This nine-day, 3 400 kilometre journey takes the train from the savannahs of the Highveld to the Atlantic in the west. Departing from Pretoria, the first stop is Kimberley, centre of one of the world’s famous diamond rushes where there is an opportunity to savour the 1870's atmosphere of the mine village. The train traverses the stark vistas of the Northern Cape to the Fish River Canyon (second in size to the Grand Canyon) and Garas Park with its Quiver Tree Forest.
Continue across the untamed beauty of the Kalahari Desert to Namibia’s capitalof Windhoek, a lively, cosmopolitan city with a strong German flavour. Then it’s a short flight to Sossusvlei, a stunning pan in the Namib Desert, for an overnight stay followed by a night in the game-rich Etosha National Park. On the last morning, the train travels the Namib to the perfectly preserved 19th- century German Hansa town of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay; an unforgettable end to a remarkable journey.
You can opt to do this journey in reverse.
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What to Expect on This Safari
This popular itinerary can be customised to match your budget and travel dates by adding/removing a few days or selecting different lodges
Your luxury train awaits to embark on this fabulous journey that .will be the epitome of class and style. Your departure from the town of Pretoria will be at 15h00.
While you travel south across the goldfield mines of northern Witwatersrand, you'll be treated to afternoon tea while the rolling landscape passes you by. Get acquainted with your luxury travelling quarters and enjoy a fine dinig affair in the evening.
Kimberley and the Karoo
On your second day you'll be treated to a nutritious breakfast before you disembark in the old frontier town of Kimberley. Explore the world's largest mad-made hole, aptly called the 'Big Hole'. You'll be able to learn more about this once-famous diamond town and the rich history of the region.
Once back on the train, you'll enjoy lunch, tea and dinner as you traverse the vast expanse of the Karoo. Look out for the glorious Karoo sunset before you retire for the evening.
Today you'll have the option of disembarking in the largest town in the Northern Cape; Upington. This hub offers local farming communties a reprieve from solitary life in the country and acts as a gateway to the Kalahari desert. Warm, friendly hospitality and intruiging history should make your two-hour walking tour of the town both interesting and educational.
Once back on the train, enjoy some rest and relaxation before you reach the border between South Africa and Namibia. After border formalities at Nakop, you'll be on your way again into the mysterious and ancient land of Namibia.
Fish River Canyon | Keetmanshoop
Your day will begin with a short one-hour transfer to the immense Fish River Canyon. This snaking valley cuts a divide in the earth's crust, creating a river that teems with life. The immense size demonstrates the power and beauty of nature. Once you've contemplated the hallow beauty of the canyon, you'll board the train once again for your journey to Keetmanshoop. The red dunes and sparse vegetation of the passing Kalahari desert is supremely beautiful, so have your camera ready.
Once you arrive at Keetmanshoop, you'll have the opportunity to visit Garas Park and the intruiging Quiver Tree Forest, a garden of this iconic, desert-adapted flora. A quiver tree can reach unfathomable ages, reinforcing the knowledge that this is one of the oldest and richest areas of land in the world. During June and July, the quiver trees burst into bloom; drawing insects, animals and birds from all around to the sweet nectar of these 'blessed' plants.
Windhoek | Sossusvlei Lodge
Welcome to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. Explore the city on a tour that will show you the beautiful German-influenced architecture and culture, a colonial heritage that can be seen and felt even today.
After your excursion, you'll take a short flight to the majestic and ancient salt pan called Sossusvlei, where the world's tallest sandunes make one feel tiny against the backdrop of stark natural beauty. This is a hotspot for photography, with the white-baked salt pan contrasted against the red (oxidized) dunes. Interesting to note is that the redder the dune, the older it is.
After a lunch at Sossusvlei Lodge, you'll be able to enjoy a desert game drive, bush dinner and a comfortable bed for the night.
Drinks: Not included
Transport and transfers: Included
Sossusvlei Lodge | Windhoek
Day six ushers in another majestic Namibian sunrise, which you can enjoy at breakfast in the Sossusvlei Lodge. Retrace the previous day's journey and make your way back to Windhoek via a short flight where you'll meet up with Rovos Rail for the next leg of your journey. Travel north and enjoy the breathtaking and surreal beauty of Namibia.
Drinks: All included
Etosha National Park | Namutoni rest camp
After breakfast you'll disembark for a short transfer to Namibia's most famous national park, where you'll arrive just in time for lunch at Namutoni rest camp.
Spend the rest of your day exploring Etosha National Park on a thrilling game drive across the salt-crusted saline desert (depending on whether you are travelling during the wet or dry season, rainfall floods some of the pans where all manner of animals congrate to drink). Spot numerous antelope, giraffe, elephants and the black-maned lion.
After the day's activities you'll enjoy a dinner and overnight stay at the Namutoni camp.
Drinks: Not included
Transport and transfers: Included
Etosha National Park | Atlantic Coast
After breakfast, you'll be transferred back to the train that will take you on another adventure towards the sparkling Atlantic ocean, a fertile-rich coastline that seems to stretch endlessly along the country. This is the heart of the Namib desert, where sand dunes meet the coast in a surreal and complex melting point of fog, sea spray and random rocky outcrops.
Enjoy your last day of luxury before your journey comes to an end.
Namib Desert | Walvis Bay
On your last day, you'll journey through the Namib desert and towards your final destination; Walvis Bay.
After disembarking for the final time, you'll have the option of exploring the old imperial German seaside town of Walvis Bay and thereon to your connecting flgiht back home, or to where you heart desires.
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