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Rovos Rail: The Ultimate Luxury Trek, Cape Town-Dar es Salaam
Trains:  Rovos Rail Pride of Africa
14-day Escorted Tour

Tour Type:  Luxury

The Tour

Rovos Rail’s luxury train The Pride of Africa runs between Cape Town and Dar es Salaam several times annually. This 14-day private rail tour stretches across South Africa and Botswana, touches Zimbabwe at Victoria Falls, and crosses Zambia to Tanzania. From Kimberley’s diamonds to a deluxe South Africa game lodge, from the very British Victoria Falls Hotel to Africa’s Great Rift Valley, every day is unique. One highlight: a two-night stay at the five-star Tau Game Lodge with many game drives. Combine with the Blue Train, another South African luxury train, for a unique view of the African subcontinent’s diverse, spectacular scenery.

Latest Photos: Click here to see a photo essay of our July, 2011 Cape Town - Dar es Salaam Rovos Rail adventure.

Latest News: Click here to read our report on our July, 2011 Cape Town - Dar es Salaam adventure.

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On This & Other Tours

"There's no comparison. This IS the trip of a lifetime.”

— E. Fogg, IRT Pullman Club member, Cape to Dar, September, 2010

"The train was truly extraordinary. The staff was superb. 3,500 miles is a long trip, but the train and staff remained excellent. Rohan Vos runs a business that you can trust…”

— L. Barber, IRT Pullman Club member

The Itinerary

Northbound Itinerary (NB)

Day 1: Cape Town
Depart Cape Town Station aboard Rovos Rail’s Pride of Africa this morning. Upon boarding, you might want to head straight to the open-air deck and wave goodbye to Cape Town and spectacular Table Mountain. Or, settle in to your private and spacious compartment and unpack. Before you know it, a hostess is chiming you to a fabulous luncheon with beautiful South African wines paired with delicious food. Arrive Matjiesfontein for a stop this evening; explore this tiny Victorian village and poke around its museums and stretch your legs, before dinner and overnight on the train.

Day 2: Kimberley
Breakfast and lunch on board before afternoon arrival in Kimberley. Visit Big Hole and Diamond Museum. Return to train for dinner and overnight.

Day 3: Pretoria
Arrive Pretoria this afternoon. A light lunch is followed by a city tour.  Enjoy visiting Capital Park, which is Rovos Rail's lovely headquarters filled with locomotives, carriages and lots of pet animals. Dinner and overnight on the train.

Day 4: Tau Game Lodge
Arrive in Zeerust and leave your train "home" today. (IRT and Rovos supply small bags for taking just what you need with you. Leave your main suitcases safely on the train.) We drive an hour by motorcoach to the Tau Game Lodge. It's a full board, two-night stay at the five-star lodge, and you'll probably spot animals galore just on the way from the entrance of the game reserve to the lodge. This afternoon, enjoy lunch followed by a game drive. Cocktails as you watch the sun set is a tradition you'll grow to love. Then head back to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Day 5: Tau Game Lodge
Optional early morning game drive, evening game drive or other activities. Overnight at lodge. If you wish, opt out make a spa appointment. Luxuriate in your giant bathtub or your outdoor shower. Sip a drink and watch the waterhole by the lodge. There's always giraffe, elephant, lion, wildebeest seeking water there.

Day 6: Tau Game Lodge; Botswana
Early morning game drive.  By this time, most of our group in July 2011 had seen all the "Big Five" from lions to leopard and everything in between.  We were happy but tired as our motorcoach transferred to Gabarone, Botswana. Here, we go through border formalities before heading to the train. 

Day 7: Zimbabwe
After border formalities, travel through Zimbabwe, with lectures by a historian in the morning and afternoon. Don't miss the lectures! Learn about Cecil Rhodes, about Victoria Falls, David Livingstone and more. When we were on board, the onboard lecturer was a huge hit. 

Day 8: Victoria Falls
Arrive Victoria Falls this morning. Walk from the train to the "Grand Lady," the Victoria Falls Hotel, a short way down the path. The train staff transfers your small luggage. Established in 1904, and recently redecorated, this gracious colonial-style hotel is set in lush tropical gardens. Enjoy lunch at "Jungle Junction," named after an early train station there, but now is a lovely open-air dining area with delicious, fresh food. You've got plenty of time for a hike, a nap, or just gazing at the miracle before you, as your hotel is situated just a few minutes' walk from the Falls. Enjoy a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River. Keep your eyes open for hippos. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.(Optional steam dinner train excursion, see below.)

Day 9: Victoria Falls
Day at leisure. Optional activities include tour of the Falls, round of golf, helicopter tour of the Falls, more. (These are optional and require US$ cash.) Depart Victoria Falls late afternoon and complete border formalities for entry to Zambia.

Day 10: On board
Pass through Lusaka, Zambia. Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board with lectures in the morning and afternoon. As you pass into Zambia, you will notice many small villages of circular thatched huts. When the children hear the train, they dash to wave, thrilled to see the train.

Day 11: On board
Day at leisure as the train continues through Zambia. All meals on board, with morning and afternoon lectures. This sounds like a long day -- but we loved it. Shall we go to the lecture? What about the back deck? Or, shall we just hang out in our beautiful room with all the windows open? Look for villages, animals, Baobab trees.

Day 12: Arrive Tanzania
Disembark in Kasama for an excursion to Chisimba Falls. This is of course not as fantastic as Victoria Falls, but still magical. There's a path for travelers of all walking abilities to admire this national park. The Rovos Staff sets up a bar for refreshments. Afternoon arrival at Nakonde/Tunduma for Zambian/Tanzanian border control. Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board.

Day 13: Mlimba
Arrive Makambako. Descend spectacular pass to Mlimba. Much of the day, descend over gorges and through tunnels. It's a spectacular day of railroading.

Day 14: Dar es Salaam

Arrive Kiduna and continue journey to Dar es Salaam. Breakfast on board before morning arrival (scheduled for 10 a.m.). Please note: Due to rough track and delays, the train often arrives late into Dar es Salaam. It is best to schedule an overnight in Dar es Salaam before flying out.

See "Other" for optional pre- and post-tour programs.

2014 Dates:
Cape Town-Dar es Salaam:
Sept. 27-Oct. 10

Dar es Salaam-Cape Town:
Oct. 13-26

2015 Dates:
Cape Town-Dar es Salaam:
July 4-18
Sept. 26-Oct. 10

Dar es Salaam-Cape Town:
Feb. 3-17
July 21-Aug. 4
Oct. 13-27

2016 Dates:
Cape Town-Dar es Salaam:
January 16-30
July 2-16
Sept. 24-Oct. 8

Dar es Salaam-Cape Town:
Feb. 2-16
March 15-29
July 19-Aug. 2
Oct. 11-25

The Prices

Please note: All prices are per person.

  Royal Suite


  2015 & 2016
  Royal Suite
on request


Deposit Required: 25%

Please note that this trip is not for everybody:  this is an adventure experience.
The track is very rough, especially in Zambia and Tanzania. This contributes to delays and can mean missed or truncated outings off the train.

NEW in 2015: Tour will be 15 days, and include a stop at Selous Game Reserve. 

Pre and Post-Tours available

Three-night Cape Town package, with all-day tours of Cape Winelands and the Cape Peninsula. Includes transfers, meals, tours and three overnights at deluxe, five-star hotel.

Add a three- to seven-night deluxe Tanzania game park extravaganza. We suggest adding Crater Lodge on the Ngorongoro crater rim;  Kirawira/Grumeti River Camp with game drives in the Serengeti; and Zanzibar with Stone Town walking tour and Spice Tour.  All meals, transfers and internal flights included. Call or e-mail for pricing.

Three-night Zanzibar/Spice Island tour also available.

In Victoria Falls, there are several options on your free day which are additional cost: some require cash payments. IRT travelers recommend the flight sightseeing over Victoria Falls, which is about $100 USD per person in cash.

Several visas, yellow fever inoculation, malaria prevention and medical/evacuation insurance required for this journey. Note: entry into South Africa requires passport with three full open visa pages facing each other. Passport should have seven months' validity.

Royal Livingstone Dinner Train: Optional excursion available on steam-hauled, dinner train across border from Victoria Falls Hotel in Zambia. More info, click here.

Latest News: Click here for our blog about what special amenities to look forward to on Rovos Rail journeys.

Latest Photos: Click here to see a photo essay of our July, 2011 Cape Town - Dar es Salaam Rovos Rail adventure.

You also may be interested in these tours...

Rovos Rail African Golf Safari
Rovos Rail: Wild Namibia
Rovos Rail's S. African Collage: From the Mountains to the Sea
The Blue Train, Luxury Train and Safaris

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Rovos Rail: The Ultimate Luxury Trek, Cape Town-Dar es Salaam (Length:14 days)
The Highlights
Ten nights on board one of world’s top luxury trains, with all meals and drinks included; complimentary  mini-bar in your compartment
Two-night stay at five-star Tau Game Lodge, with four game drives and all meals included
 • Fabulous meals and service on board Pride of Africa
Kimberley Diamond Mine and Museum
Victoria Falls Hotel overnight with plenty of time to explore the falls
Zambezi River Sunset Cruise
Chisimba Falls excursion
Makambako-Kiduna Tanzania rail descent into pass

Rovos Rail: The Ultimate Luxury Trek, Cape Town-Dar es Salaam
The Pride of Africa's entry into Rovos Rail's Capital Park facility in Pretoria being handled by a steam locomotive. (IRT Photo by Daniel Du Plessis)

Rovos Rail: The Ultimate Luxury Trek, Cape Town-Dar es Salaam
IRT Pullman Club member D. Young of Vancouver Island, B.C., loved the train, its personal service, the cab rides -- and the open windows. (IRT photo by Eleanor Hardy.)

Rovos Rail: The Ultimate Luxury Trek, Cape Town-Dar es Salaam
IRT Pullman Club member J. Bilisoly of Louisiana loved admiring the view from the open windows of the dining car. (IRT photo by Owen Hardy)

Rovos Rail: The Ultimate Luxury Trek, Cape Town-Dar es Salaam
Rovos Rail's Pride of Africa sits majestically on the bridge between Zambia and Zimbabwe. (IRT Photo by Owen Hardy)
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