Train Travel in South Africa: Rovos Rail
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Train Travel in South Africa: Rovos Rail

Rovos Rail

When you think of travel through Africa, thoughts of 4-wheel drives on rough roads and small bush planes landing on dirt airstrips come to mind. But how many people think of train travel? Train travel used to be quite extensive through Africa but then in most places it was abandoned or fell in disrepair. But one place, South Africa, still has a rail system and there are a couple of companies that use it to provide a luxury experience for travelers.

Rovos Rail

There are 2 main companies that do these kinds of trips, the Blue Train and Rovos Rail. Recently I had to travel from Pretoria to Cape Town and instead of taking a commercial flight, going through security, having the person in front of me lean their seat into my lap and eat some mystery meal I instead elected to take a 3 day 2 night trip on Rovos Rail.


It was wonderful! Rovos Rail is a family run business that runs train trips throughout Southern Africa, and all the way up to Tanzania. The Vos family purchases old rail cars, strips them down and rebuilds them as train travel was in the Victorian era. With your own cabin with en suite bathroom and shower, you forget that it is 2016.

train travel Rovos Rail
Diamond Mine in Kimberly

Rovos Rail also has incredible food and an impeccably well-trained and attentive staff. What also makes this trip wonderful are the stops along the way. There are trips that include safaris, but on our trip we stopped at the town of Kimberly – home of De Beers Diamond Company and learned about the history of diamond mining in this area.

Rovos Rail

If you have a few extra days or want to create a different kind of experience in Africa and harken back to a simpler, gentler time, then train travel is a fantastic option.

Alan Feldstein, Infinite Safari Adventures | June 27, 2016

Infinite Safari Adventures creates custom wildlife and adventure safaris for its clients. Come on safari with us and experience the ultimate in attention to detail, responsiveness and care. Our philosophy is simple – we were once safari clients like you and we will treat you with the same high standards as we would expect ourselves.

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01 Comment


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