Fancourt Golf Course Rovos Rail.
Taking photos from Rovos Rail's observation platform.
Zebra on the Rovos Rail’s South African Collage From the Mountains to the Sea journey
Staff looking out the window on the Rovos Rail’s South African Collage From the Mountains to the Sea journey
Rovos Rail Champagne Sports Resort
Oudtshoorn ostrich farm visit on Rovos Rail.

Rovos Rail African Collage

Africa
13-day Escorted Tour
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Overview

The Highlights

Running times have been tweaked, and the following additional visits have been incorporated: the Kingdom of eSwatini, Golden Gate National Park, and the picturesque town of Clarens and Bloemfontein, the city of roses.

Other highlights of this journey include:

  • Plenty of time to relax and enjoy the many amenities of the train itself—the Pride of Africa, one of the world’s finest luxury trains
  • Travel along the spectacular Garden Route along South Africa’s coast
  • Game drives in open vehicles in Kruger Park and Hluhluwe Game Reserve
  • Addo Elephant Park—home to 600 elephants, as well as Cape buffalo, black rhino and a variety of antelope species
  • Ostrich farm visit in Oudtshoorn
  • Spionkop battlefields
  • Tours of Durban & Knysna
  • Golfers’ option to play six challenging courses, including Ernie Els’ first signature course in South Africa.

The Tour

One of the most scenic train journeys on the Pride of Africa, the Rovos Rail African Collage is a panoramic, 2,100-mile, 13-day South African luxury train sojourn along the Western Cape’s famous Garden Route, with optional golf excursions offered throughout the tour.

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Travel from Pretoria eastwards to Malelane, south through Swaziland to Durban, and southwest through Port Elizabeth, Oudtshoorn and George to Cape Town.

Golfers have the option of playing six challenging courses, including Ernie Els’ Oubaai Golf Club.

IRT Inside Track: IRT’s Angela Walker and Rachel Hardy loved their time on Rovos Rail’s Pride of AfricaClick here for part one of their report on the trainhere for part two.

Countries Visited

  • South Africa
  • eSwatini (formerly Swaziland)

Itinerary

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Day 1: Pretoria

Depart Rovos Rail’s private station in Capital Park, Pretoria this morning. Enjoy lunch and dinner on board as the train travels on the eastern line towards the harsh eMalahleni coal-mining area and Middelburg, known as the “stainless steel capital of Africa”.

Day 2: At leisure on board

Enjoy a leisurely day on board the train with incredible scenery. After lunch, the train descends the spectacular Drakensberg Mountain escarpment, first named by the Voortrekkers who thought the unbroken chain of heavily weathered peaks reminded them of the spines on a dragon’s back, hence the name ‘Dragon Mountain’ or Drakensberg in Afrikaans.

Day 3: Kruger Park

We’ll have an early wake-up call this morning for a game drive in Kruger National Park in open vehicles. Look for Africa’s “Big Five” and enjoy lunch at the Park. Return to the train, with afternoon tea and dinner served en route to Mpaka.

Golfers’ Option: Tee off and lunch at White River Country Club or Mbombela (if available, Leopard Creek may be booked on request at additional cost). Return to the train for afternoon tea and dinner. 

Day 4: eSwatini

Breakfast is served as the train travels into the mountainous Kingdom of eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) for an afternoon visiting Swazi Candles and Mantenga Cultural Village.

At Swazi Candles, interact with the artisans as they make a variety of candles. Woodcarvings, colorful textiles and superb basketwork are also on display. Nestled in the mountains overlooking ‘Execution Rock’ is Mantenga Lodge. The village is a living museum of old traditions that represents a classic Swazi lifestyle during the 1800s.

Return to the train for an afternoon tea, followed by dinner as you travel to Hluhluwe.

Golfers’ Option: Morning tee off and lunch at Nkonyeni Golf Estate or Royal Swazi Country Club. Return to the train for afternoon tea and dinner. 

Day 5: Hluhluwe Reserve

After breakfast, disembark for a game drive in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park. As the oldest proclaimed reserve in Africa, Hluhluwe consists of 370 square miles (960km²) of hilly topography in central Zululand. It has all the Big Five game animals and is also a prime birding destination. Due to conservation efforts, the park now has one of the world’s largest population of white rhino.

Return to the train for lunch on board as your travel south along the Indian Ocean coastline.

Enjoy tea in the lounge and observation cars ahead of your dinner on board.

Day 6: Durban

Leisure guests will have a Durban city tour, including a visit to the botanical gardens and lunch at Umhlanga’s beachfront. Durban is the third largest city in South Africa and enjoys great importance due to its industry and very large port.

Afternoon tea and dinner on board as the train traverses the Valley of a Thousand Hills.

Golfer’s Option: Morning tee-off and lunch at Durban Country Club or Beachwood. Rejoin the train for afternoon tea and dinner.

Day 7: Spionkop

Morning transfer to Spionkop Lodge to hear the historic tale of the Battle of Spionkop and walk in the footsteps of Churchill and Gandhi, followed by a game drive in the 11,000-acre reserve. Or choose to relax at the lodge.  Return to the train for lunch, tea and dinner.

Golfers: Early morning transfer to Champagne Sports Resort for 18 holes at this lovely course with the Drakensberg Mountains as a backdrop. Return to the train for lunch.

Day 8: Golden Gate National Park & Clarens

Take a drive through the Golden Gate Highlands National Park and enjoy its most notable features; its golden ochre and orange-hued deeply eroded sandstone cliffs and outcrops, especially the Brandwag Rock.

Visit the small and picturesque town of Clarens situated in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains. Enjoy an early lunch before heading to the Sandstone Heritage Trust, a large agricultural estate that houses an impressive collection of heritage trains, tractors, busses, cars and military vehicles.

Dinner is served on board the train as it departs for Bloemfontein.

Day 9: Bloemfontein

Breakfast is served in the dining cars until departure for a tour of Bloemfontein, including the Women’s Memorial and Anglo Boer War Museum.

Traverse the Karoo, a vast and beautiful semi-desert stretching across the great South African plateau inland from the Cape coast with scattered towns and villages. Cross the dry southeastern region with its variety of grasses, hardy shrubs, tumbleweeds and succulents and descend the Great Escarpment towards the coast.

Lunch, afternoon tea and dinner on board the train.

Day 10: Addo Elephant Park

Disembark for a morning game drive at Addo Elephant Park near Port Elizabeth. Addo is South Africa’s third largest national reserve, stretching from the semi-arid Karoo, over the Zuurberg Mountains and down through the Sundays River valley to the coast. The park is home to one of the densest African Elephant populations on earth – roughly 600.

Return to the train and depart for Port Elizabeth, with lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner on board.

Golfers’ Option: Morning tee-off at Humewood Golf Course in Port Elizabeth followed by lunch. Return to the train in Port Elizabeth.

Day 11: Knysna

Disembark in Port Elizabeth and transfer to Knysna, with a stop at Oudebosch Farm Stall en route. In Knysna, enjoy a ferry ride on the lagoon. The Knysna Heads – two sandstone cliffs guarding the mouth of the lagoon connecting the estuary with the sea – is a dramatic viewpoint.

Transfer to Fancourt Golf Estate and check-in for an overnight stay and dinner.

Golfers’ Option: Transfer to Pezula or Simola for a round followed by lunch.  Join other guests at Fancourt for dinner. 

Day 12: Oudtshoorn

After breakfast, transfer to Oudtshoorn for an ostrich farm visit. Oudtshoorn is famous for feathering the world in the time of the boa and grand hats. The ostrich boom of the early 20th century turned out many millionaires who, in turn, created elaborate lifestyles in this remote part of Africa. Return to the train for lunch.

This afternoon, transfer to Cango Caves for a visit before returning to the train for dinner.

Golfers’ Option: Tee off at Fancourt and lunch. Return to the train for tea and dinner on board. 

Day 13: Arrive Cape Town

Breakfast is served as the train trundles through the spectacular mountain ranges and scenic winelands of the coast before arriving into Cape Town Station around 6 p.m.

Day 1: Cape Town

Board Rovos Rail’s Pride of Africa and depart Cape Town station this evening and enjoy your first elegant dinner on board.

Day 2: Matjiesfontein

Breakfast is served as the train trundles through the beautiful scenery of the Hex River Valley and Cape Winelands. Mid-morning arrive in Matjiesfontein, where you can enjoy a stroll through the historic village. Of special interest is the museum on the platform and a collection of historic cars and railway carriages next to the Lord Milner Hotel.

Back on board, enjoy lunch, tea and dinner.

Day 3: Oudtshoorn

After breakfast we transfer to Cango Caves for a visit to this popular site. Continue to Oudtshoorn for lunch followed by an ostrich farm visit. Oudtshoorn is famous for feathering the world in the time of the boa and grand hats. The ostrich boom of the early 20th century turned out many millionaires who, in turn, created elaborate lifestyles in this remote part of Africa.

This afternoon, enjoy the scenic drive over the spectacular Outeniquas to Fancourt Golf Estate, where we stay the night.

Golfers’ Option: Morning transfer over the Swartberg Mountains to Fancourt Golf Estate for tee off, lunch, dinner and overnight.

Day 4: Knysna

Transfer along the coast to Knysna for a ferry ride on the lagoon with lunch. The Knysna Heads – two sandstone cliffs guarding the mouth of the lagoon connecting the estuary with the sea – is a dramatic viewpoint.

Transfer back to the train, waiting in Port Elizabeth, with a stop in Oudebosch Farm Stall en route. Dinner on board.

Golfers’ Option: Transfer to Pezula or Simola for tee off and lunch. Return to the train in Port Elizabeth.

Day 5: Addo Elephant Park

Disembark this morning for a game drive Addo Elephant Park. Addo is South Africa’s third largest national reserve, stretching from the semi-arid Karoo, over the Zuurberg Mountains and down through the Sundays River valley to the coast. The park is home to one of the densest African Elephant populations on earth – roughly 600. Lunch will be served in the dining cars en route to Bloemfontein. The observation car will be at the front of the train until tomorrow afternoon — a different aspect that many rail enthusiasts enjoy.

Golfers’ Option: Morning transfer to Humewood Golf Course and rejoin the train in Coerney for lunch on board.

Day 6: Bloemfontein

Breakfast and an early lunch are served in the dining cars until departure for a tour of Bloemfontein, including the Women’s Memorial and Anglo Boer War Museum.

Traverse the Karoo, a vast and beautiful semi-desert stretching across the great South African plateau inland from the Cape coast with scattered towns and villages. Cross the dry southeastern region with its variety of grasses, hardy shrubs, tumbleweeds and succulents and descend the Great Escarpment towards the coast.

Afternoon tea and dinner on board the train.

Day 7: Clarens & Golden Gate National Park

After breakfast, transfer to Sandstone Heritage Trust, a large agricultural estate that houses an impressive collection of heritage trains, tractors, busses, cars and military vehicles.

Following is a visit to the small and picturesque town of Clarens, situated in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains.

Enjoy an early lunch before taking a drive through the Golden Gate Highlands National Park and enjoy its most notable features; its golden ochre and orange-hued deeply eroded sandstone cliffs and outcrops, especially the Brandwag Rock.

Return to the train for dinner.

Day 8: Spionkop

Morning transfer to Spionkop Lodge to hear the historic tale of the Battle of Spionkop and walk in the footsteps of Churchill and Gandhi, followed by lunch at the lodge.  This afternoon, take a game drive in the 11,000-acre reserve or relax at the lodge.  Return to the train for dinner.

Golfers: Early morning transfer to Champagne Sports Resort for 18 holes and lunch at this lovely course with the Drakensberg Mountains as a backdrop. Return to the train for dinner.

Day 9: Durban

Breakfast is served as the train traverses the Valley of a Thousand Hills. Disembark for a Durban city tour, including a visit to the botanical gardens and lunch at Umhlanga’s beachfront. Durban is the third largest city in South Africa and enjoys great importance due to its industry and very large port.

Return to the train as it travels north along the Indian Ocean coastline.

Golfer’s Option: Morning tee-off at Durban Country Club or Beachwood or Valley of a Thousand Hills. Rejoin the train for afternoon tea and dinner.

Day 10: Hluhluwe Reserve

Early morning game drive in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park. As the oldest proclaimed reserve in Africa, Hluhluwe consists of 370 square miles (960km²) of hilly topography in central Zululand. It has all the Big Five game animals and is also a prime birding destination. Due to conservation efforts, the park now has the largest population of white rhino in the world.

Return to the train for lunch as border formalities take place at eSwatini (formerly Swaziland).

Day 11: eSwatini

The tiny Kingdom of eSwatini (Swaziland) covers only 6,700 square miles (17,000 km²), most of which is mountainous. For such a small country, it is surprising that it sustains two capital cities: Mbabane is the administrative capital and Lobamba is the royal and legislative capital. In April 2018, Swaziland changed its name to the Kingdom of eSwatini (meaning “place of the Swazi”) and is an absolute monarchy.

Transfer to Swazi Candles and Mantenga Cultural Village for a visit with lunch. Return to the train for dinner as we re-enter South Africa.

Golfers: Transfer to Nkonyeni or Royal Swazi for tee off and lunch. 

Day 12: Kruger Park

We’ll have an early wake-up call this morning for a game drive in Kruger Park in open vehicles. Look for Africa’s “Big Five” and enjoy lunch at the Park. Return to the train for afternoon tea served while traveling west across the Drakensberg Mountains. A special 1920s-themed dinner on board tonight.

Golfers’ Option: Tee off and lunch at White River Country Club or Mbombela (if available, Leopard Creek may be booked on request at additional cost). Return to the train for afternoon tea and dinner. 

Day 13: Pretoria

Breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea are served before arrival into Capital Park, Rovos Rail’s private station, around 6 p.m.

Dates & Prices

2024 Dates

October 18 - 30

October 31 - November 12 *

*This trip runs Cape Town to Pretoria.

  • Tour priced in South African Rand (ZAR). View approximate exchange rates.
  • All prices are per person.

2025 Dates

April 2 - 14

April 25 - May 7

October 21 - November 2

November 5 - 17 *

*This trip runs Cape Town to Pretoria.

  • Tour priced in South African Rand (ZAR). View approximate exchange rates.
  • All prices are per person.

2026 Dates

April 1 - 13

April 24 - May 6

October 20 - November 1

November 10 - 22

  • Tour priced in South African Rand (ZAR). View approximate exchange rates.
  • All prices are per person.

More

Only a few departures of this popular tour each year; book early to avoid disappointment!

Rates include: Accommodation; all meals; all beverages; room service; limited laundry service; excursions accompanied by a qualified guide (where applicable); entrance fees as per itinerary; green fees, carts and halfway house; government tax.

Golf clubs can be rented at additional cost.