African Safaris, Ecotourism & Accommodation in South and Southern Africa
Guided Safaris is Independently Marketed by Far and Wild Safaris cc

GOOD HOPE - NORTHBOUND

CAPE TOWN - PETORIA - 15 DAYS - 3900km
Please note that this itinerary has scheduled departure dates.

Good Hope Map

DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN CAPE TOWN WITH A TOUR OF THE CITY (D)
08:00 Check-in at Rovos Rail Lounge, Cape Town Station.
09:00 Full-day tour of Cape Town. Walk through the Company Gardens and visit the Bo-Kaap Museum. The first Malays arrived in the Cape as political refugees and slaves during the 17th century. Nearly two centuries after emancipation these Islamic people moved into the area known today as the Bo-Kaap, building mosques with picturesque minarets and their own Georgian-style houses with Dutch influence. One of the oldest Cape Town buildings houses the museum, which is furnished as a Muslim house of the 19th century and documents the history of the Cape Malays. En route to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, stop at Diamond Works for a tour of the diamond cutting studio, a jewellery manufacturing workshop, a jewellery design studio as well as a gemmological laboratory.  Lunch at the V&A Waterfront, a development that has brought new life to the old harbour of the Dutch East India Company in Table Bay. The complex offers shops, craft markets, restaurants, taverns, cinemas, theatres as well as great views over the harbour. Drive through District Six, named the Sixth Municipal District of Cape Town in 1867. Originally established as a mixed community of freed slaves, merchants, artisans, labourers and immigrants, District Six was a vibrant centre with close links to the city and the port. By the beginning of the 20th century, however, the process of removals and marginalisation had begun. The first to be forced out were Black South Africans who were displaced from the District in 1901. As the more prosperous moved away to the suburbs, the area became a neglected ward of the city. On 11 February 1966 it was declared a White area under the Group Areas Act of 1950 and by 1982 the life of the community was over. More than 60 000 people were forcibly removed to barren outlying areas aptly known as the Cape Flats while bulldozers flattened their houses in District Six. The museum, established in December 1994, works with the memories of the District Six experience. Visit the Castle of Good Hope, the oldest surviving building in South Africa. This pentagonal fortification replaced a small clay and timber fort built by Commander Jan van Riebeeck in 1652 as a maritime replenishment station for the ships of the Dutch East India Company. The stone walls between the bastions are 150m long and 12m high.
16:00 Train departs. Travel towards Worcester.
16:30 Tea is served in the lounge and observation car.
19:30 Dinner is served in the dining cars.

DAY 2: HERMANUS (B, D)
07:00 Breakfast is served in the dining cars until departure.
09:00 Drive the scenic route to Hermanus (120km). Travel over the Rooihoogte and Floorshoogte passes via the Overberg to Hermanus, once a renowned fish market and whaling station. The whale hunts were stopped by international treaty in 1935. The WWF includes Hermanus in its list of 12 best whale-viewing sites in the world, but it tops the list when it comes to land-based whale-watching from the town’s natural cliffs. In season (normally between July and November) whales can be seen from as close as 5m away
13:00 Transfer to a wine estate in Ashton for a tasting.
16:30 Re-join the train at Ashton. Depart for Voorbaai. Tea is served in the lounge and observation car.
19:30 Dinner is served in the dining cars.

DAY 3: KNYSNA (B, D*) *Dinner and one pre-dinner beverage (wine, G&T, beer, soda or juice) included.
07:00 Breakfast is served in the dining cars until departure.
09:00 Transfer to Knysna for a lagoon ferry ride. Drive along the coast from George, situated in the heart of the Garden Route. The town itself sits on a 10km plateau between the majestic Outeniqua Mountains to the north and the Indian Ocean to the south. The Knysna Heads –two sandstone cliffs guarding the mouth of the lagoon connecting the estuary with the sea –is a dramatic viewpoint.
13:30 Return to the train.
16:30 Tea is served in the lounge and observation car.  
18:30 Dinner at Fancourt Golf Estate. Overnight George.

DAY 4: CANGO CAVES AND OSTRICH FARM (B, D)
07:00 Breakfast is served in the dining cars until departure.
09:15 Transfer (60 minutes) to the Cango Caves and an ostrich farm. This semi-desert region is situated at the foot of the majestic Swartberg mountain range where many rivers, streams and falls have their origins. Oudtshoorn is regarded as the centre of the Klein Karoo and is famous for feathering the world in the time of the boa and grand hats. The ostrich boom of the early 20th century turned out many millionaires who, in turn, created elaborate lifestyles in this remote part of Africa. The great natural wonder of the Cango Caves has colourful underground chambers with breath-taking limestone formations.
15:15 Return to the train. Depart for Port Elizabeth (reroute).
16:30 Tea is served in the lounge and observation car.
19:30 Dinner is served in the dining cars.

DAY 5: DAY AT LEISURE ON BOARD (B, L, D)
Enjoy a day at leisure on board as the train travels to Kimberley. All meals enjoyed on board.

DAY 6: KIMBERLEY (B, D)
07:00 Breakfast is served in the dining cars until departure.
09:15 Visit to the Big Hole Diamond Mine Museum, Noord-Kaap Mall, William Humphreys Art Gallery and the McGregor House Museum. Capital of the Northern Cape, Kimberley is well known for the discovery of diamonds that led to its establishment in 1871.
15:45 Return to the train.
16:30 Tea is served in the lounge and observation car. Depart for Bloemfontein.
19:30 Dinner is served in the dining cars.

DAY 7: BLOEMFONTEIN (B, L, D)
07:00 Breakfast is served in the dining cars until departure.
09:00 Tour of Bloemfontein including the Women’s Memorial, Anglo Boer Museum, Oliewenhuis Art Museum and Naval Hill. Bloemfontein is the seat of the South African judicial system. At the end of the 19th century it was also the capital of the old Boer Republic of The Orange Free State. Bloemfontein is capital of the Free State Province and known as the Rose City. Loch Logan Waterfront, next to the city’s newly renovated stadium, was one of the venues during the 2010 Soccer World Cup. The Women’s Memorial at the Anglo Boer War Museum is a reminder of life in the concentration camps and commemorates the 27 000 women and children who died in these camps. The Museum itself is a graphic depiction of the hardship endured by all during the war and relates the history of South Africa from 1652.
11:00 Return to the train. Depart for Ladysmith.
13:00 Lunch is served in the dining cars.
16:30 Tea is served in the lounge and observation car.
19:30 Dinner is served in the dining cars.

DAY 8: LADYSMITH BATTLEFIELDS (B, L*, D) *Lunch provided; beverages for own account.
07:00 Breakfast is served in the dining cars until departure.
09:00 Transfer (45 minutes) to Spionkop Lodge for a battlefields tour and light refreshments before moving to Spionkop hill to finish this historic story. Walk in the footsteps of Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi and General Louis Botha –a story on which the sun never sets. Britain marched into the South African war in the spring of 1899, confident that it “would all be over by Christmas!” The war lasted three years and was to become the costliest Britain had ever fought.
12:30 Return to the lodge for lunch.
14:00 Afternoon game drive OR relax at the lodge.
16:00 Return to the train. Depart for Durban.
19:30 Dinner is served in the dining cars.

DAY 9: DURBAN (B, D)
07:00 Breakfast is served in the dining cars until departure.
10:00 Disembark for a city tour and a visit to the botanical gardens and Ushaka Marine World. Durban is the third largest city in South Africa and enjoys great importance due to its industry and very large port. Drive along the ‘Golden Mile’ promenade where numerous hotels and restaurants are situated. Visit the Victoria Market and uShaka Marine World –Africa’s largest marine theme park. Entrance fee to waterpark: Guest’s own account.
16:30 Return to the train. Depart for Empangeni.
19:30 Dinner is served in the dining cars.

DAY 10: ISIMANGALISO WETLAND PARK (B, D)
07:00 Breakfast is served in the dining cars until departure.
08:30 Transfer (75 minutes) to iSimangaliso for two-hour boat cruise and a St Lucia town visit. The park covers over 2400km²from St Lucia in the south to the Mozambique border in the north and has spectacular diversity. Declared a World Heritage site in 1999, the park covers a mosaic of landforms that have created a vast array of biomes to support a wide variety of animals, plants and birds. The park boasts the highest bird count in all of Africa, the southern-most breeding spots for turtles in Africa, Africa’s tallest forested dunes, the largest remaining stands of sand forest and the biggest peat beds in the Southern Hemisphere.
15:00 Return to the train.
16:30 Tea is served in the lounge and observation car. Depart for Hluhluwe.
19:30 Dinner is served in the dining cars.

DAY 11: HLUHLUWE (B, D)
05:00 Breakfast is served in the dining cars until departure.
06:30 Game drives in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park. As the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa, Hluhluwe consists 960km² of hilly topography 280km north of Durban in central Zululand and is known for its rich wildlife and conservation efforts. The park is the only state-run park in KwaZulu-Natal with all the Big Five game animals. Due to conservation efforts, the park now has the largest population of white rhino in the world. It is also one of the world’s top spots for viewing Nyala and is a prime birding destination for 340 species
15:00 Return to the train. Depart for Mpaka, Swaziland, where border formalities take place.
16:30 Tea is served in the lounge and observation car.
19:30 Dinner is served in the dining cars.

DAY 12: SWAZILAND (B, D)
07:00 Breakfast is served in the dining cars until departure.
08:30 Depart in vehicles for Swazi Candles (90 minutes) and visit Mantenga Cultural Village. This tiny kingdom covers only 17 000m2 making it the second smallest country in Africa. Experience Swazi Candles:  a hive of activity displaying decorative candles, skilfully crafted woodcarvings, colourful textiles and superb basketwork for which Swazis are renowned. Continue through the Ezulwini Valley passing the Ludzidzini Royal residence en route to Mantenga Cultural Village, a living museum of old traditions representing a classical Swazi lifestyle during the 1850s.
16:00 Return to the train.
19:30 Dinner is served in the dining cars.

DAY 13: KRUGER PARK (B, D)
06:00 Breakfast is served in the dining cars until departure.
07:00 Full-day game viewing in the Kruger Park. The world-renowned Kruger Park has 2-million hectares of unrivalled in diversity of life forms. It is a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and home to an impressive number of species (e.g. 336 species of trees, 49 species of fish, 34 species of amphibians, 114 species of reptiles, 507 species of birds and 147 species of mammals)including the Big Five.
16:00 Return to the train.
16:30 Tea is served in the lounge and observation car.
19:00 Depart for Nelspruit.
19:30 Dinner is served in the dining cars.

DAY 14: PANORAMA TOUR (B, D)
07:00 Breakfast is served in the dining cars until departure.
09:00 Full-day tour of historical areas Pilgrim’s Rest, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and Graskop. The Graskop viewing lift takes visitors 51m down the face of the gorge into the forest below where wooden walkways and suspension bridges meander along a 600m trail through the indigenous forest with an interactive exhibit (lift for own account). Pilgrim’s Rest is a living museum and declared a National Monument. Gold was discovered herein 1873 attracting 1500 prospectors. Today many of the restored miner’s houses serve as shops and restaurants. Bourke’s Luck Potholes are strange deep cylindrical cavities formed by river erosion and floodwater. Blyde River Canyon has astonishing views over South Africa’s Lowveld (so named because it is much lower than the high escarpment along which the Panorama runs).
16:30 Return to the train in Nelspruit (140km). Depart for Witbank.
19:30 Dinner is served in the dining cars.

DAY 15: ARRIVAL IN PRETORIA WITH A TOUR OF THE CITY AND SOWETO (B)
07:00 Breakfast is served in the dining cars until 09:00.
10:00 Arrive at Rovos Rail Station, Pretoria. Check out of the train. Luggage will be stored at the station.
10:30 Tour of Pretoria and Soweto. Soweto comprises one-million people and was made famous by the Apartheid laws. Pass the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital (the largest hospital in the Southern Hemisphere) and drive past the only street in Africa that once housed two Nobel Peace laureates, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. Visit the Hector Petersen Memorial, named after one of the first students to be killed in the 1976 uprising against the Apartheid government. Spend the afternoon in Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa, visiting the Union Buildings. Designed by the famous colonial English architect, Sir Herbert Baker, and completed in 1913, the Union Buildings house the offices of the President and Ministers. Before leaving the capital behind visit the Voortrekker Monument that commemorates the ‘Great Trek’ of the 1830s.
16:00 Return to Rovos Rail Station where your Shongololo adventure ends.

The tariff for this train tour is R121,250 per person sharing in an Emerald Coach and R95,400 per person sharing in a Gold Coach, valid as from January to December 2020 and tariffs may be subject to change. 


INCLUDED:

  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast and dinner
  • Lunch (where stated)
  • Excursions accompanied by a qualified tour guide
  • Entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Return transfers to golf courses (Good Hope only)
  • Tea, coffee and bottled water on board
  • Government tax.

EXCLUDED:

  • Lunch off the train (where stated)
  • All beverages
  • Laundry
  • Gratuities
  • Souvenirs
  • Course fees (Good Hope only; green fees payable in advance)
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Pre-and post-tour transfers, accommodation and flights
  • Please note that there are excursions for golfers on this journey – if you are interested in golfing, please advise and we can advise the itinerary that includes golf excursion.

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