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African Explorer Windhoek to Pretoria

Shongololo Express African Explorer Windhoek - Pretoria 
Shongololo Express African Explorer Windhoek - Pretoria

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African Explorer Windhoek to Pretoria

African Explorer Windhoek to Pretoria

On the Shongololo Express

14-day Journey African Explorer Windhoek to Pretoria, South Africa

Windhoek, Etosha National Park, Swakopmund, Namib Naukluft National Park, Lüderitz, Fish River Canyon, Upington, Kimberley, Pretoria

19 November - 2 December 2017 (Guiding in English and French)

Journey Highlights

  • Fish River Canyon – the second largest canyon in the world
  • The Namib Desert – UNESCO World Heritage sites: Sossusvlei with the world’s highest dune
  • Bizarre 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
  • Gone with the sand – the Kolmanskop ghost town
  • Swakopmund – Imperial German architecture in an African setting
  • Windhoek – Modern city and German roots
  • Diamond City Kimberley
  • Pretoria, South Africa’s capital city
  • Namibian specialties and select South African wines
  • Itinerary

    Day 1. Arrival in Namibia

    Arrival at Windhoek airport, where you are welcomed by your tour guide. Transfer to your hotel.

    Overnight: AVANI Windhoek Hotel & Casino (D)

    Day 2. Departure on the African Explorer

    The African Explorer Windhoek - Pretoria tour starts with a city tour and viewing the neo-Gothic Christ Church and the Tintenpalast, literally the “Ink Palace”, which houses the Namibian parliament. Board the Shongololo Express at Windhoek station. This unique route passes through various private game reserves where giraffe, antelope and ostrich can be visible from the train.

    Overnight on board. Meals included: breakfast (B), lunch (L) and dinner (D).

    Day 3. Etosha National Park

    Explore the wonders of the Etosha National Park.

    Your air-conditioned buses will cross 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' is the largest salt pan in Africa; herds of wild animals passing through, an unforgettable experience. Overnight stay in a comfortable lodge nearby.

    Overnight: Mokuti Lodge (or similar). (BD)

    Day 4. On Safari

    In the morning, enjoy an extensive safari drive before carrying on to Otjiwarongo where the Shongololo Express awaits. Your journey continues. In the evening you enjoy an African Braai (BBQ) under the starry sky.

    Overnight on board. (BD)

    Day 5. Spitzkoppe

    The Shongololo Express stops at Usakos for an excursion to the granite peaks known as the Spitzkoppe. A visit to a local school (except in school holidays) provides an insight into the everyday life of children from the Damara people. Back on board, the Shonoglolo Express continues, to arrive in the late evening in Swakopmund, a town with much German colonial architecture.

    Overnight on board. (BLD)

    Day 6. From the Atlantic Shore into the Desert

    This morning, your main luggage remains on board. After breakfast, air-conditioned buses take you to Walvis Bay. Here we hope to see flocks of flamingos and pelicans. After a drive of around five hours, you arrive at the Namib Naukluft National Park, passing the Vogelfederberg hill en route.

    Overnight: Namib Desert Lodge (or similar). (BD)

    Day 7. The Highest Sand Dunes in the World

    Early morning is the best time to see the giant dunes of the Namib. Climbing up a dune may be tough; be rewarded with the panoramic view over a sea of apricot-coloured sand. Open-top vehicles take you along an unpaved sandy track to the Vlei, a salt-clay sink surrounded by sand dunes. On the way, you may see oryx antelopes and springboks. As the sun sets, enjoy a romantic journey through the stunning desert landscape.

    Overnight: Namib Desert Lodge (or similar). (BD)

    Day 8. Namib Naukluft National Park

    In the morning, travel on by air-conditioned buses from the lodge to Mariental (about 5 hours' drive), where the Shonglolo Express awaits. The train stops at the village of Maltahöhe for brunch complete with freshly-baked bread. As the journey continues, you can attend a Biltong (traditional beef jerky) tasting session.

    Overnight on board. (BD)

    Day 9. Ghost Town

    Morning arrival in Aus station. Your day begins with a bus ride to the ghost town of Kolmanskop. Here, the first diamonds were found in Namibia in 1908. Then on to the harbour town of Lüderitz which is a short journey through the Sperrgebiet (the 'Restricted Diamond Area').

    After crossing the Lüderitz peninsula, you reach Diaz Point, set against the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean. Back on board at Aus station, the Shongololo Express continues on its journey south.

    Overnight on board. (BD)

    Day 10. Fish River Canyon

    Arrival in Holoog. Our destination today is the Fish River Canyon, the second largest in the world. Enjoy the stunning views. There is also a chance to take a short walk along the canyon’s edge.

    Overnight on board. (BLD)

    Day 11. Upington and Wine Country

    Arrival in Upington in the afternoon. Thanks to the Oranje River, this region is perfect for vineyards. You will enjoy a wine tasting on a typical vineyard. In the early evening, return to the Shongololo Express and continue southbound.

    Overnight on board. (BLD)

    Day 12. Diamond City Kimberley

    In the morning, the Shongololo Express reaches the historical station of Kimberley, the city of diamonds. At the end of the 19th century, the town experienced a diamond rush, from which the diamond empire of De Beers emerged, led today by the Oppenheimers and founded by Cecil Rhodes.

    You can view the famous Big Hole, once the largest diamond mind in the world. Visit the restored original buildings of Kimberley’s Belle Époque. In the evening, the train crosses the Vaal-River on its way to the 1,800m high Highveld.

    Overnight on board. (BLD)

    Day 13. Pretoria

    Today you arrive in the South African capital Pretoria. During a city tour, we will show you the Union Buildings, the Nelson Mandela Monument and the home of Paul Kruger. Farewell dinner in the evening.

    Overnight: Misty Hills Lodge (or similar). (BD)

    Day 14. Pretoria and end of tour

    Transfer to the airport around noon. (B)

    Planned Hotels (Subject to Change)

  • Windhoek 1 nightAVANI Windhoek Hotel & Casino
  • Etosha1 nightMokuti Lodge
  • Namib Desert 2 nightsNamib Desert Lodge
  • Pretoria 1 night Misty Hills Lodge
  • Tour prices include:

  • 7 nights on board the African Explorer private train according to the category booked
  • 1 night in a Windhoek city hotel
  • 1 night in a generously spaced safari lodge at the entrance to Etosha National Park
  • 2 nights in a stylish lodge in the Namib desert
  • 1 night in a lodge in Pretoria
  • Multi-lingual tour director from Windhoek to Pretoria throughout
  • English-speaking tour guide for max. 23 guests from Windhoek to Pretoria
  • Doctor on board
  • All meals as specified in the itinerary
  • All excursions and sightseeing including admission fees
  • Excursions and transfers in air-conditioned buses
  • Porter service from/to Windhoek & Pretoria airports
  • Fascinating series of lectures on sights, history, daily life and culture
  • Extensive information materials
  • Airport transfers for guests arriving between 11.30 a.m. and 12.10 p.m. in Windhoek on day 1 and departing from Johannesburg on day 14 between 7:00 p.m. and 9.00 p.m. (to be confirmed)
  • Travel documents

  • Passport and visas required
  • Tour prices exclude:

  • Visa fees
  • Gratuities
  • International flights
  • Individual airport transfers: 90 € per car (2 pax) in Windhoek and 100 € per car (2 pax) in Pretoria (to be confirmed)
  • Contact

    Contact the Club to book African Explorer Windhoek to Pretoria and for more information




    We regret that, due to the intricate logistics of this tour, itinerary changes are sometimes unavoidable.

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