Rovos Rail

The brainchild of Rohan Vos, Rovos Rail was launched in 1989 and was born out of his passion for trains and a desire to show people what Africa is all about. With influential help from a few friends along the way, Rohan turned what started off as a holiday venture for his family into what would become a flourishing business for tourists travelling across Africa.

With their headquarters at a station in Pretoria, Rovos Rail offers the perfect blend of nostalgia and luxury. Guests get to relive the grand days of rail travel on board classic trains and carriages, whilst relaxing in fantastic comfort every step of the way. Life on board is effortless, with cars for dining, observation, lounging and sleeping offering everything you need on a African rail holiday. There are three different accommodation options to choose from, each of which are decorated in colonial style but offer all the modern facilities you will need. There’s air-conditioning, shaving plugs, hair dryers, fridges stocked with your choose of beverages and the sumptuous Royal Suites even provide a bath in which you can soak your weary legs.

The fleet consists of steam, diesel and electric locomotives that Rohan has acquired over time. Departing from or finishing in Pretoria, itineraries can take you all over Southern Africa, through countries such as Namibia, South Africa and Zambia, on breathtaking safaris that allow you to see some of the continent’s fascinating wildlife and jaw-dropping scenery.

What’s Included:
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • All alcoholic and other beverages
  • 24-hour full room service and limited laundry while on board the train
  • Excursions accompanied by a qualified tour guide (where applicable)
  • Government tax
  • Pre and post-journey accommodation where stated
What’s Not Included:
  • Flights (unless otherwise stated)
  • Any vaccinations that may be required for travel
Additional Info
Fleet

Having accumulated a vast array of engines and carriages over the years, Rovos Rail now has a large fleet of locomotives. Ranging from classic steam-powered trains to more modern diesel and electric ones, the feeling when you step inside is always the same. The colonial décor harks back to a bygone era of train travel and the space and comfort afforded to every guest highlights the luxury of these fantastic journeys across Africa.

The steam locomotives are all named after Vos family members, including Tiffany – one of the oldest still in operation today. Even King Zog refers to Rohan’s late Dalmatian, a cherished family pet. In more recent years, Pride of Africa has been added to the fleet and is touted as the ‘most luxurious train in the world’. All trains are made up of dining cars, observation cars, lounge cars and club cars which create opulent public areas in which you can relax away from the confines of your beautifully appointed suite.

Royal Suites (172 sq feet):
  • Bath
  • Shower
  • Toilet
  • Basin
  • Air conditioner
  • Heated towel rail
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Safe
  • Luggage rack
  • Adaptors
  • Plug points/shaver plugs
  • Hair dryer
  • Fridge
  • Tea drawer
  • Amenities
  • Dressing gown and slippers
  • Goggles
  • Laundry bag
  • Shoe bag
  • Writing desk
  • Internal telephone system
  • Room service
Pullman (76 sq feet) and Deluxe (108 sq feet) Suites:
  • Shower
  • Toilet
  • Basin
  • Air conditioner
  • Heated towel rail
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Safe
  • Luggage rack
  • Adaptors
  • Plug points/shaver plugs
  • Hair dryer
  • Fridge
  • Tea drawer
  • Amenities
  • Dressing gown and slippers
  • Goggles
  • Laundry bag
  • Shoe bag
  • Writing desk
  • Internal telephone system
  • Room service
Main Station

When you travel with Rovos Rail, you won’t need to wait amongst the hustle and bustle of a public train station as the company have their own private arrival and departure point in Capital Park, Pretoria. This is where the operator’s headquarters are also situated, with teams of people working out of old carriages to ensure everything runs like clockwork. Everyone taking a rail tour across Africa will either start or finish their journey at this colonial-style main station.

As well as a comfortable lounge area and an observation balcony, there is a small museum which tells the story of how some of the engines were acquired and then restored to the glory they boast today. Having said that, the entire station is a living museum in itself, showcasing rail travel during a bygone era and complete with semaphore signals and a charming footbridge.

FAQs

Rovos Rail offers a variety of journeys from 48 hours to 28 days.

Exploring Africa With Rovos Rail
From their main station in Pretoria, Rovos Rail can take you all over South Africa and beyond. Here are 3 trips that you might want to consider.