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Shongololo Express Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Carriage Shongololo Heritage Emerald sm 

Members of the Club (free to join) benefit from:

- complimentary transfers from hotels around the OR International Airport. Examples of hotels: City Lodge Johannesburg Airport Hotel; Protea Hotel or Tambo; Peermont Mondior Hotel- discount off the published prices of any journey;

See more here.

Fay says, "The Shongololo Express operates with a unique advantage - it carries its own excursion vehicles with it. Shongololo is the Zulu word for the large brown millipede, and indeed this long train is an impressive sight as it marches across the plains of southern Africa. This is a true safari experience, by rail."

About The Train

The ultimate in touring, this up-scale First Class train offers guests an experience that will linger in memories. Travelling comfortably and securely during the night, Shongololo Express trains save guests precious holiday time, arriving each dawn at a new and exciting destination. Shongololo is the Zulu word for millipede, and thus named because of its shiny length as it snakes its way through the countryside.

The fleet of air-conditioned touring vehicles is transported together with the train and professional multi lingual guides (English, Afrikaans, French & German spoken on board) are ready and on hand to drive guests on inclusive, scheduled excursions. Their experience and wealth of knowledge assist passengers to gain the most from each day's programme. Shongololo Express provides a very special touring experience for travellers.

From a warm welcome and transfer to the train at the start of the journey, to an exciting and varied programme of touring, superb breakfasts and dinners with fine South African wines on board - all these combine to create an unforgettable holiday.


Suites: The Emerald Suite is the largest, followed by the Commodore and then the Gold and Ivory. These comfortable suites are beautifully decorated providing a lounge area as well as an en-suite bathroom with shower. The perfect place to retire to. "Pre-Night" in the price list refers to the option of staying on board the train in your chosen class of Suite the night before departure.

Shongololo Express - Luxury Train Club

Bedding and towels are provided and cabins are serviced daily. Cabins have ample storage space and cupboards are equipped with both hangers and shelving. All suites have attached bathrooms with shower, toilet WC and hand basins. Power is 220v AC and European plug adaptors are provided. There is an on-board laundry service.

NOTE: Ivory cabins are not air-conditioned. However the train claims they are well-ventilated, and they provide heaters for keeping it warm.

Below is a layout of some of the various cabins available on Shongololo Express:

The Emerald Suite

Shongololo Express - Luxury Train Club

The Commodore Cabin

Shongololo Express - Luxury Train Club

The Ivory Cabin

Shongololo Express - Luxury Train Club

Lounge Car: There is one Lounge car, which may be used for smoking in when the train is moving. It is a comfortable place to gather, relax and read or just watch the countryside pass by whilst having a drink.

Dining Car: Each night you dine on uniquely African cuisine from Cape Dutch and Malay to authentic African dishes within this smart dining car.


Cuisine on board includes traditional Cape Malay, Central -, West - and Southern African specialities. Breakfast offers both a traditional English and Continental breakfast selection.


The Good Hope

Cape Town to Johannesburg - a journey that can be taken in the opposite direction as well. 12 nights and 13 days

Details of the full itinerary and optional extras are here.

The Shongololo Express Good Hope journey from the Luxury Train Club

A 13-day journey offering an amazing and comprehensive view of South Africa, incorporating virtually every internationally-regarded 'must see' sight and highlight.

As the train travels the length and breadth of the country, guests can enjoy the great variety of landscapes, shorelines, cultures, lifestyles and cuisine that the South African Rainbow Nation has to offer. There are many varied options included within this tour, so please contact us for a full itinerary.

The start point is Cape Town, with tours of the interesting sites of this fabulous city. From here the train will then traverse through the country to the vineyard region of Overburg with its history of Hugenots, and fabulous Cape Dutch houses.

Passing whaling stations and the coast, we continue to Kimberley, the home of the De Beers diamond mines, and so on to Bloemfontein. After a tour around this interesting town, we rejoin the train to travel overnight to Ladysmith.

The train now heads to the eastern jagged peaks of the Drakensberg, following waterways as they drop and cascade down mountain clefts, through hidden valleys to the tumbling luscious hills that extend through the Midlands. Here there are visits to Boer war battlefields, lush forests, and a shopping experience of an eclectic and fascinating mix of arts and crafts as well as world-class restaurants.

Overnight travel takes guests to Durban, to experience the vibrance of South Africa's third largest city. Its beautiful long beaches are enhanced by the sub-tropical climate. Hindu, Sufi and Muslim temples provide a mix of interests. You will see the Juma Musjid, the largest mosque in South Africa, whose twin minarets are a striking city feature, as well as the most opulent Hindu structure.

Whilst the train travels to Zululand, guests have time to study the life of the Zulu warrior before visiting a Zulu cultural village. Our train carries on to the tiny kingdom of Swaziland, where off-board excursions include a visit to Manzini where guests experience the Swazi market, a hive of activity displaying a wide variety of skillfully crafted woodcarvings, colourful textiles and superb basketwork, for which Swazis are renowned. There are trips to museums, glass works, and a drive through the Komati River Valley with its panoramic views.

By day 11 the train arrives at Kruger National Park, where one can either visit the park or take one of the many options available: visit a gold mining area, hot air balloon flight, safari, to name a few.

The penultimate day sees guests visiting many sites in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Soweto, before bidding farewell to their journey on the Shongololo Express.

Dates and Prices 2016


Cape Town - Johannesburg: 2016 - 23 March. 7 December

Johannesburg - Cape Town: 2016 - 25 May. 18 August.


GoldR48,000 per personPre-night R1,000pp
CommodoreR50,730 per personPre-night R1,050pp
EmeraldR59,430 per personPre-night R1,300pp

Children between 7 and 12 will pay 50% of the pp sharing rate

Single supplement is an added 50% of the per person rate

The Southern Cross

Johannesburg to the Victoria Falls - a journey that can be taken in the opposite direction as well. 15 nights and 16 days.

Details of the full itinerary and optional extras are here.

Shongololo Express Southern Cross journey from the Luxury Train Club

Once guests have settled into their cabins on the train, they are then taken on guided tours of the many sites in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Soweto which fall within the Gauteng province, the economic powerhouse of the Southern African region and home to some of Africa's greatest cities. The name of the province derives from the Sotho word meaning “Place of Gold", which is very suitable since much of the wealth of Gauteng has come from this precious metal.

In the evening the train departs from Johannesburg, to arrive the next day in the tiny kingdom of Swaziland, where guests visit Manzini to experience the Swazi market, a hive of activity displaying a wide variety of skillfully crafted woodcarvings, colourful textiles and superb basketwork, for which Swazis are renowned.

Following time spent in Swaziland, guests board the train in the evening to travel to Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. It offers an exciting mix of culture and buildings reminiscent of trends set by African, Portuguese and early Colonial traditions. The city swings along to a beat that is like no other in Africa. It enables you to experience true African hospitality. Old Catholic churches rest side-by-side with Mosques and Fortresses, Victorian Mansions and other buildings from a bygone era.

The next stop is the Kruger National Park, with a wildlife experience that equals the best anywhere within its 2 million hectares. Guests are invited to join various safaris before rejoining the train for the night. The next day guests can visit Nelspruit which is considered the gateway to the Mpumalanga Province. With its sub-tropical climate and abundant sunshine the town forms an ideal base from where to explore, before visiting caves. Guests rejoin the train in Nelspruit and stable for the night. The next day there is a visit along the Panorama Route, visiting gold mining villages, canyons or an optional balloon flight.

Day 8 sees guests spending the day relaxing on the train as it travels through the countryside of the different provinces - Mpumalanga, Gauteng and Limpopo Province. We cross the border into Zimbabwe at Beit Bridge and head onto Rutenga Station where guests spend the night and depart for Great Zimbabwe the next morning.

Rejoining the train and travelling overnight to the town of Gweru, there is an opportunity to walk with lions in the Antelope Park, visit the military museum, and visit the Somabhula Primary school.

After a stationary night on the train, guests alight to visit Bulawayo and Matobo National Park. There are options to ride elephants, go canoeing, horse riding or a game drive, or to visit museums and art galleries in Matobo.

Following an overnight journey, we arrive at the Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe's premier National Park which is known for its Lion population.

In the evening the train travels to the Victoria Falls. Guests will walk across the Zambezi River over the famous Rail/road Bridge. Our first stop is on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls before continuing to the town of Livingstone, named after David Livingstone. Guests then visit the Fifth Gorge for a spectacular view of the Zambezi River.

After a night on the stationary train at the Victoria Falls, guests are then taken to The Falls to see this fantastic sight. It forms the largest single “curtain" of falling water on earth measuring 1708 m wide. One can then either have a relaxing afternoon, or participate in bungee jumping from Livingstone Bridge, helicopter rides over the Falls, white water rafting or elephant rides.

The final night is spent on the train beside the Falls, before departing the Shongololo Express.

Dates and Prices 2016


Johannesburg to Victoria Falls: 2016 - 13 April

Victoria Falls to Johannesburg: 2016 - 4 May. 19 October


GoldR60,200 per personPre-night R1,000pp
CommodoreR60,200 per personPre-night R1,050pp
EmeraldR67,100 per personPre-night R1,300pp

Single supplement is an added 50% of the per person rate

Children between 7 and 12 will pay 50% of the pp sharing rate

The Dune Express

Johannesburg to Windhoek - a journey that be taken in reverse. 11 nights and 12 days.

Shongololo Express Dune Express journey from the Luxury Train Club

Namibia is a country of compelling beauty, abundant sunshine and unconfined space. The wide horizons, the clear unpolluted skies and a population density, which is among the lowest in the world, generate a sense of freedom. This feeling of tranquility and stillness compliments a landscape, which is singular in its colours, full of contrasts of light and shade. The Dune Adventure offers a unique opportunity to experience the harsh realities of the desert landscapes as well as the extraordinary natural phenomena resulting from millions of years of erosion and volcanic activity.

On day 1, join the Shongololo Express at Boksburg East station from 08:00hrs onwards. After being welcomed by your tour guide and the Shongololo Express representatives over coffee and biscuits, the train will depart at 10:00hrs. There is time to settle in whilst the trains travels overnight to Upington, for day 2. Here there is a visit the Augrabies National Park, famous for its waterfalls, around which one can walk.

Leaving Upington, the train travels into Namibia late in the evening, allowing one to view the wonderful sunsets over dinner. By day 3, after an early-morning breakfast we depart for the Fish River Canyon, the second largest natural gorge in Africa. This canyon is a spectacular natural phenomenon taking hundreds of millions of years to evolve into its current shape. After a quick stopover at the famous Canyon Roadhouse, which is interestingly decorated with old car parts found in the region, we push further to Keetmanshop for lunch (guests' own account). In the afternoon we visit Giant's Playground, an impressive jumble of massive dolerite boulders of 160 - 180 million years old before ending the afternoon with a visit to the Quiver Tree Forest, where around 300 specimens of this prehistoric tree can be found.

Back on the train we travel overnight to Aus. Day 4 sees guests departing for a drive through the desert to visit the desert horses en route to Luderitz. There is a tour of the town and also of the ghost city of Kolamnskop, a mining city created by the Germans in the early part of the 19th century, but abandoned when the diamonds ran out.

Guests rejoin the train to travel overnight to Windhoek, situated in Namibia's central highlands. Day 5 is a guided visit to Windhoek, an attractive city surrounded by clusters of hills and incorporating various museums, the Evangelical Lutheran Church built in 1910 and craft centres. The train departs overnight for Tsumeb Siding.

Day 6 and 7 are spent on a visit to the Etosha National Park, for safaris through the park to view wild animals. Overnight is on the train, so there is plenty of time to cover this vaste Park. We take the train from Otjiwarongo, to journey southwards overnight to Omaruru.

Day 8 is spent in Omaruru, a town and constituency in the Erongo Region of Namibia. The town grew around a mission built in 1872 by Gottlieb Viehe, now a museum, and was attacked in 1904 during the Herero and Namaqua Genocide. Captain Franke's Tower was built in this period to defend the settlement. There are various places of interest to visit, before rejoining the train as it departs early evening for the overnight journey to Swakopmund. By day break we pass the Spitzkoppe, known as the 'Matterhorn of Namibia' before arriving in the town of Henties Bay, named after Major Hentie van der Merwe, who discovered a freshwater fountain in the estuary of the Omaruru River. Lunch (guests' own account) is enjoyed before visiting the Cape Cross Seal Reserve.

The train remains stationary in Swakopmund for two nights, allowing us on day 10 and 11 to visit Namibia's charming seaside resort on the West Coast. It resembles a small Bavarian village nestling between the desert and the sea, full of graceful Art Nouveau buildings. We go on a tour of Moon Landscape, Welwitschia Drive, Walvis Bay and Dune 7, (the highest dune in the area). There are a variety of optional extras to be enjoyed.

By midday the train is departing for Windhoek, where it arrives on day 12 for the end of the journey.

Dates and Prices 2016


Johannesburg to Windhoek: 2016 - 13 July

Windhoek to Johannesburg: 2016 - 30 July


GoldR44,850 per personPre-night R1,000pp
CommodoreR47,360 per personPre-night R1,050pp
EmeraldR51,940 per personPre-night R1,300pp

Single supplement is an added 50% of the per person rate

Children between 7 and 12 will pay 50% of the pp sharing rate

Lernidee African Explorer

Cape Town to Windhoek or the other way; 14 days / 13 nights Train Safari through Namibia and South Africa

Shongololo Express - The Luxury Train Club

Highlights of the tour: Small groups of max. 12 guests in mini tour buses; Cape Town – one of the world's most beautiful cities; Augrabies National Park with little waterfalls on the banks of the Oranje river; Fish River Canyon – the second largest canyon in the world; Namib Desert – UNESCO World Heritage Site: Sossusvlei with the world's highest dune; rock formations and lunar landscape in Namib Naukluft National Park; safari tour of Etosha National Park; Lüderitz: the first German colonial settlement in then South West Africa; the Kolmanskop ghost town; the high plateau of the Aus Mountains; Swakopmund: Imperial German architecture in an African setting; Windhoek: Modern city and German roots; Namibian specialities and select South African wines.

Meals on the train shown after entries below: B = breakfast; L = lunch; D = dinner.


Day 1 Arrival in Namibia Arrival at Windhoek airport, where you are welcomed by your tour guide. Transfer to hotel. (D)

Day 2 Departure on the African Explorer The day starts with a city tour and viewing the neo-Gothic Christ Church and the Tintenpalast, literally the “Ink Palace", which houses the Namibian parliament. Then at Windhoek station, it's “All aboard!" and your private train departs. This unique route passes through various private game farms where giraffes, antelopes and ostriches are often visible right from the train window. (BLD)

Day 3 Etosha National Park Explore the wonders of the Etosha National Park. The train crosses the entire park from the south-west to the east – a chance to see elephants, gnus and other wild animals close up on the journey. The Etosha Pan, an extremely flat salt pan, lies at the heart of the National Park. This shimmering “great white place", as its name says, is the largest salt pan in Africa – and with herds of wild animals passing through, an unforgettable experience. This exciting day ends with an overnight stay in a comfortable lodge nearby. (BD)

Day 4 On Safari In the morning, enjoy an extensive safari drive before carrying on to Otjiwarongo where your private train is waiting for you. (BD)

Day 5 Spitzkoppe Your private train stops at Usakos for an excursion to the granite peaks known as the “Spitzkoppe". A visit to a local school (except in the school holidays) provides an insight into the everyday life of children from the Damara people. Back on board, your train continues to arrive in the late evening in Swakopmund, a town packed with fascinating examples of German colonial architecture. (BLD)

Day 6 From the Desert to the Atlantic shore This morning your main luggage remains on board. After breakfast, your air-conditioned mini tour buses are waiting to take you to Walvis Bay where, with luck, you can see flocks of flamingos and pelicans. After a drive of around five hours, the mini buses arrive at the Namib Naukluft National Park, passing the Vogelfederberg hill as they approach your lodge for the night. (BD)

Day 7 The Highest Sand Dunes in the World Early morning is the best time to see the giant dunes of the Namib. Dune 45, the most famous of the dunes, may be quite a climb, but the panoramic view from the top over a sea of apricot-coloured sand is reward enough! Open-top vehicles take you the last few kilometres along an unpaved sandy track to the Vlei, a salt-clay sink surrounded by sand dunes, before carrying on to Sesriem Canyon, the next stop. On the way, you may well be fortunate enough to see oryx antelopes and springboks. As the sun sets, enjoy a romantic journey through the stunning desert landscape. (BD)

Day 8 Namib Naukluft National Park In the morning, travel on by mini tour buses from the lodge to Mariental, where your private train is waiting. The train stops in the small village of Maltahöhe for a tasty brunch – complete with delicious freshly baked bread! At the small town of Keetmannshoop, there’s just enough time before the sun sets for a trip to the Quiver Tree Forest (the Kokerboom Woud in Afrikaans). (BD)

Day 9 Ghost Town Morning arrival in Aus station. Your day’s programme begins with a bus ride to the ghost town of Kolmanskop, where the first diamonds were found in Namibia in 1908. From here, the harbour town of Lüderitz is a short journey through the Sperrgebiet (the “Restricted Diamond Area”). After crossing the historical Lüderitz peninsula, you reach the next highlight of the day – Diaz Point, set against the backdrop of the dramatic Atlantic waves. Back on board at Aus station, your private train continues on its journey south. (BD)

Day 10 Fish River Canyon Arrival in Holoog. The Fish River Canyon, today’s highlight, is the second largest canyon in the world! Climb aboard one of the air-conditioned mini tour buses carried by the train for the excursions and enjoy the stunning views. There is also a chance to take a short walk along the canyon’s edge. (BLD)

Day 11 Augrabies National Park The Augrabies National Park, the destination of today’s excursion, is not just the site of the renowned little waterfall of the same name, but also home to antelopes, klipspringers and black rhinos! (BLD)

Day 12 The Victorian town of Matjiesfontein Arrival in Matjiesfontein. After passing through the tunnels of the Hex River Mountains, your private train enters a beautiful landscape of vineyards. This is where some of the world’s best wines are produced – and a wine tasting will take place on board. (BLD)

Day 13 Cape Town Arrival in Cape Town, and transfer to your hotel. Stroll along the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront or take the cableway to the top of the famous Table Mountain (on request). As the sun sets, enjoy the panoramic views across the city from the vantage point of Signal Hill – a truly magnificent sight! The evening ends with a special farewell dinner. (BD)

NOTE - 3 November departure - Ask us for the Johannesburg itinerary

Day 14 Goodbye Africa Your memorable journey comes to an end at midday. After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home. (B)

Dates and Prices 2016


Cape Town to Windhoek:

Windhoek to Cape Town:

Windhoek to Johannesburg:

Gold€3,600 per person€1,680 single supplement
Commodore€4,800 per person€2,280 single supplement
Emerald€5,400 per personUpon request

EUROS, per person; Antelope (Emerald), Elephant (Commodore) and Leopard (Gold) classes are applicable to this journey only. Seasonal Supplement, October/November €240 per person

Rates include - follow this link.

This tour is arranged by Lernidee Erlebnisreisen Gmbh.

General Information

Explanation of rates: The pre-night rate is for clients who want to book a night on the train before the tour starts and is inclusive of dinner, bed and breakfast. This option is recommended, but not included in the price.

Included in the price: Arrival and departure transfer, airport or hotel close to the airport, to train and vice versa; accommodation on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis; a free choice of available inclusive options. Guests arriving on day of train departure must be at airport no later than 08:00hrs.

Not included in the price: Lunches and beverages; laundry; gratuities; optional extras; transfers between the train and hotels.

Smoking: The train has a smoking lounge, which can only be used when the train is moving. When the train is stationary you may only smoke outside on the platform. Smoking is not permitted in the dining car, bathrooms, your cabin, passageways, touring vehicle and any hotels/venues on any tour. Smoking of pipes/cigars is not permitted in the designated smoking area.

Optional Extras: Please ask for details of various extras that are available on different tours.

Luggage and storage facilities: There is luggage storage space underneath the beds. Wardrobes, drawers and shelves are available in the Emerald and Commodore suites, but the Gold has only shelf storage.

Dress code: As a relaxed atmosphere prevails on board, comfortable clothing is recommended. Winter in Southern Africa can be very cold and it is therefore advisable to bring along warm clothing for early mornings and evenings.

Passport: Please be aware that visitors to South Africa are required to have at least three blank VISA pages (not endorsement pages) in their passports in order to receive an entry visa. Passports must also be valid for at least six months from the guests' return home date. Recommend a validity of nine months to prevent any problems.

Visas: Please ensure that you have the necessary visas.

Malaria: It is strongly recommended that clients on the Good Hope, Southern Cross and the Dune Express trips take Malaria prophylactics.

As Shongololo Express uses the National Railway facilities of Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Swaziland, the possibility exists that trains could be delayed, stopped or rerouted at any time. Daily activities could therefore be shortened, altered or cancelled. No responsibility is accepted for any changes to the daily programme. However, all endeavors will be made to complete the daily programme to the best of ability.

Booking & Reservations

We will be happy to answer any questions and make the booking for you - contact us in the UK : +44 (0)1249 890205 or

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