Rovos Rail


Experience the extravagant elegance of rail travel on the most luxurious train in the world. Rovos Rail’s unique train safaris through the heart of Africa combine some of the most magnificent scenery with the glamour and excitement of the golden age of rail travel. Since its establishment in 1989, Rovos Rail has earned an international reputation for its truly world-class travel experiences.

Step aboard the wood-panelled coaches – classics remodelled and refurbished to mint condition – and enjoy fine cuisine in five-star luxury as some of the most varied scenery imaginable unfolds beyond the windows. Recapture the romance and atmosphere of a bygone era, when privileged travellers experienced the magic and mystery of Africa in a relaxed and elegant fashion.

Locomotion – Seven superbly reconditioned locomotives are the heart and soul of Rovos Rail and a sight to gladden the heart of any rail enthusiast. There’s a story behind the acquisition and restoration of every one of the Rovos Rail locomotives. Each one has a distinctive character and charm and are all named after owners Rohan and Anthea Vos’ family. The oldest engine in the stable is also the smallest: 439 Tiffany – named after their youngest daughter – is one of 40 Class 6 locomotives manufactured by Dubs & Co in 1893. Rohan Vos first saw this petite loco on the platform of Winburg Station in the Eastern Freestate and it was love at first sight. The loco was purchased in 1987 and Dunns Locomotive in Witbank was commissioned to return the Class 6 to running condition.

2701 Brenda, 2702 Bianca and 3360 Shaun are named after Rohan and Anthea’s other three children. They are Class 19D Locomotives, which were all built during the 1930s. All three locomotives were saved from scrap-metal dealers and, after extensive restoration by Dunns Locomotive and the Rovos Staff, were put back into service in 1989.

Loco 3484 Marjorie – named after Rohan’s mother – is a Class 25NC locomotive built in 1954 by North British in Glasgow. Due to the difficulties in running steam locomotives over long distances in South Africa, the decision was made to convert this locomotive from coal fired to an oil-fired engine. She can cover a distance of 200 kilometres without needing to stop for oil or water; whereas the coal fired locomotives need to stop for water every 80 kilometres.

A further two Class 25NC locomotives have been restored and added to the fleet. Loco 3442 Anthea, built in 1953 by Henschel of Germany is named after Rohan’s wife. Loco 3533 King Zog is named after Rohan’s Dalmatian.

Destination Africa – In a series of train journeys lasting from 24 hours to a fortnight, the Pride of Africa links some of Africa’s greatest destinations from Cape Town, at the tip of Africa, to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, from scenic splendours as diverse as the game reserves of Mpumalanga to the Victoria Falls, from the desert landscapes in Namibia and the stark beauty of the Karoo to the lush cane fields of KwaZulu-Natal and the magnificent Garden Route along the Cape south coast.

The trains – which may be hauled by steam, diesel or electric locomotives at various stages of the journey – carry a maximum of 72 passengers in 36 superbly appointed suites. Pride of place in the Rovos stable goes to the historic and restored Capital Park Station and locomotive yard, which is the heart and headquarters of this private railway company.

The Train – The epitome of luxury with handsome wood panelling and period Edwardian features, the air-conditioned suites accommodate two people offering the option of twin or spacious double beds. In the en-suite bathrooms, original fittings combine with the modern technology of hot showers, hair dryers and shaver plugs.

The Royal Suites, each of which take up half a carriage, are spacious and elegant, measuring ±16 sq metres/±172 sq feet in size. Each has its own private lounge area and full bathroom with Victorian bath and separate shower. The Deluxe Suites (± 11 sq metres/±118 sq feet) also accommodate two passengers in either twin or double beds and have a lounge area and en-suite bathroom with shower. The Pullman Suites (±7 sq metres/±76 sq feet) are equipped with a comfortable sofa-seat during the day with a conversion to double or twin beds for the evening, and also have an en-suite bathroom with shower. The very spacious suites offer passengers the opportunity to travel in privacy, comfort and luxury, with fittings and facilities that are of the highest standard. All are equipped with a writing surface and a personal safe for valuables. There is also a bar fridge filled with beverages of the passengers’ choice and room service is available 24 hours a day.

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