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African Rail Adventure Tour

Home Icon 16-day African Rail Adventure starting at £8,195pp

Our brand-new 16-day African Rail Adventure is the perfect holiday for anyone looking to combine exploration and excitement with the romance of railways.

Step aboard Rovos Rail, ‘the most luxurious train in the world’ and be transported to a bygone era of travel, where ever-changing landscapes unfold beyond the windows of the elegant wood-panelled carriages and where adventure-filled days give way to convivial evenings as the striking of a gong heralds dinner and the sounds of chatter fill the air.

Our two-week odyssey between Pretoria and Victoria Falls traverses South Africa, Mozambique, the Kingdom of eSwatini and Zimbabwe; four unique countries which offer up diverse landscapes, fascinating histories and a plethora of wildlife. See some of Africa’s most celebrated game viewing national parks as we go in search of the Big Five during excellent off-train excursions.

As always, when travelling with Distant Journeys we see all the well-known highlights including Victoria Falls and Kruger and Hwange National Parks. We also explore lesser-known gems such as the Great Zimbabwe Monuments and Matobo National Park. On board Rovos, all meals and selected drinks are included.

Chobe National Park is a relativley short drive from your final stop, Victoria Falls. So why not complete your exploration of Southern African with our three-night Chobe National Park holiday extension? With Africa’s largest elephant population and the Chobe River a focus for wildlife activity it’s the perfect way to end your adventure.

Discover the joy of train travel and join Distant Journeys on this wonderful journey of African exploration.

Day 1

Depart UK

Observation Rovos Rail

Your flight will depart from London Heathrow, with complementary regional connections from Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen or Belfast.

Included meals:

In-flight meals and drinks

Day 2

Pretoria, Overnight

mandela statue pretoria

We land in Johannesburg, where our waiting coach will take us to the delightful Irene Country Lodge, Pretoria. The day is ours to relax in the beautiful surroundings of our hotel.

Included meals:

In-flight meals and drinks

Day 3

Pretoria and Soweto

Lady looking out of Rovos Rail train window

Following breakfast, we transfer to Rovos Rail’s private railway station, with its leather chesterfield sofas and glamorous decor, where we complete our check-in formalities and meet fellow guests for our forthcoming rail adventure. Once onboard settle into our sumptuous accommodation on board Rovos Rail, as our journey on the ‘most luxurious train in the world’ begins. Lunch is served in the dining cars. We travel the eastern line towards Lourenço Marques (Maputo), built between 1893 to 1895. This evening, after donning our finest attire, enjoy exquisite cuisine accompanied by fine South African wines in the elegant surroundings of the dining car before retiring to our cosy suite.

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch and dinner PLUS selected on-board drinks

Day 4

Panorama Route

View of the Bourkes Luck-Potholes_Blyde-River-Canyon_Panorama-Route_South-Africa

Enjoy breakfast in the dining car prior to today’s exploration of the spectacular Panorama Route. Beginning our day at Pilgrim’s Rest, we visit the area where gold was discovered in 1873. Once a lively town full of prospectors, Pilgrim’s Rest has been wonderfully preserved. Next on our route is Bourke’s Luck Potholes, in the Blyde River Canyon. Viewed via bridges and walkways, these wonderful geological cavities were formed by eddy erosion from the Blyde and Treur Rivers. Our lunch stop is in Graskop, where we descend in a viewing lift to the forest, taking in the spectacular views of the gorge as we go. Once in the forest, wooden walkways will guide us along a 600 metretrail. We continue to Nelspruit, where our luxury train will be waiting.

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch and dinner PLUS selected on-board drinks

Day 5

Kruger National Park

Rhinoceros crossing path with tourists in the background watching

Tour Highlight

An exciting day lies ahead with a visit to one of South Africa’s biggest and most well-known safari areas, Kruger National Park. Following an early breakfast, we head into the park for a full day safari. Home to the Big Five – leopard, lion, rhino, buffalo and elephant, we hope to spot these magnificent creatures alongside cheetah, hippo, zebra and a vast array of other mammals, reptiles and birds that can be found in the park. After an exhilarating day on safari, we return to the comfort of our train, where the friendly staff will greet us with a glass of sparkling wine and a refreshing cold towel, and continue our journey to Mozambique. Following dinner, retire to the Lounge Car, with its elegant wing back chairs and comfy sofas, for a nightcap and recall the highlights of the day with your fellow passengers.

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch and dinner PLUS selected on-board drinks

Day 6


Couple Rovos

We awake to find ourselves in Mozambique, on Africa’s east coast. With a heady mix of African, Portuguese and early colonial architecture, Maputo is the country’s capital and a city of contrasts. Enjoy a tour of the city and discover the influences of Maputo’s past as we explore the Catholic churches, Victorian mansions and mosques sitting side by side. We take lunch in Maputo and return to the train later in the afternoon. Enjoy high tea in the comfortable lounge or observation cars as we journey towards the tiny Kingdom of eSwatini (formerly Swaziland).

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch and dinner PLUS selected on-board drinks

Day 7


Swazi dancers in traditional dress

A day of discovery in the Kingdom of eSwatini (meaning “place of the Swazi”) lies ahead. Our first stop is Swazi Candles, where we have the opportunity to see beautiful candle-making alongside wood carvings, textiles and basketwork from local craftspeople and artists. We continue to Mantenga Cultural Village for an insight into the Swazi way of life and its traditions dating back to the 1800s. This living museum has a number of fascinating traditional artefacts on display. Lunch is taken at Mantenga Lodge before we return to the comfortable surrounds of our waiting train. Take time to relax in the lounge with a refreshing cocktail, or witness the ever-changing landscapes from the observation car as we return to South Africa.

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch and dinner PLUS selected on-board drinks

Day 8

Kapama Private Game Reserve

Lion sitting in the safe in the African bush

We depart early for our game drive in the Kapama Private Game Reserve. Situated in South Africa’s province of Limpopo, and spanning over 15,000 hectares of African bush, over 40 different species of mammals, including the Big Five, and 350 species of bird can be found here, in their natural habitat. We round off our morning with a visit to the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre. This unique African wildlife facility focuses on conservation and sustainability of rare, vulnerable and threatened species. We return to our train where we spend an afternoon relaxing and enjoying the elegant and atmospheric surroundings onboard one the finest trains in the world.

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch and dinner PLUS selected on-board drinks

Day 9

Limpopo Province

Couple looking out from the Observation Car onboard the Rovos Rail Train

A leisurely day to relax and unwind onboard, as we traverse the Limpopo Province towards Zimbabwe. From the comfort and convenience of the train, we enjoy the beautiful scenery of the province including semi-desert, bush, tropical forests and spectacular mountains.

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch and dinner PLUS selected on-board drinks

Day 10

Great Zimbabwe Monument

Rovos Rail Train at dusk

Today, we travel to the Great Zimbabwe Monument, an imposing former city, built between the 11th and 15th century, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We explore the remains of this ancient city as we learn about the history of the Rozwi people who lived here. We return to the train late in the afternoon and continue our journey through Zimbabwe.

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch and dinner PLUS selected on-board drinks

Day 11

Antelope Park

Antelope Park

After a restful night’s sleep and a sumptuous breakfast, we spend our day in Antelope Park – home to many species of animals and birds, as well as the African Lion and Environmental Research Trust (ALERT), which introduces the offspring of lions bred in captivity back into the wild. During our free time, there is a selection of optional activities available including canoeing, bird-watching cruises, game drives and elephant interaction to make our visit here even more memorable. Back on board Rovos, enjoy a cocktail in the lounge as we await the call of the evening gong.

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch and dinner PLUS selected on-board drinks

Day 12

Matobo National Park

Matobo Hills Zimbabwe

Located in southwest Zimbabwe, Matobo National Park is best known for the Matobo Hills, a region of spectacular granite rock formations created around two billion years ago! It is at Matobo Hills that Cecil John Rhodes is buried in a granite tomb overlooking the beautiful Matopos region. His resting place is aptly named ‘World’s View’ and it was personally chosen as he loved the view from the top of the outcrop. The park is also home to many animals including endangered black and white rhinos and birds such as the black eagle. We also visit bushman’s cave to view its impressive rock paintings and carvings.

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch and dinner PLUS selected on-board drinks

Day 13

Hwange National Park

Rhinos South Africa

Today’s excursion takes us to Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe’s largest national park, boasting the highest diversity of mammals of any National Park in Africa – so get your cameras to the ready! Following our full day of game viewing we return to our train for our final night onboard Rovos Rail. Once the traditional evening dinner gong is struck throughout the carriages for the final time, enjoy and reflect on some of the most incredible experiences of the past week and a half, over a wonderful dinner accompanied with fine wines and, of course, new-found friends.

Included meals:

Breakfast, lunch and dinner PLUS selected on-board drinks

Day 14

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls

Rovos Rail rolls into Victoria Falls Railway Station, bringing an end to our spectacular rail journey. Our waiting guide takes us on a walking tour of Victoria Falls town followed by a visit to the spectacular Victoria Falls. This awe-inspiring natural wonder, made up of five separate waterfalls, spans 1.7km across Zimbabwe and Zambia. We finish our day with a sunset cruise on the mighty Zambezi River, where we hopefully catch a glimpse of the crocodiles, hippos and elephants which live along this beautiful river. We spend our final night at the wonderful Ilala Lodge Hotel.

Included meals:

Breakfast and lunch

Day 15

Depart Victoria Falls

Rovos Rail Station

Following our spectacular journey traversing the African continent aboard the elegant Rovos Rail, we travel to the airport midmorning for our flight to Johannesburg. Our onward flight to London Heathrow departs this evening.

Included meals:

Breakfast, in-flight meals and drinks

Experience Chobe National Park

Why not extend your Southern African holiday with our magical three-night holiday extension to Chobe National Park.

Day 16

Arrive UK

Zebras hugging south africa

Our direct British Airways flight from Johannesburg arrives into London this morning and our African Rail Adventure comes to an end. Connecting flights to regional UK airports will connect at London Heathrow.

Included meals:

In-flight meals and drinks

Departure dates & prices

We are releasing our new 2024/25 season tours soon. Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear.
 Departure date Pullman Suite Deluxe Suite Availability Offer
 01 November £7,795 £10,095 ON REQUEST 
 16 January* £8,195 £10,695 ON REQUEST 

* These dates operate in the reverse. Starting in Victoria Falls and finishing in Pretoria. Please click here for the itinerary.

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin or double room.

Single occupancy supplement
Pullman Suite: £2,595
Deluxe Suite: £3,695

£1,000 per person if travelling in economy class, £1,950 if travelling in World Traveller Plus, £3,750 per person for Club World.

Flight upgrades:
British Airways upgrade to World Traveller Plus from £1,395 per person, or Club World from £3,795 per person.

Visa information
Visas will be required for Mozambique (US$60 per person) and Zimbabwe (US$55 per person single entry, or US$70 per person double entry). Rovos Rail will help you arrange your visa’s whilst on-board. NOTE: If you are planning to take our Chobe National Park holiday extension you will require a double entry visa for Zimbabwe.

For more information on applying for your visa and the associated costs, please refer to our FAQ’s page.

Important information
Our holiday prices are subject to fuel surcharges and the availability of flights in the lowest fare booking class. The correct price will always be confirmed to you before you book, and once you have booked, our Price Promise will guarantee there will be no further increases.

Deluxe Suites are subject to availability at the time of booking.

For full terms and conditions see our terms and conditions page.

So much included

Our African Rail Adventure has so much included. Scheduled international flights, overseas transfers, daily breakfast, 11-nights all-inclusive on the luxurious Rovos Rail train and amazing excursions.

Flights with Award-winning scheduled airlines

  • Return economy class flights
  • Fly British Airways from London Heathrow, Manchester,
    Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen or Belfast City Airport
  • All airport charges, security charges and any applicable fuel surcharges
  • UK Air Passenger Duty

Carefully selected hotels

  • First class hotels in Pretoria and Victoria Falls
  • All hotel porterage
  • Applicable hotel taxes

Many meals

  • Daily breakfast

All-inclusive on the Rovos Rail

  • 11-nights onboard Rovos Rail
  • All meals on board
  • Selected alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, on board

Unforgettable experiences

  • Sightseeing tours in Pretoria, Soweto, Maputo, eSwatini
    (Swaziland), Great Zimbabwe Monument and Victoria Falls
  • Game drives in Kruger National Park, Kapama Private Game
    Reserve, Hwange National Park
  • Tour the scenic Panorama Route
  • Discover Antelope Park
  • Explore the unique history of Matobo National Park
  • Sunset River Cruise at Victoria Falls

On the ground

  • All overseas transfers

100% confidence

  • Your holiday is covered by our Price Promise
  • Your holiday is covered by our Covid Guarantee
  • Your holiday is fully ATOL protected

Irene Country Lodge Hotel, Pretoria

For your visit to Gauteng, known as South Africa’s economic capital, you’ll be staying in the historical village of Irene. Here, your accommodation will be the enchanting African Pride Irene Country Lodge. As you approach the lodge, you’ll travel down… Find out more >
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  •   Official rating
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  •   Distant Journeys rating

Rovos Rail

Distant Journeys are proud to offer some of the world’s best rail tours across our destinations. A unique and memorable journey awaits you on the Rovos Rail. For more than 30 years, family-run Rovos Rail has operated rail journeys through… Find out more >

Ilala Lodge Hotel, Victoria Falls

Ilala Lodge Hotel is a family-run hotel with friendly, attentive staff, and offers luxury and comfort amid beautifully landscaped gardens. Ilala Lodge Hotel is ideally located just an eight-minute walk from Victoria Falls, one of the seven Natural Wonders of… Find out more >
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  •   Official rating
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Stay a little longer

Chobe National Park is renowned for it’s population of elephants and the herds of wildlife that conregate in and around the banks on the Chobe River. Why not extend your African Rail Adventure with our three-night Chobe National Park holiday extension.

Elephants crossing the Chobe River in Botswana, with tourist boat watching

Chobe National Park Tour

3 nights from £1,245pp

Just a one-hour drive from Victoria Falls, Chobe National Park - ‘The Land of the Giants’, is best known as being home to Africa’s largest elephant population. The Chobe River is the focus of wildlife activity, as the heat of…

Find out more >

Customer reviews  feefo logo

Our African Rail Adventure is a new itinerary with the inaugural departures in late 2023. This page will be updated with reviews as soon as our returning customers are contacted by the independent reviews company Feefo. In the meantime, please feel free to look at the reviews for our other South Africa tours – we’re sure you will be impressed with the service our guests receive and the great reviews they kindly give us!

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Award-Winning Holidays

Distant Journeys has won 13 awards in the last six years, at the British Travel Awards, and we have been awarded Feefo’s highest Platinum Trusted Rating for customer satisfaction.

Guaranteed Price Promise

Know you are paying the best price for your holiday with our Price Promise. We never offer last minute discounts and we guarantee the earlier you book the better the offer you’ll receive.

100% Financial Protection

Book in the confidence your money is 100% safe. All Distant Journeys holidays are fully bonded by the Civil Aviation Authority (ATOL number 10913) or ABTOT (number 5427).


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