Shongololo Express

15 day Rail Journey - from £5289

A grand 15-day journey aboard the Shongololo Express, showcasing many of the must-see destinations in South Africa, from metropolitan Cape Town to the Kruger National Park.


  • Imposing Drakensberg Mountains
  • Historical Panorama Route
  • Game drives in the world famous Kruger Park
  • Hluhluwe Wildlife Reserve game drive
  • Diamond mine museum visit at Kimberley
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Your Rail Journey

A spectacular 15 day escorted rail tour that traverses South Africa to showcase the beauty and variety of this fascinating country. Journey through the countryside by rail, stopping at all of the remarkable places enroute for guided off-rail excursions to experience the sights in each region – all included in the price. There is a traditionally styled dining car offering delicious meals in an informal setting, a bar and an observation car with an open-air balcony at the back of the train. Guests are accommodated in a choice of comfortable air conditioned cabins.

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Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Cape Town, Winelands

After check-in at the Rovos Rail Lounge, begin your adventure with a city tour of Cape Town taking in sights such as Company Gardens, the colourful Bo Kaap area and the bustling V&A Waterfront. This afternoon board the Shongololo Express and head through the lush vineyards of the Western Cape towards Worcester.

Overnight: Shongololo Express 
Breakfast and dinner

Day 2 - Hermanus

Continue by road over scenic mountain passes and through the quaint towns of the Overberg to Hermanus. The town is renowned as one of the best places in the world for land based whale watching with these magnificent creatures usually seen (Jul – Nov) close to shore from the cliff path. Head back to the train at Ashton and continue to Voorbai with dinner served on board.

Overnight: Shonhololo Express 
Breakfast and dinner

Day 3 - Knysna

Meander along the beautiful coastal roads of the Garden Route, through the town of George and the primeval forests of Homtini, before arriving at the lagoon side town of Knysna. Enjoy a boat ride to Knysna Heads, before dinner tonight at Fancourt Golf Estate.

Overnight: Shonhololo Express 
Breakfast and dinner

Day 4 - Oudtshoorn

Drive across the dramatic Outeniqua Mountains to arrive at Oudtshoorn, a town surrounded by the natural beauty of the Swatberg Mountains in the semi-arid Klein Karoo. Visit an ostrich farm and the eerie Cango Caves, before heading to Port Elizabeth to re-join the train.

Overnight: Shonhololo Express 
Breakfast and dinner

Day 5 - At leisure on board

Enjoy a day at leisure on board the Shongololo as you head towards Kimberley.

Overnight: Shonhololo Express 
Breakfast and dinner

Day 6 - Kimberley, Bloemfontein and Ladysmith

After breakfast visit the Big Hole Diamond Mine Museum followed by lunch at one of the city’s restaurants. Later this afternoon board the train and continue your journey through the sparsely populated interior. Wake up the next day in Bloemfontein the ‘city of roses’ and seat of South Africa’s judicial system. There is an orientation tour of the city including the Anglo Boer Museum and panoramic views from Naval Hill.

In Ladysmith the next morning trace the course of the Anglo-Boer wars on a thought-provoking battlefield tour taking in the Siege Museum and Wagon Hill, before returning to the train for lunch.

Overnight: Shonhololo Express 
Breakfast and dinner

Day 9 - Durban, St Lucia and Hluhluwe

Arrive into Durban on the shores of the warm Indian Ocean where there is a tour of PheZulu Safari Village and uShaka Marine World. The next morning take a tour of the world-heritage site of St Lucia Wetland Park which boasts the highest bird count in the whole of Africa as well as being an important breeding ground for turtles.

The following day head out early for a game drive in the ‘Big 5’ Hluhluwe National Park, South Africa’s oldest and renowned for its conservation efforts in saving the rhino. Leaving the country for the first time, the Shongololo snakes its way through eSwatini (Swaziland) to its overnight stop.

Overnight: Shonhololo Express 
Breakfast and dinner

Day 12 - eSwatini (Swaziland)

Explore this tiny kingdom by driving through the Ezulwini Valley, past the royal residence to Manzini. The colourful market here is a hive of activity with skilfully crafted goods to sell. This afternoon re-join the train in Malelane over the border in South Africa.

Overnight: Shonhololo Express 
Breakfast and dinner

Day 13 - Kruger and Panorama Route

Today enjoy a full day game drive in the world-renowned Kruger National Park. Two million hectares of unrivalled diversity including the Big 5 make this one of the highlights of the trip. Head back to the train this evening and depart for Nelspruit.

The following morning there is a full day tour of the Panorama Route which includes the historic gold mining town of Pilgims Rest and God’s Window, a spectacular viewpoint over the Blyde River Canyon.

Overnight: Shonhololo Express 
Breakfast and dinner

Day 15 - Pretoria or Johannesburg

Arrive into Pretoria this morning for a tour of the city and Soweto. Drive past the street where Nelson Mandela and Arch Bishops Desmond Tutu both lived, before a visit to the Hector Petersen Memorial. Back in Pretoria visit the imposing Union Building which houses the offices of the President and the Voortrekker Monument, before returning to the station where the tour ends.

15 day Rail Journey - from £5289

With flights from £5892

Optional Upgrade

Enjoy a Gold Cabin as standard with double or twin beds and an ensuite shower. Alternatively, choose to upgrade to an Emerald Cabin offering the same comforts as Gold cabins but with more space.

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All prices are per person, based on 2 sharing a twin or double room. Seasonal variations may apply, please call Freedom Destinations for more information and availability. Ask your Africa Expert about Shongololo’s other journeys, including Southern Cross between Pretoria and Victoria Falls and Dune Express from Pretoria to Swakopmund. Flights not included. Discounted flights available from most UK airports.

Shongololo Train Map

Your Rail Journey

Choose the Shongololo for your rail journey in South Africa, with traditionally styled dining car and an observation car with an open-air balcony at the back of the train.

Your rail journey includes:

  • Breakfast and dinner
  • Off-train excursions
  • Fully air-conditioned
  • Cabins with private facilities


Jan 30th from Pretoria
Mar 17th from Cape Town
Oct 1st from Pretoria
Nov 17th from Cape Town

See more South Africa Rail Experiences…

For advice or to start planning your holiday

talk to an Africa Expert on 0333 234 3667

Coronavirus – Notice for Customers

We are currently contacting all customers whose holiday may be affected by the current travel restrictions in place due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

For the latest Government advice regarding travel to any particular country please visit the website:

Great Prices for 2020 & 2021

Whether you’re looking to get away this year or next, hotels are now offering some great prices and airlines incredible deals for both 2020 and 2021.

Cancellation Guarantee

So you can enjoy these low rates without risk, we have introduced a Price & Cancellation Guarantee. On all new bookings from 14th March 2020 we are offering:

Full Refund or Free Re-Booking - if you have to cancel your holiday or part of it due to UK government recommendation not to travel.

Free Change of Date or Destination - if foreign government action prevents access to their country or region.*

Freedom Expertise

At Freedom Destinations you have expert help at the end of the phone, so you can book with confidence knowing you have great support and full financial protection whatever happens.

Call us today on 0333 003 8043 or enquire online.

* Changes must be booked with same airline if flights have been paid. All changes subject to availability and seasonal surcharges and standard terms and conditions apply.