A Railway Rendezvous:
Pride of Africa

Established in 1989, the Rovos Rail has unequivocally maintained its international reputation for offering luxurious and truly world-class travel experiences. In a series of bespoke train journeys lasting from 48 hours to 15 nights, Rovos Rail links some of the continent’s grandest travel destinations featuring a range of off-train excursions. These experiences have become the narrative for many who have participated in them. The beautifully restored trains, hauled by diesel or electric locomotives, carry a maximum of 72 passengers in 36 superbly appointed suites and are also available for charter. If you ever dreamt of getting married on a train, Rovos has a specially dedicated train that will rumble away into the night while you and your guests lose yourselves in the reverie of bygone days.

Aboard a Rovos Rail carriage, opulence is the name of the game; from the moment you climb aboard the train to the final moments of your journey, you are transported to an era of sophistication where women adorned themselves in diamonds, and men meticulously straightened their tuxedos for dinner. This extraordinary voyage promises passengers an unparalleled experience, seamlessly blending luxury with breathtaking scenery. The meticulously restored vintage carriages exude elegance, providing a window into the past when travel was a leisurely affair. Amidst gourmet dining experiences, Rovos Rail unveils a bygone era where time seems to slow down. Passengers traverse through captivating landscapes, beholding the majestic African wilderness and its wildlife along any of the 13 routes and tours spanning South Africa and regions of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

To provide an immersive firsthand encounter, allow yourself to be guided on a virtual expedition aboard the Rovos Rail. As you navigate this expedition, envision the gourmet dining experiences that await, where every meal is a culinary masterpiece served against the backdrop of picturesque landscapes. Every journey offers a sampling of the stunning African wilderness and its captivating wildlife along Rovos’ meticulously designed tours. This virtual encounter provides a sneak peek into the wonders awaiting you when you embark on any of the train’s routes throughout the region.

The Journey

This whole journey can only be characterised as the epitome of luxury. From the exquisite service and opulent amenities to the opportunity to form meaningful connections, the journey offers unparalleled elegance, comfort, and indulgence.

The train boasts several unique features and facilities, among them the observation car offering panoramic landscape views and the rail tracks stretching into the distance. In this space, guests can unwind with a sundowner from the open-air balcony bar as they await the dinner gong. The elegantly decorated dining cars provide guests with gourmet meals prepared by skilful chefs using only the choicest ingredients, and the elegant amenities provided in their plush, deluxe accommodations ensure a luxurious and comfortable stay. The scenery along the train route is genuinely awe-inspiring, featuring picturesque landscapes and glimpses of wildlife. The journey unfolds with remarkable views that beautifully capture the splendour of nature.

Dress Code

Once on board the train, guests are transported to a sophisticated era where a distinct set of rules prevails. Smart casual attire is deemed appropriate for daytime activities and meals, fostering a relaxed ambience. However, as evening descends, a strict black-tie dress code is enforced for dinner, infusing the atmosphere with elegance and sophistication. This adherence to a refined dress code adds to the overall sense of timelessness and contributes to the unique charm of the experience.

The Travellers 

The Rovos train attracts a diverse crowd, ranging in age, including couples, groups and individuals. The intimacy of life on board provides an opportunity to meet and mingle with a diverse set of individuals from different backgrounds and cultures. The opportunity to forge friendships with individuals from across the globe enhances the social dimension of the experience, adding a rich layer to the journey as passengers share stories, perspectives, and cultural insights.

Activities on and off-board the train

Every Rovos experience embodies the spirit of travel in the bygone Victorian era. No televisions or radios are on board, and guests are encouraged to spend the days lounging in plush seats or quiet corners, mingling with fellow travellers, reading, and playing board games. Electronic devices such as cellphones and laptops are confined to the comfort of your private suite. In between excursions, guests will have the delightful experience of indulging in high tea and other onboard activities, adding another layer of elegance and sophistication to the journey.

Off-train excursions are integral to the Journey itinerary, providing enriching experiences beyond the train’s confines. An excursion may include a game drive through one of the teeming national parks dotted around the country, offering a chance to explore the wildlife and natural beauty of the region. For those travelling from Cape to Jozi, Matjiesfontein offers an extended stop, inviting guests to explore an authentically preserved Victorian village. The journey continues with a scenic exploration of the winelands and culminates in a visit to the historic Kimberly diamond mine, offering a multifaceted glimpse into the rich tapestry of South Africa’s landscapes and history.


Dressing up for dinner and watching the sunset from the observation car are among the most memorable aspects. The staff members’ amazing service on the train will leave a lasting impression. Game drives allow one to get up close with the wildlife and immerse oneself in nature. There are many sights to see along the way, from wildlife to the vast expanse of the Karoo and the wooded emerald columns of the panoramic winelands, offering glimpses into the diverse and captivating natural environment.

The four-course meal and fine wine pairings are also delightful and add to the gastronomic journey. Whether you embark on the Cape to Jozi route or any other, the combination of exquisite dishes and premium wine selections ensures that every dining experience becomes a highlight of the trip.

This virtual tour vividly depicts the immersive and opulent adventure awaiting travellers embarking on this iconic rail journey. To embrace a truly unforgettable experience, step onto the vintage wood-panelled coaches and recline as the ever-changing, picturesque scenery unfolds beyond the windows. With discreet and welcoming service, exquisite cuisine, and a selection of South Africa’s finest wines, Rovos Rail beautifully captures the timeless grace and romantic spirit reminiscent of Africa’s exploration during the Victorian period.

Now presented with the indulgence of choosing between a return trip or the convenient fly-back option, the enticing question beckons: Will you be among those soon to embark on the remarkable journey aboard the Rovos Rail?

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