Shongololo Express - Good Hope

15 day Rail Holiday - from £5289

With flights from £5892

A grand 15 day rail tour aboard the Shongololo Express showcasing the best of South Africa on its journey from Cape Town to Pretoria.

Highlights:

  • Traverse the imposing Drakensberg Mountains
  • Enjoy a scenic drive along the spectacular Panorama Route
  • Explore the kingdom of eSwatini (Swaziland)
  • Look out for the ‘Big Five’ on game drives in the Kruger and Hluhluwe
  • Peer into the Big Hole on an excursion to the Kimberley Mine Museum

Life Onboard

Shongololo Express is a unique escorted rail holiday experience, capturing the elegance of a bygone era with its classic wood panelled coaches and discreet but friendly service. At each stop, an off-train excursion by coach will introduce you to the remarkable places in each region.

The observation car is located at the end of the train and offers a relaxing place to enjoy the views from its enlarged windows and unique open-air balcony. In the lounge, chesterfield sofas and wingback chairs offer a comfortable place to catch up with fellow guests over a drink.

Dining takes place in one sitting with a focus on fresh local produce served up by the enthusiastic chefs. The atmosphere on board Shongololo Express is relaxed and informal with a dress code to match.

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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 
Meals:
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: Shongololo Express 
Meals:
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: Shongololo Express 
Meals:
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: Shongololo Express 
Meals:
Breakfast and dinner

Day 5 - At leisure on board

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

Overnight: Shongololo Express 
Meals:
Breakfast and dinner

Day 6 - Kimberley

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.

Overnight: Shongololo Express 
Meals:
Breakfast and dinner

Day 7 - Bloemfontein

Wake up this morning 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.

Overnight: Shongololo Express 
Meals:
Breakfast and dinner

Day 8 - Ladysmith

Arrive into Ladysmith today and 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: Shongololo Express 
Meals:
Breakfast and dinner

Day 9 - Durban

Arrive into Durban on the shores of the warm Indian Ocean where there is a tour of PheZulu Safari Village and uShaka Marine World.

Overnight: Shongololo Express 
Meals:
Breakfast and dinner

Day 10 - iSimangaliso National Park

This morning, take a two hour boat ride in the world-heritage site of iSimangaliso National Park (St Lucia). The park boasts the highest bird count in the whole of Africa as well as being an important breeding ground for turtles. Later there will be a visit to the town of St Lucia, before heading back to the train.

Overnight: Shongololo Express 
Meals:
Breakfast and dinner

Day 11 - Hluhluwe National Park

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

Overnight: Shongololo Express 
Meals:
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 
Meals:
Breakfast and dinner

Day 13 - Kruger

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

Overnight: Shongololo Express 
Meals:
Breakfast and dinner

Day 14 - Panorama Route

This 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: Shongololo Express 
Meals:
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.

Meals: Breakfast

15 day Rail Holiday - from £5289

With flights from £5892

CHOOSE YOUR CABIN

The Shongololo Express offers two elegantly style cabin types, both with air conditioning, a safe and an en suite shower, toilet and basin.

Gold Cabin:

  • 7 square metres in size
  • Your choice of twin beds or a double bed

Emerald Cabin:

  • 10 square metres in size
  • Your choice of twin beds or a double bed
  • A small lounge area with a writing desk
  • Robe, slippers and in-cabin tea facilities

Upgrade to an Emerald Cabin from £1434

Include this Rail Holiday in an Africa holiday
designed for you

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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 Express’ other journey, the Dune Express from Pretoria to Swakopmund. Flights not included. Discounted flights available from most UK airports.

Shongololo Train Map

Your Rail Holiday

With excursions to South Africa’s ‘must-see’ attractions included, a journey on the Shongololo Express offers a complete African rail holiday.

Your rail experience includes:

  • 14 nights on board the fabulous Shongololo Express including:
    – your choice of Gold or Emerald Cabin
    – use of the Lounge Car and Observation Car, with open air balcony
    – tea, coffee and bottled water on board
  • 14 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 14 dinners
  • 15 off train excursions and game drives, as detailed in the itinerary

All Shongololo Express routes can be booked as they are or enjoyed as part of a longer South Africa holiday.

 

Departure Dates

Pretoria to Cape Town

  • 30 September 2021

Cape Town to Pretoria

  • 16 March 2021
  • 29 August 2022
  • 21 November 2022

See more South Africa rail journeys…

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 Gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice