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South Africa with Rovos Rail

Experience more with so much included

  • Tour the legendary Zulu War battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift with a specialist guide
  • Full-day guided safari in the Kruger National Park, one of the world’s most outstanding game reserves
  • Stay in the heart of the gorgeous Western Cape’s Winelands, enjoying a cellar tour and tasting at a 300-year-old wine estate
  • Stay three nights in cosmopolitan Cape Town, one of the world’s most naturally beautiful cities, dominated by the instantly recognisable Table Mountain
  • Explore legendary Cape of Good Hope and Cape Town’s Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
  • Visit Johannesburg’s Apartheid Museum, a real must in understanding contemporary South Africa
  • Gaze at the awe-inspiring Blyde River canyon, the third largest in the world
  • Visit Hermanus for the world’s finest on-shore whale watching, dependent on season
  • Enjoy a scenic drive through the beautiful small country of Swaziland
  • Take an internal flight to the stunning Garden Route
  • Return scheduled flights 
  • Stay in hand-picked four-star and three-star hotels with daily breakfast, two lunches and three dinners
  • The services of our experienced and insightful tour manager throughout
 
At a Glance
Return flights & transfers
3 to 4-star accommodation
Stay on the luxurious Rovos Rail train
18 meals: 13 breakfasts, 2 lunches & 3 dinners
Programme of daily tours & visits
Expert tour manager
Checked Luggage
 

Overview

South Africans call their homeland ‘a world in one country’. It covers an area equivalent to five times the size of Britain, with a climate ranging from temperate, Mediterranean and sub-tropical to desert; it offers spectacular scenery with arguably the finest wildlife on earth and no less than eleven official languages. South Africa is truly a world-class destination!

Firstly, a more naturally beautiful country would be difficult to find - from the serrated peaks of the Drakensberg mountains, to the contorted and timeless semi-desert landscapes of the Karoo and the forested sea-shores and mirror-like lakes of the Garden Route, the enchanting temperate valleys of the Winelands, the rare proximity to nature found in the national parks and the instantly recognizable symbol of the country, Table Mountain - all under an endless azure-blue sky. Quite remarkable!

Then there is the wildlife, one of the main reasons visitors travel to Africa. One of the finest places in the world to experience this is the Kruger National Park, which is a similar size to Wales. It is exactly how you imagine the African bush to be, as depicted on countless TV documentaries: areas of sweeping savannah, bisected by rivers full of hippos, muddy waterholes lined with animals quenching their thirst, and the bush itself, home to zebra and antelope, studded by immense biscuit-coloured termite hills and towering above it all, instantly recognisable giraffes! The park is home to an incredible 150 mammal and 500 bird species including the ‘big five’: elephant, lion, rhino, leopard and buffalo. Game-viewing is an intensely moving experience with nothing preparing you for the waves of emotion inspired by an encounter with these wonderful, almost regal creatures thriving in their natural habitat. Just to highlight the variety of flora too, the Cape Peninsula alone has twice as many plant varieties as Britain, which is 5,000 times bigger. But South Africa is not just about scenery and wildlife, fabulous as it is.

The cities are amazing and highlight the country’s diversity. Brash Johannesburg, city of gold and South Africa’s cultural capital, with skyscrapers of concrete and glass separated by canyon-like streets contrasting with townships on its outskirts. Then there is the ‘Mother City’, Cape Town, overlooked by the vast bulk of Table Mountain and easily Africa’s most beautiful and sophisticated city. It is a real multi-cultural melting pot, with stunning Cape architecture, superb beaches, the best cuisine in the country, fabulous street musicians, mime artists and entertainers adding to its cosmopolitan atmosphere.

Any country is shaped by its past - South Africa more than most with its recent history a constant struggle between the British, Afrikaners, and various indigenous peoples, the Zulus being the most well known. The British annexed the Cape from the Dutch during the 18th century, who then set out inland founding the Orange Free State and the Transvaal. However, with the discovery of the world’s largest gold deposits, British interest flourished! This culminated in the Boer War and unification of the country. We all inevitably associate South Africa with the inhumanities of the old Apartheid system, which needs no explanation.

Our visit to the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg takes us on a fascinating, horrifying, humbling and ultimately inspiring journey from the dark days of ‘whites only’ privilege, through to Nelson Mandela’s historic release. Documentary film, texts, sound clips and live accounts recapture life in the old South Africa.

We also visit the famous battlefields of the Zulu Wars, Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift – one a crushing British defeat sending shock waves throughout the Empire, the other a valiant stand of just 140 against 4,000 Zulus. Few tours visit these remarkable sites, a vital and deeply moving part of South Africa’s unique heritage.

The Garden Route in the Western Cape is legendary. With a mild climate and facing the southern Indian Ocean, this unique region encompasses beautiful coastal and mountain scenery. Depending on the time of year, we’ll have the opportunity to travel to the beautiful seaside resort of Hermanus, the best place for on-shore whale watching. We also spend a most enjoyable few days surrounded by the seemingly never-ending rows of vines in fertile valleys, backed by the lofty mountains of the enchanting Winelands.

This wonderful 16-day tour is designed to highlight South Africa’s truly amazing diversity of cultures, its curious blend of old and new, and its phenomenal scenery and wildlife. You leave with the feeling that the new South Africa, open to the world after years of isolation, is a land of superlatives which cannot fail to impress the welcome visitor!

Your Itinerary

South Africa Tour

Price Includes

The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room. Single rooms are subject to availability (date dependent) at the relevant supplement. The price includes:

  • Return flights
  • Overseas transfers
  • Thirteen nights in hotel accommodation
  • Two nights on the Rovos Rail train (Pullman Suite)
  • Daily breakfast, three dinners and two lunches
  • All tours as mentioned
  • Porterage of one item of luggage per person
  • Checked luggage allowance
  • Services of an experienced Riviera Travel tour manager

Tour Manager Karen on Southern Africa & Costa Rica

Rovos Rail Upgrades

Your time on the Rovos Rail includes a stay in a Pullman Suite. These are 7 square metres equipped with a comfortable sofa seat during the day which is converted into a double or twin beds at night. These sleeper coaches are wood panelled and have been refurbished to excellent condition, containing a writing table, safe, hair dryer, shaving plugs and a mini bar. There is an en-suite bathroom with shower in each suite and room service available 24 hours a day.

You may wish to upgrade to a Deluxe Suite which is larger at 10 square metres and has a small seating area in addition to the standard facilities of a Pullman Suite. There are also Royal Suite upgrades, subject to availability.

  • Note that some twin beds will be in an ‘L’ shape rather than side by side.
  • Rovos Rail website.

For more information or to request an upgrade please contact us.

Useful Information

Fact File

  • Country: South Africa
  • Currency: South African Rand
  • Language: English, Afrikaans
  • Flight time: Approx.  11 hrs 30 mins
  • Time zone: GMT+2
  • Deposit: €500 per person

Mobility

We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility we would encourage you to call us to discuss these concerns. General information on mobility in connection with our tours can be found here.

Health

Please consult your GP regarding the appropriate inoculations required for South Africa at least a month before departure. The Kruger National Park is considered a malarial zone, although the risk is reduced during the South African drier ‘winter’ months of May to August. Please consult your GP regarding the appropriate medication well before departure and ensure you use a strong mosquito repellent.

Transfer Times

All transfer times listed here are approximate, and dependent on traffic. If you have a question regarding transfer times please don't hesitate to contact us

En route to the hotel in Johannesburg, we spend 2 hours at the Apartheid Museum. 

Arrival airport First hotel location Transfer time Final hotel location Departure airport Transfer time
Johannesburg - O.R. Tambo International Airport Johannesburg 1 hr Pretoria Cape Town International Airport 1 hr


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