21-Day “Southern Cross” Train journey includes a 3-night hotel stay in Pretoria
with an overnight stay in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and
a 3-night stay at a private luxury game lodge with safaris.
January 10 – 30, 2018
Depart CANADA for SOUTH AFRICA
Pretoria, SOUTH AFRICA Hotel Stay
Pretoria, SOUTH AFRICA Hotel Stay
Madikwe, SOUTH AFRICA Game Lodge Stay
Madikwe, SOUTH AFRICA Game Lodge Stay
Madikwe, SOUTH AFRICA Game Lodge Stay
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
Depart SOUTH AFRICA for CANADA
This impressive journey between Victoria Falls and Pretoria stops at carefully selected locations in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa. Starting in the Victoria Falls, guests enjoy a walking tour of the village and the falls, 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.
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 $10,995
Single Occupancy $14,495
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 $12,295
Single Occupancy $16,495
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.
3-Nights first class stay at the Private Game Lodge in Madikwe, SOUTH AFRICA with two great daily game drives.
1-Night first class hotel stay in Victoria Falls, ZIMBABWE.
12-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 $2,500 per person is required at time of booking, please note $1,500 is non-refundable.
Second deposit of $2,500 is due by JUNE 7, 2017 and Final Payment is due by SEPTEMBER 21, 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 & 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. 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 on 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 stop 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 stops 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 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 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, SOUTH AFRICA
After breakfast, you will disembark the train and take a full day guided tour with lunch included. Free time before we transfer to the airport for our homebound flight with KLM via Amsterdam. (B,L,In-flight Meals)
DAY 21 – TUESDAY, JANUARY 30, 2018 ARRIVAL IN 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 Zimbabwe, 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. At time of print all Canadian citizens require entry visa for Zimbabwe, which it can be obtained upon arrival (subject to change). 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 suite 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.