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TThere's something so peaceful, adventurous and yet cosseting about luxury train travel in South Africa, and the Shongololo Express is no exception.
Based at Rovos Rail’s station in Pretoria, the Shongololo Express began operations in 1995 by providing a very special touring experience for visitors to Southern Africa. The four journeys, of between 12 to 15 days, offer tours that traverse South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
AApart from specifically tailor-made train trips, the Shongololo Express operates four classic 16-day tours: The Dune Express from Cape Town through Namibia; The Good Hope Tour between Johannesburg and Cape Town; a David Livingstone Tour and a Southern Cross Tour, both of which take in Vic Falls and some of the neighbouring countries.
TThe name “shongololo” is Zulu for millipede, and that's what the South African Shongololo Express looks like as it crosses the horizon from one breathtaking destination to another, with five-star standards of service and the promise of an African adventure or encounters somewhere along the line.
This is the perfect trip to do with friends or family as the train can accommodate 72 guests. Yet, also an ideal trip for the romantics who want to enjoy intimate meals in the historically appointed dining cars. Modern and traditional local cuisine is on offer with a selection of distinguished South African wines. Guests can also relax in the bar car, small smoking lounge or the observation car with an open-air balcony situated at the back of the train. The cuisine varies from local South African to Cape Dutch to Malay to, quite often, that of the country you happen to be travelling through.
WWhen you are falling a tad "cabin-feverish”, the journeys offer a variety of off-train excursions that are undertaken in air-conditioned vehicles. The train travels with Mercedes Benz excursion vehicles on-board and comes equipped with all the modern conveniences you might need. When the train stops in a city or town and is leaving at a late hour, ask the Shongololo staff to advise you on the local nightlife.
For the rest, we'll see you at Etosha for a game drive, Sossusvlei for a dune hike, somewhere in the Klein Karoo for a glass of chilled white wine, back in Cape Town for a sundowner cocktail at Camps Bay, or somewhere far up north, in the misty sprays of the Vic Falls.