Your Holiday Includes:
- 1 night in Pretoria
- 4 day Rovos Rail journey
- 3 nights in Cape Town
- 6 day Garden Route small group tour
- Airport and hotel transfers
- Optional UK flights
Day 1 - Pretoria
Welcome to South Africa! You’ll be met at the airport and transferred to the beautiful Sheraton Pretoria, which sits across from the Union Building. Explore Pretoria’s tree-lined streets and fine old buildings, or just relax after your flight, ready for the start of your Rovos Rail adventure tomorrow.
Hotel: Sheraton Pretoria
Day 2 to 4 - Rovos Rail
From your hotel, Rovos Rail’s private station at Capital Park is just a fifteen minute transfer. Before you board, take some time to explore the railway museum, an ever-growing collection of nostalgic paraphernalia, and have a peek in locomotive sheds, where you may see Rovos’ team of engineers keep the rolling stock in perfect order.
Sit back and relax, as your three night journey aboard Rovos Rail from Pretoria to Cape Town, takes you through stunning South African scenery, whilst you enjoy fine dining and a wide range of beverages on board. The open-air balcony at the rear of the observation carriage is the perfect place for a sundowner (or cup of tea!) with the sights and sounds of the African bush all around.
En route to the Mother City, you’ll pass through the grasslands of the Highveld, stopping in Kimberly to visit the Diamond Museum and aptly named Big Hole, a former mine, before crossing the mesmerising desert landscapes of the Great Karoo. After visiting the historic village of Majiesfontein, you’ll roll through the picturesque winelands of the Western Cape.
Cabin: Choice of Royal, Deluxe or Pullman
Meals: All meals and selected drinks onboard
Day 5 to 7 - Cape Town
You train arrives into Cape Town mid-morning, and you’ll be met at the station for the short drive to your hotel. You have the best part of three days to discover the city, its unique culture and fascinating, though sometimes dark, history, as well as the stunning coastal landscapes nearby.
You can explore independently or pre-book guided excursions, including to Table Mountain, the Cape of Good Hope and Robben Island. Just let your Travel Consultant know what you would like to do.
Hotel: Southern Sun Waterfront
Day 8 - Cape Town to Mossel Bay
Your Garden Route tour starts today. After an early morning departure from Cape Town, travel along Sir Lowry’s Pass with its magnificent views to Grabouw and Elgin, a lush landscape surrounded by majestic mountains.
The journey continues to Cape Agulhas, where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. The area’s unspoilt rugged coastline was, historically, the graveyard for many ships, and the historic Cape Agulhas Lighthouse here, signifies the southern most tip of Africa. Afterwards, continue via historic Swellendam, the third oldest town in South Africa, to Mossel Bay.
2024 departures – After visiting the lighthouse, continue via historic Swellendam and the Tradouw Pass to Barrydale and the famous Route 62. Sample top quality port style wines in Calitzdorp, before continuing to Oudtshoorn, the ‘ostrich feather capital’ and centre of the world’s Ostrich farming industry. Enjoy dinner at an Ostrich Farm, dining on local specialities such as Ostrich Steak.
Hotel: (2023) Diaz Hotel & Resort or similar
(2024) Overnight in Oudtshoorn at La Plume or similar
Meals: (2023) None, (2024) dinner
Day 9 - Oudtshoorn
After breakfast continue the journey to the Route 62 town of Oudtshoorn, located in the Little Karoo region of the Western Cape, the town is renowned as the ‘feather capital of the world’ and a visit will be made to an ostrich farm for a guided tour.
Next, enjoy a tasting at a local wine estate in the scenic Schoemanshoek Valley, before setting off on a tour of the Cango Caves, one of the world’s great natural wonders, sculpted by nature through the ages.
2024 departures – After a leisurely breakfast take a tour of the spectacular limestone caverns of the Cango Caves, one of the world’s great natural wonders, sculpted by nature through the ages. Afterwards enjoy a wine tasting at a local wine estate in the scenic Schoemanshoek Valley. Return to Oudtshoorn for a fun filled interactive guided tour at a working Ostrich Farm.
Hotel: La Plume Guest House
Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Day 10 - Knysna
After breakfast, travel over the Outeniqua Pass to George, the sixth oldest town in South Africa, which has some fine examples of Edwardian architecture. The tour then travels through the attractive holiday resort of Wilderness with its long stretch of beach on its way to Knysna. Known as the oyster box of South Africa, Knysna nestles on the banks of a beautiful lagoon in the heart of the Garden Route.
Later, journey into the magical Knysna Forests where you will learn stories of the woodcutters who worked the forests, the elephants that were hunted to extinction and the discovery of gold. There will be a visit the Matthee Big Tree Memorial, an enormous Yellowwood tree of over 880 years.
Enjoy a delicious lunch in the forest of traditional cuisine and local treats at Totties Farm Kitchen.
Hotel: Rex Hotel
Meals: Breakfast and lunch
Day 11 - Knysna
Today explore further the natural beauty of the Knysna area with a visit the Forest Legends Museum, the colourful Old Suzie steam engine, that was used to generate power, and the stately Old Forester’s House.
Afterwards you’ll have the opportunity to visit Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary, where you will be able to see a variety of primates, roaming free in the forest. The sanctuary is well known for its efforts to rehabilitate and free previously caged primates.
The tour continues to the famous Eastern Head, where you will enjoy spectacular views of the Knysna Heads, before travelling to the nature lovers paradise of Brenton on Sea with its unspoilt beaches. The remainder of the afternoon will be at leisure.
Hotel: Rex Hotel
Day 12 - Tsitsikamma
After breakfast, travel to the Plettenberg Bay area where you will visit Birds of Eden sanctuary, the biggest single free-flight aviary in the world. The sanctuary provides a safe environment in which to release a large collection of free-flight African birds.
Your journey continues to Bloukrans Bridge, the highest single span arch bridge in the world, offering one of the highest bungy jumps in the world (optional!).
Later, visit Tsitsikamma National Park; 80 km of rocky coastline, secluded valleys covered in mountain Fynbos and temperate forests with deep river gorges leading down to the sea. Enjoy a stunning view along the coast from the Storms River Mouth suspension bridge.
Hotel: Tsitsikamma Village Inn
Day 13 - Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha)
After breakfast, travel eastwards along the Tsitsikamma Forest to Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha) where your tour ends and you’ll be transferred to the airport for your flight home.
Alternatively, why not ask your Travel Consultant about extending your holiday with a safari at one of the Eastern Cape’s ‘Big 5’ game reserves?
13 day Small Group Tour & Luxury Rail - from £3279
With flights from £4129
- Choose a Royal, Deluxe or Pullman Suite on board Rovos Rail
- Upgrade to the 5 star Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town
- Add a wildlife experience at an Eastern Cape safari lodge after your tour
- Choose to fly Economy, Premium, Business or First Class