Departs: Scheduled Departures during the year
This impressive 12-day journey between Pretoria and Victoria Falls stops at carefully selected locations in South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Starting in Pretoria, this magnificent sojourn will spend the first few days taking guests east through the Drakensberg Mountains to the Kruger Park for game viewing and the historical areas of Pilgrim’s Rest, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and God’s Window. On day four guests tour Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, before moving on to explore the Kingdom of Swaziland. Enjoy a game drive in the famous wildlife reserve of Kapama followed by a relaxing day on the train as it heads for the Great Zimbabwe Ruins for a visit. On days nine and 10, guests tour Antelope Park and Matobas National Park, site of Cecil John Rhodes’ grave, before continuing on to Hwange for game-viewing activities. The final day has the train arriving in Victoria Falls where guests enjoy a walking tour of the village and the falls with an afternoon sunset cruise on the Zambezi River.
Day 1 - Shongololo Southern Cross Train
08h00 – Check-in at Rovos Rail Station, Pretoria.
09h00 – Tour of Pretoria and Soweto.
16h00 – Transfer to Rovos Rail Station. Train departs for Nelspruit. (D)
Day 2 - Shongololo Southern Cross Train
09h00 – Full-day panorama tour of Pilgrim’s Rest, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, God’s Window.
17h00 – Rejoin train in Nelspruit and depart for Malelane. (BD)
In 1873, gold was discovered in the area around the quaint town of Pilgrim’s Rest, now a living museum and national monument. The find attracted 1500 diggers and today, many of the restored miners’ houses serve as shops. Further along the escarpment we find the great Blyde River Canyon, a gorge 26km in length and 800m deep, carved into the face of the escarpment. The Three Rondavels, three huge rock spirals rising out of the far wall of the canyon and resembling African huts, present an unforgettable sight. Bourke’s Luck Potholes are strange deep cylindrical cavities formed by river erosion and floodwater. From the vantage point of God’s Window we gaze across the sweeping landscape of the Lowveld, where subtle fragrances of the lower region rise to merge with the crisp winds of the Highveld.
Day 3 - Shongololo Southern Cross Train
08h00 – Full-day game viewing in the Kruger Park.
18h00 – Return to the train in Malelane and depart for Mozambique. (BD)
Kruger National Park
The world-renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience second to none. Its 2 million hectares are unrivalled in diversity of life forms and the park is a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques. The park is home to an impressive number of species: about 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 species of mammals. Game drives are conducted in our air-conditioned vehicles; open-air vehicles optional.
Day 4 - Shongololo Southern Cross Train
09h00 – City tour of Maputo, Mozambique.
15h30 – Return to the train for afternoon tea.
18h00 – After border formalities the train heads for Mpaka in Swaziland. (BD)
Maputo, the capital of Mozambique is a city of contrasts and offers an exciting mix of cultures. The city swings along to a beat like no other in Africa offering true African hospitality. Its architecture is a blend of African, Portuguese and early Colonial traditions with old Catholic churches side-by-side with mosques, fortresses, Victorian mansions and other buildings from a bygone era. Along the colourful beachfront there are many cafés and restaurants that specialise in Indian Ocean cuisine with its emphasis on the freshest seafood dishes prepared in traditional African-Portuguese ways.
Day 5 - Shongololo Southern Cross Train
08h30 – Depart in vehicles from Mpaka. Visit Ngwenya Glass, Mbabane and Manzini.
18h45 – After border formalities at Tjaneni, rejoin the train in Kaapmuiden. Depart for Klaserie near Hoedspruit in Limpopo. (BD)
The tiny Kingdom of Swaziland covers only 17 000 square kilometres, making it the second smallest country in Africa. Travel to Manzini enjoying amazing views of the Ezulwini Valley and the Komati River en route. This excursion into Swaziland will introduce you to everyday life in Africa’s smallest kingdom. The Swazi Market is a bustling hive of activity and displays a wide variety of skilfully crafted woodcarvings, colourful textiles and superb basketwork for which Swazis are renowned.
Day 6 - Shongololo Southern Cross Train
07h00 – Morning game drive in Kapama Game Reserve followed by visit to the Wild Dog and Cheetah Project.
13h00 – Return to the train for lunch. The train departs for Tzaneen with an overnight stop at Louis Trichardt. (BD)
Day 7 - Shongololo Southern Cross Train
Day on board the train travelling to Rutenge in Zimbabwe. Clear customs and immigration at Beitbridge. (BD)
Day 8 - Shongololo Southern Cross Train
09h00 – Board vehicles and drive to the Great Zimbabwe Ruins.
17h00 – Rejoin train in Bannockburn. (BD)
Great Zimbabwe Ruins
Largest monument in Africa south of the Pyramids Great Zimbabwe, a hugely impressive monument situated on the south-eastern edge of the central plateau is the largest pre-colonial monument south of the Egyptian pyramids and is a celebrated achievement of the African people. Magical fables such as the story of King Solomon’s Mines find their origins here amongst the ruins of an ancient city built by the Rozwi people. Discover how these ancient people lived and mined gold and silver, which were ultimately taken out of Africa by Arabic and Portuguese traders. The tour is followed by lunch at the Great Zimbabwe Hotel (guests’ own account), after which we travel through attractive granite hill country to Rutenga.
Day 9 - Shongololo Southern Cross Train
09h00 – Full day at Antelope Park.
Optional extras include canoeing, game drive, horseback game viewing and a bird-watching cruise.
17h30 – Return to the train and depart for Bulawayo. (BD)
Day 10 - Shongololo Southern Cross Train
09h00 – Full-day tour of Matobo National Park. Visit the grave of Cecil John Rhodes as well as bushmen caves.
18h00 – Return to the train and depart for Dete. (BD)
Matobo National Park
“Matobo” means ‘bald headed ones’ and aptly describes the dramatic hills and granite rocks of this area. Highlights include a visit to the burial place of Cecil John Rhodes, who gave Zimbabwe its previous name of Rhodesia. Afterwards, we will go and visit one of the more accessible bushman caves, of which there are many hidden amongst the hills.
Day 11 - Shongololo Southern Cross Train
06h30 – Full-day game viewing in Hwange Game Reserve.
19h00 – Depart for Thompson’s Junction. (BD)
Hwange National Park
Situated in the northwest corner of Zimbabwe, Hwange National Park is the nation’s largest wildlife area and contains a variety of animals and bird species, but is most well known for its prolific lion population. Covering 1 462 000 hectares, Hwange is roughly the same size as Belgium.
Day 12 - Depart Shongololo Southern Cross Train Journey
10h00 – Arrive Victoria Falls Station. Check out of train and walk across to Victoria Falls Hotel (luggage will be stored here).
11h00 – Meet for a walking tour of the village and Victoria Falls.
16h00 – Meet at the hotel for a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River.
18h30 – Transfer back to Victoria Falls Hotel. Tour ends. (B)
Dates and Pricing
Prices shown are per person based on twin share. Seasonal supplements and minimum night requirement may apply. Solo traveller and extra night prices available on request. Luggage restrictions may apply. International flights not included.