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Rovos Rail Luxury Train Travel South Africa

 

Rovos Rail

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THE TRAIN
Step aboard the Pride of Africa

Since its establishment in 1989, Rovos Rail has earned an international reputation for its truly world class travel experiences. Step aboard the wood panelled coaches - classics remodelled and refurbished to mint condition - and enjoy fine cuisine in five-star luxury as some of the most varied scenery imaginable unfolds beyond the windows. Recapture the romance and atmosphere of a bygone era, when privileged travellers experienced the magic and mystery of Africa in a relaxed and elegant fashion. The trains - which may be hauled by steam, diesel or electric locomotives at various stages of the journey - carry a maximum of 72 passengers in 36 superbly appointed suites. Pride of place in the Rovos stable goes to the historic and newly rebuilt Capital Park Station and locomotive yard, which is the heart and new headquarters of this private railway company.

THE SUITES
World Class Comfort and Style

The rebuilt sleeper coaches contain the most spacious train suites in the world, offering every modern convenience and comfort. The epitome of luxury, with handsome wood paneling and period Edwardian features, the air-conditioned suites accommodate two people offering the option of twin or spacious double beds. All are equipped with a writing surface and, for valuables, a personal safe. There is also a bar fridge filled with beverages of the passengers’ choice and room service is available 24 hours a day. In the en suite bathrooms original fittings combine with the modern technology of hot showers, hair dryers and shaver plugs. The Royal Suites, each of which take up half a carriage, are spacious and elegant, measuring +/-16 sq meters in size (+/-172 sq ft). Each has its own private lounge area and full bathroom with Victorian bath and separate shower. The Deluxe suites (+/-11 sq meters/+/-118 sq feet) also accommodate two passengers in either twin or double beds and have a lounge area and en-suite bathroom with shower. A third level of accommodation, the Pullman suite is +/-7 square meters (+/-76 sq ft) in size and while it includes the identical bathroom to that of the deluxe suites, the bedroom is smaller with a one up one down bunk for twin requirements or a double bed for couples. During the day this can be converted into a comfortable couch.

THE COACHES
A Superb Collection of Restored Coaches

Rovos Rail operates two classic 20-coach, 72 berth trains as well as a third 13-coach, 42-berth Edwardian train which is available year round for charter. Each one of these carriages, from kitchen cars to sleeper coaches and guards vans, has its own story. A few dating back to 1911 were constructed in Europe and shipped to South Africa in the first half of the last century. Some carriages have carried royalty, while others have ended up serving as restaurants or lying derelict and forgotten on sidings for decades. These coaches have been collected from the far corners of the country and are now cherished members of the Rovos fleet of 75 carriages. The coaches have been painstakingly rebuilt and the use fine wood paneling, traditional furnishings and period décor has ensured an atmosphere of elegance and grandeur. Exquisite pillared dining cars are a signature of the Rovos Rail trains. Each one has a proud history and has been meticulously restored from a derelict state. For example Dining Car No 195 ‘ Shangani ‘, which was built in 1924, was found parked in a siding in Alberton near Johannesburg before its acquisition by Rohan Vos in 1986. Three of the magnificent teak pillars had been removed and these were faithfully crafted, restoring the Victorian atmosphere. Each of the trains has two 42-seater dining cars to accommodate the maximum complement of 72 passengers in total comfort at one sitting. Each train has a non-smoking Observation Car at the rear of the train, while the coach next to it contains a small smoking lounge. A unique feature of the Observation Cars is the enlarged windows and open-air balconies. At the center of the train we have when numbers dictate, a non-smoking Lounge Car which houses the Gift Shop.

CUISINE & SERVICE
Simple Elegant & Entertaining

An enthusiastic team of chefs is responsible for overseeing the very important task of ensuring guests every need is catered for, while considerable thought and meticulous planning goes into making up the menus. Unlike many of the great trains of the world, travelers are on board the trains for several days at a time, requiring a much wider selection of meals. There's an accent on fresh local ingredients, and traditional dishes such as game are a specialty. Every morning there's a full breakfast with dishes cooked to order. A selection of cold meats, croissants, pastries, fresh fruit, yogurts, cereals and preserves make up a tempting breakfast buffet. For lunch and dinner there is a starter and a choice of fish, meat or vegetarian dishes, followed by a tempting dessert and are complemented by a selection of excellent South African wines. All meals are served in one sitting only in the charming Victorian atmosphere of the Dining Cars. Many of the passengers aboard the Pride of Africa enjoy the formality of fine china, crisp linen and silver, and dress accordingly. During the day dress is more casual, with cool, comfortable clothes and hats recommended for the excursions, especially in the game reserves where it can be very hot. The Observation Car seats 32 passengers and is positioned at the rear of the train. At the center of the train we have when numbers dictate a non-smoking Lounge Car, which seats 26 passengers in comfort. In maintaining the spirit of travel of a bygone era, there are no radios or television sets onboard.

 

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Rovos Rail Luxury Five Star Train Travel South Africa