Rovos Rail - Pretoria to Durban 2 Nights
Pretoria to Durban 2 nights.
Join this three-day safari on the most luxurious train in the world and experience the splendour of KwaZulu Natal. Take in the Big Five, a battlefields tour with a world class historian and unusual African ceramics. Experience the diversity of the Nambiti Conservancy, a Big Five private bush retreat set on 20 000 acres of malaria-free bushveld in KwaZulu Natal. It has an incredible biodiversity including savannah, grasslands, thornveld and tall a cacia trees. The Sundays River flows through the reserve and has two 40 metre waterfalls with magnificent ravine bush, home to several rare bird species. Situated on an expansive game farm, SpionKop Lodge which adjoins an 11 000 acre nature reserve is the perfect base for exploring the berg, bush, birds and battlefields of the region. The turn of the century farmhouse has been beautifully restored in Natal colonial style and the converted barn now forms a magnificent dining room that boasts spectacular views. Ardmore Ceramic Art is a story about the Zulu people whose sense of rhythm, colour, dance and song, as well as the spirit of the African imagination, is exerting its influence on the other continents of the world. Word of Ardmore has spread far and wide and those who believe they have the talent arrive at the Ardmore studios in the rolling hills of Caversham in the KwaZulu- Natal Midlands. Many have little knowledge of sculpture and painting and mostly no experience of ceramic art. They learn quickly however and within a short time develop their own particular style of sculpting and painting.
10h00: Depart from Rovos Rail Station in Pretoria.
13h00: Lunch is served as the Drakensberg Mountains come into view. In the afternoon the train climbs to Majuba Hill (2146m/7040ft).
19h30: Dinner is served en route to Elandslaagte.
06h00: Wake-up call for early morning game drive in the Nambiti Private Game Reserve.
11h00: Brunch is served in the dining car/s.
14h00: Arrive at Ladysmith for a choice of excursions:
Option 1 - Game drive in Spionkop Reserve.
Option 2 - Spionkop battlefields tour.
19h30: Dinner is served in the dining car/s.
07h00: Breakfast is served as the train descends the escarpment en route to Lions River Station.
10h00: Visit to the famous Ardmore Ceramics Gallery including an equestrian display and tea.
12h00: The train departs for Pietermaritzburg.
16h00: Arrive at Durban Station.
The track over which we travel is inconsistently maintained. If you wake at night imagining the train is travelling at high speed, be assured it is the state of the track below creating that impression. We restrict the train to 60km/h (37mph) and over bad sections reduce speed to as little as 20km/h (12mph). If you find it noisy, earplugs are available.
Use of steam has become increasingly difficult over the years as more and more water and coaling facilities have been scrapped. Diesel or electric locomotives are used while steam is used in and around the area of Rovos Rail Station only.
For days on the train dress is smart casual. Evening attire is more formal for gentlemen a jacket and tie is a minimum requirement while for ladies we suggest cocktail/evening dresses or suits. For off-train excursions, we strongly recommend comfortable walking shoes, sun lotion and hats. If required, blankets and rain capes are available. For game drives, which are on open vehicles, please dress accordingly: mornings can be cool then warm up considerably; afternoons can be warm then cool down considerably. Please see average temperatures as a guide.
Mobile Devices and Internet:
In maintaining the spirit of travel of a bygone era, there are no radios or television sets on board. The use of mobile phones, laptops and essentially anything that has the ability to disturb other passengers is confined to the privacy of your suites only. The reception is poor while the train is moving. It is advised to contact your service provider to ensure the correct settings for network services are activated. Internet is available at our lounge in Cape Town, Rovos Rail Station, Tau Game Lodge, Victoria Falls Hotel, Mokuti Lodge and most of the other Namibia Safari accommodation.
There is a limited laundry service on board comprising household washers, dryers and steam irons. The turnaround is 48 hours so we are not able to handle a week's worth of washing. Please note that while we are providing a complimentary service we cannot be held responsible for items that may be damaged or lost in the process. There are no dry-cleaning facilities en route or on board the train.
Each suite has a luggage rack that runs its length providing ample space for storage. On selected annual journeys, guests are provided with a Rovos Rail tog bag that can be used for overnight trips or hand luggage on aircraft.
There is a small gift shop on the train and at Rovos Rail Station. Due to the varying exchange rates, credit cards are preferred. The host/ess on duty has a basic First Aid Kit and personal essentials (toothbrushes, razors, earplugs etc.). He/she will also fulfill any administrative requirements and check your onward arrangements. Stamps are available for sale and postcards may be posted in the post box at the entrance to the Observation Car or at Rovos Rail Station.
For the staff are at your discretion. If you wish to show your appreciation in this manner, there is a suitably marked envelope in your suite that you can hand directly to the Train Manager who will distribute any amounts on a pro-rata basis (share) amongst the staff on board. An amount between ZAR100 to ZAR200per person per night is suggested, depending on the length of your journey.
Meals are served in one sitting only in the charming Victorian atmosphere of the dining cars and are complemented by a selection of fine South African wines. Breakfast: 07h00-10h00. Lunch: 13h00. Tea: 16h30. Formal Dinner: 19h30.
All meals are served at these times unless otherwise stated in the timetable. A gong heralds lunch and dinner.
If a special request has not been made, the chefs will endeavor to prepare suitable meals with the ingredients available on board. They will be unable to prepare meals requiring strict religious observance in the preparation.
On board the train, smoking is allowed in the Club Lounge only. Please ensure you have advised upfront if you wish to be allocated to a smoking or non smoking room.