PRE-DAY
Guests will be met upon arrival at Victoria Falls International Airport and transferred to the train. Having a pre-day allows guests to acclimatise and unpack prior to the first day of touring. A pre-night on board will include dinner, bed and breakfast.

DAY01 – VICTORIA FALLS

Guests arriving at Victoria Falls International Airport today will be met and transferred to the train. Please note that you should arrive no later than 08h00 at the airport in order to be able to participate in the day’s touring.

INCLUSIVE OPTION The Victoria Falls

Forming the largest single “curtain” of falling water on earth (on average the curtain is 92 m deep) The Victoria Falls’ 500m plume of spray can be seen from as far as 70 km away. The sound of the water can also be heard from kilometres away and up close this muted ‘thunder’ becomes a roar. In full flood, over 550 million litres of water per minute cascade over the brink. The vast width of the Falls, extending 1 708 m, allow for many safe vantage points from where you will be able to get different views of the roiling water as it crashes into the gorge and whose constant spray maintains the Rain Forest. The forest is an attraction on its own with many of the trees marked to help identification. These include fig, mahogany, date palm, milkwood and ebony. The bird life is also prolific and species that may be seen include the colourful sunbird and large trumpeter hornbill. Craft and curio shops abound with enough variety for everyone to find something to take home as a souvenir. (Morning. Distance travelled:  15 km)

DAY2

INCLUSIVE OPTION Chobe National Park

A 70-kilometre road trip brings us to the Botswana border, where we cross into the famous Chobe National Park. There is a great array of wildlife and the Chobe elephants are well respected, as are the many hippos which can be seen in large numbers basking in the river. Highlights include a game drive in 4×4 vehicles and a river cruise on the Chobe River. Lunch (guests’ own account) will be taken at a waterfront lodge where there is a swimming pool. (Full day. Distance travelled:  200 km)

DAY 03 – LIVINGSTONE (ZAMBIA)

INCLUSIVE OPTION

Across the Falls and into Livingstone. Guests cross the Great Zambezi River via 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, the Scottish missionary, who had an insatiable appetite for exploration and a desire to open Africa to the world. The existence of the Falls had of course been known to local tribes long before he ‘discovered’ them. Upon hearing stories about “Mosi oa Tunya” (the smoke that thunders), he arranged to be taken there by dugout canoe and on November 16, 1855 Livingstone came to the northern end of what is now Livingstone Island. From there he crawled to the edge of the precipice and beheld the spectacle of the waterfall for the first time. We visit the Livingstone Museum before heading to the Waterfront Lodge for lunch. Our last visit in the afternoon will be at the Fifth Gorge for a spectacular view of the Zambezi River. (Full day. Distance travelled:  70 km)

DAY4
INCLUSIVE OPTIONS Hwange National Park

Situated in the north-west corner of Zimbabwe, Hwange National Park is the nation’s largest wildlife area and contains a variety of animals and bird species, but is most well known for its prolific lion population. Covering 1 462 000 hectares, Hwange is roughly the same size as Belgium. An early morning game drive in the park is followed by breakfast at the Sable Valley Lodge. After a morning of game viewing, lunch (guests’ own account) will be at the Sikumi Tree Lodge. There will be an opportunity to relax at the pool for a while before we resume our game viewing later in the afternoon. (Full day. Departure time depends on the gate opening times. Distance travelled:  120 km) The train departs for Bulawayo in the early morning. Depart Dete at 05H00.

DAY5

INCLUSIVE OPTIONS

1. Natural History and Art Gallery (closed on Sundays) Light lunch will be served on board before guests embark on a half day tour of Bulawayo, the tour will include the visit to the Natural History Museum, which is one of the best of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. Lastly, we take a drive through the city and visit an art gallery before returning to the train. (Full day; distance travelled:  50 km)

DAY 06 – BULAWAYO AND MATOBO NATIONAL PARK

INCLUSIVE OPTIONS

1.Matobo Hills Full day.

Matobo means “bald headed ones” and aptly describes the dramatic hills and granite rocks of this area. Highlights include a visit to the burial place of Cecil John Rhodes, who gave the country its previous name of Rhodesia. Afterwards, we will go and visit one of the more accessible bushman caves, of which there are many hidden amongst the hills. There will be time for lunch (guests’ own account) before returning to the train in the evening. (Full day; distance travelled:  150 km)

DAY 07 – GREAT ZIMBABWE INCLUSIVE OPTION

Largest monument in Africa south of the Pyramids Great Zimbabwe, a hugely impressive monument situated on the south-eastern edge of the central plateau is the largest pre-colonial monument south of the Egyptian pyramids and is a celebrated achievement of the African people. Magical fables such as the story of King Solomon’s Mines find their origins here amongst the ruins of an ancient city built by the Rozwi people. Discover how these ancient people lived and mined gold and silver, which were ultimately taken out of Africa by Arabic and Portuguese traders. The tour is followed by lunch at the Great Zimbabwe Hotel (guests’ own account), after which we travel through attractive granite hill country to Rutenga. (Full day. Distance travelled:  300 km)

DAY 08 – DAY ON TRAIN TO SOUTH AFRICA

INCLUSIVE OPTION

Day on the train

Guests spend the day relaxing on the train which travels through the countryside of Limpopo, Gauteng and Mpumalanga provinces. The train stops in Nelspruit, the capital of Mpumalanga, where guests spend the night, departing for the Panorama Route the following morning. Lunch will be served on the train today and our guides will host informative talks in the lounges.

DAY9
INCLUSIVE OPTION Panorama Route

In 1873 gold was discovered in the area around the quaint town of Pilgrim’s Rest, now a living museum and National Monument. The find attracted 1500 diggers and today, many of the restored miner’s houses serve as shops. Further along the escarpment we find the great Blyde River Canyon, a gorge 26 km in length and 800 m deep, carved from the face of the escarpment. The Three Rondavels, three huge rock spirals rising out of the far wall of the canyon and resembling African huts present an unforgettable sight. Bourke’s Luck Potholes are strange deep cylindrical cavities formed by river erosion and floodwater. From the vantage point of God’s Window 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. (Full day. Distance travelled:  280 km)

DAY10
INCLUSIVE OPTIONS Kruger National Park

The world-renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience second to none. Its 2 million hectares are unrivalled in diversity of life forms and the park is a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques. The park is home to an impressive number of species, e.g. 336 species of trees, 49 species of fish, 34 species of amphibians, 114 species of reptiles, 507 species of birds and 147 species of mammals. Game drives will be conducted in our air-conditioned vehicles. (Full day. Departure time depends on the season, as gates open and close with sunrise and sunset. Distance travelled: 220 km)

DAY 11 – MPUMALANGA

Mpumalanga, meaning “Land of the Rising Sun” is a province of extraordinary natural beauty. INCLUSIVE OPTIONS 1. Kruger National Park

The world-renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience second to none. Its 2 million hectares are unrivalled in diversity of life forms and the park is a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques. The park is home to an impressive number of species, e.g. 336 species of trees, 49 species of fish, 34 species of amphibians, 114 species of reptiles, 507 species of birds and 147 species of mammals. Game drives will be conducted in our air-conditioned vehicles. (Full day. Departure time depends on the season, as gates open and close with sunrise and sunset. Distance travelled: 220 km)

2. Nelspruit

Nelspruit is considered the Gateway to Mpumalanga Province. The city’s sub-tropical climate, abundant sunshine and fertile soil provide perfect conditions for the cultivation of citrus and tropical fruits (mango, banana, avocado, macadamia and pecan nuts) resulting in the city’s becoming a trading centre for the outlying fruit growing area. The Lowveld Botanical Gardens just outside the town have a rare collection of plant species and the first man-made rain forest. Lunchtime will be spent at the Riverside Mall. In the afternoon you will head to the nearby Sudwala Caves and Dinosaur Park. A guided tour in the caves will expose your senses to primitive Africa.

(Full day. Distance travelled:  130 km)

DAY12
Maputo, the capital of Mozambique is a city of contrasts and offers an exciting mix of cultures. The city swings along to a beat like no other in Africa and offers true African hospitality. Its architecture is a blend of African, Portuguese and early Colonial traditions, with old Catholic churches side-by-side with mosques, fortresses, Victorian mansions and other buildings from a bygone era.

INCLUSIVE OPTIONS 1.At the Beach

Guests are transferred to the ferry port for a ride to a beach resort where you can relax in the sun or go for a swim. Lunch (guests’ own account) can be taken at a restaurant specialising in Indian Ocean cuisine with an emphasis on the freshest seafood dishes prepared in traditional African-Portuguese ways. A late afternoon stroll along the beach will see local fisherman landing their catches.

(Full day. Distance travelled: 160 km) 2.At the Beach on the Marginal

Guests are transferred to Costa Do Sol “Coast of the Sun”. En route to this famous landmark hotel & restaurant your Shongololo Guide will give you an orientation on your surroundings and outline what activities you will be able to do during leisure time today. A shuttle service will be available at certain times and locations which will be pointed out by your guide. Along the colourful Marginal (palm lined beach front) you will find many cafés and restaurants which specialise in Indian Ocean cuisine with its emphasis on the freshest seafood dishes prepared in traditional African-Portuguese ways. Enjoy an ice cold local 2M or Laurentina beer in one of the charming bars. While you stroll along the beach, you will be able to watch local fishermen cast their nets, manoeuvre their light dhows in the breeze, watch or even join in a game of beach volley ball or football, or simply take in the hustle and bustle of beach lifestyle in this up and coming city. (Full day. Distance travelled:  40 km)

Evening Activity Dinner at a local seafood restaurant.

DAY 13 – MAPUTO (MOZAMBIQUE)

INCLUSIVE OPTIONS

Tour of Maputo

Today’s tour offers guests a good impression of the character of the city. A visit to the municipal market is followed by a stop at the old Fortaleza, which dates back to 1769. Other interesting city sites include the Catholic Cathedral, the Civic Centre, Louis Trichardt Trek Memorial, Samora Machel Statue, the Jardim Tunduru (Botanical Gardens) and Eiffel’s Iron House (Casa do Ferro). The Polana Hotel, built in the 1920s, with its striking white exterior and stunning décor, is the best-known landmark in the city and from its gardens one can see Xefina Island. Next we visit an art gallery where furniture and sculptures are crafted out of old AK47 weapons. A drive along the Marginal takes us to Costa do Sol. At Costa do Sol there is an opportunity to relax while having a cold drink. Lunch (guests’ own account) will be at Mundos restaurant or alternatively in one of the other restaurants or hotels in town. After lunch we head back to the train. An afternoon high tea will be served on board while we rock’n roll through the countryside.

(Half day. Distance travelled:  60 km) The train departs Maputo at around 15h00 and travels into Swaziland via the Goba Border Post to Mpaka station.

DAY 14 – SWAZILAND

The tiny Kingdom of Swaziland covers only 17 000 square kilometres, making it the second smallest country in Africa. INCLUSIVE OPTION Tour through Swaziland

YOU WILL NEED YOUR PASSPORT FOR TODAY’S TOUR. After passport formalities guests will travel by road to Manzini enjoying amazing views of the Ezulwini Valley and the Komati River en route. This excursion into Swaziland will introduce you to everyday life in Africa’s smallest kingdom. The Swazi Market is a bustling hive of activity and displays a wide variety of skillfully crafted woodcarvings, colourful textiles and superb basketwork for which Swazis are renowned. (Full day. Distance travelled:  400 km) Guests rejoin the train in Kaapmuiden, South Africa and continue overnight to Witbank.

DAY 15 – PRETORIA / JOHANNESBURG / SOWETO

Gauteng is the economic power house of the Southern African region and home to some of Africa’s greatest cities. The name of the province is a Sotho word meaning “Place of Gold”, which is very suitable since much of the wealth of Gauteng has derived from this precious metal. INCLUSIVE OPTIONS 1. Pretoria and Soweto

We will spend the morning in Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa. We visit the Union Buildings designed by the famous colonial English architect, Sir Herbert Baker and completed in 1913 and which now houses the offices of the President and Ministers. The buildings overlook the city towards the once fortified hills to the south. A grand bronze statue of “Oom Paul (Kruger)”, the patriarch president of the ZAR or old Transvaal Republic, surrounded by his Boer fighters, dominates Church Square, at the centre of the city. Before leaving the capital behind, we visit the Voortrekker Monument which commemorates the Great Trek of the 1830s. In the afternoon we travel to Soweto to visit the Hector Petersen Memorial, named after the first student to lose his life in the 1976 uprising against the Apartheid government.

(Full day. Distance travelled:200 km) 2. Johannesburg and Soweto

DAY 16 – TRANSFER DAY

Guests transferring to a hotel will be taken through during the morning. Guests leaving later out of OR Tambo International Airport may take optional tours during the day.

Our day starts at Constitution Hill in Braamfontein in the centre of Johannesburg. This is the new home of the Constitutional Court and the site of Johannesburg’s notorious Old Fort Prison Complex, where many of South Africa’s leading political activists were detained. We then head onto the Newtown precinct to visit Museum Africa previously known as the market of Johannesburg. This is all part of the history of the “City of Gold”. This is followed by a lunch break (guests’ own account) in the suburb of Rosebank, where you can experience the multi-cultural “Rainbow Nation” in a modern, ethnocentric setting. Rosebank showcases a mix of first and third world cultures and arts and crafts from all over the African continent. In the afternoon, we travel to Soweto to experience the heartbeat of this township, comprising one million people and made famous by the laws of Apartheid. We pass the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital (the largest hospital in the Southern Hemisphere) and also drive past the only street in Africa that once housed two Nobel Peace Laureates – Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. We visit the Hector Petersen Memorial, named after the first student to lose his life in the 1976 uprising against the Apartheid government. (Full day. Distance travelled:  150 km)

During the morning the train travels empty to Germiston Reef Steamers – Johannesburg. Guests rejoin the train here to overnight.