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In South Africa you are unlikely to travel by train just to get from point A to point B. However, there are some options where you can get an experience you will truly not forget in a hurry!

Rovos Rail
Be pampered in 5-star luxury while you slowly move through the beautiful landscape. There is everything from shorter journeys between Pretoria and Cape Town to longer trips that depart once a year. Why not take the train from Cape Town to Dar Es Salaam?

Since 1989, Rovos Rail has become known as the world's most luxurious train. The adventure often begins at Capital Park just north of Pretoria, where Rovos Rail's private station is built in colonial style. This is the point of most of the departures and arrivals.

Rovos Rail has the most spacious compartments in the world, with all the luxury and comfort you can imagine. With beautiful wood panelling and furniture in Edwardian style, the compartments accommodate two people and you can choose between two single beds or a spacious double bed. There is a safe, room service around the clock and a mini bar stocked with the beverages you want, all included in the price.

Rovos Rail offers three types of accommodation:

The Pullman Suite has a size of 7 square metres with private bathroom with a shower. You can choose between an upper and a lower bed or a double bed which during the day is converted into a sofa. This is the smallest compartment on offer.

The Deluxe Suite is a slightly larger option at 11 square meters. You get a small lounge and a private bathroom with shower. You can choose between two single beds or one double bed.

The Royal Suite is a full 16 square metres big and is very spacious and elegant. The compartment personifies opulence. It takes up half a carriage, with its own lounge and bathroom with Victorian bath and separate shower.

All meals are served in one sitting in the charming Victorian design restaurant carriages. Every morning a breakfast buffet with a wide selection of croissants, cold meats, jams, pastries, yoghurt, cereal and fresh fruit is served.

Lunch and dinner begins with a starter and then your choice of fish, meat or a vegetarian dish, followed by a tempting dessert. And of course you will have excellent South African wines to choose from.

During the day the dress code is casual, while more formal attire is worn in the evening. A jacket and tie is a minimum requirement.

Blue Train
With the Blue Train, you can travel in luxury between Pretoria and Cape Town in just over a day. A great option if you want to see parts of South Africa you would not otherwise get to see, or if you just prefer to take a break from flying.

In comparison to the Rovos Rail, the Blue Train is not so strikingly beautiful on the outside - it looks more like a normal train. But the inside proves to be anything but the usual! Butlers are abound, and they deliver unrivalled service around the clock.

All food is served in the dining car, and there are two sittings for lunch and for dinner. For lunch, a smart casual dress code applies, while at dinner you should dress up a little more elegantly with a jacket and tie.

There are two lounge cars - one where you enjoy high tea and one where you can enjoy a good brandy, or a drink of your choice and a cigar. The Club Lounge is the only area where you are allowed to smoke, and it also allows you a view out of the gigantic rear window. The front of the train is equipped with a camera. This stunning view can be seen on a monitor in the Club Lounge, and it is also available on a TV channel in the compartments.

Air-conditioning during the summer is a blessing, and heaters and under-floor heaters in the bathroom add comfort during the winter.

There are two types of accommodation:

The De Luxe Suite is the smaller alternative where you get either single or double beds which are stowed away during the day so that you have more space in your compartment. You also have a private bathroom with either a shower or a bath.

The Luxury Suite is more spacious than the deluxe suite and here you can also choose between single or double beds. You have a private bathroom with a large and lovely tub where you can enjoy a relaxing bath while the train gently moves along.

Shongololo Express
The Shongololo Express offers three different train adventures focusing on the experience. You travel at night and wake up to a new adventure every day. The name Shongololo comes from the first time the natives of southern Africa saw a train on the horizon and they thought it looked like a centipede - a Shongololo.

The Shongololo Express was founded in 1995 and has since treated travellers to a very special Southern African experience. Their amazing tours take you through seven southern African countries - South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia and Namibia.

Just like when you go on a cruise, you will be taken care of from the time you board the train. All you need to do is to unpack and settle into your compartment and then everything is arranged for you, from wonderful dining experiences to sightseeing.

The train travels overnight to the next stop on the itinerary and you wake up every morning to a new view and exciting new adventures. This ensures that you really make the most of your adventure in Africa.

Each train carries its own fleet of minibuses and your drivers are ready to take you on the excursions that are included in the tour. For those who wish, there are also a variety of tours and adventures that you can add - from elephant safaris to scuba diving and cage dives with the Great White shark!

Your chef offers menus that represent the area's many culinary influences and these are complemented with specially selected South African wines.

Shongololo is not a luxury train such as Rovos Rail or Blue Train - the compartments is of relatively simple standard compared to those 2 luxury trains. The emphasis here is on experiences! The train has a total of 10 cars and a restaurant car, bar car and lounge car and there are four different classes of compartments.

The simplest compartment, Ivory, is available as both double and single compartments, but this is the only class that provides a single compartment. You have a sink with running water, but share a communal shower and toilet with the rest of the car. The compartment has a ceiling fan.

The compartments in the classes Gold and Commodore have twin beds, its own shower and toilet, and air-conditioning. The difference between them is the size of the bedrooms.

The best compartment, Emerald, has a larger bathroom and also a double bed and air-conditioning.
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