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Rovos Rail Rarity: Cape-Dar Trek Still Has 3 Cabins to Let

By Owen C. Hardy

DSC_0680-TrainOverFallsVert2SmallIt’s almost unheard of.

Rovos Rail’s coveted Cape Town – Dar es Salaam tour, normally sold out up to a year in advance, has one Pullman and two Deluxe cabins available on its Sept. 26-Oct. 10 two-week excursion.

“Lots of people ask us: What’s your favorite destination? What’s your favorite train?” says IRT Society President Eleanor Hardy.

“That’s like asking a mother to pick her favorite child. Except in our case, it’s our World’s Top 25 Trains,” Mrs. Hardy says.

But at the risk of hurting her other “children’s” feelings, Mrs. Hardy says Rovos Rail’s Cape to Dar and Dar to Cape journeys stand out for their adventure, excitement and connection with the local people.

IRT Traveler Gary Ellman on 2w011 Cape-Dar tour. IRT Photo by Owen Hardy
IRT Traveler Gary Ellman at his favorite spot: on the rear, outdoor platform during 2011 Cape-Dar tour. IRT Photo by Owen Hardy

“These two-week treks started out being just twice a year – once north, and then south. But they became very popular. People who went on Rovos Rail for just one night or two frequently came back to do the Dar trips – and they came back often,” Mrs. Hardy says.

“There’s even a group of guests who are called ‘Repeat Offenders.’ They’ve traveled on the train many times.”

IRT traveler Jeff Grinspoon surrounded by well-wishers in Mlimba, Tanzania. IRT Photo by Owen Hardy

Now the train has several DAR departures each year, but demand almost always exceeds supply, she says. Except for this fall.

Here’s Mrs. Hardy’s advice:

  1. Book more than a year in advance for the greatest selection of cabins and dates. The IRT Society already has blocked space for its guests for next year and 2017. If a particular date looks attractive, grab it, she says.
  2. If you can make this fall’s trip, don’t wait. These last three cabins will go fast.
IRT Society President Eleanor Hardy. IRT photo by Owen Hardy

“Life’s too short to hem and haw,” Mrs. Hardy says.

“I’ll never forget the big smiles of our clients on the rear, open-air deck one sunny afternoon, descending the spectacular pass to Mlimba, Tanzania,” Mrs. Hardy says. “One of them said it was the ‘best railroading I’ve ever done in my life.’ ”

For details on the Cape-Dar dates, pricing and itinerary, click here. For more on Rovos Rail’s Pride of Africa train, click here. To book now, click here, call (800) 478-4881 or email