South Africa may be just one country on the African continent, but it encompasses a diverse series of landscapes. Whether you are craving coastal vistas or African wilderness, South Africa has it all. However, if you want to experience a unique journey through this country and ditch normal car or plane rides, nothing is better than luxury trains.
A train journey across the country opens up picturesque scenery, such as pristine seas, charismatic wildlife, ancient villages, and much more. These luxury trains showcase South Africa’s natural beauty in a different light altogether. Here are some reasons why you must consider opting for a luxury train ride in South Africa:
- Luxury trains have a long heritage, as most journeys take place on carefully restored carriages that belong to bygone eras.
- Trains can travel through vast expanses and reach destinations that no other mode of transport can. In South Africa, luxury trains move throughout game reserves, historical regions, and other dramatic vistas, offering unobstructed views.
- While many of the luxury trains make use of the original carriages, one can’t help but experience the extravagance that comes with them. Luxury trains often have designer interiors and provide modern-day conveniences, world-class services, gourmet dining, and much more.
- Lastly, the journey experienced on a luxury train is exclusive and cannot be mimicked anywhere else. Instead of waiting for hours at the airport or driving long distances, luxury trains offer efficiency and comfort.
There are some fine choices when it comes to luxury trains in South Africa. So, now that the reasons have convinced you, take a look at three luxury trains in South Africa that are bound to give you the experience of a lifetime.
The elegance of train travel provided by Rovos Rail is the greatest and has a range of journeys to offer. It is the epitome of luxury combined with vintage carriages and lounges furnished with winged-backed chairs and sleek wood panelling. Rovos Rail aims to take you back to the Victorian days but offers all the modern facilities with it.
Rovos Rail’s one-of-a-kind train safaris through the heart of Africa cover the most magnificent scenery. Established in 1989, Rovos Rail has successfully earned an international reputation for its incredible train travel experiences.
For accommodation, Rovos Rail features Edwardian-period interiors and a range of suites to choose from. It also has windows that open, offering an authentic train journey. There are stylish Royal Suites, beautifully appointed Deluxe Suites, and the newly added Pulman Suites. The train also provides a fine dining experience in Victorian-style décor. At the very end of the train lies a lounge, a bar, and a seating area. The open-air patio allows you to truly appreciate the countryside views while you enjoy your drink.
The Blue Train
When it comes to personal services and attention to detail, nothing is better than The Blue Train, which is considered to be a five-star hotel on wheels. For over half a century, the train has earned an international reputation for being one of the finest luxury trains in the world. Offering a supreme travelling experience, the train rides provide stunning scenery with luxurious comforts and stylish carriages.
The Blue Train ran its first service in 1923 but came back fully refurnished in 1997, defining a new era of luxury travel and adding new destinations to its routes.
Journeys on The Blue Train include Cape Town to Pretoria and vice versa. The train covers popular and iconic places like Kruger National Park, Port Elizabeth, Victoria Falls, the Garden Route, and much more.
There are two Blue Train sets, the latter offering a conference or an observation car at the back of the train. The suites on the train are tactfully designed with sophisticated interiors, with touches of gold and marble. Guests can choose from deluxe and luxury suites, which are accompanied by the ever-changing vistas of the countryside.
The meals are prepared thoughtfully and live up to the five-star dining experience. Each of the blue trains has two lounges where guests can enjoy afternoon tea and post-dinner cognac.
The word Shongololo means millipede in the indigenous language and makes for an impressive sight as it travels through the wilderness of Southern Africa. Since 1995, Shongololo Express has been providing a special touring experience on the continent. It is a beautiful train that moves beyond the borders of South Africa, travelling through different destinations.
Not only can guests enjoy panoramic views of South Africa but also of Namibia, eSwatini, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. The journeys last between 12 and 15 days and travel through some of the most exquisite places. These include popular journeys like the African Trilogy (Pretoria to Walvis Bay), Good Hope (Pretoria to Cape Town), Southern Cross (Pretoria to Victoria Falls), and Dune Express (Pretoria to Walvis Bay).
When it comes to accommodation, Shongololo Express recaptures the past, where travellers can enjoy Africa’s magic in an elegant and laid-back manner. The classic wood panels deck out the coaches, with subtle period features, and modern facilities accompanying them. The cabins offered by the train are Emerald Double, Emerald Twin, Gold Double, and Gold Twin.
Shongololo Express offers a world-class dining experience and specialises in both traditional African dishes and global cuisines. It also has a lounge and an observation car where guests can relax and appreciate the beautiful views.
These affluent South African train companies provide a variety of journey options and packages for exceptional experiences. Book a journey and feel the majestic Africa with the most luxurious trains in the world.
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