Rovos Rail
Rovos Rail
Rovos Rail
Rovos Rail

Rovos Rail Train Tour | 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.

Rovos Rail: The Ultimate Journey through Africa

Transform your dream African odyssey into a reality with our Rovos Rail packages. The train trundles through multiple countries, including South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Tanzania, making it a truly iconic rail experience. Its scenic routes through lush winelands, vast grasslands, and dramatic mountain ranges, as well as its rich heritage, contribute to its legendary status. Passengers are treated to attentive service, fine dining, and cultural immersion, with excursions to historic villages and museums along the way. With numerous awards and global recognition, Rovos Rail stands as one of the world’s most sought-after luxury train journeys. If you crave a blend of elegance, adventure, and immersive cultural experiences, then the Rovos Rail experience is tailor-made for you.

Rovos Rail: South Africa’s Moving Luxury Hotel

Rovos Rail, often referred to as a luxury hotel on wheels, encapsulates the romance of travel in a bygone era. Its classic coaches, complete with wood-panelled interiors and refined decor, transport guests in a setting of vintage charm coupled with modern conveniences. The train's friendly staff provide impeccable service, ensuring every need is catered to, while the onboard cuisine is a gourmet delight, accompanied by a selection of South Africa's finest wines.

Routes Covered

Our Rovos Rail packages feature key routes that take you through the stunning landscapes and rich heritage of Africa:

  • Durban Safari: A 3-day adventure from Durban to Pretoria, featuring game drives, historic battlefield tours, and a peek into African ceramics.
  • Pretoria to Cape Town: A 4-day journey immersing you in South Africa's diverse landscapes and vibrant culture, including the Garden Route and historic landmarks.
  • Victoria Falls Journey: Travel north through Zimbabwe to the majestic Victoria Falls on a 4 or 5-day journey, experiencing the heart of Africa.

Unique Features & Experiences Offered

The Rovos Rail journey offers a comprehensive experience that epitomises luxury rail travel in Africa. Passengers enjoy the following:

  • Accommodations: Choose from Pullman, Deluxe, and Royal Suites, all offering luxurious comfort with ensuite facilities, air-conditioning, and elegant furnishings.
  • Dining Experience: Indulge in meals crafted with local ingredients, served in the grandeur of the dining cars, and complemented by a selection of South Africa's best wines.
  • Cultural Immersion: Engage in various cultural experiences and excursions, providing insight into Africa's rich history and natural beauty.

Highlights of the Rovos Rail

Scenic landscapes

Travel aboard the Rovos Rail and immerse yourself in the diverse beauty of South Africa:

  • The Highveld and Great Karoo: Journey across the gold-rich Highveld's grasslands and the haunting barrenness of the Great Karoo.
  • Cape Winelands and Mountain Ranges: Traverse the spectacular mountain ranges and the picturesque winelands of the Cape.
  • Valley of a Thousand Hills: As you approach Durban, don't miss the enchanting Valley of a Thousand Hills, known for its rolling landscapes, meandering rivers, and profound cultural heritage.
  • Drakensberg Mountains: Witness the grandeur of the Drakensberg Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Golden Beaches of Durban: Experience the coastal beauty of Durban, with its golden beaches, subtropical climate, and vibrant culture, all set against the backdrop of the Indian Ocean.
  • Wildlife Encounters: Keep an eye out for wildlife during your journey, from antelope and zebras in the savannah to birdwatching opportunities in diverse habitats.

Cultural Wonders

Various cultural experiences are folded into our Rovos Rail packages:

  • Matjiesfontein Village: Visit the historic Victorian village of Matjiesfontein, a preserved gem with its own museum.
  • Kimberley's Diamond Mine Museum: Explore the Diamond Mine Museum and the awe-inspiring Big Hole in Kimberley.
  • Pretoria’s Historic Charm: Starting or concluding in Pretoria, you’ll be enveloped in the city's rich history and lush, jacaranda-lined streets, reflecting a blend of South African cultures.
  • Durban’s Cultural Fusion: Explore Durban's cultural diversity, shaped by influences from Zulu, Indian, and British heritage, as you sample its unique cuisine and visit historic sites.
  • Historic Stations: Discover South Africa's history at the various historic railway stations along the route, each with its own tales of bygone eras.

Planning and Booking a Rovos Rail Journey

How to Book

  • Explore Rovos Rail Packages: Visit our website for a selection of curated Rovos Rail packages.
  • Personalised Assistance: Our travel experts are at your service to provide bespoke advice and help tailor your journey.
  • Effortless Booking Process: Choose your desired package and our team will guide you through the booking and confirmation process.
  • Receive Detailed Travel Information: Post-booking, you’ll receive all necessary details to prepare for your luxurious rail journey.

Preparation Tips

As you prepare for your Rovos Rail journey, here are some practical tips to enhance your experience:

  • Travel Documents: Ensure your passports and visas are up to date for a hassle-free border crossing.
  • Packing: Pack for changing weather, including attire for excursions and onboard dining. Don't forget comfortable shoes.
  • Health and Diet: Bring necessary medications and inform staff of dietary preferences.
  • Itinerary: Familiarise yourself with the journey's schedule to fully enjoy each stop.
  • Travel Insurance: Consider getting this must-have for the added peace of mind.

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

View All

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 Tog bag 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