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


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Rovos Club (frequent traveller) Discount honoured

NO booking fee

- One complimentary hotel night and transfers between Station / hotel in Pretoria if combining two journeys from: Pride of Africa AND / OR Shongololo Express

Shongololo Express inquiry

About The Shongololo Express

Shongololo is the Zulu word for the large brown millipede and this long train is an impressive sight as it traverses the plains of southern Africa. The ultimate in touring, this train offers a true safari experience, by rail.

Rovos Rail has recently purchased the Shongololo Express for a high-quality rail travel experience. This is a First Class experience from Rovos who have an enviable reputation in delivering excellent service and attention to detail.

Consider Rovos's Pride of Africa for a luxury experience.

Travelling comfortably and securely during the night, Shongololo Express trains save guests precious holiday time, arriving each dawn at a new destination.

Professional multi-lingual guides (English, Afrikaans, French & German spoken on board) are ready to take guests on inclusive scheduled excursions. Their experience and wealth of knowledge assist passengers to gain the most from each day's programme.

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

Shongololo Express Emerald double bed suite Luxury Train Club

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.

Bathroom Amenities. Soap (25g), tissues, shampoo (60ml), conditioner (60ml), bath and shower gel (60ml), hand and body lotion (60ml), lip balm (4.8g), Sun Cream SPF30 (8ml), insect repellent gel (8ml), round cotton wool, ear buds, shoe mit, nail file, small sewing kit, shower cap. Hair Dryer. Items replenishable. Slippers and gowns in the suites.

Shongololo Express Luxury Train Club Emerald SuiteEmerald Suite, Double Bed and Twin Beds

Emerald Suite: 10sqm / 107.60sq ft

Double bed with a small lounge area and en-suite. Bed: 190cms x 150cms / 6ft 2ins x 4ft 9ins

Twin beds with en-suite bathroom (shower, basin and toilet). Bed: 190 cms x 75 cms / 6ft 2ins x 2ft 5ins

Shongololo Express Luxury Train Club Gold Suite

Gold Suite: 7sqm / 75.35sq ft

Double bed with en-suite bathroom (shower, basin and toilet). Bed: 190cms x 190cms / 6ft 2ins x 6ft 2ins

Twin beds with en-suite bathroom (shower, basin and toilet). Bed: 190 cms x 75 cms / 6ft 2ins x 2ft 5ins

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.

Shongololo Express Observation Car Luxury Train Club

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.

Pre/Post Accommodation and Tours

Luxury Safari Club pre post Rovos luxury train journeys

Please ask if you would like to be informed of the above services.

The Luxury Safari Club simplifies your search for the ultimate safari experience. We have applied the same concierge approach to developing your wildlife experience.

Itineraries/Prices/Dates 2021/2022

The Good Hope / Golf

Shongololo Express Good Hope Map Luxury Train Club

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

Offering an amazing and comprehensive view of South Africa, incorporating virtually every internationally-regarded 'must see' sight and highlight of this country.

Tours included: Group Pre and Post tours of Pretoria and Cape Town are available.

*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.

NOTE: There is both a Golfers' Itinerary and a Non-Golfers' Itinerary. Both Itineraries can be found here.

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 2021/2022

Pretoria - Cape Town 2021: 30 September

Gold R104,000 per person
Emerald R132,000 per person

Cape Town - Pretoria 2022: 29 August. 21 November

GoldR129,500 per person
EmeraldR179,000 per person

Single supplement available. Prices exclude Club Discount

The Southern Cross

Shongololo Express Southern Cross map Luxury Train Club

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

Tours included: Group Pre and Post tours of Pretoria and Victoria Falls are available.

Once guests have settled into their cabins on the train, they are then taken on guided tours of the many sites in Pretoria 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.

Go here for the full itinerary, Southern Cross Southbound - Victoria Falls to Pretoria

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 2021/2022

Pretoria to Victoria Falls 2021: 5 August. 21 October

Gold R92,500 per person
Emerald R113,500 per person

Pretoria to Victoria Falls 2022: 6 January. 25 February. 14 April. 5 August. 16 September

Victoria Falls to Pretoria 2022: 20 January. 10 March. 28 April.

GoldR116,000 per person
EmeraldR159,000 per person

Single supplement available. Prices exclude Club Discount.

The Dune Express

Shongololo Express Dune Express Map Luxury Train Club

Pretoria to Walvis Bay or in reverse. 11 nights and 12 days.

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 Walvis Bay and 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 2021/2022

Pretoria to Walvis Bay 2021: 19 August

Gold R92,500 per person
Emerald R113,500 per person


Pretoria to Walvis Bay 2022: 24 March

Walvis Bay to Pretoria 2022: 25 March. 26 May . 11 November

GoldR116,000 per person
EmeraldR159,000 per person

Single supplement available. Prices exclude Club Discount

The African Trilogy

Pretoria, Drakensberg Mountains, Kruger Park, Swaziland, Hluhluwe, Durban, Valley of 1000 Hills, Kimberley, Karo, Upington, Fish River Canyuon, Keetmanshoop, Kalahari Desert, Sossusvlei, Namib-Naukluft Part, Windhoek, Namib Desert, Cheetah Conservation Project, Etosha, Walvis Bay

This panoramic 15-day sojourn winds its way across Southern Africa from the Indian Ocean in the east to the Atlantic coast in the west. Starting in Pretoria, descend the spectacular escarpment to the world-famous Kruger Park for a game drive. Explore the Kingdom of eSwatini followed by a game drive in Hluhluwe wildlife reserve and a tour of Durban and its botanical gardens. Traverse the Valley of a Thousand Hills and the imposing Drakensberg Mountains to visit the 1870s mining village of Kimberley, centre of one of the world’s notorious diamond rushes. Continue through the semi-desert region of the Karoo to Upington and the Fish River Canyon, second in size to the Grand Canyon. Cross the untamed beauty of the Kalahari Desert to see the Quiver trees at Garas Park, home to roughly 300 specimens of the Aloe dichotomy. Take a short flight to Sossusvlei for a lodge stay surrounded by the dramatic dunes of the Namib-Naukluft Park. Enjoy desert drives, a bush dinner and breakfast near Deadvlei where camel-thorn trees contrast against the white-clay pan floor. Visit Namibia’s lively capital, Windhoek, and a cheetah conservation project before overnighting in the game-rich Etosha National Park. Leave the vast stillness of the Namib Desert for the wild Atlantic coast and journey’s end, Walvis Bay.

Dates and Prices 2022

Pretoria to Walvis Bay 2022: 9 February. 29 September

GoldR175,000 per person
EmeraldR230,000 per person

Single supplement available. Prices exclude Club Discount

The Malawi Meander

Malawi Meander Shongololo Express Luxury Train Club

Pretoria via Harare to Lilongwe or in reverse. 14 nights / 15 days

DAY 1 Pretoria depart 10.00

DAY 2 Kruger Park game drive

DAY 3 eSwatini tour

DAY 4 City tour Maputo, Mozambique

DAY 5 & 6 At leisure on board travelling Mozambique and Zimbabwe

DAY 7 Great Zimbabwe Monument visit

DAY 8 Antelope Park visit

DAY 9 Harare tour

DAY 10 Mutare Museum and Leopard Rock Hotel lunch

DAY 11 Beira tour, Mozambique

DAY 12 At leisure on board travelling Mozambique

DAY 13 Coal mine tour

DAY 14 Liwonde Park game drive; Shire River boat cruise; Overnight Lake Malawi retreat

DAY 15 Lilongwe, Malawi arrival 17.00

Malawi Meander inclusions / exclusions differ from other Shongololo Express journeys.

INCLUDES: Accommodation; all beverages on board; all meals; excursions accompanied by a qualified tour guide (where applicable); entrance fees as per itinerary; limited laundry; on-board historian, hairstylist and doctor; govt. tax.

EXCLUDES: All beverages off the train; gratuities; personal expenses; visas; travel insurance; pre- and post-tour transfers, accommodation and flights. Included in off-train accommodation: Meals, water, tea/coffee and breakfast juices; boat cruise drinks. Excluded from off-train accommodation: All other beverages; laundry; personal expenses.

Dates and Prices 2021/2022

Pretoria via Harare to Lilongwe 2021: 9 July. 2022: 8 July

Lilongwe via Harare to Pretoria 2021: 27 July. 2022: 26 July

Gold USD$ 13,200 per person
Emerald USD$ 17,500 per person

Single supplement available. Prices exclude Club Discount.

Lernidee African Explorer - Jewel of the Desert (Cape Town)

Cape Town, Matjiesfontain, Augrabies National Park, Fish River Canyon, Lüderitz, Namib Naukluft National Park, Swakopmund, Etosha National Park Windhoek or reverse

14 days/13 nights Train Safari through Namibia and South Africa (Children under 12 are not permitted on this journey)

Shongololo Express - The Luxury Train Club

Small groups of max. 12 guests in mini tour buses. A mixture of train nights and first class hotels.

Upon arrival in Cape town and transfer to your hotel (the Commodor or similar) there is free time before the welcome dinner. The next day the train departs, passing through the tunnels of the Hex River Mountains, then entering a beautiful landscape of vineyards and the Victorian town of Matijiesfontein, with its famous Lord Milner Hotel where Cecil Rhodes and Edgar Wallace used to stay.

Over the next few days of travel and safaris, one visits Fish River Canyon, the second largest canyon in the world; 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; 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; take 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; Namib Naukluft National Park; Etosha National Park.

Upon arrival in Windhoek there is a city tour including the neo-Gothic Christ Church and the Tintenpalast, before transfer to our hotel and the farewell dinner.

Accommodation on the Jewel of the Desert journeys is the same as for other Shongololo Express departures but is called Elephant (not Gold) and Leopard (not Emerald). Cabin details are here.

Go here for information about African Explorer health and safety protocols.

Dates and Prices 2021/2022

Cape Town to Windhoek. 2021: 18 October. 2022: 7 January. 27 October. English guides

Windhoek to Cape Town
. 2021: 31 October. 2022: 25 February. 14 October. French guides

Elephant (Gold) €6,390 per person
Leopard (Emerald) €8,430 per person

Single supplement available. Prices exclude Club Discount.

Luxury Safari Club

Luxury Safari Club pre post Rovos

Pre/Post tours & accommodation. Please ask the Luxury Safari Club.

General Information, Shongololo Express

What is the Rovos Shongololo Club? Go here for details of the Rovos reward scheme, the Rovos Shongololo Club.

What is Included in the Shongololo Express price? Accommodation on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis, lunch where stated, tea, coffee & bottled water; 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.

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

Disabled Access / Mobility on the Train Go here for guidelines about Rovos Disabled Access / Mobility, which also apply to Shongololo Express.

Bathroom Amenities. Soap, tissues, shampoo, conditioner, bath and shower gel, hand and body lotion, lip balm, Sun Cream SPF30, insect repellent gel, round cotton wool, ear buds, shoe mit, nail file, small sewing kit, shower cap. Hair Dryer. Items replenishable. Slippers and gowns in the suites.

What is not included in the Shongololo Express price? Lunches and beverages unless stated; laundry; gratuities; optional extras; transfers; pre and post packages; visas where applicable; travel insurance; golf course fees (Good Hope Golf only). Go here for the current wine list and here for the current cocktails list (November 2019).

What is the Shongololo Express Child Policy? Go here for the description.

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.

Yellow Fever and Malaria. It is strongly recommended that clients on the Good Hope, Southern Cross and the Dune Express trips take the necessary precautions.

Unforeseen events/changes: itineraries, routes and times may change at any time for reasons outside the control of the train company. Every effort will be made by train staff to minimise any impact; the Luxury Train Club cannot accept any responsibility for any changes. The Club aims to keep itineraries as up to date as possible.

Coronavirus Notice: Go here for general travel and health advice from governments, WHO and other organisations. Go here for Rovos Covid-19 Cleaning Processes, which apply to Shongololo Express.

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

Contact us to book the Shongololo Express or to ask any questions.

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