EXPO CRUISES AND TOURS
Duration: January 10, 2021 - January 28, 2021

A 19-Day “Southern Cross” train journey that includes a 2-night game lodge stay in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe before you begin your 12-day train journey.  This impressive journey between Victoria Falls and Pretoria stops at carefully selected locations in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa.  Starting at Victoria Falls, guests enjoy a walking tour of the village and the falls before departing in the afternoon for Hwange, Zimbabwe.  After game-viewing activities, guests continue to Matobas National Park, site of Cecil John Rhodes’ grave, Antelope Park and the Great Zimbabwe Ruins. The train then traverses Zimbabwe as guests enjoy a day at leisure on board.  Day seven of the train journey includes a game drive at the famous wildlife reserve of Kapama before guests continue to explore the Kingdom of Swaziland.  This magnificent sojourn spends the last few days taking guests through the Drakensberg Mountains to the Kruger Park for game viewing and the historical areas of Pilgrim’s Rest, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and God’s Window.  The final day has the train pulling into Rovos Rail Station in Pretoria, South Africa.  It is followed by a 2-night stay in Johannesburg with local touring.

Depart CANADA for SOUTH AFRICA
Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA         Hotel Stay
Victoria Falls, ZIMBABWE                   Lodge Stay
Victoria Falls, ZIMBABWE                   Lodge Stay

Victoria Falls, ZIMBABWE                   Board the Train
Hwange Reserve, ZIMBABWE            Train Journey
Matobas 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
Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA         Hotel Stay
Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA         Hotel Stay
Depart SOUTH AFRICA for CANADA

 

DAY 1 – SUNDAY / JANUARY 10, 2021                                    DEPART CANADA
Evening departure for South Africa with KLM via Amsterdam.   (In-flight Meals)

DAY 2 – MONDAY / JANUARY 11                                              JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
Welcome to Johannesburg!  On arrival at the airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel near the airport.

DAY 3 – TUESDAY / JANUARY 12                                               JOHANNESBURG – VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE                (B/D)
Breakfast at the hotel followed by check out.  Transfer to the airport for a flight to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.  Upon arrival you will be met by our local guide and transfer to the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge.  This afternoon, enjoy Sunset Cruise – The sunset cruise is geared to showcase a magnificent sunset while you sip a sundowner and enjoy some light snacks. It’s an ideal way to watch the African landscape transform in beautiful hues. Cruising along the Zambezi River is an experience that creates lasting memories and includes sightings of hippo and crocodile and any other species that congregates on the banks to quench their thirst. Where there is water there is life and seeing a wild and untamed landscape from the comfort of a boat is a must do experience in this magical part of the world.  The award winning Victoria Falls Safari Lodge is high on a plateau that forms a natural boundary to the unfenced Zambezi National Park and is close to the thunder of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe’s star attraction. The views from Victoria Safari Lodge are nothing short of majestic and Africa is showcased in its best light, as the untamed land of legend. The lodge itself has been designed in a way to give the impression of a vast open-plan tree house and it is built on seven intricate levels, rising above the bushveld. The lodge also has its own private watering hole that is often visited by elephants and herds of buffalo.  Tonight you will have the Boma dinner at the lodge.  VICTORIA FALLS SAFARI GAME LODGE or similar – 2 nights.

DAY 4 – WEDNESDAY / JANUARY 13                                       VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE                                                      (B/D)
Breakfast at the lodge.  A guided tour of the majestic Victoria Falls and encompassing nature reserves is an awe-inspiring experience. Known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya (the smoke that thunders), tons of water plunge over a chasm that is nearly 2km wide falling just more than 100 metres to the Zambezi River below.  The shower of spray and the thunderous sound of the water can be heard from miles around.  The tour takes you to the best view points of this iconic waterfalls and is one of the Seven Wonders of the World allowing you to soak up the powerful and enigmatic atmosphere of Victoria Falls.  You will have free time for your lunch on your and afternoon at your leisure.  Dinner will be served at the lodge.

DAY 5 – THURSDAY / JANUARY 14                                           VICTORIA FALLS – EMBARK THE TRAIN                                   (B/D)
Breakfast at the lodge.  Today you will have free time to enjoy the lodge or may take an optional tour e.g. helicopter ride over the Victoria Falls.  Early afternoon we will transfer to meet the train and a reception with your other 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 are included each day on the train.  Lunches are included while on the train, but are on 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.  

Day 6 – FRIDAY / JANURY 15                                                       HWANGE RESERVE GAME, ZIMBABWE                                  (B/L/D)
5 AM Continental breakfast is served in the dining car.   6:30 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, there will be an opportunity to relax at the pool for a while before we resume our game viewing later in the afternoon.   6:30 PM Depart for Bulawayo and the train.

DAY 7 – SATURDAY / JANUARY 16                                            MATOBOS NATIONAL PARK, ZIMBABWE                              (B/L/D)
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.  Depart Bulawayo for the overnight stop at Somabhula.

DAY 8 – SUNDAY / JANUARY 17                                ANTELOPE PARK, ZIMBABWE                                                     (B/D)
6 AM Breakfast is served in the dining car.   8 AM Full day at Antelope.  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).  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 45 minute 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.  There will be a several different activities available while at the Antelope Park, detailed information will be provided while on the train. 6 PM Depart for Bannockburn.  

DAY 9 – MONDAY / JANUARY 18                                              GREAT ZIMBABWE RUINS, ZIMBABWE                                   (B/L/D)
6 AM Breakfast is served in the dining car.  8 AM Board vehicles and drive to the Great Zimbabwe Ruins.  This is the 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, after which we travel through attractive granite hill country to Rutenga.  5 PM Rejoin train in 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. 

DAY 10 – TUESDAY / JANUARY 19                                            LIMPOPO, SOUTH AFRICA                                                            (B/L/D)
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.

DAY 11 – WEDNESDAY / JANUARY 20                                     KAPAMA LODGE / HOEDSPRUIT, SOUTH AFRICA                (B/L/D)
5 AM Breakfast is served in the dining car.  5:30 AM Morning game drive in Kapama Game Reserve.  Situated in South Africa’s northernmost province of Limpopo, renowned for its prolific and diverse wildlife, Kapama Private Game Reserve is home to over 40 different mammal species including the Big Five, approximately 350 bird species and a myriad of smaller species.  The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre is a unique African wildlife facility focusing on conservation and the sustainability of rare, vulnerable and threatened species. Founded on passion, the centre has adopted a holistic approach to its conservation activities such as the educating of surrounding communities, tourism, breeding, rehabilitation and anti-poaching, to name a few.   Noon return to the train for lunch.  1:45 PM the train departs for our overnight stop at Malelane.

DAY 12 – THURSDAY / JANUARY 21                                         KINGDOM OF SWAZILAND                                                          (B/D)
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.  After lunch (on your own account) we continue to Mpaka to meet the train.  3:30 PM we head towards Goba for Mozambique customs formalities and continue on to Maputo for an overnight stop.

DAY 13 – FRIDAY / JANUARY 22                                                MAPUTO, MOZAMBIQUE                                                             (B/L/D)
7 AM Breakfast is served in the dining car.   9 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 best known 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.  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.

DAY 14 – SATURDAY / JANUARY 23                                         KRUGER NATIONAL PARK – MPUMALANGA                         (B/D)
5:30 AM Breakfast is served in the dining car.  7 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 at your own account.  6 PM you will re-join the train in Malelane.  The train travels to Nelspruit.

DAY 15 – SUNDAY / JANUARY 24                                              PANORAMA ROUTE, SOUTH AFRICA                                       (B/D)
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 700m 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 is at your own account.  6 PM return to the train in Nelspruit.

Day 16 – MONDAY / JANUARY 25                                             PRETORIA / JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA                    (B/L)
After breakfast, you will disembark the train and will be met by our local guide and taken on a guided tour of the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria.  Lunch will be at a local restaurant, followed by hotel check in, evening and dinner are on your own.  Garden Court Sandton is ideally placed in the heart of Sandton, one of Johannesburg’s most prestigious suburbs. The hotel is set across from Nelson Mandela Square with its high end range of shops, restaurants and entertainment options and is within walking distance of the Sandton Shopping Centre, one of the most popular in the Southern Hemisphere.  Garden Court Sandton is chic and contemporary in its design and decoration and has an oval swimming pool in a verdant garden setting for time spent away from the hustle and bustle of the City of Gold.  GARDEN COURT SANDTON CITY or similar – 2 nights.

DAY 17 – TUESDAY / JANUARY 26                                            JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA                                             (B/L)
Breakfast at the hotel.  Today you will have a full day tour to Soweto and visit the Apartheid Museum.  Hector Peterson Memorial – On the 16th of June 1976, Hector Pieterson was shot by the police during a protest by schoolchildren about Afrikaans being imposed as the medium of instruction.  The Soweto uprising, as it has come to be known, saw 20 children shot by police during what started out as a peaceful protest. One of the pivotal moments in the anti-Apartheid struggle, 12-year old Hector has come to symbolise those that stood against the tyrannical regime. Today, the 16th of June is celebrated in South Africa as National Youth Day in remembrance of those who lost their lives during the protest. The site where Hector was shot is not far from the memorial and close to the Hector Peterson Museum.   Mandela House – Mandela House in Orlando West, Soweto is a national monument dedicated to offering insights into the life of Nelson Mandela and the families that he lived with from 1946 through to the 1990s.  Managed by the Soweto Heritage Trust, the house has been fully renovated and hosts a visitor centre as well as excellent multi-media and audio-visual displays outlining the history of the Mandela family.  A meaningful experience, visitors are exposed to Mandela’s personal life on this visit.  Lunch will be served at a local restaurant.   Apartheid Museum – The prestigious and must-visit Apartheid Museum is located in Johannesburg’s Ormondo suburb. The museum, opened in 2001, covers the full history of the Apartheid era in South Africa. The exhibitions span the beginnings of segregation in the country, the implementation of the Apartheid system and all of the factors that have shaped its 20th century history including the discovery of gold that spurred on the migration of thousands of foreigners to the country, the rise of black consciousness and the first democratic elections.  The political groups (both for and against the Apartheid system) are represented and the exhibitions combine news articles, photographs and artefacts to create a riveting story of this era. 

DAY 18 – WEDNESDAY / JANUARY 27                                                     JOHHANESBURG – AMSTERDAM                              (B/L)
Breakfast at the hotel, followed by check out.  Enjoy your free day at your leisure for the last minute shopping at the Mandela Square shopping mall.  Late this afternoon we will meet to have our late lunch, before we transfer to the airport for our flight with KLM to Amsterdam.  (In-flight Meals)

DAY 19 – THURSDAY / JANUARY 28, 2021                                             ARRIVAL IN CANADA
Upon arrival in Amsterdam you will connect with another KLM flight bound for Canada.  (In-flight Meals)

$200 early booking bonus per person + $100 savings for new clients to Expo Cruises & Tours!


All prices are in Canadian dollars, per person and include:

Return airfare from TORONTO with KLM, including all your flights within Africa.  Other cities are upon request.
1 Night hotel stay in Johannesburg airport area.                          Most meals aboard the train and bottled water.
2 Nights first class game lodge stay in Victoria Falls.                   Fully guided sightseeing as per our itinerary.
2 Nights first class hotel stay in Johannesburg.                            Guided excursions and game drives off the train.
11 Nights first class accommodation onboard the train.               Tipping for local guides and onboard staff.
Full buffet breakfast each morning.                                                 All departure taxes and fees.
Most meals while on our land tour portion.                                    Hosted by Expo Cruises & Tours.


                                               

GOLD Category     Double Occupancy $12,995
GOLD CategorySingle Occupancy $17,495
Measuring 76 square feet are equipped with double or twin beds for the evening. They also have an en-suite bathroom with shower.

Shongololo gold cabin2
Shongololo gold cabin1

EMERALD Category      Double Occupancy $14,995
GOL    D  Catego  rySingle Occupancy $20,495

Measuring 110 square feet are equipped with double or twin beds for the evening.  They also have an en-suite bathroom with shower.

Shongololo emerald cabin2
Shongololo emerald cabin1


Deposit of $1,500 per person is required to secure your space at time of booking.  Second deposit of $1,500 is due January 8th, 2020.
Please note a cancellation penalty of $1,000 per person will apply prior to your final payment which is due on SEPTEMBER 22nd, 2020
Please Note: Entry visa is required for Zimbabwe fee $75 USD per person and Mozambique fee $90 USD per person, currently it can be obtained at the border upon entry into each country (all fees are subject to change at any time).  Yellow fever vaccination is required for this trip (subject to change).


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 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 any visas (if required) and 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:

  • Breakfast 7:00 am – 9:00 am •              Lunch 1:00 pm      •              Dinner 7:30 pm

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 bar.  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:

  • Never open exterior doors while the train is moving.
  • Never jump off or onto the train while it is moving.
  • An emergency brake is located halfway down each corridor and is only to be used in the case of an emergency. If used in a non-emergency, the culprit will be fined R10 000.00.
  • When taking photographs out of the window, always look ahead to see what is coming.
  • Please ensure that all valuables, documents, and cash are kept in a safe place. Management and staff will not accept responsibility for any loss of personal property or cash if it’s not put in the safe. Please be advised that if you leave your room you must make certain that your windows are closed.
  • Do not stray from well-frequented areas after dark.
  • Change foreign currency at an authorised dealer only.

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.

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