Incredible South Africa with Rovos Luxury Train and Victoria Falls
Johannesburg, 3 safaris in a Private Game Reserve, Pretoria, 3 nights aboard Rovos Luxury Train, Cape Town and Victoria Falls.
|Style||Small Group TourTravel with a small, intimate group of no more than 16 likeminded travelers (and often much fewer), escorted by an English speaking guide and/or tour manager for some or all of your journey. More of these packages
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
|Departures||June – September 2023||Group Size||6 travelers max|
|Themes||Grand Tours, Nature & Wildlife, Rail Journeys|
|What to Expect||This moderately-paced, partially escorted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness. This tour also includes long scenic drives between destinations, sometimes on bumpy unpaved roads and may have limited rest stops. Travel safely and confidently with our new health & safety protocols.|
|Already booked?||Find everything you need to know before you go, including information about passport & visa requirements, flights, luggage, and more.|
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For those seeking a truly upscale travel adventure, we offer Incredible South Africa! From Johannesburg’s metropolis to a safari in a private game reserve, to old-style charm on board the Rovos Rail luxury train to the mother city of Cape Town. Enjoy the excitement of dawn and dusk game drives in search of the Big Five, and enjoy a break for morning coffee or an afternoon sundowner drink, in the bush. Then, relax as your train moves through the beautiful countryside heading south, stopping at Kimberly to visit the Big Hole and Diamond Mine Museum. In Cape Town, beauty is all around dominated by the majestic Table Mountain, where you can sample great food and some of the best wine in the world. Continue to Zimbabwe where you will tour the majestic Victoria Falls. All the while, travel in a small group of no more than 6, and stay in 5-star, luxury hotels and game lodges. Treat yourself to South Africa in style!
- Round-trip flights New York including taxes & fees
- All intra- flights & ground transportation
- 15 nights in deluxe hotels and deluxe suite on board Rovos Rail
- 31 meals: 15 lavish breakfasts, 6 lunches, 10 dinners
- Comprehensive touring program including entrance fees
- Wine with welcome and farewell dinners, sundowner local drinks on game safari, all drinks on board Rovos Rail
- Professional English-speaking tour guides
- Half day Cape Point tour
- Full day Chobe National Park, Botswana
Why you'll love it
- Gain an in-depth perspective of South Africa's tempestuous past with visits to Johannesburg’s Soweto and Apartheid Museum.
- Get up close and personal with African wildlife on 3 game drives at a private game reserve.
- Journey luxuriously through South Africa’s stunning countryside aboard Rovos Rail, among the world’s most deluxe rail experiences.
- Learn about the history of South African diamond mining with stops at the Diamond Mine Museum and the Big Hole.
- Ascend by cable car to the top of Table Mountain, Cape Town's most striking landmark.
- Travel through the South African winelands and learn about the wine-making process while enjoying tastings and cellar tours.
- Surround yourself with the thunderous roar of the powerful water and the constant mist rising above as you stand in the presence of the majestic Victoria Falls.
- Set sail on a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River, keeping an eye out for surrounding wildlife.
Itinerary at a Glance
- 1 Depart USA
- 2 Arrive Johannesburg
- 3 Johannesburg
- 4 Private Game Reserve
- 5 Private Game Reserve
- 6 Panorama Route to Pretoria
- 7 Rovos Rail
- 8 Rovos Rail
- 9 Rovos Rail
- 10 Cape Town
- 11 Cape Town
- 12 Cape Town
- Optional Excursion: Private Half Day Cape Point Tour, $205
- 13 Cape Town & Victoria Falls
- 14 Victoria Falls
- 15 Victoria Falls
- Optional Excursion: Chobe National Park, Botswana, $210
- 16 Victoria Falls
- 17 Depart Victoria Falls
Dates & Prices
Dates & Prices
Dates & Prices, with flights
per person, double occupancy*, including Instant Savings discounts
Departs U.S.: Sat, Jan 14, 2023
Finishes: Mon, Jan 30, 2023
Jan 14 – Jan 30
Departs U.S.: Sat, Feb 11, 2023
Finishes: Mon, Feb 27, 2023
Feb 11 – Feb 27
Departs U.S.: Sat, Mar 11, 2023
Finishes: Mon, Mar 27, 2023
Mar 11 – Mar 27
Departs U.S.: Sat, Apr 15, 2023
Finishes: Mon, May 1, 2023
Apr 15 – May 1
Departs U.S.: Sat, May 13, 2023
Finishes: Mon, May 29, 2023
May 13 – May 29
Departs U.S.: Sat, Jun 17, 2023
Finishes: Mon, Jul 3, 2023
Book by Thu, Feb 16, 2023 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings! Jun 17 – Jul 3
Departs U.S.: Sat, Jul 15, 2023
Finishes: Mon, Jul 31, 2023
Book by Thu, Feb 16, 2023 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings! Jul 15 – Jul 31
Departs U.S.: Sat, Aug 12, 2023
Finishes: Mon, Aug 28, 2023
Book by Thu, Feb 16, 2023 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings! Aug 12 – Aug 28
Departs U.S.: Sat, Sep 9, 2023
Finishes: Mon, Sep 25, 2023
Book by Thu, Feb 16, 2023 (midnight ET) to get the Instant Savings! Sep 9 – Sep 25
If you want a few extra days to explore on your own, we may be able to arrange for you to stay later than the scheduled dates, including extra hotel nights and separate airport transfers, for an additional charge. Ask us about prices and availability when (or after) you book. More information Want to extend your trip?
Options & Fees
|Incredible South Africa with Rovos Luxury Train and Victoria Falls|
|May 13, 2023; Jun 17, 2023; Jul 15, 2023; Aug 12, 2023; Sep 9, 2023||$3349|
|Apr 15, 2023||$3499|
|Jan 14, 2023; Feb 11, 2023; Mar 11, 2023||$3549|
|Private Half Day Cape Point Tour||$205|
|Full Day Chobe National Park excursion with lunch1||$210|
1. Requires a passport and a double or multiple-entry Zimbabwe visa.
|Separately Paid Fees|
|Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls) Visa Fee1 (paid separately)||$30|
1. Paid locally for US passport holders. $30 for single-entry, $45 for double-entry. Excursions to Zambia or Botswana require a double-entry.
So that we can offer you the best deals, our packages are, like most hotels and cruises, priced based on double occupancy rooms or cabins. We charge solo travelers an extra fee to cover the extra costs of single occupancy rooms or cabins. (Consider: if you booked a $200/night hotel room solo, you would pay the $200 yourself; but if a couple booked the same room, each one would pay only $100.) But you only pay extra for the rooms or cabins, nothing else, including meals, sightseeing, tips, etc. Why are single rooms more?
Flights & Departure Cities
|New York Kennedy (JFK)||included|
This package includes round-trip flights from the city listed above. Please review the flight schedule, especially if you're booking connecting flights.
Want to fly from another city? We can arrange flights from most major cities. Ask us for a quote for flights from your preferred city when (or after) you book, and we'll get back to you with the price and availability within 3 business days. Of course, you can also book your own connecting flights. More information
Day 1 Depart USA
- Depart New York on your overnight flight to Johannesburg
Day 2 Arrive Johannesburg
- Arrive in Johannesburg and transfer to your hotel
- Remainder of the day at leisure
- Enjoy a welcome dinner
54 on Bath or similar Dinner
Day 3 Johannesburg
- Full Day Johannesburg City Tour
- Visit Constitution Hill, a living museum that tells the story of South Africa's journey to democracy
- Evening at leisure
54 on Bath or similar BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
This morning, learn more about South Africa's turbulent past and its unwavering hope for the future on a fascinating tour to Soweto (short for Southwestern Township), a sprawling metropolis on the outskirts of Johannesburg. Your tour will give you a close-up look at daily life in this bustling neighborhood, the largest black urban settlement in Africa, and the center of political campaigns aimed at overthrowing the apartheid state. Highlights of the Soweto tour include the former residence of Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela, the Hector Peterson memorial for the victims of the civil unrest in the 1970s, and a drive by the ultramodern Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. Later, visit Constitution Hill, a living museum that tells the story of South Africa's journey to democracy. The site is a former prison and military fort that bears testament to South Africa's turbulent past and, today, is home to the country's Constitutional Court, which endorses the rights of all citizens.
Day 4 Private Game Reserve
- Depart Johannesburg for the South African bush via domestic flight
- Afternoon game drive
Abelana River Lodge Breakfast, lunch & dinnerFull Day Itinerary
After breakfast, depart for the Johannesburg airport for your short flight to the South African bush. Upon arrival at Hoedspruit airport, transfer to a breathtakingly beautiful landscape and private game reserve. Abelana Game Reserve, owned by the Mashishimale community, is a 36,000-acre Big Five game reserve adjacent to the Greater Kruger National Park and the Selati Game Reserve in South Africa's beautiful Lowveld. Abelana Game Reserve, "abelana" means "to share amongst each other" in the local Northern Sotho language, is an exclusive nature reserve home to a vast diversity of mammal and bird species.
This afternoon embark on your first game drive in search of the illustrious "Big 5." This evening, enjoy dinner at the camp.
Day 5 Private Game Reserve
- Morning game drive
- Visit the Mashishimale Village
- Afternoon game drive
Abelana River Lodge Breakfast, lunch & dinnerFull Day ItineraryThis morning wake up early and enjoy coffee, tea, and traditional rusks, a South African sweet bread-dough formed into little balls and baked in a loaf tin, on the main deck. Then depart in an open vehicle for the morning game drive, searching for the Big 5, antelope, and other animals. When applicable, your experienced rangers and trackers may invite you out of the vehicle to see tracks and examine certain plants. After an exhilarating hunt for tracks to see the animals' activities during the night, return to the camp for breakfast.
After breakfast, depart for Phurulenke Special Needs School, a center dedicated to looking after disabled community members, and learn how they provide proper care and education to this unique sector of the community.
Later visit the Mashishimale Village and enjoy a traditional lunch and meet-up with community members.
The remainder of the day is spent at leisure until it's time for the afternoon game drive, which extends into the evening to view seldom-seen nocturnal animals. Return to the lodge for dinner.
Day 6 Panorama Route to Pretoria
- Drive along the legendary Panorama Route, including the famous Blyde River Canyon
Ivory Manor Boutique Hotel Breakfast, lunch & dinnerFull Day Itinerary
This morning enjoy a sumptuous breakfast before departing the bush for Pretoria. Along the way, explore the awe-inspiring Panorama Route. View the Blyde River Canyon, the third largest in the world, and take in the never-ending Lowveld landscape from the ledge of God's Window. Visit the quaint, historical mining town of Pilgrim's Rest and enjoy a delicious lunch at the famous Harrie's Pancakes. Explore the extraordinary rock formations of Bourke's Luck Potholes, one of nature's most intriguing creations, before reaching your hotel in Pretoria.
Day 7 Rovos Rail
- Transfer to Rovos Rail station in Pretoria
Rovos Rail Luxury Train Breakfast, lunch & dinnerFull Day Itinerary
After breakfast, transfer to the private Rovos Rail station in Pretoria. Enjoy a champagne reception in the elegant lounge of the old Pretoria rail station before boarding the Rovos Rail, the most luxurious train in the world. This opulently appointed train has historic coaches driven by a steam locomotive, serves high tea in the lounge and observation cars, and has five-course formal dinners in the dining car. Travel through the grasslands of the gold-rich Highveld to the haunting barrenness of the Great Karoo; trundle through the spectacular mountain ranges and scenic wine lands of the Cape.
Day 8 Rovos Rail
- Kimberley sightseeing of The Big Hole
- Diamond Mine Museum
Rovos Rail Luxury Train Breakfast, lunch & dinnerFull Day Itinerary
After a lavish breakfast in the dining car, arrive in Kimberley, where the ambiance transports you in time to explore the history of South African diamond mining. Here you will explore what is known as the Big Hole, the most extensive artificial excavation in the world. Visit the Diamond Mine Museum, an open-air experience that whisks you away on a journey to the diamond rush. Discover how diamonds transform from a rough cut to the beauty of a multi-faceted diamond.
Enjoy various bars and snack shops nestled amongst the spectacular town of Kimberley.
Return to the train for lunch and your onward journey, relaxing in the observation car for tea and a formal dinner in the dining car.
Day 9 Rovos Rail
- Visit the historical village of Matjiesfontein
- Optional 5km walk from Whitehill Siding into Matjiesfontein
Rovos Rail Luxury Train or similar Breakfast, lunch & dinnerFull Day Itinerary
The train travels through the Karoo, a vast semi-desert region once an enormous inland sea. Over millions of years, the volcanic matter was ground down and deposited as silt upon the seabed to form what geologists call the Karoo system. Have the option to disembark the train at Whitehill Siding and walk the 5km into Matjiesfontein accompanied by a Rovos staff member. Or you are welcome to leave at Matjiesfontein and stroll through the historic village. We suggest you visit the museum on the platform and a collection of historic cars and railway carriages to the right of the Lord Milner Hotel. Re-board the train for your scenic journey toward Camp Town.
Enjoy lunch and dinner on the train.
Day 10 Cape Town
- Arrive to Cape Town
- Half-Day Cape Town City Tour with Table Mountain
Queen Victoria Hotel or similar BreakfastFull Day ItineraryAfter a lavish breakfast in the dining car, arrive mid-morning in Cape Town, a beautiful jewel nestled between stunning Table Mountain and a dramatic coastline.Enjoy a panoramic city tour of Cape Town, showcasing this vibrant city's scenic and historical highlights. Weather permitting, travel by cable car to the top of Table Mountain, Cape Town's most striking landmark, and recently announced one of the world's New Seven Wonders of Nature.(If the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway is closed due to maintenance or inclement weather, visit Signal Hill instead)Wind your way through Clifton, an exclusive residential area, before arriving at Sea Point. Next, visit the City Hall on the Grand Parade, where Nelson Mandela made his first public speech after his release. Continue through the Malay Quarter (Bo-Kaap). Lined with brightly colored houses and decorative mosques, this historic neighborhood was founded by formerly enslaved people from Malaysia whose Islamic culture gives the area a distinct character and contributes to Cape Town's rich cultural diversity.Later this afternoon, check into your hotel.
Day 11 Cape Town
- Winelands tour
Queen Victoria Hotel or similar BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
Today enjoy a glorious excursion to the South African wine lands. Travel through the region to experience a wine cellar tour and tasting, where you'll learn all about wine-making, from grape to goblet. You will then visit the beautiful little town of Franschhoek, passing by the impressive Huguenot Monument, and in a town with a reputation for gourmet fare, you will have time at leisure for lunch. The tour will then wind its way to Helshoogte Mountain Pass to meet the charming university town of Stellenbosch on the other side. Stroll through this little town, absorbing the quaintness and sneaking into the odd shop or two. Enjoy a wine tasting at two different wine estates, where you can purchase your favorite wine to take back home.
Day 12 Cape Town
- Day at leisure or join an optional Cape Point tour
- Farewell dinner at a local restaurant
Queen Victoria Hotel Breakfast & dinnerFull Day Itinerary
Enjoy today at leisure to explore Cape Town on your own or take advantage of the hotel facilities. Alternatively, you can join an optional half-day tour of Cape Point.Optional Excursion: Private Half Day Cape Point Tour, $205
Wind your way towards Hout Bay's charming coastal town and working harbor. Hug the cliffs as you snake along the legendary Chapman's Peak Drive, with its breathtaking views, towards the Cape of Good Hope Section of the Table Mountain National Park and its rugged, intriguing landscape. Boulders Beach penguin colony is a fascinating quick stop to visit the African jackass penguins. Finally, move on to the historical naval port of Simon's Town before returning to your hotel to enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.
Day 13 Cape Town & Victoria Falls
- Transfer to the airport for your flight to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
- Arrive in Victoria Falls, meet your local guide, and transfer to your hotel
- Remainder of the day at leisureFull Day Itinerary
*August 12, 2023 departure will stay at Ilala Lodge in Victoria Falls.
Day 14 Victoria Falls
- Guided tour of the falls
- Sunset Cruise on the Zambezi RiverFull Day Itinerary
This morning enjoy a guided tour of the falls. You'll soon discover why this UNESCO World Heritage Site is considered one of the greatest natural wonders—and the world's largest curtain of falling water! Located at the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia, Victoria Falls consists of numerous falls separated by islands in the river below. The Zambezi River spills more than 2 million gallons of water per second over the Bakota Gorge, creating multiple rainbows and an awe-inspiring display of raw power unrivaled by other natural wonders. The tremendous roar of the water and the ever-present cloud of spray give the falls their local moniker, "Smoke that Thunders." Later, experience the glorious falls from an up-close vantage point as you set sail on a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River. Be on the lookout for hippos, monkeys, elephants, and crocodiles that frequent the waters and the surrounding areas.
*August 12, 2023 departure will stay at Ilala Lodge in Victoria Falls.
Day 15 Victoria Falls
- Full Day at leisure
- Recommended optional tour to Chobe National Park in BotswanaFull Day Itinerary
Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore this magnificent natural wonder on your own. Wander along the well-marked trails through the rainforest that wind up to and around the falls. The trails allow for excellent picture-taking from various vantage points (be sure to protect your camera if it's not waterproof). There is a wide range of optional excursions available locally, including game drives, walking safaris, bungee jumping, and more. We recommend the full-day tour of Chobe National Park in Botswana.
*August 12, 2023 departure will stay at Ilala Lodge in Victoria Falls.Optional Excursion: Chobe National Park, Botswana, $210
Take advantage of an optional full-day excursion to the Chobe National Park in Botswana, renowned for its large elephant population. Begin the day with a safari boat cruise on the Chobe River. Afterward, enjoy lunch at the Chobe Game Lodge and end the day with an afternoon game drive in an open vehicle.
This excursion requires a passport and a double-entry Zimbabwe visa.
Day 16 Victoria Falls
- Full Day at leisure
- Experience a traditional Boma dinner
- Other optional tours that can be purchased locally- including game drive, walking safaris, bungee jumping, and moreFull Day ItineraryEnjoy your last day in Victoria Falls at your leisure. Relax and enjoy the hotel facilities, or join optional tours that can be purchased locally.Cap off your African adventure with a traditional Boma dinner this evening.
Day 17 Depart Victoria Falls
- Transfer to the airport for your flight home
- Your amazing journey comes to an end as you arrive in the USA tomorrow morning
Situated in the leafy Johannesburg suburb of Rosebank, the 54 on Bath hotel offers a signature blend of luxury and style. 54 on Bath is conveniently located within easy reach of Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton City, Melrose Arch, as well as the Gautrain rapid rail system. 54 on Bath features an outdoor terrace with a sparkling pool. Enjoy an alfresco snack or relax with a cold drink as you take in the African sunset and surrounding views. For those who like to work up a sweat to start the day right, or wind down after a day of exploring, stop by the Rosebank Fitness Club with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities.
The Abelana River Lodge is a stylish, newly rebuilt sanctuary that offers spectacular views over the Selati River. The river is home to a plethora of wildlife such as hippo and crocodile and a variety of bird species, from the African fish eagle to Pel’s fishing owl. The main area and swimming pool overlook the river and the fire pit lounge is a perfect spot for sharing safari experiences with your travel companions in the evenings.
Ivory Manor Boutique Hotel is located in a lush suburb of Pretoria East just 30 minutes drive from OR Tambo and Rovos Rail Capital Park Station. This privately-owned, luxury boutique hotel is surrounded by beautiful, tranquil gardens. With its fountains, grand entrance flanked by two sweeping staircases, plush public areas, and nine individually decorated guestrooms with whimsical names, Ivory Manor Boutique Hotel strives to give discerning guests an exceptional experience from arrival to departure.
Since its establishment in 1989, Rovos Rail has earned an international reputation for its truly world-class travel experiences. With discreet and friendly service, five-star cuisine and a selection of South Africa’s finest wines, Rovos Rail harks back to a simpler, more elegant era encompassing the timeless grace and high romance of African exploration. The Observation Car which has a spacious open-air balcony and seats 32 passengers, is positioned at the rear of the train while at the center of the train there is, when numbers dictate, a non-smoking Lounge Car that seats 26 passengers in comfort. There is also a small, discreet Gift Shop. In maintaining the spirit of travel of a bygone era, there are no radios or television sets on board. The use of mobile phones, laptops and essentially anything that has the ability to disturb other passengers is confined to the privacy of your suites. Smoking is only allowed in the privacy of your smoking suite and in the Club Lounge, located next to the Observation Car and seats 11. Dress Code: Many of the passengers aboard enjoy the formality of fine china and glassware, crisp linen and silver, and dress accordingly. Evening attire is formal – for the gentlemen a jacket and tie is a minimum requirement while for ladies we suggest cocktail/evening dresses or suits. During the day, dress is smart casual and cool, comfortable clothes, shoes and hats are recommended for the excursions, especially in the game reserves where it can get very hot. Please include warm clothing for cold mornings and evenings.
The Queen Victoria Hotel is set in a quiet, historic precinct near the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, close to the heart of Cape Town, and easy access to the airport. The hotel’s regal ambiance is felt throughout the property, from its triple-volume foyer with a dramatic spiral staircase and glass lift, crystal chandeliers, and marble finishes.
The luxurious Palm River Hotel is ideally located along the banks of the Zambezi River, upstream from Africa's natural world wonder, the majestic Victoria Falls. The Palm River Hotel's design was inspired by Queenslander architectural style, incorporating distinct timber frame, pitched roof, elevated structures, corrugated iron, decorative timber work, and carefully designed with warm subtropical climate in mind. The unique Victorian to Contemporary style hotel is surrounded by by indigenous flora and fauna, offering a relaxing, elegant, and inviting atmosphere.
Ilala Lodge is a family-run hotel that offers luxury and comfort in the heart of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Nestled in attractive gardens, the well-appointed hotel is a mere eight-minute walk from Victoria Falls and offers guests easy access to all the historical sites, restaurants, and activities available in the area. The friendly and attentive staff makes sure that your visit is perfect in every way.
In the unlikely event that a particular hotel is not available, a similar or better hotel may be substituted.
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- What should I know before I go? We've compiled a comprehensive checklist, including information on how to pay your balance due, flights & transfers, packing & luggage, and more.
- Do I need a visa or other documents? Are there any entry requirements? Travel visas are required for this package. Please review the visa & entry requirements.
- Can I make changes to my trip? Want to upgrade your seats? Depart from another city? Stay a few extra days? Something else? Just ask!
- Can I bring my kids? Are there any age restrictions? To book this package, you must be 21 or older. Your traveling companions must be 8 or older at time of travel.
- Should I purchase travel insurance? Yes! We recommend you purchase travel insurance to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. For your convenience, we offer a plan provided by Travelex Insurance Services.
- What's the fine print? Review the terms & conditions for this package.
- What should I know about South Africa? Check out our guide for practical travel tips, the best time to go, videos, and more.
- What should I know about Zimbabwe? Check out our guide for practical travel tips, the best time to go, videos, and more.
- What should I know about Botswana? Check out our guide for practical travel tips, the best time to go, videos, and more.
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