This 41-day grand adventure to Africa is a combination of both of our “Southern Cross” and “Good Hope” train journeys.
It also includes a 3-night hotel stay in Pretoria, 1-night stay at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and a 6-night stay at a private luxury game lodge with one of the best game drives. It ends with a 3-night luxury hotel stay in beautiful Cape Town.
January 10 – February 19, 2018
Depart CANADA for SOUTH AFRICA
Pretoria, SOUTH AFRICA Hotel Stay
Pretoria, SOUTH AFRICA Hotel Stay
Madikwe, SOUTH AFRICA Game Lodge
Madikwe, SOUTH AFRICA Game Lodge
Madikwe, OUTH AFRICA Game Lodge
Pretoria, SOUTH AFRICA Hotel Stay
Victoria Falls, ZIMBABWE Hotel Stay
Victoria Falls, ZIMBABWE Board the Train
Hwange Reserve, ZIMBABWE Train Journey
Matobas National Park, ZIMBABWE Train Journey
Antelope Park, ZIMBABWE Train Journey
Great Ruins, ZIMBABWE Train Journey
Day On Board To SOUTH AFRICA Train Journey
Kapama Reserve, SOUTH AFRICA Train Journey
Mbabane, SWAZILAND Train Journey
Maputo, MOZAMBIQUE Train Journey
Kruger Park, SOUTH AFRICA Train Journey
Panorama Route, SOUTH AFRICA Train Journey
Pretoria, SOUTH AFRICA Disembark
Madikwe, SOUTH AFRICA Game Lodge
Madikwe, SOUTH AFRICA Game Lodge
Madikwe, SOUTH AFRICA Game Lodge
Pretoria, SOUTH AFRICA Board the Train
Panorama Route, SOUTH AFRICA Train Journey
Kruger Park, SOUTH AFRICA Train Journey
Mbabane, SWAZILAND Train Journey
Hluhluwe, ZULULAND Train Journey
Isimangaliso, SOUTH AFRICA Train Journey
Durban, SOUTH AFRICA Train Journey
Bloemfontein, SOUTH AFRICA Train Journey
Kimberley, SOUTH AFRICA Train Journey
Graaff Reinet, SOUTH AFRICA Train Journey
Oudtshoorn, SOUTH AFRICA Train Journey
Knysna, SOUTH AFRICA Train Journey
Hermanus, SOUTH AFRICA Train Journey
Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA Disembark
Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA Hotel Stay
Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA Hotel Stay
Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA Hotel Stay
Depart SOUTH AFRICA for CANADA
Welcome to the Shongololo Express is operated as of last year, by Rovos Rail, owner, and operator of the most luxurious trains in the world. When indigenous people observed the first trains in Africa, the lines of rolling stock passing on the distant horizons recalled the profile and sinuous movement of a creature they called Shongololo – the millipede. The Shongololo Express, based at Rovos Rail Station in Pretoria, began operations in 1995 to provide a very special touring experience for visitors to Southern Africa. These tours traverse South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. All 72 guests are accommodated in comfortable en-suite cabins with double or twin beds. Two historically appointed dining cars set the scene for meals, which are taken in one sitting. Modern and traditional local cuisine is on offer with a selection of distinguished South African wines available. 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 train the guests with inclusive scheduled off-rail game drives, local guided excursions, and activities to experience the sights of the area. For the more adventurous, there are also specialized activities available at many locations from elephant-back riding to scuba diving and golfing. It is the aim and the pleasure of every staff member on board the Shongololo Express to provide you with friendly and efficient service. *Golf Courses: Nelspruit/Leopard Creek/White River, Nkonyeni Golf, Zimbali, Durban Country Club, Champagne Sports Resort, Kimberley Golf Club, Fancourt, Ernie Els Oubaai and Arabella Golf Estate will be offered as an optional activity on the journey between Pretoria and Cape Town, South Africa.
GOLD Cabin – Measuring 76 square feet are equipped with double or twin beds for the evening.
They also have an en-suite bathroom with shower.
Double Occupancy $21,495
Single Occupancy $29,995
EMERALD Cabin – Measuring 110 square feet are equipped with double or twin beds for the evening.
They also have an en-suite bathroom with shower.
Double Occupancy $24,495
Single Occupancy $34,995
ALL PRICES ARE IN CANADIAN DOLLARS AND INCLUDE:
Return airfare from TORONTO, OTTAWA* and MONTREAL.
3-Nights first class hotel stay in Pretoria, SOUTH AFRICA.
6-Nights first class stay at the Private Game Lodge in Madikwe, SOUTH AFRICA with two great daily game drives.
3-Nights first class hotel stay in Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA.
26-Day first class train journey aboard the Shongololo Express with off the train excursions.
Breakfast and Dinner is included while on the train.
Lunches are included while on the train, but are at your own account when you are off the train, where stated.
Guided tours as described in our day-by-day itinerary.
All your tipping for the local guides and drivers during our own land tour portion.
All your gratuities for the onboard train staff in the amount of $15 USD per person per day.
Hosted by Expo Cruises and Tours Staff.
Initial deposit of $5,000 per person is required at time of booking, please note $1,500 is non-refundable.
Second deposit of $5,000 is due by JUNE 22, 2017 and final payment is due by OCTOBER 16, 2017.
DAY 1 – WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2018 DEPART CANADA
Evening departure for South Africa with KLM via Amsterdam. (In-flight Meals)
DAY 2 – THURSDAY, JANUARY 11, 2018 PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA
Welcome to Joburg! – the heartbeat of the country. It’s the economic and cultural centre of South Africa, where people work hard and play harder. On arrival at OR Tambo International Airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Pretoria, where you will check in for a three-night stay at the Sheraton Pretoria Hotel. The hotel is situated in Pretoria right across the Union Buildings and is within a short walk of local attractions, such as Pretoria Art Museum. It is ideally located for guests wanting to visit local attractions. This 5-star hotel offers massage services and it also has a fitness centre with a swimming pool. There are 175 peaceful rooms at Sheraton Pretoria Hotel, each offering all the essentials to ensure a comfortable stay. Guests can unwind with a drink at Sheraton Pretoria Hotel’s bar and dine on local style food in the restaurant. SHERATON PRETORIA HOTEL or similar – 2 Nights. (In-flight Meals)
DAY 3 – FRIDAY, JANUARY 12, 2018 PRETORIA & SOWETO, SOUTH AFRICA
After breakfast, you will be taken on a day full-day sightseeing tour of the township of Soweto and Pretoria. Soweto is one of the most famous cities in the world. It played a very important role in the struggle against apartheid, which eventually led to South Africa’s new democracy. The peaceful transition is regarded as one of the greatest achievements of humankind in the 20th century! Meet the ingenuitive, vibrant and warm residents. Highlights include: a fascinating glimpse of bustling neighborhood life; two Nobel Prize winner’s previous residences; the Hector Peterson memorial; Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital and various community development projects. You will begin the township tour with a drive through Vilakazi Street, which is the only street in the world where two Nobel Prize winners lived: Nelson Mandela & Desmond Tutu. Visit the fascinating Hector Peterson museum, which is a state of the art multi media centre depicting scenes leading up to the student uprising of 1976 and the eventual transition to democracy in South Africa. Lunch will be en route at Sakhumzi Restaurant. After lunch, you will enjoy a city tour of Pretoria. Known informally as ‘Jacaranda City’, highlights of this half day tour include: the historic Voortrekker Monument, Church Square, the City Hall State Theatre / Opera House, the Union Buildings, and the President’s office. The majestic Voortrekker Monument is situated in the northern part of South Africa in the Pretoria (Tshwane) region in a nature reserve. It is a unique Monument, which commemorates the Pioneer history of Southern Africa and the history of the Afrikaner and is situated in a beautiful setting. Today it is the most visited heritage site of its kind in Gauteng and one of the top ten cultural historical visitor attractions in the country. The Monument also manages the Erfenisstigting (Heritage Foundation) and various other monuments and cultural historical sites countrywide. Tonight, dinner will be at the hotel. (B,L,D)
DAY 4 – SATURDAY, JANUARY 13, 2018 PRETORIA – MADIKWE, SOUTH AFRICA
After breakfast check out and transfer to the lodge situated in the Madikwe Game Reserve and en route a stop will be made for our buffet style lunch at Kedar Country Hotel. We continue our drive after lunch. Upon arrival at the lodge you will proceed with check in formalities and enjoy a three-night stay. Tau Game Lodge is a South African luxury safari lodge situated on the far northern border of South Africa, in malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve, is the 4th largest game reserve in the country. Twenty-seven major species of game roam this South African nature reserve, making Tau Game Lodge the ideal place for a safari holiday, offering Big 5 game and bird-watching safaris. Enjoy an authentic South African safari vacation in the midst of natural wildlife, complete with great game viewing and luxury private facilities. An afternoon game drive you will give you the opportunity to enjoy your first game drive. *Please note this activity is subject to arrival time at the lodge. Dinner will be upon return at the lodge from your first safari. TAU GAME LODGE or similar – 3 nights. (B,L,D)
DAY 5 – SUNDAY, JANUARY 14, 2018 MADIKWE PRIVATE GAME RESERVE, SOUTH AFRICA
DAY 6 – MONDAY, JANUARY 15, 2018 MADIKWE PRIVATE GAME RESERVE, SOUTH AFRICA
Each day starts as dawn breaks over the African bushveld and you are awakened up with coffee, tea and rusks served on the main deck overlooking the riverbed. Shortly after, you will depart in an open Land Rover with experienced Rangers and Trackers who will share their extensive knowledge of the bush with you. After an adventurous morning game drive, a sumptuous breakfast is served back at the camp. The rest of the day is spent at your discretion for other activities that the lodge has to offer. A delicious lunch will be served around midday. This afternoon you will depart the lodge on an afternoon game drive which will extend into the evening to view seldom seen nocturnal species by torchlight. Upon returning to the lodge dinner will be served. (B,L,D)
DAY 7 – TUESDAY, JANUARY 16, 2018 MADIKWE – PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA
You will have the opportunity of enjoying your final game drive in the Madikwe Game Reserve this morning. Breakfast upon return to the lodge. Check out of your lodge and settle all personal accounts. Thereafter, you will be met and transferred from the lodge back to Pretoria with a lunch break along the way at the Kedar Country Hotel. Upon arrival in Johannesburg, you will be transferred back to our hotel. This evening you will enjoy dinner at Aurelia’s Restaurant. SHERATON PRETORIA HOTEL or similar – 1 night. (B,L,D)
DAY 8 – WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 17, 2018 JOHANNESBURG – VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE
After breakfast check out of the hotel. You will be transferred to airport where you will board your flight to Livingstone, Zimbabwe. Upon arrival at transfer to your hotel where you will check in for one night stay. The Victoria Falls Hotel, popularly known as “the grand old lady of the Falls”, is situated in the Victoria Falls National Park, a world heritage site, and is a member of the exclusive Leading Hotels of the World group. It is one of only two 1S0-accredited hotels in Zimbabwe. The Edwardian-style five-star hotel, built in 1904, was recently redecorated and refurbished and now combines the charm of the old with the convenience of the new. Set in lush tropical gardens with lily ponds, palm trees and semi-tropical shrubs, it provides the tranquillity and seclusion that many guests seek. The famous Victoria Falls are just a ten-minute walk away using the hotel’s private pathway, and “the smoke that thunders” or “Mosi-O-Tunya” in the local dialect, is clearly audible and visible from this luxurious landmark. World-class service, and food and beverage choice and preparation second to none, make the hotel a magnet for international visitors and locals alike. A private path leads guests from the gardens to the entrance of the Victoria Falls rainforest in an easy 10-minute stroll. This afternoon, enjoy a Sundowner cruise, transfer by road from the hotel to the Zambezi River arriving in time for the afternoon sunset cruise. The Zambezi River cruise is a superb way to relax and enjoy the beauty of the River. You may have the opportunity to see a variety of game; including hippo, crocodile, elephant and sometimes even rhino in their home environment, as well as enjoy the many different bird species. The cruise including finger snacks, beer, wine, and soft drinks. There are great photo opportunities against often-spectacular African sunsets. Upon return our dinner will be served at the hotel. VICTORIA FALLS HOTEL or similar – 1 night. (B,L,D)
DAY 9 – THURSDAY, JANUARY 18, 2018 VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE
After breakfast, you will depart the hotel for a tour of the falls. The Victoria Falls – in its 150 millionth fantastic year, reaches its zenith in about May each year. It’s a truly awe-inspiring experience – the sight, the sound, the smell; the humbling feeling that here indeed is Nature’s Supreme Masterpiece. No photograph can begin to depict the reality and nothing prepares you for your first sight. This tour is conducted in the morning and afternoon with lunch included in a local restaurant. En route, you may be taken past the ‘Big Tree’ where you may stop and take photos. You will be accompanied through the Rainforest by one of our qualified guides who will give a brief history of the Falls themselves as well as detailing the flora, fauna, bird, wildlife, and other points of interest. Guides are also happy to assist you with photographs whilst visiting this most spectacular of waterfalls. Raincoats are provided when needed. Lunch will be enjoyed at the hotel. Afternoon you will be collected from the hotel to enjoy a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River. The Zambezi River cruise is a superb way to relax and enjoy the beauty of the River. You may have the opportunity to see a variety of game; including hippo, crocodile, elephant and sometimes even rhino in their home environment, as well as enjoy the many different bird species. You will return to the hotel after the sunset cruise to enjoy a dinner. At 4:30 PM Reception at the Victoria Falls Hotel with your fellow travellers. 5 PM Train will depart for Thompson’s Junction. DINING – The two dining carriages are air-conditioned and non-smoking. The total seating capacity is 72 and dress code for meal times is casual. Please note breakfast and dinner is included each day on the train. Lunches are included while on the train, but are at your own account when you are off the train, except when otherwise stated in your daily program. Meal times depend on the activities planned for the day, but are generally served at the following times: Breakfast 7:00 am – 9:00 am, Lunch 1:00 pm and Dinner 7:30 pm. (B,L,D)
DAY 10 – FRIDAY, JANURY 19, 2018 HWANGE RESERVE GAME, ZIMBABWE
6 AM Continental breakfast is served in the dining car. 7:15 AM Disembark for an early morning game drive in the park. Situated in the north-west corner of Zimbabwe, Hwange National Park is the nation’s largest wildlife area and contains a variety of animals and bird species, but is most well-known for its prolific lion population. Covering 1,462,000 hectares, Hwange is roughly the same size as Belgium. After a morning of game viewing. (Lunch stop guest’s own account). There will be an opportunity to relax at the pool for a while before we resume our game viewing later in the afternoon. 6 PM Depart for Bulawayo. (B,D)
DAY 11 – SATURDAY, JANUARY 20, 2018 BULAWAYO – MATOBO NATIONAL PARK, ZIMBABWE
7 AM Breakfast is served in the dining car. 9 AM Depart in the vehicles for a morning visit to Matobo National Park. Matobo meaning ‘bald heads’ was the name chosen for the area by the Ndebele King, Mzilikazi. He is buried in the Matobo Hills just a short distance from the park. It is an apt description of the dramatic hills and granite rocks of this area. The Park is also the site of Cecil John Rhodes. He is buried at the summit of Malindidzimu – ‘hill of benevolent spirits’. He referred to this hill as having a view of the world. A short walk will take you to his grave, which is carved out of the solid granite hill and surrounded by a natural amphitheatre of massive boulders. A visit can be made to one of the more accessible bushman caves, of which there are many hidden amongst the hills. There will be time for lunch before returning back to the train late in the afternoon. (Lunch stop guest’s own account). Depart Bulawayo for the overnight stop at Somabhula. (B,D)
DAY 12 – SUNDAY, JANUARY 21, 2018 SOMABHULA – ANTELOPE PARK, ZIMBABWE
7 AM Breakfast is served in the dining car. 9 AM Full day at Antelope Park. 8:45 AM Today we visit Antelope Park which is a short drive from Somabhula. Known as one of Southern Africa’s most intriguing destinations, Antelope Park is home to the world famous African Lion and Environmental Research Trust (ALERT) lion rehabilitation programme which is a multi-phase lion conservation initiative. It is Africa’s first genuine programme working to ethically reintroduce the offspring of captive-bred African lions back into the wild. Set in over 3,000 acres of open savannah grassland, Antelope Park is a unique game reserve and a haven of tranquillity set in the African bush, welcoming guests, and volunteer eco-tourists alike to the charming and remarkable camp site. (Lunch stop guest’s own account). 6 PM Depart for Bannockburn. OPTIONAL EXTRAS AT ANTELOPE PARK (for own account) Walking with Lions – Join the lions on a walk through the bush, while the animals explore their natural habitat. Experienced guides and handlers will take you on early morning or afternoon walks with our older cubs, where you can interact with them and get closer than you ever thought possible. The professional team of staff will help you make the most of this incredible experience. Closed walking shoes are compulsory. No bright colours or flimsy tasselled clothing. (Approx. 2 hours). Canoeing – Another fun way to see the flora and fauna within the park. A leisurely cruise along the dam and river is the perfect way to relax on a hot morning. Game Drive – Relax on board of one of the open-air Safari vehicles and enjoy the beauty of the African Bush. Spot as many of the bountiful wildlife our park has to offer, including giraffe, zebra, wildebeest. Horseback Game – Viewing Get exceptionally close to many different wildlife species during a horse ride through the bush. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced rider, this is a wonderful game viewing experience. Elephant Back Riding – Meet the four resident elephants in and around the camp and take the opportunity to get an elephant’s view of the world during a ride on the back of one of these magnificent animals. So, climb on board nature’s four-wheel drive and let Amai, Ntombi, Jecha or Chibi take your visit to a new height! The ‘Alert” Project – The cubs at Antelope Park are cute; however, the fully-grown lions and lionesses are both majestic and awe-inspiring. When a lion reaches two years old they move to our Lion Enclosure. An insightful 45minute tour of the centre is a great way for any guest to gain a better understanding of what we are trying to achieve with these beautiful creatures. Bird Watching Cruise – Enjoy 45 minutes of bird watching on the river in an open ten- seater boat. (B,D)
DAY 13 – MONDAY, JANUARY 22, 2018 GREAT ZIMBABWE RUINS, ZIMBABWE
7 AM Breakfast is served in the dining car. 9 AM Board vehicles and drive to the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. 5 PM Rejoin train in Rutenga. Great Zimbabwe Ruins. Largest monument in Africa south of the Pyramids Great Zimbabwe, a hugely impressive monument situated on the south-eastern edge of the central plateau is the largest pre-colonial monument south of the Egyptian pyramids and is a celebrated achievement of the African people. Magical fables such as the story of King Solomon’s Mines find their origins here amongst the ruins of an ancient city built by the Rozwi people. Discover how these ancient people lived and mined gold and silver, which were ultimately taken out of Africa by Arabic and Portuguese traders. The tour is followed by lunch at the Great Zimbabwe Hotel (guests’ own account), after which we travel through attractive granite hill country to Rutenga. 6:30 PM Depart Rutenga and travel in a south easterly direction towards Beitbridge for border formalities. Cross the bridge for South African border formalities in Mussina. (B,D)
DAY 14 – TUESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2018 LIMPOPO, SOUTH AFRICA
7 AM Breakfast is served in the dining car. 1 PM Lunch is served in the dining car. Limpopo Province is located in the far Northern part of South Africa and shares borders with three neighbouring countries: Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. For this reason, the Province is also known as the gateway to other African countries. The Province also shares provincial borders with Gauteng, Mpumalanga and North West provinces. Limpopo landscape and vegetation varies from one area to the other. The vegetation ranges from Tropical Forests, Bush and Shrubs to semi-desert areas with small trees and bushes. The landscape also ranges from mountainous to flat land. Limpopo is divided into five regions, strategically located according to the cultural inhabitants. Capricorn is the central region predominantly occupied by the Bapedi People. Waterberg is the largest region in the province with the majority of people being the Batswana people. The Vhembe region in the far north is dominated by Vhavenda and Vatsonga people. The Mopani region towards the Kruger National Park is dominated by Vatsonga, whereas the Sekhukhuni region is dominated by Bapedi and Ndebele people. Limpopo is the only Province in South Africa with more than two cultural groups staying together in their original habitat in harmony. Other ethnic groups include the English and Afrikaner people. 7:30 PM Dinner is served as we head towards Klaserie for the overnight stop. (B,L,D)
DAY 15 – WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2018 HOEDSPRUIT, SOUTH AFRICA
6 AM Breakfast is served in the dining car. 7 AM Morning game drive in Kapama Game Reserve followed by visit to the Wild Dog and Cheetah Project. 1 PM Return to the train for lunch. 1:45 PM The train departs for our overnight stop at Malelane. (B,L,D)
DAY 16 – THURSDAY, JANUARY 25, 2018 KINGDOM OF SWAZILAND
7 AM Breakfast is served in the dining car. The tiny Kingdom of Swaziland covers only 17 000 square kilometres, making it the second smallest country in Africa. 9:30 AM After Swazi customs formalities in Jeppes Reef board the vehicles and drive through the Komati River Valley with its panoramic views to the Ngwenya Glass Complex. Continue through the Ezulwini Valley passing the Ludzidzini Royal residence, stopping briefly at Swazi Candles before heading east to Manzini where guests will experience the Swazi market: a hive of activity displaying a wide variety of skilfully crafted wood carvings, colourful textiles and superb basketwork for which Swazis are renowned. 1 PM After lunch at Mantenga Lodge we continue to Mpaka to meet the train. (Lunch stop guest’s own account). 6 PM After customs formalities we head towards Goba for Mozambique customs formalities continuing to Maputo for the overnight stop. (B,D)
DAY 17 – FRIDAY, JANUARY 26, 2018 MAPUTO, MOZAMBIQUE
7 AM Breakfast is served in the dining car. 8:45 AM Depart for a tour of the capital of Mozambique. Maputo is a city of contrasts and an exciting mix of cultures with an architectural blend of African, Portuguese and early colonial traditions, with old Catholic churches side-by-side with mosques, fortresses, Victorian mansions and other buildings from a bygone era. Visit the municipal market followed by a stop at the old Fortaleza, which dates back to 1769. Other interesting city sites include the Catholic Cathedral, the Civic Centre, Louis Trichardt Trek Memorial, Samora Machel Statue, the Jardim Tunduru (Botanical Gardens) and Eiffel’s Iron House (Casa do Ferro). The Polana Hotel, built in the 1920s, with its striking white exterior and stunning décor, is the bestknown landmark in the city and from its gardens one can see Xefina Island. We visit an art gallery where furniture and sculptures are crafted out of old AK47 weapons. A drive along the Marginal takes us to Costa do Sol. 1 PM Lunch will be at Mundos restaurant or alternatively in one of the other restaurants or hotels in town. (Lunch stops Guest’s own account). 3:30 PM Return to the train. 4 PM Afternoon tea will be served on board as we head for Komatipoort in South Africa. Customs formalities at the Komatipoort border post. (B,D)
DAY 18 – SATURDAY, JANUARY 27, 2018 KRUGER NATIONAL PARK – MPUMALANGA
7 AM Breakfast is served in the dining car. 8:15 AM Depart the train for a game drive. The world-renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience that equals the best anywhere. Its 2 million hectares are unrivalled in diversity of life forms and the park is a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques. The park is 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. Lunch will be taken in the Park. (Lunch stop guest’s own account). 6 PM Guests re-join the train in Malelane. The train travels to Nelspruit. (B,D)
DAY 19 – SUNDAY, JANUARY 28, 2018 PANORAMA ROUTE, SOUTH AFRICA
7 AM Breakfast is served in the dining car. 8:45 AM Today we visit the village of Pilgrim’s Rest, a living museum and declared a National Monument. Gold was discovered in this area in 1873, attracting 1500 prospectors. Today, many of the restored miner’s houses serve as shops and restaurants. After lunch, we visit Bourke’s Luck Potholes which are strange deep cylindrical cavities formed by river erosion and floodwater. God’s Window is one the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve’s most spectacular viewpoints, with astonishing views over South Africa’s Lowveld (so named because it is much lower than the high escarpment along which the Panorama Route runs. At God’s Window, majestic cliffs plunge down 700 meters and, on a clear day, you’ll be able to see over the famous Kruger National Park towards the Lebombo Mountains on South Africa’s border. (Lunch stop guest’s own account. 4:30 PM Guests return to the train in Nelspruit. 5 PM Train departs for Witbank. (B,D)
Day 20 – MONDAY, JANUARY 29, 2018 PRETORIA – MADIKWE, SOUTH AFRICA
After breakfast, you will disembark the train transfer to the lodge situated in the Madikwe Game Reserve and en route a stop will be made for our buffet style lunch at Kedar Country Hotel. We continue our drive after lunch. Upon arrival at the lodge you will proceed with check in formalities and enjoy a three-night stay. Tau Game Lodge is a South African luxury safari lodge situated on the far northern border of South Africa, in malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve, the 4th largest game reserve in the country. Twenty-seven major species of game roam this South African nature reserve, making Tau Game Lodge the ideal place for a safari holiday, offering Big 5 game and bird-watching safaris. Enjoy an authentic South African safari vacation during natural wildlife, complete with great game viewing and luxury private facilities. An afternoon game drive you will give you the opportunity to enjoy your first game drive. *Please note this activity is subject to arrival time at the lodge. Dinner will be upon return at the lodge from your first safari. TAU GAME LODGE or similar – 3 nights. (B,L,D)
DAY 21 – TUESDAY, JANUARY 30, 2018 MADIKWE GAME RESERVE, SOUTH AFRICA
DAY 22 – WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2018 MADIKWE GAME RESERVE, SOUTH AFRICA
Each day starts as dawn breaks over the African bushveld and you are awakened up with coffee, tea & rusks served on the main deck overlooking the riverbed. Shortly after, you will depart in an open Land Rover with experienced Rangers and Trackers who will share their extensive knowledge of the bush with you. After an adventurous morning game drive, a sumptuous breakfast is served back at the camp. The rest of the day is spent at your discretion for other activities that the lodge has to offer. A delicious lunch will be served around midday. This afternoon you will depart the lodge on an afternoon game drive which will extend into the evening to view seldom seen nocturnal species by torchlight. Upon returning to the lodge dinner will be served. (B,L,D)
DAY 23 – THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2018 MADIKWE – PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA
You will have the opportunity of enjoying your final game drive in the Madikwe Game Reserve this morning. Breakfast upon return to the lodge. Check out of your lodge and settle all personal accounts. Thereafter, you will be met and transferred from the lodge back to Pretoria with lunch included along the way. Following our lunch, we will transfer to the train station to embark the Shongololo Express. At 4 pm the train departs Rovos Rail’s Station in Capital Park. Guests may freshen up in their rooms before joining fellow travellers in the midway Lounge car or Observation carriage at the rear of the train. Dinner is served in the dining cars at 7:30 pm. DINING – The two dining carriages are air-conditioned and non-smoking. The total seating capacity is 72 and dress code for meal times is casual. Please note breakfast and dinner is included each day on the train. Lunches are included while on the train, but are at your own account when you are are off the train, except when otherwise stated in your daily program. Meal times depend on the activities planned for the day, but are generally served at the following times: Breakfast 7:00 am – 9:00 am, Lunch 1:00 pm and Dinner 7:30 pm. (B,L,D)
DAY 24 – FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2018 PANORAMA ROUTE / PLAY AT LEOPARD CREEK, NELSPRUIT OR WHITE RIVER, SOUTH AFRICA
7 AM Breakfast is served in the dining cars. 9 AM Full-day tour of historical areas Pilgrim’s Rest, Today, we visit the village of Pilgrim’s Rest, a living museum and declared a National Monument. Gold was discovered in this area in 1873, attracting 1,500 prospectors. Today, many of the restored miner’s houses serve as shops and restaurants. After lunch, we visit Bourke’s Luck Potholes, which are strange deep cylindrical cavities formed by river erosion and floodwater. (Lunch stop guest’s own account). God’s Window is one of the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve’s most spectacular viewpoints, with astonishing views over South Africa’s Lowveld (so-named because it is much lower than the high escarpment along which the Panorama Route runs). At God’s Window, majestic cliffs plunge down 700 meters and, on a clear day, you’ll be able to see over the famous Kruger National Park towards the Lebombo Mountains on South Africa’s border. 5 PM Re-join the train in Nelspruit and depart for Malelane. 7:30 PM Dinner is served in the dining cars. (B,D)
GOLFERS – 9 AM Tee off at Leopard Creek, Nelspruit or White River. 5 PM Rejoin train in Nelspruit and depart for Malelane for overnight. www.leopardcreek.com • www.whiterivergolf.com • www.nelspruitgolfclub.co.za
DAY 25 – SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2018 KRUGER PARK GAME DRIVE / PLAY AT LEOPARD CREEK,
NELSPRUIT OR WHITE RIVER, SOUTH AFRICA
7 AM Breakfast is served in the dining cars. 8:15 AM The world-renowned Kruger National 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. (Lunch stops guest’s own account).
5 PM Rejoin train in Malelane. 6 PM Depart for Swaziland. 7:30 PM Dinner is served in the dining cars. (B,D)
GOLFERS – 9 AM Tee off at Leopard Creek, Nelspruit or White River. 5 PM Rejoin train in Malelane. 6 PM Depart for Swaziland. www.leopardcreek.com • www.nelspruitgolfclub.co.za • www.whiterivergolf.com
DAY 26 – SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2018 SWAZILAND TOUR / PLAY AT NKONYENI GOLF ESTATE
7 AM Breakfast is served in the dining cars. 9 AM Depart for a tour of Swaziland. This tiny kingdom covers only 17,000 square kilometres, making it the second smallest country in Africa. The day’s tour will commence from Mpaka, driving through the Ezulwini Valley passing the Ludzidzini Royal residence, stopping at Swazi Candles and Manzini where guests experience the Swazi market: a hive of activity displaying a wide variety of skilfully crafted woodcarvings, colourful textiles and superb basketwork for which Swazis are renowned. After a visit to the capital city Mbabane enjoy a lunch stop at Mantenga Lodge with an afternoon visit to the Ngwenya Glass Complex. (Lunch stop Guest’s own account). Depart in vehicles from Mpaka, Swaziland. Visit Ngwenya Glass, Mbabane and Manzini. 4 PM Re-join the train at Mpaka and depart for Hluhluwe. 7:30 PM Dinner is served in the dining car. (B,D)
GOLFERS – 8 AM One-hour transfer to Nkonyeni Golf Estate for tee off. www.nkonyeni.co.za
DAY 27 – MONDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2018 HLUHLUWE GAME DRIVES, SOUTH AFRICA
6 AM Breakfast is served in the dining cars. 6:45 PM Game drives in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park. Depart for a game drive in the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa. It consists of 960 km² (96,000 ha) of hilly topography 280 kilometres 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 where all the Big Five game animals occur. Due to conservation efforts, the park now has the largest population of white rhino in the world. (Lunch stop Guest’s own account). It is also one of the world’s top spots for viewing Nyala and is a prime birding destination giving home to 340 bird species. 7:30 PM Dinner is served in the dining cars. (B,D)
DAY 28 – TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2018 ZULULAND
7 AM Breakfast is served in the dining cars. 9 AM Depart the train for a morning visit to the Simangaliso Wetland Park. Enjoy a 2-hour boat cruise on lake St Lucia. Covering over 600,000 acres, from St Lucia in the South, to the Mozambique border in the North, the diversity of the wetlands is spectacular. 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 very 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. 12 PM Lunch stop in St Lucia. (Lunch stop guest’s own account). 2 PM After lunch visit Bushlands & Dumazulu. Situated in the heart of Zululand, near Hluhluwe, enjoy a guided tour of a Zulu Cultural Village. “Thundering Zulu”, the direct translation of DumaZulu, is an appropriate label for a place rich in African culture. 6 PM Re-join the train at Empangeni and travel to Durban for overnight. 7:30 PM Dinner is served in the dining cars. (B,D)
DAY 29 – WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2018 DURBAN / PLAY AT DURBAN GOLF COURSE, SOUTH AFRICA
7 AM Breakfast is served in the dining cars. 9 AM Depart for Option 1 tour or Option 2 tour. OPTION 1: Durban is the third largest city in South Africa and enjoys great importance due to its industry and very large port. On an orientation tour of the city we drive along the ‘Golden Mile’ promenade where numerous hotels and restaurants are situated. A visit to the Victoria Market will also be included. At the end of the morning we drop you at either the botanical gardens or at Shaka Marine World, Africa’s largest marine theme park, where you can have lunch and spend your afternoon. Transfer back to the train arranged with guides. OPTION 2: Guests depart for Marianhill to visit the monastery for a guided tour followed by a short visit to the Hare Krishna Temple of Understanding before returning to the city for lunch. Visit Phoenix, the spiritual settlement created by Mahatma Gandhi before returning to Durban, the centre of Indian culture in South Africa, with its vast array of Hindu, Sufi and Muslim temples. You will see the Juma Musjid, the largest mosque in South Africa, whose twin minarets are a striking city feature, as well as the most opulent Hindu structure in the Southern Hemisphere – the Kendra Hindu Temple and Community Centre. (Lunch stop guest’s own account). 5 PM Guests return to the train in Durban and depart for Ladysmith. 7:30 PM Dinner is served in the dining cars. (B,D)
GOLFERS – 9 AM Tee off at Durban Country Club. 4 PM Return to the train. www.dcclub.co.za
DAY 30 – THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2018 BATTLEFIELDS TOUR / PLAY AT CHAMPAGNE SPORTS RESORT
7 AM Breakfast is served in the dining cars. 9 AM Depart the train and trace the course of the Anglo Boer Wars at the Siege Museum in Ladysmith. Other highlights of the tour include Wagon Hill where both the South Africans and British suffered heavy losses and was subsequently declared a National Monument in 1938. Visit Spionkop and walk in the footsteps of three great leaders: 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. (Lunch stop guest’s own account). 5 PM Re-join the train in Ladysmith and travel via Kroonstad for Bloemfontein. 7:30 PM Dinner is served in the dining cars. (B,L,D)
GOLFERS – 7 AM One-hour transfer from Ladysmith Station to Champagne Sports Resort for tee off. 5 PM Return to the train. www.champagnesportsresort.com
DAY 31 – FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2018 BLOEMFONTEIN TOUR, SOUTH AFRICA
7 AM Breakfast is served in the dining cars. 9 AM Depart the train for the lunch stop at the Loch Logan Waterfront, next to the city’s newly renovated stadium, one of the venues during the 2010 World cup and spend the afternoon visiting the Women’s Memorial at the Anglo Boer War Museum. This monument 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. We then take an orientation drive through Bloemfontein, capital of the Free State Province and also known as the Rose City. (Lunch stop guest’s own account). We end the day at the former State President’s residence “Oliewenhuis”, which now houses an extensive collection of South African art. The gardens offer a relaxing atmosphere to round off the day before returning to the train. 6 PM Re-join the train and depart for Kimberley. 7:30 PM Dinner is served in the dining cars. (B,D)
DAY 32 – SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2018 KIMBERLEY TOUR / PLAY AT KIMBERLEY GOLF CLUB
7 AM Breakfast is served in the dining cars. 9 AM Visit to the Big Hole and Diamond Museum. Afternoon visit to the William Humphreys Art Gallery and McGregor museum. (Lunch stop guest’s own account). 5 PM Return to train and depart for Graaff Reinet overnight. 7:30 PM Dinner is served in the dining cars. (B,D)
GOLFERS – 9 AM Tee off at Kimberley Golf Club. 5:00 PM Return to train and depart for Graaff Reinet. www.kimberleygolfclub.co.za
DAY 33 – SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2018 GRAAFF REINET WALKING TOUR, SOUTH AFRICA
7 AM Breakfast is served in the dining cars. After lunch on the train guests embark on a guided walk of the town of Graaff Reinet. Tucked into the bend of the Sundays River, the Karoo town of Graaff Reinet was established in 1786 and is the fourth oldest settlement in South Africa. It’s a stylish town with at least 200 historical buildings, restored pre-Victorian homes in almost every street and a collection of museums and galleries celebrating its past. (B,L,D)
DAY 34 – MONDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2018 CANGO CAVES & OSTRICH FARM VISIT / PLAY AT FANCOURT GOLF ESTATE, SOUTH AFRICA
7 AM Breakfast is served in the dining cars. 9 AM Disembark the train in Oudtshoorn. Surrounded by the natural beauty of this semi-desert region, Oudtshoorn is situated at the foot of the majestic Swartberg Mountain Range. Many rivers, streams and falls have their origins in the Swartberg, Outeniqua and Kammanassie mountains that surround the town. Oudtshoorn is regarded as the centre of the Klein Karoo and is world-renowned for its Cango Caves and the breeding of ostriches. During the morning, we visit the great natural wonder of the Cango Caves where we see a series of colourful underground chambers with breath-taking limestone formations. (Lunch stop guest’s own account). After our visit to the caves, we return to Oudtshoorn, 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. 6:30 PM Dinner at Fancourt Golf Estate. (B,D)
GOLFERS – 9 AM Drive the Montagu Pass to Fancourt Golf Estate for tee off. 6:30 PM Dinner at Fancourt Golf Estate. www.fancourt.com
DAY 35 – TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2018 KNYSNA / PLAY AT ERNIE ELS OUBAAI, SOUTH AFRICA
7 AM Breakfast is served in the dining cars. 9 AM 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. We drive along the scenic Old Passes Route to Knysna, winding through the primeval forest of the Homtini, lying between lush forests and a peaceful lagoon. The Knysna Heads – two sandstone cliffs guarding the mouth of the lagoon connecting the estuary with the sea – is a dramatic viewpoint. Enjoy a lagoon ferry ride to the Featherbed Nature Reserve. Optional shopping at leisure. 1 PM Return to the train in George for lunch on board. The train journeys along the Garden Route to Buffelsjagrivier for the overnight stop. 7:30 PM Dinner is served in the dining cars. (B,L,D)
GOLFERS – 7 AM Transfer to Ernie Els Oubaai Golf Club for tee off. Return to train in afternoon. Return to train at Voorbaai. www.oubaaigolfestate.co.za
DAY 36 – WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2018 DRIVE TO HERMANUS OVER SCENIC MOUNTAIN PASSES
7 AM Breakfast is served in the dining cars. 9:30 AM Board the vehicles for the ±120km drive to Hermanus. We travel over the Rooihoogte and Floorshoogte passes via the Overberg towns of Villiersdorp and Botrivier 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 and in season (normally between July and November) whales can be seen from as close as 5 metres away. (Lunch stop guest’s own account). 5 PM Re-join the train in Worcester. 7:30 PM Dinner is served in the dining cars. (B,D)
GOLFERS – Optional you can play at Arabella (140 km driving). www.arabellacountryestate.co.za
DAY 37 – THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2018 TRAIN ARRIVAL IN CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
7 AM Breakfast is served in the dining cars. 10 AM Arrive Cape Town Station. Check out of train. Luggage delivered to hotel by Shongololo staff. Full-day guided tour of Cape Town with lunch. Cape Town – Our city tour commences with a walk through the Company Gardens, followed by a visit to 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. On our way to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, we will stop at Diamond Works, where you will follow a tour of the diamond cutting studio, a jewellery manufacturing workshop, a jewellery design studio as well as a gemmological laboratory. Our lunch stop will be at the Victoria & Alfred 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. In the afternoon, we will 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 February 11, 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, and their houses in District Six were flattened by bulldozers. The District Six Museum, established in December 1994, works with the memories of the District Six experience and with that of forced removals more generally. We end our city tour with a visit to 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 150 meters long and 12 meters high. Out tour will end around 6 pm and we will be transferred to the Table Bay Hotel located in the magnificent Victoria and Alfred waterfront area. Check-in for a 3-night stay. The Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town is a 5 star, exceptionally excellent hotel with magnificent surroundings. It has a maritime flavour that extends to each of the exclusively designed rooms that are welcoming and inviting, representing the epitome of luxury and supreme comfort. At dusk the hum of V&A waterfront’s restaurants, bars and clubs beckon you from your luxurious room. Accommodation is designed to be at once spacious and luxurious. Crisp linen sheets, beautifully appointed en-suite bathrooms. This hotel is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World. Time to freshen up, prior to our dinner which it will be served at the hotel. THE TABLE BAY HOTEL or similar – 3 Nights. (B,L,D)
DAY 38 – FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2018 CAPE PENINSULA, SOUTH AFRICA
After breakfast, enjoy a full-day tour and travel via the 12 Apostles and Hout Bay, as well as Chapmans Peak (dependant on the road being open) – one of the region’s most dramatic mountain drives offering amazing panoramic views over the city and environs. Seal Island is a small land mass located 5.7 km off the northern beaches of False Bay, near Cape Town, in South Africa. The island is so named because of the great number of Cape Fur Seals that occupy it. It is home to 64,000 cape fur seals. It is home to sea birds too and it is likely that non-marine species (in no great number) fly there to breed as well. The island is an outcrop of the Cape granite and rises no more than about four to six metres above the high tide mark. The island is long and narrow- 800 metres by 50 metres. Chapman’s Peak Drive winds it way between Noordhoek and Hout Bay. Situated on the Atlantic Coast, at the south-western tip of South Africa, it is one of the most spectacular marine drives anywhere in the world. The 9km route, with its 114 curves, skirts the rocky coastline of Chapman’s Peak, the 593 meters high southerly extension of Constantia Berg. The drive offers stunning 180° views over the ocean and mountains with Hout Bay in the distance. Continue to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, established in 1939 to protect 7,750 hectares of indigenous flora and fauna. The reserve ends at majestic Cape Point. Situated at the junction of two of earth’s most contrasting water masses – the cold Benguela current on the West Coast and the warm Agulhas current on the East Coast, the Cape of Good Hope is popularly perceived as the meeting point of the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans. Guests will take the funicular to the vantage point from where they will be able to witness the “meeting of the two oceans”. Apart from offering visitors an exciting and novel method of travel, taking the Flying Dutchman funicular saves visitors a long uphill walk from the car park to see the old lighthouse and enjoy the panoramic views. The Flying Dutchman Funicular, also known as the Cape Point Funicular, is a funicular railway located at Cape Point. It is believed to be the only commercial funicular of its type in Africa, and takes its name from the local legend of the Flying Dutchman ghost ship. The line runs from a lower station at the Cape Point car park, up an incline through dense fynbos to the upper lighthouse. Lunch will be enjoyed at Black Marlin Restaurant in Simonstown. Boulders Beach – Thereafter travel through the historic naval base of Simon’s Town where guests will be able to visit a colony of African Jackass Penguins in their natural environment at Boulders Beach. Boulders Beach is a sheltered beach made up of inlets between granite boulders, from which the name originated. It is located in the Cape Peninsula near Simon’s Town towards Cape Point near Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. It is also commonly known as Boulders Bay. It is a popular tourist stop because of a colony of African Penguins which settled there in 1982. Boulders Beach forms part of the Table Mountain National Park. Although set in the midst of a residential area, it is one of the few sites where this vulnerable bird can be observed at close range, wandering freely in a protected natural environment. From just two breeding pairs in 1982, the penguin colony has grown to about 3000 in recent years. This is partly due to the reduction in commercial pelagic trawling in False Bay, which has increased the supply of pilchards and anchovy, which form part of the penguins’ diet. Late afternoon you will return to your hotel. Your rest of the day is at your leisure. (B,L)
DAY 39 – SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2018 CAPE WINELANDS, SOUTH AFRICA
After breakfast, we depart on a full day excursion to Cape Winelands. local wine regions in Cape Town: Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl. The day will also include stopping at one wine estate to sample the local wines produced in South Africa. Stellenbosch – 45 minutes from Cape Town city centre, a warm welcome awaits you, the visitor, to the Stellenbosch Wine Route – the first in South Africa – founded in 1971. Stellenbosch consists of tree lined streets and historical architecture. Guests can explore the popular Dorp Street and Oom Samie se Winkel. Franschhoek – The Gourmet Capital, surrounded by majestic mountains culminating in an awe-inspiring pass, provides added value to the food and wine experience. At the Huguenot Memorial Museum in Franschhoek the story of the Huguenots is well documented. Here the Huguenot Memorial soars above perfectly manicured lawns and a calm pool of water. The religiously-inspired monument has three arches symbolising the Christian trinity, above which shines the sun. A female figure casts off the cloak of oppression and gazes into the future. Among the things to see in the Franschhoek museum are antique items of furniture brought in on trading ships from the East and items related to Huguenot church congregations and farming methods. Developments in Huguenot architecture are traced from early wooden homes, to clay, stone, and eventually Dutch-influenced structures with gables. Paarl – Only 56 kilometers from Cape Town, the “Pearl of the Cape” lies nestled in the Berg River Valley, guarded by the huge granite rocks from which it gets its name. It is well known for it’s Wine, cuisine, culture and is home of the Afrikaans language. The Taal monument, on Paarl rock, is one of the most famous Afrikaans monuments erected in South Africa and dedicated to the Afrikaans language. It was designed by the architect Jan van Wijk and inaugurated in 1975. The monument is shaped in several tall obelisks style columns erected on the granite of Paarl Rock. The monument, atop Paarl rock, is visible from a great distance as one approaches Paarl. You will have a picnic lunch at Boschendal Wine Estate after their outdoor wine tasting. Returning to the hotel late afternoon. Tonight, we have dinner at the “GOLD” Restaurant. A farewell to the Mother City culminates in a fun-filled dinner tonight at the vibrant, eclectic Pan-African Gold Restaurant, a befitting experience to our tour. (B,L,D)
Day 40 – SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2018 CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – CANADA
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning. Your day is at your leisure to explore the city on your own. Late afternoon we will have our lunch at the local restaurant and early evening we will transfer to Cape Town International Airport for our flight home with KLM via Amsterdam. (B,L,In-flight Meals)
Day 41 – MONDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2018 AMSTERDAM – CANADA
Upon arrival in Amsterdam you will connect with another flight bound for Canada. We arrive back in Canada in early afternoon. (In-flight Meals)
GOLD Cabin – Measuring 76 square feet are equipped with double or twin beds for the evening. They also have an en-suite bathroom with shower.
EMERALD Cabin – Measuring 110 square feet are equipped with double or twin beds for the evening. They also have an en-suite bathroom with shower.
“HAMBA KAHLE UPHINDE UBUYE”
PLEASE NOTE: Excursions may be changed according to schedule achieved. As the Shongololo Express uses the national railway facilities of South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique, the possibility exists that trains could be delayed, stopped, or rerouted at any time. Daily activities could therefore be shortened, altered, or cancelled. The Shongololo Express does not accept any responsibility for any changes to the daily programme. However, the company will always endeavour to complete the programmes to the best of its ability. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your tour ends and you must have at least 4 blank pages in your passport before applying for any visas. At time of print all Canadian citizens require Zimbabwe and Mozambique entry visas. Please note Zimbabwe entry visa can be obtained upon arrival at the airport in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe for a fee of $50 US per person (subject to change), payable by cash only. Mozambique visa must be obtained prior to departure from Canada into your passport. At this, time no Yellow Fever is required (subject to change at anytime), malaria pills are recommended, please consult your physician. All up to date information in regards to visas and any vaccinations will be provided to everyone after the final payments are made. Expo Cruises & Tours reserves the right to change hotels and/or lodges when necessary. Your final train itinerary will be provided in your room aboard the train. Air and hotel travel documents will be sent out to everyone about 2-3 weeks prior to your departure from Canada.
DIRECTORY OF SERVICES aboard the SHONGOLOLO EXPRESS
ACCOUNTS – Guests will be requested to sign for on-board purchases throughout the trip. This includes signing for drinks, additional excursions, optional extras, purchases of a personal nature etc. All accounts are to be settled on the evening before departure. Please note that drinks purchased on the last night of the trip will be settled on a ‘cash bar’ basis. Accounts may be settled by means of: South African Rand, major foreign currencies, or credit cards. Regrettably debit cards are not accepted.
AIR-CONDITIONING – Air-conditioning (where available) is operational at all times, except when the generator requires servicing.
BAR – The bar is open daily from early in the morning until midnight.
CURRENCY – We suggest you bring Rands, US Dollars (in small denominations) or Euros (bank notes). In South Africa, only Rands may be used. In Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Botswana it is possible to use Rands and US Dollars. However, please note that Rand is the main currency in Southern Africa. Euros are not recommended.
DIETARY REQUIREMENTS – Please inform your reservations agent or Shongololo Express directly of any special dietary requirements.
DINING – The two dining carriages are air-conditioned and non-smoking. The total seating capacity is 72 and dress code for meal times is casual. Lunches are for guest’s own account when are off the train, except when otherwise stated. Meal times depend on the activities planned for the day, but are generally served at the following times:
DRESS CODE – As a relaxed atmosphere prevails on board, comfortable clothing is recommended. Winter in Southern Africa can be very cold and it is therefore advisable to bring along warm clothing for early mornings and evenings.
DRINKING WATER – We strongly advise against drinking the water in the cabins or bathrooms. Bottled water can be purchased from the abr. Each cabin receives a complimentary 1-liter of water per day.
ELECTRICITY – The electric current on board is 220V. Each compartment is fitted with a round 3-pin socket (South African). Adapter plugs are available from the Assistant Train Manager. Please treat sockets as live always. A generator supplies power.
GAME DRIVES – Game drives are carried out in an open 4×4 safari vehicle is an optional extra in certain areas. If chosen, we recommend warm clothing as the early mornings and evenings can become rather chilly. Some safari vehicles do not have a shade cover so a hat and sun block is essential.
GUESTS RESPONSIBILITY – All guests are solely responsible for ensuring they are physically and mentally capable of undertaking the tour and activities.
GUIDES – Guides and vehicles are rotated daily. Language groups are considered with guides French, German, Afrikaans and English. Please feel free to discuss any queries with your guides or the Train Manager.
HAIRDRYERS – Hairdryers are supplied on request.
INCLUSIVE EXCURSIONS – The Train Manager will add a vehicle number next to your name for easy reference for the next day’s touring and advise guests accordingly. Daily departure times depend on the nature of the activity. Most activities depart at 9:00 am, while others may depart earlier. Please check the information board to confirm.
INTERNET – There are no Internet facilities on the train. Internet cafes are available in most towns we travel through.
LAUNDRY – A laundry service is offered on board. A laundry bag is provided in your cabin as well as a laundry list. Items cost between R10.00 and R25.00. Clean laundry is returned within 24 to 48 hours, dependent on weather and the travelling time of the train.
LIBRARY – A small library is located in the smoking lounge. Guests are free to make use of the books and guidebooks, but kindly return them before the end of the trip.
LINEN, TOWELS, AND PILLOWS – Bed linen is changed every third day and towels are changed every second day. Extra pillows and blankets are available on request.
LUGGAGE – It is possible to store luggage in your cabin under the bed or above the door.
OBSERVATION & BAR CARRIAGES – Accommodating approximately 40 guests, the observation and bar carriages have the following features: • Fully licensed • Air-conditioned • Non-smoking • Casual dress code
MAINTENANCE – Should you discover that something in your carriage or cabin does not work, please advise the Train Manager for it to be repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
MEDICAL AND PRECAUTIONS – First-aid boxes are carried on board as well as first-aid equipment, although limited medical facilities are available in some areas. We therefore request that the Train Manager be immediately advised of any possible medical requirements in order to assist effectively. It is strongly recommended that guests take Malaria prophylactics for all our journeys. A Yellow Fever/Medical Exemption Certificate is essential if travelling to/from Tanzania.
PASSPORT & VISAS – The onus is upon guests to ensure passports and visas, as may be required, are valid prior to departure for Africa. Visas available through booking agents; please check with relevant embassies for requirements. Visitors to South Africa are required to have at least three blank VISA pages in their passports to receive an entry visa. Passports must be valid for at least six months from the guests’ return-home date.
SAFE – There is a small safe located in each cabin. Upon checking in, the Train Manager will hand you your cabin and safe keys. Replacement of safe keys and the opening of the safe will be charged for, as determined by the locksmith.
SAFETY – To avoid accidents, we request that guests adhere to the following:
SCHEDULING TIMES, ROUTES, AND EXCURSIONS – Shongololo Express uses the national railways of Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia, and Swaziland. Therefore, the possibility exists that the trains will run late from time to time. Should the train be delayed, land activities may have to be shortened, altered, or cancelled for which we do not accept responsibility. No refunds will be offered as it is out of our control and therefore unavoidable.
SHOWERS and TOILETS – The water used on the train is carried in tanks under each coach. These tanks are filled every day, but they cannot be topped up while the train is travelling. Please assist us by using water responsibly.
SMOKING – In accordance with the Southern African Smoking Act, designated smoking areas are provided. The train has a smoking lounge, which can only be used when the train is moving. When the train is stationary you may only smoke outside on the platform. Smoking is not permitted in the dining car, bathrooms, your cabin, passageways, or touring vehicles on any tour. Smoking of pipes/cigars is not permitted in the designated smoking area.
OPTIONAL EXTRAS – Optional extras are offered during the trip and are for guest’s account and will be charged accordingly. As many specialised off-train activities are subcontracted to tour operators, they are subject to availability and price adjustments. Kindly advise the Train Manager timeously if you would like to book anything. It is only possible to book these activities once on board.
TELEPHONE – There is no telephone service on board. Should you however need to contact your Train Manager urgently while on tour, please call their mobile number.
TOILETRIES – While on board, please feel free to ask the Train Manager for assistance with regards to amenity items you may need.
TRAVEL INSURANCE – It is compulsory for all guests to provide proof of comprehensive travel insurance including but not limited to medical cost, emergency evacuation and repatriation, cancellation or curtailment, loss of baggage, personal possessions, or money.