Luxury Train Travel South Africa.  www.classicencounters.com
African Classic Encounters - www.classicencounters.com

The romance of a magical voyage on one of the world's most legendary trains offers an experience of a lifetime. The selection of Luxury trains invites you to enjoy the charm of the golden age of rail travel as well as the modern benefits today's traveler expects. Step aboard these luxury trains and follow in the footsteps of numerous royals and celebrities who have enjoyed the decadent ambience of the world's most famous trains.

Navigate the spellbinding countryside of South Africa in style - a journey on the Rovos Rail or Blue Train combines the atmosphere of a bygone era with fine cuisine and comfortable furnishings to offer an experience like no other. But whichever option you choose, you will be assured of the opportunity to enjoy some of the world's most splendid scenery from a very unique vantage point.

When steam trains first puffed along the tracks in Africa, the local tribesmen called them shongololos, an African name for millipede. Their purpose was purely transport and provided accessibility to the remote regions of Africa. Today’s train travel however provides much more.

Pamper yourself after your safari adventure, or en-route to you vacation destination along South Africa’s Cape shore. Luxury train journeys include routes connecting Johannesburg via Pretoria with Cape Town, the Garden Route and the Victoria Falls

South Africa boasts two luxury trains - ROVOS RAIL and THE BLUE TRAIN.  These two trains are unique in their own way.

The Rovos Rail offers a romantic, intimate, luxurious experience with an 'old style classic feel' while the Blue Train offers similar luxury but with modern features such as television in the rooms, and electrical train engines.

Both are exceptional, and you will be assured of a journey of distinction.


If this is the kind of safari you appreciate, then have a look at our
distinctive, luxury safaris on offer. The below train journeys combine perfectly with our exclusive, tailor made, luxury safaris.

ROVOS RAIL

In contrast to the contemporary style of the Blue Train, Rovos Rail’s luxury trains are elegantly styled in authentic Edwardian era décor, with wood-paneled coaches remodeled and refurbished to mint condition. The only compromise in style is the modern but necessary convenience of air conditioning in every suite.

Royal suites each have their own lounge and en-suite bathroom with Victorian bathtub.

Deluxe suites each have a private lounge and private bathroom with shower.

Guests enjoy the finest cuisine prepared on board, dining in 5 star luxury as Africa’s splendid scenery unfolds beyond the dining car windows, then relax between meals and excursions in the comfortable lounge and observation car at the rear of the train.   

BLUE TRAIN

The Blue Train provides contemporary luxury and 24 hour service. It has been voted the “world’s leading luxury train” at the World Travel Awards for four years running.

Its interior design, service and luxury compare with top five star hotels. Each suite on board the train has an en-suite bathroom with bathtub or shower, a telephone, TV monitor and individually controlled air conditioner.

There are four suites per coach and a professionally trained butler is on duty on every coach to cater to the needs of his guests. The Club Car is designed along the lines of an old gentleman’s club for those who enjoy a good port wine and after dinner cigar or coffee. A large video screen provides a view of the scenery ahead of the train, courtesy of a camera mounted on the locomotive.

For non-smokers, the Lounge Car provides a smoke free environment where high tea, various beverages and snacks are served. Staff is available 24 hours a day and professional chefs prepare world class cuisine for every meal. A choice of only the finest wines is served to compliment meals.

The Blue Train operates only four routes: Pretoria - Victoria Falls, Pretoria - Cape Town, Port Elizabeth - Cape Town and Pretoria - Nelspruit.

Each route offers a very different perspective of the Southern African landscape, from flat open plains to rolling hills and mountains and the magnificent splendor and excitement of the Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

Safari crosses the landscape of the mind, until it finally merges with the name of the great continent itself, Africa.   

OTHER TRAINS OF SOUTH AFRICA

SHONGOLOLO EXPRESS

Shongololo Express offers one of the most interesting, unusual and value packed ways to explore Africa... aboard a fully serviced traveling hotel train.

You'll meet like-minded people from all over the world. Socialize, tour or relax as much as you want to and be rocked gently through the night to the rhythm of the tracks.

By traveling at night, you awake each dawn to a different, exciting destination and have the whole day to explore the sights and sounds of a new environment.

Unique to Shongololo is that they also carry their own fleet of mini vans for guided sightseeing tours during the day.

There is a variety of things to do, so you can pick and choose from the detailed daily tour options. And what's more, these daily tour options are included in your price.

Your home aboard the train is a simple yet comfortable twin bedded compartment. You'll find a shower and a bathroom just down the corridor and there's more than enough storage. Life aboard is informal and more importantly, no packing and unpacking as your hotel travels with you. Detailed itineraries are available on request.

DESERT EXPRESS

Explore the great open spaces of Africa. On board the  luxurious train you can experience your own African dream as you travel in comfort and style through savannah, bushveld and desert.

The Desert Express has been winding through the beautiful Namib Desert since April 1998. It was designed and built by Namibia's leading engineers and designers, using the most modern technology and equipment available. This train was truly born in Africa, and you will see the unique colors and textures of Africa reflected everywhere: the burnt amber leather upholstery, the rich golden and red woods, the silver lightness of glass. Animal motifs taken from the surroundings tastefully echo the landscape through which you travel.

The staff on board the Desert Express are more than hospitality staff, they all share a deep and burning love for Africa and have an astonishing knowledge of her secrets. They will make your journey an unforgettable experience and will pamper you with their friendly Namibian hospitality and excellent service.

En route you can enjoy breakfast and dinner that includes a three-course meal exquisitely prepared and presented in the Welwitschia Restaurant. The Spitzkoppe Lounge is fully air-conditioned and passengers can relax and enjoy a full bar service.

There are 24 fully air conditioned sleeper compartments, each with its own en-suite facility. The compartments convert to a private lounge during the day and can accommodate one, two or three passengers.

Sit back, relax and enjoy the elegance of yesteryear's traveling surrounded by unsurpassed beauty in today's convenience and style.

UNION LIMITED GOLDEN THREAD

This steam rail tour train runs regularly from Cape Town. All tours are run with the union Limited vintage steam safari train. The objective to preserve South Africa's railway heritage in as original as possible condition, have been accomplished with the newly renovated train. 

Gas heated showers and hot water in most of the basins and steam heating in the winter where possible and fresh air from open windows in the summer.

There is the standard vintage first class without air conditioning and an air vanity limited at present to six couples per tour.

Traditional hearty South African meals are served in the magnificent wooden interior dining cars.

Dress on the tours is casual and comfortable at all times. For space and comfort a maximum of two passengers in a four-berth compartment and one passenger in a two-berth coupe. There are charging facilities on board for shaver and video batteries.

Passengers are required to bring their own chargers. Photo opportunities are offered to enable you to record your experience. Bookings are essential.

OUTENIQUA CHOO CHOO

Close to the ocean in the heart of South Africa’s scenic Garden Route is another quaint and historic train service. The Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe is one of the last steam* hauled scheduled passenger trains operating in Southern Africa and is a real treat for kids of all ages as well as the steam train enthusiast. *Note: The operator reserves the right to use a diesel engine without prior notice on any scheduled trip. In dry and windy conditions embers from the steam locomotive is considered to be a fire hazard.

The Choo-Tjoe offers its passengers a picturesque 42 mile (67 km) tour along the Garden route, parts of which are inaccessible by any other mode of transport. The train embarks from George at the Outeniqua Transport Museum where passengers can enjoy refreshments or wander through the art gallery, curio shop or model train room. In Knysna the train stops at the Water Front which offers boat rides, restaurants, art and craft exhibitions and a wide variety of shops. Relax and enjoy a most memorable train ride in one of the few remaining passenger steam trains left in the world.

This track is also used to access Kaaiman’s Grotto. The Grotto is a large natural cave with spectacular views of the ocean. It is only accessible by train, along the same route as that of the Choo-Tjoe.

The train to the Grotto departs from the Outeniqua Transport Museum in George or the station in the coastal town of Wilderness.

Diners enjoy a traditional South African dinner after savoring the magnificent ocean vistas and sunset over cocktails. Local wines or beverages are served and background music/entertainment is provided during the meal.

 

Rovos Rail - Luxury train travel - www.classicencounters.com

JOURNEYS OF DISTINCTION

   

ROMANCING THE WILD