There is a good case for describing Rovos Rail South Africa as the finest niche railway service. There are other ways to travel from Cape Town to Victoria Falls, or visit Durban, Namibia or Dar es Salaam. However none of these compare with journeying in Victorian rolling stock, as a dinner gong sounds for yet another splendid meal accompanied by fine South African wines. There are several Rovos trains hence the pictures that follow are an eclectic collection.
The Rovos Rail South Africa Journey
Some things you have to leave behind you on the station platform as you hand back the keys to your hire car. There are no television screens or radios. If you must take your mobile or laptop with you then it belongs in your suite. Nothing may break the illusion of travelling across Africa’s vast plains in wood panelled, gleaming five-star luxury of a bygone railway era. Everything is air-conditioned but you can open the windows to the sounds of Africa.
There are two Royal Suites with private lounges each taking half a railway coach. Bedrooms are loaded with period features. Original fitting in bathrooms connect to modern reticulation. Call ahead and have your fridge stocked with your favourite beverages. If you want it, there is personal service around the clock.
The standard Pullman Suites are the sleeper compartments you may remember from your travels, with fold-down beds and a fine view of the scrolling countryside. The next-door compartment is an ensuite bathroom. Like the intermediate Deluxe Suites with mini-lounges you also get the bar fridge and writing tablet.
There are Observation Cars at the rear of the trains with picture windows and alfresco balconies. In the heart of the Rovos train, the Lounge Car offers deep sofas and wingback chairs to enjoy a tipple. Club Car areas at the end of Pullman Coaches are for enjoying a smoke. The Dining Cars are the epitome of luxury with large picture windows, button leather seating and delicious meals. Just what you expect from a luxury hotel on a railway line.