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Grand Tour of South Africa

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4.4 stars(7 reviews)
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Embark on a luxurious voyage of discovery

You are viewing the 2023 itinerary. Select your departure year
20222023
17 days From £6,995 per person

2023 Tour code: AFJ23

About the tour

Fascinating wildlife is just waiting to be discovered on this South African rail adventure aboard the Pride of Africa - one of the world's great luxury trains. Our voyage of discovery takes us through South Africa's most well-known game parks and ends with four nights in the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - To Johannesburg

We board our overnight flight to Johannesburg, South Africa's biggest city.

Day 2 - Pretoria

Our flight arrives this morning, and we transfer to our hotel in nearby Pretoria, a handsome city filled with stunning jacaranda trees that's one of South Africa's three capitals. On the way, we pause at the Voortrekker Monument. This enormous structure is dedicated to the history of South Africa, and is found in a nature reserve close to the city. En-route to Pretoria, we pay a visit to a local restaurant where we enjoy lunch.

Day 3 - The Pride of Africa

We head to Capital Park in Pretoria, the home of the Rovos Rail Station and the starting point for our unforgettable trip on board the opulent Pride of Africa. This once-in-a-lifetime rail adventure takes us across the African plains in true style and elegance. On a journey spanning nine incredible nights, we relax in luxurious, air-conditions suites, enjoying fine china, crisp linen, and 5-Star service. All expertly prepared on-board meals and drinks are included in the elegant Dining Car, as are our meals during off-train excursions. We settle down on board as we make our way east towards vast Kruger National Park.

Day 4 - Kruger National Park

We wake up early for a holiday highlight - a visit to Kruger National Park. The largest park in South Africa and one of the world's most renowned, all the 'Big Five' game animals - the lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros - can be found here. We embark upon a game drive, hoping to spot antelope and tracking the herds of elephants that make this huge wilderness their home. We might catch a glimpse of a leopard as it stalks its prey, or enjoy the thrill of viewing a lion from close range. We enjoy lunch in Kruger National Park before re-boarding the train.

Day 5 - Hluhluwe Game Reserve

This morning, we relax aboard the Pride of Africa as we enter Hluhluwe Game Reserve. One of the oldest of its kind in Africa, the reserve is known for its conservation efforts and incredible array of wildlife. Leaving the train in the afternoon, we enjoy a game drive through the beautiful, wildlife rich scenery of the park, hoping to spot giraffes, zebras, hippopotamuses, and cape buffaloes. After re-boarding the Pride of Africa, we begin heading towards Durban, passing through the incredible and verdant scenery of the St Lucia Wetlands on the way.

Day 6 - Durban

The Pride of Africa rolls into Durban today, a cosmopolitan beach city in the east of South Africa. We take a fascinating guided tour of the city, an intriguing coastal destination that's known for its Indian and Asian influences. After re-joining the train, we continue through the Valley of a Thousand Hills, an area of incredible natural beauty that stretches out as far as the eye can see. Perhaps unwind in the train's Lounge Car and take in the views from one of the deep sofas or cosy, wingback armchairs.

Day 7 - Spionkop Battlefield

We take a tour of Spionkop, or 'Spy Hill', discovering the historic battlefield with a local expert. In 1900, this was the site of a bloody battle between Boer farmers and British troops, whose miscalculated tactics led to their embarrassing defeat. Following our time here, we embark on a game drive in Nambiti Game Reserve, with another chance to spot more of Africa's incredible native wildlife. Later, the Pride of Africa makes its way through the Drakensberg Mountains, a stunning area characterised by soaring peaks and lush green forests.

Day 8 - The Pride of Africa

Enjoy a day spent relaxing on board, soaking up the passing views and enjoying the train's wonderful facilities. You could take your favourite book and spend a morning in the beautiful surroundings of the Lounge Car. Visit the Dining Car for your meals, admiring the elegant pre-1940 dining cars, with their polished wood and nostalgic Victorian atmosphere.

Day 9 - Addo Elephant Park and Oudtshoorn

This morning we travel to Addo Elephant Park for a game drive in open-top vehicles. The park is inhabited not only by over 600 elephants, but also lions, leopards, cape buffaloes and rhinos who live amongst the grasslands and woodlands. We return to the train in Port Elizabeth in time for a delicious lunch onboard. After some free time this afternoon, the Pride of Africa continues towards Oudtshoorn, a town found just inland from South Africa's famously lush Garden Route.

Day 10 - Oudtshoorn

Oudtshoorn is known as the 'ostrich capital of the world' due to being home to the world's largest population of ostriches, and we discover more about the animals that make the town famous today. We enjoy a unique visit to an ostrich farm, where we're treated to some fascinating insights into the beautiful and mighty birds. After our visit, we continue to the town of George. George is known for its many great golf courses, and we take a short drive to Fancourt Golf Estate for our dinner tonight.

Day 11 - Featherbed Reserve

We enjoy a scenic drive down the coast to Knysna this morning, famed for its picturesque setting on the shores of a large estuary. Here, we take a ferry out to explore Featherbed Nature Reserve. Back on the train, we travel through the magnificent green scenery that characterises South Africa's famous 'Garden Route' to Riversdale.

Day 12 - Cape Town

Today is our final day on board the Pride of Africa, and our journey takes us through the wild and wonderful scenery of the Cape Fold Mountains, where we enjoy some free time before the final leg of our journey to the waterfront city of Cape Town. Set against the backdrop of iconic Table Mountain and surrounded by stunning beaches, expansive vineyards and lush farmland, Cape Town is South Africa's cultural capital and one of the most vibrant destinations in Africa. We bid farewell to the luxury of the train and transfer to our hotel in the heart of the city, where we spend four nights.

Day 13 - South Africa’s Vineyards

We travel by coach around two of South Africa's finest wine producing areas today: the Franschhoek and Stellenbosch Valleys, in the beautiful Cape Winelands. The hilly region and warm climate of the Cape Winelands makes ideal wine-producing conditions, which has given rise to many world-class vineyards nestled amongst the valleys. Sitting down in the verdant surroundings, we enjoy a delicious 'boerebraai' lunch, a unique South African social event where family and friends gather to create a memorable dining experience. We're also treated to a tasting of the wines for which these areas are justly famous.

Day 14 - Table Mountain and Robben Island

We make the cable car ascent of Table Mountain, enjoying panoramic city views (weather dependant). The cliffs are home to many different animals and plants, as well as a stunning range of fauna - some of which, like the Table Mountain Ghost Frog, are found nowhere else in the world. Following time for lunch, we take a ferry across Table Bay for a guided tour of Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. Today, the site is UNESCO World Heritage listed.

Day 15 - Cape Point and Boulders Beach

We take in South Africa's scenic coastal beauty today. We journey to Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope via the stunning Chapman's Peak coastal road. At Cape Point we ride the Flying Dutchman funicular railway up to the upper lighthouse, where we enjoy some inspiring views of the gorgeous cape and crashing ocean. We continue to Boulders Beach, where an incredible penguin colony native only to Africa have made their home on the stunning white sands - a truly delightful sight.

Day 16 - Cape Town and London

Today you're free to explore the city further. You could visit the Grand Parade, where you'll find Cape Town's Italian Renaissance-style City Hall. For an insight into the city's history, visit the Slave Lodge, the second oldest building in Cape Town. Built in 1679, the building has served many purposes over the years. Today, it's home to the South African Cultural History Museum, where'll you'll find poignant exhibits centred around the theme "from human wrongs to human rights". We transfer to the airport this evening for our flight home.

Day 17 - London

Our flight lands back in the UK, and our holiday comes to an end.

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Courtyard Arcadia

Courtyard Arcadia, Pretoria

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Southern Sun The Cullinan, Cape Town

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Train

The Pride of Africa

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Upgrades

Upgrade your Cabin to a Deluxe Cabin on the Pride of Africa
Upgrade your flight to World Traveller Plus
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Extend your holiday

Victoria Falls

Reviews

4.4 stars4.4 / 5 · 7 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (4)
  2. 4 stars
    (2)
  3. 3 stars
    (1)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

Ian Barnicoat

5 stars

Submitted 10/Jun

A tour with quite a few surprises and opportunities to see the reality of South Africa regaining its tourism mojo. The introduction tour set the tone of living in South Africa. Johan Vos laid the foundation for the train tour. All the planned off train excursions took place but not always to the original programme. The train itself was very well appointed with nothing to much trouble. The Cape Town city personal experience was enlightening and complemented the pre-planned excursions. The hotel made an excellent base to explore the locale. A value for money experience.

Collected by Trustpilot

Mrs R Buckland

4 stars

Submitted 08 Dec 2019

Great experience especially the train.spoiled only by BA.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr P Edmond

5 stars

Submitted 01 Dec 2018

Arrangements, organisation, accommodation, food, drink, train and excursions all excellent and up to expectation except see below

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr A Mosey

3 stars

Submitted 15 Jun 2018

Took the Victoria falls extension. Badly researched. Customer services clueless about the extension. Wrong information given about Visas. The complete extension was done by another company but we were not told. The company knew nothing of Great Rail. Not met at the airport for transfer. Ten of us left to our own resources for an hour until helped by locals. 5 star hotel we were put in about a 3 star. Ran out of drink, linen, poor service at breakfast. Cold rooms no heating.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs L Last

5 stars

Submitted 15 Jun 2018

We had a great time, Rovos was brilliant

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr T Edwards

4 stars

Submitted 16 Jun 2017

Very good tour, the guide was very helpful. Train journey was certainly a eye opener.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

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