Discover the highlights of South Africa with a rail journey on the luxurious Blue Train from Pretoria to Cape Town.
About the Tour
Watch as the highlights of South Africa unfold before your eyes on this unforgettable journey from Johannesburg to Cape Town. Begin with an overnight in Johannesburg, where you have a chance to get acquainted with the local atmosphere, before traveling to Kruger National Park. Three full days in Kruger means there are no shortage of opportunities to spot wild game and soak in the exotic beauty of the protected land. A hotel on wheels, the iconic Blue Train takes us even further into South Africa, all the while offering luxurious amenities and memorable vistas of mountains, wine country, old diamond mines and more. The train arrives in Cape Town with even more excitement lying ahead. Enjoy amazing views from the Flying Dutchman Funicular Railroad, taste the flavorful wines of the Franschhoek and Stellenbosch valleys and take in the unique offerings of Cape Town. From the wild of Kruger to the cultural epicenter of Cape Town, there is much to see on this memorable trip.
- Rail travel on the iconic Blue Train (2 nights on train)
- Scenic rail excursion on the Flying Dutchman Railroad
- Hotel accommodations for 8 nights
- 18 meals including, including a 'Boerebraai' lunch in Stellenbosch
- Visit to Table Mountain and Cape Point
- Boulders Bay excursion to visit the penguin colony
- Tour of Kimberly with visit to 'The Big Hole' Mine Museum
- Two full-day game drives in Kruger National Park
- Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
- Services of a professional Tour Manager
Day 1 - Arrive in Johannesburg
Your flight arrives in Johannesburg, at which time you check-in to the Emperors Palace Hotel at O.R. Tambo International Airport. The evening is yours to try your luck in the casino, catch a show, relax at the spa or dine in one of the eclectic restaurants onsite. Overnight Johannesburg.
Day 2 - To Kruger
Today, meet the rest of your group and your Tour Manager at the airport for your transfer to the 4-Star Protea Hotel Kruger Gate in Kruger. The drive is truly memorable, with vast farmlands, colorful hills and wild landscapes sitting just outside of busy cities and small towns. Set on the banks of the Sabie River, just 100 meters from the entrance to Kruger National Park, this is a luxury lodge-style hotel that makes the perfect base for safaris into the magnificent game park. Upon arrival, we enjoy our first dinner together. Overnight Kruger.
Day 3 - Exploring Kruger National Park
Our first taste of wild Africa lies ahead as we enjoy a full-day game drive to track the iconic wildlife of Kruger National Park. A skilled local ranger navigates our Jeeps through the park, taking us to the best locations to see animals. Some of the animals are perfectly camouflaged with their surroundings, and our guides assist us in spotting them. First, we track the big cats, who are still out from their night of hunting. Later in the morning, we move on to the rest of the “Big Five” that live within the park- lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffalo).
The hotel provides us with a lunchbox ahead of each day's game drive, for convenience. As we return to the hotel in the mid-afternoon, the rest of the day is free for you to spend at leisure. Relax in the spa or by the swimming pool, or head over to the nature reserve by the hotel for extra game viewing at your own pace. If you desire, the hotel can even arrange a bush walk for you. Overnight Kruger.
Day 4 - Kruger National Park Continued
Much like the day before, we head out early this morning in search of big cats returning from their nocturnal hunts and the Big Five. Our guide offers invaluable information about the local flora and fauna, including the fascinating plants and colorful birds, as we track the animals.
Returning mid-day, your afternoon and evening are again at leisure to enjoy the amenities of this luxury hotel. Overnight Kruger.
Day 5 - The Blue Train
This morning we travel to the railroad station and begin our journey on the iconic Blue Train. A Blue Train butler escorts you to your cabin aboard and provides an orientation of the train. As our journey to Cape Town begins, you are invited to join brunch in the Dining Car.
The service aboard The Blue Train is impeccable. We enjoy delicious meals and wonderful drinks throughout the day, including afternoon tea, aperitifs, lavish formal dinners of local cuisine and wine, and post-dinner drinks. Our journey today takes us through the region’s famous wine lands to the Karoo plateau. We continue into the first of the Boland Mountain passes and move through the southern reaches of Swartland. Take in the impressive vistas from the picture windows in the Lounge, Club and Observation Cars while enjoying the lavish atmosphere. Overnight train.
Day 6 - Kimberley
Awake to scenes that continue to change before your eyes as we make our way toward Kimberley, the capital of South Africa's Northern Cape, for a quick excursion. This city has enjoyed great prosper, thanks to the diamond rush of the 1870s, and is the site of the world’s largest excavation site. Upon arrival, we visit ‘The Big Hole’ and the Kimberley Mine Museum next door. The Big Hole was formed under the pressure of the thousands of people who visited the hill where the diamonds were first found. Incredibly, the hole is 1,519 feet wide, with the mine underneath reaching a depth of 3,599 feet. The mine is no longer in use, but the fascinating onsite museum details the history of the site and offers both preserved and restored period buildings from the early years of the rush. We reboard the train for lunch and continue our southerly journey through this wild continent to Cape Town. Overnight train.
Day 7 - The Blue Train to Cape Town
Enjoy a fresh breakfast on the train as the route continues toward Cape Town. As Table Mountain comes into view, we have arrived. As we disembark the train, an orientation tour of Cape Town presents some of the most impressive sites in the city. Later, we transfer to the 5-Star Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel, which is superbly near the Atlantic Ocean. Take some time to settle in, then we head out to take a cable car ride ascent up Table Mountain (weather dependent). Panoramic views surround us as we near the summit. Watch as urban vistas collide with the rugged coastline and the azul waters of the Atlantic. As we return to the hotel, your evening is at leisure to relax and enjoy the onsite amenities. Overnight Cape Town.
Day 8 - Cape of Good Hope & Boulders Bay
Cape Point on the Cape of Good Hope is our destination today. At Cape Point, we board the Flying Dutchman Funicular railway for an unforgettable ride up to the lighthouse vantage point at the top. As we reach the summit, views of lush foliage, crashing waves and impressive rock formations. Reaching the bottom of the mountain, we lunch together and then travel along False Bay via Simon's Town naval base to the penguin colony at Boulders Beach. This beach is home to Africa’s only indigenous penguin, and the perfect place to watch these adorable marine birds in their natural habitat. We return to Cape Town for an evening at leisure at our hotel. Overnight Cape Town.
Day 9 - Stellenbosch Vineyards
Immerse yourself in the beauty of two of South Africa’s finest wine-producing areas: the Franschhoek and Stellenbosch Valleys. As we travel through the valleys by coach, we sample local wines at Stellenbosch Vineyards and enjoy a delicious Boerebraai lunch, a unique South African social event in which family and friends gather together to create a memorable dining experience. We return to our hotel later this afternoon, and the remainder of the day is yours to do as you please. Overnight Cape Town.
Day 10 - Cape Town at Leisure
Take time to explore Cape Town at your own pace today. Among the gorgeous natural landmarks, incredible displays of street art and the brightly-painted buildings along the waterfront lies an array of fascinating sites to discover. Perhaps visit Robben Island where the late Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years. Now a museum detailing the struggle for democracy in South Africa, the prison is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You could also hike Table Rock Mountain or peruse the offerings at the V&A Waterfront. Overnight Cape Town.
Day 11 - Tour Conclusion
Your African adventure comes to a close this morning after breakfast. Feel free to explore Cape Town a little more before making your way to the airport for your return flight home.
Protea Hotel Kruger Gate, Kruger
Located just 100 meters from the entrance of Kruger National Park, the Protea Hotel Kruger Gate is a luxury hotel on the banks of the Sabie River. The lodge-style establishment is the perfect base for safaris and a wonderful place to take in views of game frolicking in the nearby game preserve. The 4-star hotel has two restaurants and two bars, a swimming pool, a spa, a gym, a mini-golf course and air conditioning throughout. The guest rooms come in a variety of sizes and are tastefully decorated in upscale African-inspired decor. Visitors enjoy free Wi-Fi, satellite TV, a minibar, tea/coffee making facilities and a safe in the rooms.
Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape Town
Take in views of Table Mountain and Robben Island from the comfort of 5-star accommodations at the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront. The hotel is situated along the Atlantic Ocean and has an excellent reputation for comfort, thanks to its onsite amenities, which include a restaurant, a swimming pool, a fitness room and a spa that offers a selection of beauty treatments and therapies. The rooms are air-conditioned and come with a king-sized bed or twin beds, telephone, satellite television, tea and coffee making facilities, a minibar and a hairdryer.
The Blue Train
The Blue Train offers passengers a luxurious on-board experience that is not soon forgotten. Covering nearly 1,000 miles of Africa’s landscape, the route from Kruger to Cape Town takes approximately 31 hours to complete. Along the way, we pass through cities and remote stretches of wilderness. You can take in these changes from the Lounge Car, which is the ideal place to meet your fellow travelers and relax with a coffee after dinner. There is also a Club Car that has a well-stocked bar, a library, and a big-screen television. Also on the train is a boutique that sells a collection of beautiful South African jewelry and Blue Train souvenirs. The meals on the Blue Train are an experience in and of themselves and are taken in the Dining Car. On-board chefs use the freshest produce and ingredients to prepare a sumptuous menu of local cuisine, which is complemented by award-winning South African wines. Crisp table linens, crystal glassware, and the finest Sheffield cutlery complement the silver service presentation of the food. A continental or full English breakfast is served at leisure. The dress code for dinner is formal (jacket and tie for men, evening wear for ladies).
The train has recently been updated to include complimentary Wi-Fi access throughout and flat-screen televisions in your cabin which shows spectacular scenic footage live from the driver's view of the train.
Tour Dates & Prices
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We recommend that for this tour you arrange flights to O.R.Tambo International Airport, approximately 2 miles from the Emperors Palace Hotel. Our recommended departure airport is Cape Town International Airport, approximately 14 miles from your base in Cape Town.
Itinerary operates from Cape Town to Kruger for 2021 departures. Itinerary and accommodations may vary for 2021 departures, please speak with a rail specialist for details.