Friends eating on the The Blue Train: South Africa Luxury Train & Safaris journey
Lion yawning on the The Blue Train: South Africa Luxury Train & Safaris journey
Chef talking to woman on the The Blue Train: South Africa Luxury Train & Safaris journey
Woman boarding the The Blue Train: South Africa Luxury Train & Safaris train
Zebra on the Rovos Rail’s South African Collage From the Mountains to the Sea journey

The Blue Train: South Africa Luxury Train & Safaris

Africa
11-day Independent Tour
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Overview

The Highlights

  • Two nights on The Blue Train in a deluxe suite, including all meals and drinks
  • Four nights in five-star hotels (Cape Town’s Mount Nelson and the Saxon in Johannesburg)
  • Full-day Cape Point Tour, including lunch at Harbour House Restaurant in Kalk Bay
  • Private full-day Winelands tour and private lunch with the owners at Muratie wine estate
  • Two nights in five-star Eagle Island Camp in Okavango Delta including safaris by helicopter, boat and on foot
  • Two nights in five-star Savute Elephant Camp in Chobe National Park – elephant capital of the world
  • Valuable Bellini Club/Virtuoso amenities at all properties in this package.
  • VIP airport services – you will be met plane-side and whisked through customs & immigration to your waiting private car.

The Tour

Our exclusive 11-day Blue Train Luxury Safari is one of our favorite journeys. We paired The Blue Train with five-star hotels and luxury Belmond Botswana safari camps. Our journey includes unique experiences, from The Blue Train itself, to beautiful Cape Town, to unique stays in the Botswana bush.

But remember: book early; the camps are small and popular.

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*Special Value: We extend valuable complimentary and exclusive amenities to our guests at every accommodation in this Blue Train Luxury Safari because we are members of the exclusive Bellini Club and members of Virtuoso. They include but are not limited to dining credits, spa credits and helicopter rides.

And special care is taken from the minute you are met at the airport by your hostess plane-side to the time he or she waves goodbye after seeing you to your international gate. Before you know it, you’ll be whisked to the Belmond Mount Nelson, our favorite hotel in Cape Town, where they coddle our guests with the finest of everything. Then, take The Blue Train for an exciting and luxurious journey to Johannesburg. We organize your stay at our favorite, the five-star Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa. After sightseeing in this world-class city, fly to Maun and on to the fabulous safari camps run by Belmond. Belmond Eagle Island Lodge and Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge are both newly renovated and fabulous. We love this itinerary — and we ought to know, because we designed it to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Take someone special to South Africa and Botswana. Let us know it’s a celebration, and we’ll do all we can to make it very special!

View a short video that offers a glimpse into Botswana’s top safari lodges: Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge, and Belmond Eagle Island Lodge, which are both highlights in our exclusive Blue Train Safari itinerary.

The Blue Train: South Africa Luxury Train & Safaris map

Countries Visited

  • South Africa
  • Botswana

Itinerary

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Day 1: Cape Town

Your VIP journey starts as soon as you arrive at Cape Town airport when your personal VIP assistant meets you right at the airplane, and escorts you to pick up your bags and to your private car and driver to the five-star Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel. Complimentary upgrade to Junior Suite at time of booking subject to availability. Exclusive Virtuoso amenities.

Day 2: Cape Point

Enjoy your private, full-day Cape Point tour, which includes one of the most beautiful coastal drives in the world. Savor lunch in the lovely café followed by a visit to the world famous Kirstenbosch Gardens. These gardens are over 100 years old and boast over 6,000 species of flora. Return to your hotel in the early evening.

Day 3: Cape Winelands

Take a private Winelands Tour, including a visit to the Muratie Wine Estate. Here you will enjoy a private wine tasting and cellar tour including a traditional South African lunch hosted by the owner. This is one of the oldest traditional wine estates in Stellenbosch. Then, travel to Franschhoek to enjoy the atmosphere of this 17th century town and another wine tasting.

Day 4: The Blue Train

Transfer to The Blue Train lounge for afternoon departure. Settle in to your private suite as The Blue Train departs from Cape Town Station. Later, afternoon tea will be served in the lounge car, followed by pre-dinner drinks.

Dinner is an elegant occasion with numerous courses and carefully paired wines, which are included. Men are requested to wear jacket/tie and ladies evening wear. Overnight in your private compartment.

Day 5: The Blue Train; Kimberley

Breakfast is served in the dining car or in your cabin. Later, lunch is served in the dining car.

At approximately 2:30 p.m., arrive in Kimberley, where you will disembark for a tour of the KImberley Mine Museum and ‘Big Hole.’ (weather and time permitting).

Return to the station around 5:30 p.m., where you will be greeted with a glass of sherry (the special Blue Train glass is yours to keep).

After freshening up, enjoy aperitifs before another elegant dinner is served.

Day 6: The Blue Train; Pretoria Arrival

Enjoy your last breakfast on board before The Blue Train arrives in Pretoria mid-morning. Your guide will meet you at the station and will take you on a half-day Johannesburg tour, with a stop at the outstanding Apartheid Museum, which we feel is a must-see in South Africa. Check in to the Saxon Boutique Hotel, an exclusive private retreat set on ten acres of landscaped gardens and one of our favorite Virtuoso hotels in South Africa. The striking infinity pool, the sophisticated Dining Library, and the exclusive Cigar Lounge each offer their own type of relaxation. We will make a reservation for you in their fine-dining restaurant, not to be missed.

Days 7-8: Okavango Delta

Transfer to the airport for short flight to Maun, then by light aircraft to the Belmond Eagle Island Lodge in Okavango Delta. The camp has 12 beautifully appointed luxury tents. Your program includes safaris by helicopter, boat and foot with wonderful guides. All meals, drinks, game-viewing activities–even laundry!– are included. This program includes two nights at Eagle Island. (Let us know if you want to stay longer. We met a family who stayed five nights.)

Days 9-10: Chobe National Park

Transfer by light aircraft to the heart of the Chobe National Park, known as the elephant capital of the world. It’s also a fantastic place for spotting leopards, lion, wild dog, cheetah, hyena, zebra and beautiful birds. The Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge perches right on the Savute Channel, a spectacular base for exploring. Savute is a fusion of old world safari and modern-day luxury. It, too, has only 12 luxury tents. Spend two nights in this all-inclusive camp; all transfers, drinks, meals, laundry, game activities are included.

Day 11: Johannesburg

Morning transfer by light aircraft to Maun where you are again met at the airport and connected with regional flight to Johannesburg. Check-in for your international flight home or extend your stay.

Day 1: Johannesburg

Your VIP journey starts as soon as you arrive at Johannesburg airport, when your personal VIP assistant meets you right at the airplane, and escorts you pick up your bags and to your private car and driver. Transfer to the Saxon Boutique Hotel, an exclusive private retreat set on ten acres of landscaped gardens and one of our favorite Virtuoso hotels in South Africa. The striking infinity pool, the sophisticated Dining Library, and the exclusive Cigar Lounge each offer their own type of relaxation. We will make a reservation for you in their fine-dining restaurant, not to be missed.

Day 2-3: Okavango Delta

Transfer to the airport for short flight to Maun, then by light aircraft to the Belmond Eagle Island Lodge in Okavango Delta. The camp has 12 beautifully appointed luxury tents. Your program includes safaris by helicopter, boat and foot with wonderful guides. All meals, drinks, game-viewing activities–even laundry!– are included. This program includes two nights at Eagle Island. (Let us know if you want to stay longer. We met a family who stayed five nights.)

Day 4-5: Chobe National Park

Transfer by light aircraft to the heart of the Chobe National Park, known as the elephant capital of the world. It’s also a fantastic place for spotting leopards, lion, wild dog, cheetah, hyena, zebra and beautiful birds. The Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge perches right on the Savute Channel, a spectacular base for exploring. Savute is a fusion of old-world safari and modern-day luxury. It, too, has only 12 luxury tents. Spend two nights in this all-inclusive camp; all transfers, drinks, meals, laundry, game activities are included.

Day 6: Johannesburg

Morning transfer by light aircraft to Maun where you are again met at the airport and connected with regional flight to Johannesburg. This afternoon, enjoy a half-day tour of Johannesburg with your private guide, including a visit to the outstanding Apartheid Museum, which we feel is a must-see in South Africa. Overnight at the Saxon.

Day 7: The Blue Train; Pretoria


Transfer to The Blue Train lounge in Pretoria for afternoon departure. Settle into your private suite as the train departs around 2 p.m. High tea and dinner are served on board. Dinner is an elegant occasion with numerous courses and carefully paired wines, which are included. Men are requested to wear jacket/tie and ladies should don evening wear. Overnight in your private compartment.

Day 8: The Blue Train; Kimberley

After breakfast – served in the dining car or in your cabin – the train arrives in Kimberley, where you will disembark for a tour of the Kimberley Mine Museum and ‘Big Hole’ (weather and time permitting). Return to the station, where you will be greeted with a glass of sherry (served in a special The Blue Train glass that is yours to keep).

Lunch, high tea and dinner are served on board as the South African countryside rolls by.

Day 9: The Blue Train arrives Cape Town

Enjoy your last breakfast on board before The Blue Train arrives in Cape Town around noon. Your private driver will meet you at the station and transfer you to the five-star Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel. Complimentary upgrade to Junior Suite at time of booking subject to availability.  Exclusive Virtuoso amenities.

Day 10: Cape Winelands

Take a private Winelands Tour, including a visit to the Muratie Wine Estate. Here you will enjoy a private wine tasting and cellar tour including a traditional South African lunch hosted by the owner. This is one of the oldest traditional wine estates in Stellenbosch. Then, travel to Franschhoek to enjoy the atmosphere of this 17th century town and another wine tasting.

Day 11: Cape Point

Enjoy your private, full-day Cape Point tour, which includes one of the most beautiful coastal drives in the world. Savor lunch in the lovely café followed by a visit to the world-famous Kirstenbosch Gardens. These gardens are over 100 years old and boast over 6,000 species of flora. Return to your hotel in the early evening.

Day 12: Cape Town

Check out of the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel and transfer privately to Cape Town airport, where you will have VIP assistance with check-in for your flight. Late check out can be arranged at additional cost for evening flights.

Dates & Prices

2021 Dates

*Numerous departures throughout 2021. Contact us for exact dates according to train schedules.

  • Prices are per person, double occupancy. Prices are estimated based on eastbound (Cape Town-Pretoria) direction of travel. Contact us for single pricing.
  • Low Season: January 1-March 31; November 15-December 23
  • Shoulder Season: April 1-June 30; October 1-November 14; December 24-31
  • High Season: July 1-September 3

Our Process

This is a suggested itinerary for a wonderful private journey. It will be fully customized for you.  Please contact us at (800) 478-4881, or (502) 897-1725, or email us at tourdesk@irtsociety.com, to schedule a brief conversation with one of our specialists to discuss our process.

More

Read about IRT owners Owen and Eleanor Hardys’ adventure on The Blue Train.