Country
Botswana
Duration
16 Days/15 Nights
Travel Type
Rail & Hotels
 

This epic train journey travels through South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania and is one of the most famous in the world. The sojourn begins in Cape Town taking guests to the historic village of Matjiesfontein, the diamond town of Kimberley and the capital city of Pretoria for short tours followed by two nights in the Madikwe Game Reserve. Continue through Botswana into Zimbabwe where guests overnight at the Victoria Falls Hotel. After crossing the mighty Zambezi River, the train joins the Tazara line in Zambia and continues to Chisimba Falls where guests enjoy a bush walk. The train climbs to the Tanzanian border then descends into the Great Rift Valley negotiating the tunnels, switchbacks and viaducts of the spectacular escarpment. Climbing again, it traverses the Selous Game Reserve – the largest on the continent and a vision of timeless Africa – before the bustling arrival in Dar es Salaam the following day.

HIGHLIGHTS:

• Cape Town
• Journey through the Cape Winelands
• Chishimba Falls visit
• Dar es Salaam
• Travel over Kafue Railway Bridge
• Traverse the edge of the Kalahari Basin
• Traverse the Karoo
• Kimberley Diamond Mine Museum tour
• Traverse the Limpopo province
• Madikwe Reserve game drives and overnight stay
• Traverse the Magaliesberg
• Optional walk at Makambako
• Matjiesfontein visit
• Pretoria tour
• Travel through the Rift Valley
• Selous Reserve game drive
• Travel the Tazara Railway
• Traverse the Udzungwa Mountains
• Victoria Falls Hotel overnight stay
• Victoria Falls

Inclusions

12-night accommodation in selected suites on board of the Rovos Rail
2-night accommodation at the Madikwe Game Reserve
1-night accommodation in Victoria Falls
All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) – Except of lunch on day 9 and 15.
All beverage on board (except of international sparkling wines)
Room service on board
Limited laundry on board
Excursions with a qualified guide (where applicable)
On-board historian and doctor
Entrance fees as per itinerary
Government tax

Exclusions

International airfare – Transfers from/to airport or to/from the hotel – Pre and post tours – All off-train beverages – Lunch on day 9 and 15 – International sparkling wines – Gratuities to personnel & guides – Personal expenses – Visa if required – Travel insurance

Additional Information

Note

• Excursions may be changed according to the schedule achieved. Times are approximate and cannot be guaranteed.
• Meals on board (unless adjusted): Breakfast 07:00-10:00 • Lunch 13:00 • Tea 16:30 • Dinner 19:30.
• Please check-in a minimum of one hour before departure. Should you wish to visit the Rovos Rail Museum or do a site tour at Rovos Rail Station in Pretoria, we suggest arriving two hours prior to departure. If Pretoria is your arrival point, we suggest delaying your pick-up so you can enjoy the site tour.
• Passports are required at check-in. No vouchers are required. Luggage will be tagged and placed in your suite on board the train where you will find a full itinerary pack.

1

DAY 1 CAPE TOWN

16:30 Check-in at Rovos Rail Lounge, 1 Adderley Street, Cape Town.
18:00 Depart from Cape Town Station. The train travels towards the Hex River Valley.
19:30 Dinner is served in the dining cars. Dress: Formal.

Meals : Dinner

Accommodation : Selected suites – Rovos Rail for 12 nights

2

DAY 2 MATJIESFONTEIN

07:00 Breakfast is served in the dining cars until 10:00. Disembark at Matjiesfontein for an opportunity to stroll through the historic village. Of special interest is the museum on the platform and a collection of historic cars and railway carriages to the right of the Lord Milner Hotel.
10:00 The train traverses 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.
13:00 Lunch is served in the dining cars.
16:30 Tea in the lounge and observation cars.
19:30 Dinner is served in the dining cars. Dress: Formal.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

3

DAY 3 KIMBERLEY

07:00 Breakfast is served in the dining cars until 10:00.
12:30 Lunch is served in the dining cars.
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.
16:30 Tea in the lounge and observation cars.
19:30 Dinner is served in the dining cars en route to Klerksdorp. Dress: Formal.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

4

DAY 4 PRETORIA

07:00 Breakfast is served in the dining cars.
08:30 Transfer (±60 min) to Pretoria for a city tour followed by lunch on the Rovos Rail Station platform. Enjoy a walking tour of the station and locomotive workshops (weather permitting). Return (±60 min) to the train.
19:30 Dinner is served in the dining cars en route to Zeerust. Dress: Formal.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

5

DAY 5 MADIKWE GAME RESERVE

Please pack a small overnight bag for the stay in Madikwe. Tog bags have been placed in your suite for your
convenience. See below for inclusions/exclusions. Spa facilities available (own account). Payment in ZAR or
by credit card only. Times of meals and activities confirmed on arrival.

07:00 Breakfast is served in the dining cars until 10:00.
11:00 Transfer (±90 min) to a lodge in Madikwe for a two-night stay. Lunch is served on arrival.
Afternoon tea and game drive (approximately 3 hours).
19:00 Dinner at the lodge. Dress: Casual.

Madikwe is a prime malaria-free Big 5 wildlife reserve bordering Botswana. It lies within a transition zone between the North West Province bushveld and Kalahari thornveld with enormous volcanic intrusions, wide open plains and the riverine environment along the Marico River. As a result, the region is host to an incredible diversity of species from both ecosystems with a rich assortment of vegetation and more than 300 resident and migrant bird species.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation : Madikwe Game Reserve for 2 nights

6

DAY 6 MADIKWE GAME RESERVE

Early morning game drive (approximately 3 hours).
07:00 Breakfast is served at the lodge until 09:30.
12:30 Lunch at the lodge.
Afternoon tea and game drive (approximately 3 hours).
19:00 Dinner at the lodge. Dress: Casual.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

7

DAY 7 MADIKWE GAME RESERVE (border: Kopfontein, South Africa / Tlokweng, Botswana)

Early morning game drive (approximately 2 hours).
07:00 Breakfast is served until 09:30. Please ensure your bags are ready for collection at 10:00 and proceed to check-out.
10:30 Depart the lodge. Transfer to the train at Gaborone in Botswana. Border formalities will take place en route and guests are required to present themselves to the border officials (luggage may be searched).
13:00 Lunch is served in the dining cars. The train crosses the Tropic of Capricorn and the eastern edge of the Kalahari Basin. Known as ‘Kgalagadi’ in Botswana, the Kalahari (which extends to 900 000km2 and covers much of Botswana, parts of Namibia and South Africa) is not a true desert as it does experience small amounts of rain, with some areas enjoying up to 250mm. The surrounding basin covers over 2 500 000km2 extending farther into Botswana, Namibia and South Africa and encroaching into parts of Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is part desert, part plateau. The only constant river, the Okavango, flows into a delta in the northwest forming marshes that are rich in wildlife.
16:30 Tea in the lounge and observation cars.
19:30 Dinner is served in the dining cars. Dress: Formal.

Please ensure the Train Manager or Administration Deputy is in possession of your passport.

Victoria Falls: It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the list of activities available: Tour of Victoria Falls; helicopter over the falls; whitewater rafting; bungee-jumping; zip-lining; game walks; golf etc. You may book these excursions at the hotel OR beforehand with the on-board historian – today between 16:30-18:00. Cash accepted.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

8

DAY 8 AT LEISURE ON BOARD

Lectures will take place throughout the journey during the morning and/or afternoon in the lounge car. Please
consult Lecture Sheets for details. Victoria Falls: If you have decided to book activities through the on-board
historian, please ensure you have done so before lunch. Cash accepted.

07:00 Breakfast is served in the dining cars until 10:00. Border formalities take place.
13:00 Lunch is served in the dining cars.
16:30 Tea in the lounge and observation cars. Pass Gwaai and Dete along one of Africa’s longest stretches of straight railway line – 114 kilometres – and along the eastern edge of the Hwange National Park.
19:30 Dinner is served in the dining cars. Dress: Formal.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

9

DAY 9 VICTORIA FALLS

Please pack a small overnight bag for the stay at Victoria Falls Hotel. See below for inclusions/exclusions.
Meals are taken at the Victoria Falls Hotel. Currency exchange is available at the hotel (passports not required); there is a business centre and WiFi available throughout. If you are crossing the border into Zambia during your stay, please obtain your passport from the Train Manager or Administration Deputy.

07:00 Breakfast is served in the dining cars until 10:00.
12:00 Arrive at the incomparable Victoria Falls. Disembark with an overnight bag and walk across to the hotel.
Welcome address on the lawn followed by lunch at Jungle Junction. Luggage will be delivered to the rooms.
15:45 WINTER / 16:15 SUMMER Meet in the hotel foyer before departure for the sunset cruise on the Zambezi.
19:30 Dinner at the Livingstone Room, Victoria Falls Hotel. Dress: Smart Casual (strictly no safari-wear, shorts, sandals or sneakers).

Plunging over the lip of the Victoria Falls is the largest body of falling water on earth. The mighty Zambezi, fourth longest river in Africa, is about 2kms wide above the falls and cascades dramatically over a precipice 1.6km in length and 108m at its deepest, compressing the vast volume of water into a chasm 50m wide. The sound can be deafening, the aspect magnificent and the memory indelible. In autumn, the spray is so great it inhibits photography while in spring the seasonal flow considerably reduces leaving large slabs of brown basalt exposed on the lip.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation : Victoria Falls for 1 night

10

DAY 10 VICTORIA FALLS (border: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe / Livingstone, Zambia)

Check-out time is normally at 10:00 (to be advised). If you have organised morning activities, please ensure you have checked out. Luggage storage at reception is complimentary until afternoon departure. Please call the front desk and they will send a porter to collect your luggage.

06:30 Breakfast is served at the Jungle Junction Restaurant until 10:00. Day at leisure in the Victoria Falls.
13:00 Lunch at Jungle Junction.
15:00 Meet on station platform for departure to Zambia.
16:00 Cross the Victoria Falls Bridge. Tea in the lounge and observation cars. Border formalities take place.
19:30 Dinner is served in the dining cars. Dress: Formal.

Please ensure the Train Manager or Administration Deputy is in possession of passport.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

11

DAY 11 AT LEISURE ON BOARD

07:00 Breakfast is served in the dining cars until 10:00. After breakfast, the train travels across the Kafue Railway Bridge – a 477-metre long steel girder truss bridge of 13 spans each at 33 metres supported on concrete piers.
13:00 Lunch is served in the dining cars. The train passes through Zambia’s capital, Lusaka.
16:30 Tea in the lounge and observation cars.
19:30 Dinner is served in the dining cars en route to Kapiri Mposhi. Dress: “Africa” Theme or Smart Casual.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

12

DAY 12 AT LEISURE ON BOARD

07:00 Breakfast is served until 10:00. The train travels the TAZARA railway line, an engineering tour de force and one of Africa’s best-kept secrets as it passes through remote territory.
13:00 Lunch is served in the dining cars.
16:30 Tea in the lounge and observation cars.
19:30 Dinner is served in the dining cars en route to Kasama. Dress: Formal.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

13

DAY 13 CHISIMBA FALLS (border: Nakonde, Zambia / Tunduma, Tanzania)

06:00 Breakfast is served in the dining cars until departure.
08:00 Enjoy a visit to Chisimba Falls where guests can take a pleasant walk down to the rock pools at the base of the falls or admire them from various viewpoints.
11:30 The train climbs to the border, almost exactly the midpoint between Africa’s two Great Rift Valley lakes.
13:00 Lunch is served in the dining cars.
16:30 Tea in the lounge and observation cars. Border formalities take place.
19:30 Dinner is served. The train passes Baobab forests and descends the Rift Valley towards Mbeya. Dress: Formal.

PLEASE PUT YOUR WATCHES FORWARD AN HOUR BEFORE RETIRING FOR THE EVENING.

Chisimba Falls is a series of three waterfalls named Mutumuna, Kaela and Chishimba (Chisimba), which are separated over 300m along the Luombe River. According to Bemba tradition, the nature spirit “Chishimba” lives in a cave behind the falls therefore no bad behaviour (including fights, insults and arrogance) is allowed in this area. Though the Bemba people arrived here in the 17th century, they weren’t the first as the land surrounding the falls is dotted with evidence of Iron Age activities including kilns, smelting pipes and iron ore deposits.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

14

DAY 14 MAKAMBAKO (optional)

07:00 Breakfast is served in the dining cars until 10:00.
09:00 Arrive at Makambako and enjoy a stroll through the town (time permitting).
11:00 The train travels towards the jungled Udzungwa Mountains and negotiates the dramatic switchbacks, viaducts and tunnels of the escarpment.
13:00 Lunch is served in the dining cars.
16:30 Tea in the lounge and observation cars.
19:30 Dinner is served in the dining cars. Dress: Formal.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

15

DAY 15 SELOUS GAME RESERVE

07:00 Continental breakfast is served in the dining cars until 08:00. The train descends into the highlands and traverses the fertile lands of Tanzania towards the Selous.
10:30 Brunch is served in the dining cars until 11:45.
12:00 Enjoy a game visit in the Selous Game Reserve, the largest in Africa at 55 000km2 (time permitting).
18:00 Return to the train.
19:30 Dinner is served in the dining cars en route to Gwata. Dress: “1920s” Theme or Smart Casual.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner

16

DAY 16 DAR ES SALAAM

Please ensure that your luggage is ready for collection 15 minutes before arrival and that you have your passport.

07:00 Breakfast is served in the dining cars until 10:00. Travel in an easterly direction towards the coast.
11:00 Arrive at journey’s end at Tazara Station in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The above itinerary is available in reverse too (Dar es Salaam to Cape Town).

Meals : Breakfast

ROVOS RAIL

Each train has accommodation carriages, dining cars (±42 seats), a lounge car (±26 seats), small gift shop, smoking lounge (±11 seats) and observation car (±32 seats) with open-air balcony. Maintaining the spirit of a bygone era, there are no radios or television sets on board. The three types of suites available – Pullman (7sqm), Deluxe (10sqm) and Royal (16sqm) – offer passengers privacy and comfort with double or twin beds and fittings and facilities that are of the highest standard. All have en-suites with shower, toilet, basin and bath (Royal only), tea facilities, safes, air conditioning, linen and amenities and are serviced daily. There is adequate storage and small cupboards with hangers and shelves.

The dining cars are made up of two-seaters and four-seaters where guests eat together or individually. The lounge and observation cars – with their big picture windows, sofas and booths – make for great mingling areas or quiet corners to while away the days.

Days on board are smart casual while evening attire is more formal. On long journeys you can enjoy themed evenings where guests can dress up accordingly or opt for smart casual.
An enthusiastic team of chefs is responsible for overseeing the very important task of ensuring guests’ every need is catered for. There’s an accent on fresh local ingredients and traditional dishes are a specialty. Meals are served in one sitting only in the dining cars and are complemented by a selection of fine South African wines. The bar menu is comprehensive although special items such as French Champagne would need to be requested in advance. Breakfast: 07:00-10:00 • Lunch: 13:00 • Tea: 16:30 • Formal Dinner: 19:30. Bar service is from 07:00-±01:00. All meals are served at these times unless otherwise stated in the itineraries.

PULLMAN SUITES

The Pullmans, used on the short journeys, accommodate one or two passengers and have an en-suite bathroom with shower, toilet and basin. During the day, the suites have a comfortable sofa-seat with a conversion to double or twin beds (side-by-side or upper and lower bunks) for the evening. A dedicated host/ess is available at all times and services the suites daily. Please note in the animation that we indicate a bar fridge, however, these have been removed from the Pullmans.

DELUXE SUITES

The Deluxe Suites accommodate one or two passengers in double or twin beds and have their own lounge area and en-suite bathroom with shower, toilet and basin. A dedicated host/ess is available at all times and services the suites daily. A bar fridge is filled with the on-board beverages of the passengers’ choice.

ROYAL SUITES

The Royal Suites each take up half a carriage with their own private lounge area and en-suite bathroom with Victorian bath, separate shower, toilet and basin. They accommodate one or two passengers in double or twin beds. A dedicated host/ess is available at all times and services the suites daily. A bar fridge is filled with the on-board beverages of the passengers’ choice.

Dates of departures 2025 – CAPE TOWN TO DAR ES SALAAM
July 4
September 23
Dates of departures 2025 – DAR ES SALAAM TO CAPE TOWN
January 28
October 11

Rates in CA$, per person, starting from

Train Package
Departures 2025 Double Single
 
Pullman Suites 23229 33549
Deluxe Suites 30799 44169
Royal Suites 40359 NA

**Prices in this document are for information only; they were issued at press time, for the current year. Please note that due to exchange rates and temporary promotions, they can increase or decrease at any time. Contact your travel agent for the price and promotion of the moment. Prices include the contribution of customers to the Compensation Fund for clients of Quebec travel agents.

Dar Es Salaam – Detailed itinerary
Dar Es Salaam – Detailed itinerary