NEW Tour for 2024!
The Rovos Train Journey of Namibia and South Africa is a luxurious and unforgettable travel experience. This 23-day excursion takes passengers through stunning landscapes, from the desert dunes of Namibia to the Cheetah Conservation through the Kalahari Desert of South Africa. Passengers will enjoy gourmet cuisine, fine wines, and attentive service as they relax in the comfort of beautifully restored vintage train cars. Along the way, there are opportunities to explore historic towns, see wildlife on safari, and learn about the culture and history of this fascinating region.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure for those who appreciate the finer things in life and want to experience the romance and elegance of train travel.
The tour is full of highlights, with just so much to see and do!
- Johannesburg, our gateway into South Africa and its largest city
- Zambia – Victoria Falls – enjoy the sunset cruise on the Zambesi River
- Botswana – Chobe National Park, a safari experience of a lifetime
- ROVOS Train – the world’s most luxurious train
- Etosha Game Drives
- Cheetah Conservation Project
- Fish River Canyon – only the Grand Canyon is bigger in size
- Kalahari Desert
- Garas Park – Quiver Trees
- Walvis Bay
Wednesday 06 March: Auckland – Singapore
A mid-afternoon departure to Singapore. We arrive late evening and have a few hours in transit before continuing on to Johannesburg.
Thursday 07 March: Singapore – Johannesburg (D)
An early morning arrival into Johannesburg. After clearing Customs and Immigration formalities, we are met and transferred to our hotel, located in the exclusive Sandton area for a 2-night stay. The remainder of the day is at leisure to rest up after the journey. We meet for dinner this evening.
Friday 08 March: Johannesburg (B, D)
Enjoy a day tour of Johannesburg city and the South-Western Townships, otherwise known as Soweto. On this day tour, we are treated to various sights and sounds of Soweto including Nelson Mandela House, the Apartheid Museum. We enjoy our first dinner tonight together at the hotel.
Saturday 09 March: Johannesburg – Livingstone (Zambia) (B, D)
After breakfast, we are transferred by coach back to the airport in time to join the short flight to Livingstone (Zambia), Victoria Falls. We’re met on arrival and transferred to our hotel where we enjoy a 2-night stay.
Sunday 10 March: Victoria Falls (B)
This morning, we enjoy a guided tour of Victoria Falls. Our Zambian guide enlightens us on the facts and history along the way, as we are guided around the falls. It is a truly awe-inspiring experience – we are able to view the largest falling sheet of water in the world – the sight, the sound, the smell, the humbling feeling that here indeed is Nature’s supreme masterpiece. For those that wish, there is time for a helicopter flight over the falls at the conclusion of our guided tour (additional cost). In the afternoon, we enjoy a sundowner cruise on the great Zambezi River.
Monday 11 March: Livingstone – Victoria Falls – Chobe N.P, Botswana (B,L,D)
This morning we travel by road (100kms) to Botswana’s Chobe National Park, home to some of the largest herds of elephant in Africa, large numbers of crocodiles, hippos, as well as a large array of birdlife. After lunch at our lodge, we enjoy a game-viewing cruise on the Chobe River. This trip will definitely allow you to feel the pulse of Africa. This afternoon we arrive at Cresta Mowana Resort, situated on the banks of the mighty Chobe River, where we will stay for two nights.
Tuesday 12 March: Chobe National Park Botswana (B,L,D)
We rise early this morning to take part in another game drive – an excellent opportunity to start ticking off the Big 5! We’ll return to the hotel for lunch and relaxation before heading out again this afternoon to enjoy a river cruise.
Wednesday 13 March: Livingston – Johannesburg (B,D)
We have breakfast at the hotel, before travelling back across the border to Livingstone Airport in time for the short flight to Johannesburg. We spend the night close to the airport.
Thursday 14 March: Johannesburg – Walvis Bay (B,D)
We return to the airport today for our flight to Walvis Bay, Namibia. We are met on arrival and have an orientation tour before heading to our hotel for the night.
Friday 15 March: Walvis Bay (L,D)
This morning we check-in at Walvis Bay Station, Namibia. The train departs for Otjiwarongo. Guests may freshen up in their suites before joining fellow travellers in the lounge car or observation car at the rear of the train. Lunch is served in the dining cars. The train travels across the Namib Desert towards Otjiwarongo. Tea in the lounge and observation cars. The observation car will be leading the train until lunchtime tomorrow – a different aspect that our rail enthusiasts enjoy. Dinner is served in the dining cars, dress formal
The Namib stretches for more than 2000km along the Atlantic coasts of Angola, Namibia and South Africa. The geology consists of sand seas near the coast while gravel plains and scattered mountain outcrops occur further inland. The name is of Khoekhoegowab origin and means “vast place”. Having endured arid or semi-arid conditions for roughly 55-80 million years, the Namib may be the oldest desert in the world.
Saturday 16 March: Cheetah Conservation Project (B,L,D)
Breakfast is served in the dining cars until departure. Transfer (±60 min) to a cheetah conservation project in Otjiwarongo for a visit. Founded in Namibia in 1990, the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) is dedicated to saving the cheetah in the wild. Lunch is served in the dining cars en route to Tsumeb. Tea in the lounge car and observation car, which is at the rear of the train. Dinner is served in the dining cars, dress formal.
Sunday 17 March: Etosha National Park (B,L,D)
Please pack a small overnight bag ready for the stay at Etosha. Tog bags have been placed in your suite for your convenience. Breakfast is served in the dining cars until 10:00. Transfer (±60 min) to a lodge in Etosha for overnight. Check-in and enjoy lunch. Afternoon game drive (approximately 3 hours). Dinner and overnight at the lodge, dress casual. Etosha National Park (22270km2) offers great game viewing with many species of mammals, birds and reptiles. It gets its name from the Etosha pan (4760km2), which almost entirely lies within the park. Etosha is a large salt pan forming part of the Kalahari basin and means ‘Great White Place’.
Monday 18 March: Etosha National Park (B,L,D)
Please ensure your overnight bag is ready to be collected from your suite and proceed to checkout by 10:45. Your bag will be loaded into the vehicles. Time of game drive to be confirmed. An early wake-up call with tea and coffee. Enjoy a game drive in the Etosha National Park. Return to the lodge for a late breakfast and check-out. Transfer (±60 min) to the train at Tsumeb Station. Lunch is served in the dining cars. Tea in the lounge and observation cars. Dinner is served in the dining cars en route to Kranzbergs, dress formal.
Tuesday 19 March: Sossusvlei (B,L,D)
Please pack a small overnight bag for the stay in Sossusvlei. Breakfast is served in the dining cars until 10:00 en route to Windhoek.
Transfer to the airstrip. Depart in a light aircraft for a one-hour flight to a Sossusvlei lodge for overnight. After check-in, enjoy lunch at the restaurant. Afternoon desert drive and a bush dinner after sunset. Overnight at the lodge, dress: casual. The dunes of the Namib Desert were created by sand carried by the wind from the coast of Namibia. The sand here is over five million years old and is red in colour due to its iron-oxide content. As the light changes during the day, so does the appearance of the dunes’ characteristic colour allowing for interesting photographs at any time. The wind in the Sossusvlei area blows from all directions causing the sand to form a star shape with multiple arms, hence the name “star dunes”.
Wednesday 20 March: Sossusvlei & Windhoek (B,L,D)
Please ensure your overnight bag is ready to be collected from your suite before the drive. Bags will be stored in the lodge’s baggage area before being loaded into the aircraft. Time of drive to be confirmed. An early wake-up call with tea and coffee. Enjoy a desert drive with breakfast in the vlei. Return to the lodge to use the facilities, check-out and transfer to the airstrip. Depart Sossusvlei in a light aircraft for the one-hour flight to Windhoek. Lunch at Windhoek Country Club followed by a city tour. Visit the Trans-Namib Transport Museum, the Independence Memorial Museum, the Evangelical Lutheran Church (a striking landmark) and the Namibia Craft Centre in the old Breweries Building. The train travels south through the Kalahari Desert. Dinner is served in the dining cars en route to Mariental, dress: formal. Situated in Namibia’s central highlands, Windhoek is an attractive city surrounded by clusters of hills and the impressive Auas and Eros Mountains. The Trans-Namib Transport Museum outlines Namibian transport history, particularly that of the railway. The Independence Memorial Museum focuses on the anti-colonial resistance and the national liberation struggle of Namibia.
Thursday 21 March: Keetmanshoop & Garas Park (B,L,D)
Breakfast is served in the dining cars until 10:00. Lunch is served in the dining cars. Visit Keetmanshoop and Garas Park (Quiver Trees), home to roughly 300 specimens of the Aloe dichotomy. The prehistoric trees have forked branches that reach up to 5m making for great photographic opportunities. Tea in the lounge and observation cars. Depart for Aus. Dinner is served in the dining cars, dress: “Africa” theme or smart casual.
Friday 22 March: Luderitz & Kolmanskop (B,L,D)
Breakfast is served in the dining cars until departure. Transfer (±60 min) to the ghost town of Kolmanskop for a visit followed by lunch in Lüderitz. Lüderitz is known for its museum, colonial architecture and wildlife including seals, penguins, flamingos and ostriches. Look out for the illusive legendary horses rumoured to roam the Namib. Depart for Holoog. The observation car will be leading the train until after dinner. Dinner is served in the dining cars, dress: formal.
Saturday 23 March: Fish River Canyon (B,L,D)
Breakfast is served in the dining cars until departure. Transfer (±60 min) to the Fish River Canyon. Lunch is served in the dining cars. Tea in the lounge and observation cars. Border formalities with South Africa. Dinner is served in the dining cars en route to Upington, dress: formal. The Fish River rises in the centre of the country before flowing south into the Orange River on Namibia’s border with South Africa. It has formed the great Fish River Canyon – the largest canyon in the southern hemisphere and probably only second to Arizona’s Grand Canyon in terms of size. The vast rocky landscape breaks up into a series of spectacular cliffs. Its size is impressive: 161km long, up to 27km wide and almost 550m at its deepest.
Saturday 24 March: Upington & The Orange River (B,L,D)
Breakfast is served in the dining cars. Enjoy a walking tour of Upington with a cruise on the Orange River. Travel through the Karoo, a vast semi-desert region that was once an enormous inland sea. Over millions of years, volcanic matter was ground down and deposited as silt upon the seabed to form what geologists call the Karoo system. Lunch is served in the dining cars. Tea in the lounge and observation cars. Dinner is served in the dining cars en route to Kimberley, dress: formal. The observation car will be leading the train until breakfast. The Orange River is the longest river in South Africa (2432km/1511mi). It rises in the Drakensberg Mountains in Lesotho and flows westwards through South Africa to the Atlantic Ocean. It forms part of the borders between South Africa and Lesotho and South Africa and Namibia. Except for Upington, it does not pass through any major cities. Attorney General of the Cape, Sir Thomas Upington was principally responsible for liquidating the business activities of all the Orange River pirates and capturing their leader, Klaas Lucas. When the desperadoes were finally chased away in 1884, the town was founded on the banks of the Orange River and named in his honour.
Monday 25 March: Kimberley (B,L,D)
Breakfast is served in the dining cars until departure. Enjoy a tour of Kimberley’s Diamond Mine Museum and the Big Hole. Capital of the Northern Cape, Kimberley is well known for the discovery of diamonds that led to its establishment in 1871. Lunch is served in the dining cars. The train continues its climb to Pretoria. Tea in the lounge and observation cars. Dinner is served in the dining cars. Dress: “1920s” theme or smart casual.
Tuesday 26 March: Pretoria (B)
Please ensure luggage is ready for collection 15 minutes before departure and that you have your passport. Breakfast is served in the dining cars until 10:00. Travel through the goldfields of the Witwatersrand. Arrive at journey’s end at Rovos Rail Station, Pretoria.
Wednesday 27 March: Johannesburg – Home
A free morning before an early afternoon transfer back to the airport and join our flight home via Singapore.
Thursday 28 March: Auckland – New Zealand
Arrival time into Auckland is just before midnight.
Images Courtesy of Maher Tours
Maher – 2024