October 28, 2014

Life Altering Adventure

...and so it begins, a railway journey through Africa

All the planning, all the stressing over which route to choose is over. Your life is about to change forever — You will not return home the same person who left.

Once you feel the unmistakeable tug of the train leaving the station your already heightened adrenaline will swell to a restless excitement. The anticipation of things to come will be nearly irrepressible. Soon you'll want to run from window to window, but savor each moment. Tame your euphoria.
The route ahead is not a straight one; not a get there quick route. It's a twisted turning route over and around impenetrable obstacles. Although getting from point A to B may be how it started, the views form the train would not be ignored and word spread of an irresistible journey.
At nearly every turn there are breathtaking views, along seemingly endless coastlines, past sweeping vistas, through mountain ranges, over deep gorges, or past the most magnificent waterfalls. You are on a journey that will imprint your life. At times you may feel like your in the middle of a new migration toward the Ark. The opportunities you'll have here will not present themselves again in any other land or on any other train. In the end you will know you have experienced extraordinary and nothing will ever be the same.

“To see ten thousand animals untamed and not branded with the symbols of human commerce is like scaling an unconquered mountain for the first time, or like finding a forest without roads or footpaths, or the blemish of an axe. You know then what you had always been told -- that the world once lived and grew without adding machines and newsprint and brick-walled streets and the tyranny of clocks.” ~ Beryl Markham 

October 16, 2014

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

The hardest part about coming to South Africa for a Rovos Rail journey will be choosing your route. The good news is you can't make a bad decision. Each choice is spectacular which means, the truly hardest part will be leaving.
Here are a couple options straight form the Rovos website:

7 days
This seven-day journey begins in Cape Town and ends in Durban. Travel on our Cape Town Journey to Pretoria through the spectacular mountain ranges and scenic winelands of the Cape to the haunting barrenness of the Great Karoo and the goldfields of the Witwatersrand. Arrive in Pretoria and transfer to your hotel for the night. Enjoy the day at leisure or tour the city, Soweto, Johannesburg, Constitution Hill and the Apartheid Museum. The train departs the following morning on the Durban Safari for two nights with visits to a Big Five bush retreat, an 11 000-acre nature reserve and a charming and influential ceramics gallery before travelling the Valley of a Thousand Hills to Durban. Available in reverse. These journeys can also be combined with own arrangements in Pretoria. See the itinerary and downloads below for more details.

(+) the Stanley & Livingstone Private Game Reserve - 6 days
This five-night adventure begins in Pretoria with the Victoria Falls Journey. The train travels northwards across Botswana and the Tropic of Capricorn through Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park where a game-drive excursion is enjoyed. The sojourn ends at the incomparable Victoria Falls on the mighty Zambezi River. Transfer to the Stanley & Livingstone Private Game Reserve (6000 acres) for a two-night stay on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis including a game drive. Available in reverse. Please note that depending upon railway capacity this journey could be routed northwards through Beitbridge and Zimbabwe.

(+) Fairmont Zimbali, Royal Elephant & Victoria Falls Hotel  - 11 days
Embark on this 11-day adventure with a two-night stay at the Fairmont Zimbali, one of South Africa’s premier resorts on KwaZulu-Natal’s Dolphin Coast. Board the Pride of Africa on our Durban Safari to Pretoria for two nights. Arrive at Rovos Rail for an introduction to our beautifully appointed private station before spending the night at your hotel. Spend the following three nights on board the train on theVictoria Falls Journey. Arrive at the incomparable Victoria Falls on the mighty Zambezi River and enjoy a two-night stay at the colonial-style Victoria Falls Hotel.

October 5, 2014

The Right Track - Rovos Rail

√  Brochure read (several times)
√  Scanned the website (every page)
√  Google searched (every relatable image)
√  Travel Blogs read (several)
√  Files created (virtual and actual)
√  Clothes packed (resisted the urge to buy khakis & pith helmet)

This trip clears a half dozen items from anyone's bucket list: scenery and wildlife, thrilling and exotic, decadent and luxurious. The mere thought of this adventure will leave you giddy as a school girl with anticipation.

If you could choose only one train journey in your lifetime, it should be a Rovos Rail journey. It's the winning lottery ticket of train trips - beyond spectacular! And, it's not just the view from the train that's impressive, the accommodations are nearly as incredible.

The London Daily says,

"Discover Africa in the wood paneled, gleaming five-star luxury of a bygone era."