Trains are the most agreeable, comfortable and relaxing of any form of long distance travel. Whether you are seeking spectacular scenery, luxurious carriages, heritage steam trains or epic long-distance journeys, perhaps aboard a sleeper, there is no better perspective on the world than from a railway carriage.
From the rhythmic hum of metal wheels on welded rails to ever-changing panoramas beyond the window, few journeys evoke the glamour and elegance of a bygone era as deftly as luxury train travel in Africa.
Trains remind us of the golden age of travel. Of journeys packed with nostalgia, charming comforts and a little old-world sparkle. And luxury train travel in South Africa, in particular, has seen something of a revival over the past two decades. Today, a few five-star options confidently rattle along tracks throughout the Cape Winelands, the beloved Karoo, game reserves and brilliant historical regions, making for an unprecedented travel experience like no other.
One of the most popular train routes that run throughout the country, falls between the bustling cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg. This route covers a lengthy portion of the South African countryside in style and top-class comfort, allowing you to be well rested and refreshed upon your arrival at your respective destination. Below are three of African Travel Gateway’s best options for luxury train travel in South Africa. We can assist you in planning your entire trip by train or to incorporate sections by rail into your itinerary.
Notorious for its elegance and extravagance, the grandeur of the Rovos Rail epitomises luxury train travel at its finest. Amble your way back towards the Victorian days with the help of the train’s glamourous vintage carriages and lounges finished with sleek wood-panelling and winged back chairs. Guests will also indulge in a first-class dining experience with excellent cuisine, in an amiable pre-1940s atmosphere.
Personal service and attention to detail is what makes The Blue Train another luxury, five-star “hotel-on-wheels”. Traversing between Cape Town, Pretoria and Hoedspruit, this train offers guests a lavish experience that incorporates fine-dining gastronomy with deluxe suites, finished with touches of gold and marble. The elegant lounging carts allow you to soak up panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, and with a personal butler to attend to your every need, relaxation and comfort are guaranteed.
The Shongololo Express is a beautiful train that moves beyond the borders of South Africa, travelling its way around Namibia, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Mozambique too. With three, specialised tours that fall between 12-15 days and unique off-train excursions, this train represents laid-back luxury travel at its best. The charm and attraction of the en-suite cabins, and causal appeal throughout its carriages, ensures guests a splendid journey of superior quality.
Why do people choose luxury train travel?
In an age where every aspect of our modern lives have been taken over by electronic devices and social media, what better way than to disconnect, relax, and rediscover a distant era of elegant travel aboard a vintage luxury train.
This celebrated style of travel can transport you to some of Africa’s most exciting destinations in unforgettable style, allowing you to relive the days of high tea, dressing up for dinner and watching the landscape gently unfold before you.