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Luxury train trip: Southern Cross from Pretoria

From 3685/ per person
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General information

This 12-day journey takes you through four countries, where you will have fantastic experiences every day. The Shongololo train runs between Pretoria and Victoria Falls and stops at carefully selected locations in South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. After a comfortable night, enjoy a stunning view every day and a challenging program with excursions and game drives . You unpack your suitcase on day 1 in your own compartment. The train is your moving hotel from day one.

A trip with the Shongololo Express is a unique experience. The well-trained train staff and the multi-language guides will ensure that you do not miss anything on this trip. These train journeys are a luxury way to get to know a country. In this case you even get to know four countries! The crew and guides will ensure that every day is special, no matter in which country you are, inside or outside the train. The journey starts with a warm welcome and then continues silently into an unforgettable holiday where you only have to pack and unpack your bags once.

The excursions mentioned in the itinerary are carried out with an air-conditioned bus (you) and are included in the price. Train stays are based on bed, breakfast and dinner. Lunch on board the train is included where mentioned in the itinerary.

The price on our website is based on a stay in a Gold Cabin. You can also stay in an Emerald Cabin for an additional charge:

Train Coupé type:

 

From left to right: Emerald double, Emerald twin, Gold double, Gold twin. Click on the images for a complete description of the room types.

Departure dates:

2019: 13 June and 8 Augustus

Specifications

7178
From€ 3685/ per person
12days
Victoria Falls National Park, Hwange National Park, Matobo National Park
Eswatini (Swaziland), Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa
Pretoria
  • Accommodation: Gold Cabin (upgrade to an Emerald Cabin possible)
  • Transport per trein
  • Meals based on dinner bed and breakfast
  • Lunch on board the train where mentioned in the itinerary
  • Coffee, tea and water on board the train
  • Mentioned activities and entrance fees
  • Flights and possibly visa
  • Travel and cancellation insurance
  • Optional activities and excursions
  • Personal expenses and fees
  • Drinks
  • Lunch outside the train
  • Supplement possibly upgrade cabin
train
dinner bed and breakfast
train cabin
Comfort
Children under 10 years old are not allowed. Children from 10 years pay the adult price
Shongololo Express uses the rail network of Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland and Mozambique. It may therefore occur that a delay occurs or that a different route must be chosen. The activities depend on the circumstances and can be shortened, adjusted or canceled.
Dagprogramma
Day 1: Pretoria, Johannesburg, Soweto -

You are expected in the morning at 8 a.m. at the Pretoria station where your luggage will be loaded. You leave at 9:00 AM with a bus (you) for a city tour through Pretoria and the township Soweto.

Gauteng is the economic heart of South Africa and the province where the major cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria are located. You are visiting a number of important places in Pretoria and Soweto today.

With more than a million inhabitants, Soweto is the largest township in South Africa. You pass the largest hospital in the southern hemisphere: Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital and drive through the only street in Africa where two Nobel Prize winners once lived: Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former president Nelson Mandela. You will also visit the Hector Pieterson Memorial in memory of this student who died in 1976 in the fight against the legislation of the Apartheid regime.

Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa. Here you will visit the Voortrekker Monument and museum. You also take a look at the Union Buildings from where the president and government work. This impressive building with a beautiful terrace garden was completed in 1913 and is a design by the British architect Sir Herbert Baker. In the garden in front of the Union buildings is a large statue of Nelson Mandela.

The train leaves for Nelspruit at 16:00.

Day 2: Panorama Route -

In the morning (9:00 AM) you leave the train from Nelspruit station and head for the beautiful Panorama route. Gold was discovered in 1873 in the vicinity of the town of Pilgim’s Rest, now a living open-air museum and National monument. The discovery attracted around 1500 gold diggers and today the old miners’ houses have been refurbished and turned into shops.

Further on we find the Blyde River Canyon, a canyon 26 km long and 800 meters deep. The Three Rondavels, 3 large rocks rising from the mountains of the Canyon and reminiscent of the African huts. Bourke’s Luck Potholes are strange deep holes, formed by erosion and flooding. We look through God’s Window across the vast lowlands, where subtle scents blend with the fresh breeze of the plateau.

Around 17:00 the train leaves from Nelspruit in the direction of Malelane.
Day 3: Kruger National Park -
A full day on safari! The world-famous Kruger Park offers a home to a myriad of trees, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians and mammals, including the Big Five. Not surprising of course if the area of this park has about 2 million hectares! The game drive is equipped with the air-conditioned Shongololo vehicles. Time of departure depends on the season because the access to the park is from dawn to dusk!

Optional excursion:
– Open vehicle safari: Out in open 4×4 safari vehicles. Safe and made so that you have a fantastic view of the animal and plant world. The guide who goes with you can tell you everything about life in the Kruger Park. Lunch (for your own account) can be used in one of the camps in the park. The safari will end in the late afternoon. Ask us about the options when booking.

Today the train leaves at 6:00 pm for Maputo in Mozambique.

Day 4: Maputo, Mozambique -
Maputo is the capital of Mozambique and a city full of contrasts, a city that you won’t find anywhere else in Africa. In addition to the warm hospitality you will find African and Portuguese styles in all sorts of ways. You go back in time for a moment when you see the architectural styles from a past colonial past. Your city tour through Maputo starts at 9 a.m. Be surprised by the Catholic churches, mosques, old forts and other interesting buildings. Along the coast you will find cozy restaurants where fresh fish dishes are on the menu.
At 15:30 you will return to the train where a cup of tea will be waiting for you. After the border formalities you leave for Mpaka in Swaziland at 6 p.m.
Day 5: Swaziland -
Make sure you have your passport with you, because today is all about the Kingdom of Swaziland. With its 17,000 square kilometers, it is the second smallest country in Africa.

By bus you will go into the country today, leaving from Mpaka at 8:30 am. On the way you will enjoy beautiful views of the Ezulwini Valley and the Komatie river. During this trip you will also get to know daily life in Swaziland when you visit the busy market where multicolored textiles, carvings and the famous woven baskets are sold. The Ngwenya glass factory is also a nice place to buy souvenirs.

6:45 pm: after border formalities, the journey continues to Klaserie near Hoedspruit in the province of Mpumalange in South Africa.
Day 6: Kapama Game Reserve -

Get up early for a game drive. The morning safari starts in the Kapama Game Reserve at 07:00. Early in the morning you are more likely to spot wild animals. After the game drive you will visit the cheetah and wild dog Conservation Center where you can learn more about these endangered species.

At 13:00 you return to the train for lunch, after which the journey continues in the direction of Tzaneen. You will spend the night in the town of Louis Trichard.

Day 7: train trip to Zimbabwe -
Today you spend in your hotel on wheels; the train goes to Zimbabwe. It is a long drive to the final destination Rutenge, but you can relax and enjoy the scenery, read a book etc. All meals on board the train. At Beitbridge you cross the border and the necessary border formalities must be dealt with.
Day 8: Great Zimbabwe -

From Rutenga you travel by bus through the central plateau of Great Zimbabwe, departure at 9 a.m. You can go for a walk along the ruins and the impressive monument. A celebrated piece of work made by the Africans and referring to the magical fables and stories about the King Solomon’s Mines. Discover how ancient mankind lived here and brought gold and silver above the earth to have it traded again by the Portuguese and the Arabs. You take lunch at the Great Zimbabwe Hotel (for your own account). From there you travel through a landscape of beautiful granite hills to the train again.

You will return to the train at 5 p.m. You travel to Somabhula where the train stops for the night.
Day 9: Antelope Park, Gwetu -

Antelope Park is a project where lion cubs born in captivity are released into nature. You can choose from a variety of optional activities such as canoeing, game drive, horse riding or bird watching cruise. Lunch and activities for your own account in Antelope Park.

At 5:30 pm the train leaves for Bulawayo.

Day 10: Matobo National Park -

Matobo means “bald-headed” and refers to the dramatic hills and the granite boulders that adorn the area. A beautiful historical highlight of today is the visit to the tomb of Cecil Rhodes. The man who gave his name to the country and also made this trip possible, he was the one who wanted to build a rail network through Africa. You will also go into the hills in search of Bushman caves and petroglyphs.

At 16:00 you will come back to the train, which leaves for Dete.

Day 11: Hwange National Park -

The largest national park in Zimbabwe is Hwange National Park and it is located in the north-west of the country. It is a park full of wildlife and birds, but it is best known for the large population of lions that reside in this 1,462,000-hectare area (the park is about the same size as Belgium).

You need to get up early to spot game. Today the game drive leaves at 6:30 am. After spending a day in the bush, you depart by train to Thompson’s Junction at 19:00.
Day 12: Victoria Falls -

The Victoria Falls are 1708 meters wide and 103 meters deep, it is the largest waterfall in the world. A huge curtain of water about a kilometer wide falls 108 meters here. The mist that causes this great spectacle can be seen far into the perimeter. No wonder that the local name Mosi is among others Tunya which means “smoke that thunders”. In the dry season you can sometimes see the small islands that lie below in the river. The constant spray of mist also creates an impressive forest area, where you can discover numerous special trees such as figs, mahogany, date palm, milkwood and ebony. It is a paradise for birds such as the colorful sunbird.

You will arrive at Victoria Falls at 10:00 a.m. Your luggage is brought to the hotel and you say goodbye to the train. At 11:00 the walk starts through the village of Victoria Falls and of course along the impressive waterfalls. At 16:00 you will make a wonderfully relaxed cruise on the Zambezi River after which you will be brought to your hotel at 18:30. The end of this journey.

Victoria Falls offers many options for optional excursions (see below). Ask us about options for extending your trip.
– Flight of Angels: The perfect way to view the Victoria Falls from above is by helicopter.
– Rafting: In the Bakota Gorge is the perfect place for adrenaline junkies. Black cliffs, deep reefs and rapids guarantee an adventure guaranteed!
– Bungee Jump: In a deep gap between Zambia and Zimbabwe, the Livingstone Bridge offers one of the world’s highest bungee jumps (111 m). Overcome your fear and enjoy a jump with the Victoria Falls in the background and the Zambezi River below.
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p.o.a. = Price on request

Prices per person based on 2 travellers

Contact us for a proposal in case you are travelling with more or less travellers and/or kids.

All prices subject to availability and changes.

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