The Pride of Africa

Blue Train is not the only line to offer comfortable tourist travel in the Republic of South Africa. The local Rovos Rail association is the operator of The Pride of Africa – according to annual rankings the most luxurious train in the world. RR offers journeys lasting from one day up to two weeks (from Cape Town or from Pretoria to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania). The route passes through unique sites like the Victoria Falls in Zambia, the Namibian dessert, the Great Rift Valley and the reserve in the province of Mpumalanga.

The train can accommodate 72 passengers on board. They can travel by one of three classes according to the standard of accommodation. The “Pullman” class has 15 compartments of 7 m2 each. They are equipped with toilets and bathrooms with showers. The “Deluxe” class is double suites of 10 m2 comprising a bedroom and a bathroom. The most expensive class is the “Royal Suites”. Four such compartments of 16 m2 occupy two rail carriages. Each compartment consists of a spacious living room, a bedroom and a Victorian style bathroom with a bathtub and shower. The train also has restaurant and leisure carriages with wraparound windows. Separate lounge carriages are available for smokers and non-smokers. The last carriage is a viewing carriage with an open-air patio, capable of accommodating 32 people. To make the journey more old-fashioned, carefully renovated steam engines pull the train at some sections.

 

Meals in the restaurant carriage are served on elegant china and linen tablecloths with silver cutlery. Mealtimes are announced by a gong. Men wear their evening suits and women evening dresses for dinner. Passengers can ask staff for service all day and night.

On the route of over 6 thousand kilometres, the passengers spend a few nights outside the train. For example, when sightseeing in the Chore National Park where they live in spacious cottages. During local excursions, they travel by luxury buses, boats or off-road vehicles. Apart from sightseeing, the travellers can attend stimulating lectures about the country, its history and the contemporary situation. The organizer also offers cruises, rafting, golf lessons or an unforgettable safari - it all depends on the selected travelling toute.

 

Such an exciting journey is rather expensive. Only the wealthy can afford it. The fare for a complete route is equivalent to the value of a decent passenger car.

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© Całość praw autorskich - Antoni Bochen, Filip Wiśniewski