Romantic rail journeys in South Africa
Did you know?
The first laird of Matjiesfontein Village, Jimmy Logan, used to sponsor visiting English cricket teams.
It's been raining at Matjiesfontein Station in the Great Karoo and the laird is looking out of his window at the driving summer showers, with a celebratory glass of bubbly to hand.
The Blue Train has just been. Rovos Rail is expected to pass by. Even the Shongololo Express is scheduled to pass through here at some stage. Matjiesfontein Station is alive and working.
Every day, travellers alight from one romantic rail tour after another and wander around the museum, the Lord Milner Hotel and the coffee shops of this quaint little Victorian railway village in the desert. One any of the romantic rail journeys of South Africa, it's a must-see.
In general, the romance of a South African rail journey never disappoints, wherever you travel in this beautiful country. Whether you're chugging off on safari through the bushveld or traversing the desert into Namibia, the luxury train journeys on offer are all about scenic beauty, dining car pampering and the kind of exceptional service normally reserved for royalty.
Each train - and their range of routes on offer - is different. Rovos Rail, for instance, is pure nostalgic elegance harking back to the 1930s. Royal Suites take up half the carriage, and are named after famous money-men of the British Colonial era.
The Shongololo Express is marketed as a ‘fully serviced travelling hotel' and their Safari Trains offerings range from battlefield tours to hot air ballooning over the Namib Desert - with a score of other adventures in exotic places in-between.
The Blue Train has undergone some serious refurbishments, and is now aiming at the title of ‘most luxurious train in the world'. And when you meet your personal on-board butler, you'll know you've died and gone to Romantic Holiday Heaven.