guests eat together or individually. The lounge and observation cars feature big picture windows, sofas and booths which create a perfect space for great mingling areas or quiet corners to while away the days.
Many passengers enjoy the formality of fine china and glassware, crisp linen and silver, and dress accordingly. Days onboard are smart casual while evening attire is more formal. On long journeys, we enjoy themed evenings where guests can dress up accordingly or opt for smart casual.
Rovos Rail boasts an enthusiastic team of chefs that are responsible for overseeing the very important task of ensuring guests’ every need is catered for. There’s an accent on fresh local ingredients and traditional dishes are a speciality. Meals are served in one sitting only in the dining cars and are complemented by a selection of fine South African wines. The bar menu is comprehensive although special items such as French Champagne would need to be requested in advance.
A typical day on the Rovos Rail
- Breakfast: 07:00-10:00
- Lunch: 13:00
- Tea: 16:30
- Formal Dinner: 19:30
- Bar service is from 07:00-±01:00.
All meals are served at these times unless otherwise stated in the itineraries.
Rovos Rail Itineraries & Destinations
Pretoria to Cape Town:
- DAY 1: Pretoria departure at 11h00
- DAY 2: Kimberley Tour at 10h00
- DAY 3: Matjiesfontien visit at 08h15 followed by arrival in Cape Town at 18h00
Cape Town to Pretoria:
- DAY 1: Cape Town departure at 11h00 followed by the Matjiesfontein visit at 18h00
- DAY 2: Kimberley Tour at 14h30
- DAY 3: Arrival in Pretoria at 17h00
Pretoria to Durban:
- DAY 1: Pretoria departure at 10h00
- DAY 2: Nambiti game drive at 07h00, followed by Spionkop game drive or a battlefield visit at 15h00
- DAY 3: Ardmore visit at 10h00 followed by arrival in Durban at 16h00
Durban to Pretoria:
- DAY 1: Durban departure at 10h00 followed by Ardmore visit at 15h00
- DAY 2: Spionkop game drive or a battlefield visit at 08h00, followed by a Nambiti game drive at 15h00
- DAY 3: Pretoria arrival at 16h00
Pretoria to Victoria Falls:
- DAY 1: Pretoria departure at 10h00
- DAY 2: On board
- DAY 3: Hwange game drive at 15h00
- DAY 4: Victoria Falls arrival at 10h00
Victoria Falls to Pretoria:
- DAY 1: Victoria Falls departure at 17h00
- DAY 2: Hwange game drive at 06h00
- DAY 3: On Board
- DAY 4: Pretoria arrival at 10h00
All ages welcome however long journeys are not recommended for children under 13 years.