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Rovos – Dar es Salaam

Taking two weeks to complete, and calling off at five nations along the way, the Dar es Salaam is understandably one of the most famous and renowned rail journeys in the world. Beginning in Cape Town, you will see everything from big cats to the Victoria Falls, cross the mighty Zambezi River, visit diamond-rich towns, and take walks into the wilderness. A real once in a lifetime experience, all whilst on board one of the most fabulous trains ever built, the trip truly defines luxury travel.

Itinerary

Day One
After arriving at Cape Town Station, departure will commence mid-morning, and your epic adventure begins. Spend the day getting acquainted with the opulence and intricate details of the Rovos train, with lunch served on board, before arriving into Matjiesfontein to explore this quaint, unspoilt village. Dinner and overnight on the train.

Day Two
Waking to a leisurely morning, with breakfast, you will pull into Kimberley mid-afternoon. Here there is the opportunity to see the famous Big Hole, the world’s largest man-mad excavation site, and the Diamond Mine Museum. Shortly after leaving the town behind the train will pass a shallow lake, renowned for providing a home to some 23,000 Lesser Flamingos, with the journey now heading from the Karoo to Highveld. Dinner and overnight onboard.

Day Three
Pulling into the Rovos Rail Station, Pretoria, mid-morning following breakfast, take a walking tour of the historic building and look in on some locomotive workshops (weather permitting). Lunch will be eaten on the platform- a unique experience- and a city tour of Pretoria itself follows mid-afternoon. Departing for Zeerust in the North West Province early evening, dinner and overnight again take place onboard.

Day Four
Disembark mid-morning at Zeerust, where a coach will be waiting to take you to the Madikwe Reserve for a two-night stay at the wonderful TAU Game Lodge, with lunch served on arrival. Afternoon tea and a game drive follow, with dinner in the evening.

Day Five
After breakfast, enjoy an early-morning game drive and other guest activities, with overnight at the lodge once again.

Day Six
Another early morning game drive will be followed by a mid-morning breakfast, with the coach ready to take you back to the train shortly thereafter. Border formalities will then take place en route to Gaborone, Botwsana, departing the city mid-afternoon for the onward journey towards Plumtree.

Day Seven
Spend today as you see fit, on board the wonderful Rovos train. Lectures will be given throughout the course of the morning and/or afternoon courtesy of the on-board historian. Along the way the train will pass Gwaai and Dete as it takes to one of Africa’s longest stretches of straight railway line- 114KM- and along the eastern edge of the Hwange National Park, where it is possible to catch sight of exotic animals. Later, the route takes us to Thompson’s Junction for the overnight stop. Lunch, tea and dinner will be served in the evening.

Day Eight
By midday you will have reached one of the world’s most incredible sights- the Victoria Falls, where you can walk across to the hotel for lunch. Later in the afternoon, enjoy a sunset cruise on the might Zambezi River, and buffet dinner at Jungle Junction, followed by an overnight at the hotel.

Day Nine
Another day at leisure, you will have plenty of time to enjoy all Victoria Falls has to offer. Opt for a tour of the Falls, take a helicopter over the top, go on elephant safari, whitewater rafting, or walk with lions. It really is up to you. Departing mid-afternoon, don’t forget to take in the incredible views as the train crosses the bridge on its route to Livingstone, Zambia.

Day Ten
After an action packed previous day, and breakfast on board, spend the time as you see fit today. Lectures will again take place in the morning and/or afternoon by the on-board historian for those looking to learn something about the culture and peoples of these lands. The train will also travel across the Kafue Bridge, a 1,477 metre-long steel girder truss structure that has to be seen to be believed, with the route taking us towards Kapiri Mposhi for the starting point of the TAZARA railway line.

Day 11
Another day at leisure, with lectures and other activities all taking place on board. Don’t forget to have your camera ready as the train passes through serene Serenje and majestic Mpika to Kasama.

Day 12
Disembark mid-morning at Kasama for an excursion to Chisimba Falls, before heading back to the train for a departure towards the Tanzanian border before midday. Spend the rest of the day at leisure, taking in the passing views, with dinner and overnight onboard.

Day 13
Arrive at Makambako mid-morning to enjoy a stroll through the town (time permitting). Later in the morning the train will depart for Mlimba, descending into the world famous Rift Valley before heading up into the magnificent Udzungwa Mountains, negotiating tunnels, switchbacks and viaducts along the way. Meanwhile, lectures will take place throughout the day, with lunch, dinner and overnight onboard.

Day 14
The final leg of your voyage, an early morning departure from Gwata takes the journey in an easterly direction towards the coast. Breakfast will be served shortly thereafter, before you pull into Dar es Salaam, in Tanzania, where this experience of a lifetime reaches its conclusion, and another begins.

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