Rovos Rail
Rovos Rail
Rovos Rail
Rovos Rail

Rovos Rail | South Africa

Rovos Rail has been providing exceptional travel experiences since its inception in 1989, earning a global reputation for its world-class service. The bespoke rail journeys connect some of Africa's most extraordinary destinations and offer a range of off-train excursions. The classic coaches provide a nostalgic setting, with spectacular landscapes unfolding outside the windows. The friendly staff cater to guests' every need, and the top-notch cuisine is accompanied by a selection of South Africa's finest wines.

Maintaining the spirit of a bygone era, there are no radios or television sets on board. All the Suites onboard offer passenger's privacy and comfort with Double or Twin beds, fittings and facilities that are of the highest standard. 

Days on board are smart casual while evening attire is more formal. On long journeys we enjoy themed evenings where guests can dress up or opt for smart casual.

Life on board


Rovos Rail, a luxury hotel on wheels, offers three levels of accommodation: Pullman, Deluxe and Royal Suites. 

The wood-panelled sleeper coaches, remodelled and refurbished to mint condition, offer every modern convenience and comfort with fittings and facilities that are of the highest standard. The Deluxe and Royal Suites accommodate one or two passengers with the option of Double or Twin beds. All have ensuites with shower, toilet, basin and bath (in Royal Suites only), tea facilities, safes, air-conditioning, linen and amenities and are serviced daily. There is adequate storage and small cupboards with hangers and shelves. 

The Pullmans used on our short journeys, accommodate one or two passengers and have an ensuite bathroom with shower, toilet and basin. During the day, guests have a comfortable sofa-seat with a conversion to Double or Twin beds (side-by-side or upper and lower bunks) for the evening. A dedicated host/ess is available at all times and services the suites daily.


An enthusiastic team of chefs are responsible for overseeing the very important task of ensuring guests’ every need is catered for. 

There’s an accent on fresh local ingredients and traditional dishes are a specialty.  Meals are served in one sitting - only in the dining cars and are complemented by a selection of fine South African wines. 

The dining cars are made up of two-seaters and four-seaters where guests eat together or individually. Many of our passengers enjoy the formality of Fine China and glassware, crisp linen and silver, and dress accordingly. 

Rovos Rail FAQs

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What is included in the price?

All onboard accommodation, meals, all beverages except champagne, and off train excursions are included. Some items such a pre & post transfers, flights, gratuities, and personal expenses are not included.

Are children permitted onboard?

We do accommodate children, but we kindly ask parents to be sensitive to the adult nature and atmosphere of the train. Long journeys are not recommended for under 13s. Children between 0-2 years old are not permitted to travel. There are no child-minding facilities or activities available for children on board.

Can someone with mobility limitations travel on the Rovos Rail?

Should you or your guests have any special requirements or mobility issues, please do let us know ahead of your luxury train journey. We can accommodate guests with walking difficulties although we recommend an able-bodied passenger accompany guests. We regret that the train is not suitable for wheelchair-bound passengers. Should you have mobility impairments/restrictions or special requirements, we urge you to inform your Agent at time of booking.

Can Rovos Rail accommodate special dietary preferences?

We cater for food allergies provided a detailed request has been made at that time of your reservation. If a special request has not been made, the chefs will endeavour to prepare suitable meals with the ingredients available on board. We regret we are unable to prepare meals requiring strict religious observance in the preparation.

Is there Wi-Fi onboard Rovos Rail?

To maintain the spirit of travel of a bygone era, the use of mobile phones, laptops and essentially anything that has the ability to disturb other passengers is confined to the privacy of suites only.

The signal strength may be weak while the train is in motion, so it is recommended to consult your phone service provider and verify the proper network settings are enabled – as there is no Wi-Fi onboard.

Is there a dress code when onboard Rovos Rail?

Days on board are smart casual: Neat, conventional yet relatively informal in style combining casual and formal clothing pieces.

Dinner on board is formal: For gentlemen a jacket and tie is a minimum requirement (from 2024 only, a collar and tie will be mandatory, and a jacket will be optional). For ladies, we suggest cocktail/evening dresses or suits.

On long journeys we enjoy themed evenings where guests can dress up accordingly or opt for smart casual.

Off-train excursions: We recommend comfortable walking shoes, sun lotion and hats. If required, blankets and rain capes are available.

Game drives are on open vehicles so please dress accordingly: mornings can be cool then warm up considerably; afternoons can be warm then cool down considerably.

Can I smoke onboard?

The Club Car is used to host the smokers on the train in a public area and as an overflow facility adjoining the Observation Car. With a glass passage wall, guests can comfortably watch the scenery on both sides of the train.

Do I need to check-in prior to arrival?

Please check-in a minimum of one hour before departure. Should you wish to visit our museum or do a site tour at Rovos Rail Station in Pretoria, we suggest arriving two hours prior to departure. If Pretoria is your arrival point, we suggest delaying your pick-up so you can enjoy the site tour. Passports are required at check-in. No vouchers are required. Luggage will be tagged and placed in your suite on board the train where you will find a full itinerary pack.

Are there luggage restrictions?

It is possible to store luggage in your suite under the bed or above the door on a luggage rack, which provides ample space for storage. There are no luggage restrictions on board although we do not recommend more than two large suitcases. On selected long journeys, guests are provided with a Rovos Rail tag that can be used for overnight trips or hand luggage on aircraft. A soft bag is preferable on plane transfers with a luggage weight restriction of 15kg.

Will I need travel insurance?

As with all holidays and trips abroad, we strongly recommend that you have travel insurance. Please consult with our agents at time of booking and we can assist you with this.

When experience matters