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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:

- Discount of 2.5%

- Complimentary transfers - to be advised.

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

News, February 2016

Rovos Rail has recently purchased the Shongololo Express for a high-quality '3-star' rail travel experience.

The Shongololo Express has been repainted in green and cream and an additional dining car plus an observation car have been added.

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 Gold. 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

Bedding and towels are provided with cabins 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.

Below is a layout of some of the Emerald Cabin.

Shongololo Express - Luxury Train Club

Lounge Car: There is one Lounge car where one 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..

Observation Car: An addition to compliment the experience of travelling across the landscapes.


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 Golf

Cape Town to Pretoria - or Pretoria to Cape Town. 14 nights/15 days

The Shongololo Express Good Hope journey from the Luxury Train Club

A 15-day journey offering an amazing and comprehensive view of South Africa, incorporating virtually every internationally-regarded 'must see' sight and highlight.

*Golf is available at courses such as Arabella Golf Estate, Ernie Els Oubaai, Fancourt, Kimberley Golf Club, Champagne Sports Resort, Durban Country Club, Zimbali, Nkonyeni Golf Nelspruit/Leopard Creek/White River.

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.

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 Worcester with its history of Hugenots, and fabulous Cape Dutch houses.

Travelling by road, passing whaling stations and the coast, we meander through the spectacular Garden Route to the natural paradise of Knysna* where guests enjoy a lagoon ferry ride to Featherbed Nature Reserve. Crossing the Outeniqua Mountains, guests arrive in Oudtshoorn to visit an ostrich farm and the incredible Cango Caves. After tours around the historic town of Graaff Reinet, we continue to Kimberley, the home of the De Beers diamond mines, and so on to Bloemfontein, the city of roses, before the train arrives at Spionkop* for a battlefield tour.

Overnight travel brings us to Day 9 and 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; the Juma Musjid, the largest mosque in South Africa, with twin minarets as well as the most opulent Hindu structure. Visit to the St Lucia Wetland Park, then on to explore Hluhluwe wildlife reserve and the Kingdom of Swaziland* after which this magnificent sojourn takes guests through the jagged peaks of the Drakensberg Mountains to the Kruger Park* and the historical areas of Pilgrim’s Rest, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and God’s Window. The final day sees the train pulling into Rovos Rail Station where guests continue on a tour of Pretoria or Johannesburg and Soweto.

Dates and Prices 2016/2017

Pretoria - Cape Town: 2016: 18 August. 2017: 9 February. 18 September

Cape Town - Pretoria: 2017: 28 March.


GoldR52,000 per person
EmeraldR95,000 per person

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

The Southern Cross

Pretoria to the Victoria Falls - or Victoria Falls to Pretoria. 11 nights/12 days.

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 or 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.

Then the impressive 12 day journey starts, with stops at carefully selected locations in South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. This magnificent sojourn will spend the first few days taking guests east through the Drakensberg Mountains to the Kruger Park for game viewing and the historical areas of the gold digger's town Pilgrim’s Rest, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and God’s Window, from which we gaze across the sweeping landscape of the Lowveld, where subtle fragrances of the lower region rise to merge with the crisp winds of the Highveld.

By day 4, guests tour Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. Maputo offers an exciting mix of culture and buildings reminiscent of trends set by African, Portuguese and early Colonial traditions. Old Catholic churches rest side-by-side with Mosques and Fortresses, Victorian Mansions and other buildings from a bygone era.

Then to explore the Kingdom of Swaziland, with a game drive in the famous wildlife reserve of Kapama followed by a relaxing day on the train as it heads for the Great Zimbabwe Ruins for a visit. On days nine and 10, guests tour Antelope Park and Matobas National Park, site of Cecil John Rhodes’ grave, before continuing on to Hwange for game-viewing activities. The final day has the train arriving in Victoria Falls where guests enjoy a walking tour of the village and the falls with an afternoon sunset cruise on the Zambezi River.

Dates and Prices 2016/2017

Pretoria to Victoria Falls: 2017: 5 January. 13 April. 20 July.

Victoria Falls to Pretoria: 2016: 19 October. 2017: 19 January. 27 April. 3 August.

GoldR52,000 per person
EmeraldR65,000 per person

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

* Operating under the old itinerary. Please ask for details.

The Dune Express

Pretoria to Swakopmund or 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 Express 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.

First stop is Kimberley for a visit to the Big Hole and diamond mine museum village before continuing on to Upington for a walking tour and wine tasting. After crossing the border, guests visit the Fish River Canyon, second in size to the Grand Canyon and a spectacular natural phenomenon taking hundreds of millions of years to evolve into its current shape.

The next day there are tours of the historical towns Lüderitz, Kolmanskop (a mining city created by the Germans in the early part of the 19th century, but abandoned when the diamonds ran out) and Keetmanshoop. Day seven sees guests overnighting at Sossusvlei Lodge, surrounded by the dramatic dunes of the Namib-Naukluft Park, with visits to the natural Sesriem Canyon and the 170m-high star-dune “45”. The train then leaves the vast stillness of the Kalahari Desert for a city tour of Windhoek, situated in Namibia's central highlands and surrounded by clusters of hills. On day ten guests travel to the Etosha National Park for an overnight stay with game-viewing activities before ending the journey in the quaint seaside town of Swakopmund, resembling a small Bavarian village nestling between the desert and the sea, full of graceful Art Nouveau buildings.

Dates and Prices 2017

Pretoria to Swakopmund: 2017: 11 May - 22 May

Swakopmund to Pretoria: 2017: 25 May - 5 June

GoldR59,800 per person
EmeraldR75,000 per person

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

Lernidee African Explorer

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

Shongololo Express - The Luxury Train Club

Small groups of max. 12 guests in mini tour buses.

Arrival in Namibia at Windhoek airport, where you are welcomed by your tour guide. The following day there is a tour of Windhoek before joining the train and the adventure beginning. The train crosses the entire Etosha National Park, taking in the Etosha Pan which is the largest flat salt pan in Africa where herds of animals pass through. The next few days takes in the granite peaks known as the Spitzkoppe and thus from the desert to the Atlantic shore, to Swakopmund, a seaside town resembling a small Bavarian village nestling between the desert and the sea, full of graceful Art Nouveau buildings and German colonial architecture.

A visit to 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! Then the Namib Naukluft National Park to the small town of Keetmannshoop,with enough time before the sun sets for a trip to the Quiver Tree Forest. Augrabies National Park with little waterfalls on the banks of the Oranje river. Day 9 sees the train arriving at 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”), to Diaz Point, set against the backdrop of the dramatic Atlantic waves.

A visit to Fish River Canyon, the second largest canyon in the world. Then the Augrabies National Park which is not just the site of the renowned little waterfall of the same name, but also home to antelopes, klipspringers and black rhinos. After passing through the tunnels of the Hex River Mountains, the train enters a beautiful landscape of vineyards and the Victorian town of Matijiesfontein. Finally by day 13, we arrive in Cape Town and enjoy free time to wander around before the farewell dinner and the end of the tour on day 14.

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

Included in the price: Arrival and departure transfer, airport - hotel and vice versa; accommodation on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis; a free choice of available inclusive options; golf course transfers (Good Hope Golf only); government tax. Guests arriving on day of train departure must be at airport no later than 08:00hrs.

Not included in the price: Lunches and beverages unless stated; laundry; gratuities; optional extras; transfers between the train and hotels; pre and post packages; visas where applicable; travel insurance; golf course fees (Good Hope Golf only).

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.

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.

Gratuities: This is entirely at your own discretion. Tips are divided on a pro-rata basis between members of staff. Our recommended gratuity is between US$5 and US$15 per guest per day. Gratuities may be added to the final account or can be handed to the Train Manager. Please do not tip staff members individually.

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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