This an elegant, scenic alternative to flying
The Blue Train – South Africa
The ‘Blue Jewel’ is Africa’s premium ‘luxury hotel on wheels’, a legacy that once linked passengers from the old diamond and gold mining town of the Witwatersrand to mail ships in the Cape Town harbour. Meandering through striking scenery of lush Winelands and vibrant wildflowers to barren mountains and desert of the Karoo is by far the best part. And you can happily soak up all the pleasures onboard this opulent adventure as you watch it all unfold.
The train follows three main routes that are centred at the capital city of Pretoria.
The Blue Train Pretoria – Cape Town – 2 nights
Via Kimberley & Matjiesfontein
This 31-hour luxury journey connects the leafy-green city of Pretoria in the north with the coastal mountains, vibrant flora and shimmering beaches of Cape Town in the south. There’s a short stopover in the Old Town of Kimberley with its diamond museum and ‘Big Hole’, arguably one of the world’s largest hand-excavated open mines. Take a walk on the cantilevered platform and learn all about this fascinating story.
Southbound near Cape Town, visit the small antiquated Karoo town of Matjiesfontein, time-permitting and enjoy a glass of sherry at the legendary Lord-Milner hotel. This place too has a story to tell with its intriguing relics and the oddity of a red London bus. The train departs in the late afternoon from either Cape Town or Pretoria. Check-in begins 2 hours prior with snacks and drinks, followed by boarding an hour later.
The Blue Train Pretoria – Kruger National Park – 2 nights
A 19-hour round-trip links the charming city of Pretoria with the grasslands and rich wildlife of the Kruger National Park, home to lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and Cape buffalos. Disembark the train for a sunrise safari drive followed by a sumptuous bushland breakfast inside the park.
The following day, you’ll be whisked away to a sunset safari in a different location of the park. This will be topped off with a traditional boma dinner and drum show at one of the safari camps. The departure time is usually at mid-day, with check-in commencing 3 hours prior with drinks and snacks, followed by boarding 2 hours later.
Tailor your travels
You may wish to extend your stay. On the Kruger National Park train route, it is quite popular to add an extended safari onto the itinerary, or a trip down the Garden Route from Cape Town. These can be easily arranged.
The Blue Train charters
There are also chartered trips offered on select months of the year to the Sun City Resort in the North West Province outside Johannesburg; Durban and Port Elizabeth.
Facilities & services on board The Blue Train
There’s a souvenirs boutique and conference car. All-inclusive are a personal butler, 24-hour room service, and limited laundry service.
One of the highlights of the journey is that you remain exceedingly well-fed and watered. The Blue Train is renowned for its award-winning à la carte dining and five-course dinner banquets, featuring delicacies of Karoo lamb, ostrich and venison, Knysna oysters, and boutique wines from the finest of local cultivars.
Drinking & leisure
The suave Lounge Cars in the middle of the train show off amazing panoramas interspersed with South African art. Filled with leather upholstery and the refinement of a gentleman’s club, they are great spaces for quaffing wine, meeting other guests or simply to relax in. Take your pick of board-games, coffee table books or perhaps an Agatha Christie murder-mystery from the library? A separate Cigar bar stocks pedigree whiskey, cognacs and Cuban cigars.
Wake up to surreal landscapes in a Deluxe Room or the more premium 10.26 sqm Luxury Suite. Rooms are dimly-lit en-suites in the late evening transformed into comfy lounge areas by day. All have exquisite white linens and goose-down bedding. Expect modern amenities such as remote-controlled blinds, digital entertainment, Blue Ray DVDs in the Luxury Rooms, Wi-Fi connectivity, full soundproofing, air-conditioning and under-floor heating.
One of the highlights of your journey may well be soaking in a scented bathtub as the scenery glides by. Luxury Rooms come with full-sized bathtubs whereas Deluxe Suites have either a bathtub or shower. Compact, stylish bathrooms are decorated in Italian marble and gold-plated finishings and bath salts are provided.
Your rate includes everything that is offered onboard and at stopovers, including fine-dining, drinks, High teas, aperitifs, sparkling wine, cognac and Cuban cigars. The exceptions are caviar, (French) Champagne and external phone calls.
- Journeys are available on selected Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
- Trains accommodate up to 54 or 82 passengers.
- Only the 82-passenger train set has an Observation Car and is wheelchair-friendly.
- Dinner dress is traditionally classy attire to match the elegant fine crystal and china table service. This entails black tie or tux and evening wear, with a jacket or waistcoat for gents as a minimum. Lunch is smart casual.
- The Club Cigar Lounge is the train’s only smoking area.
- Higher altitude of the highveld area surrounding Pretoria has a cooler local climate and we advise that you pack accordingly.
The Blue Train awards
Africa’s Leading Luxury Train 2018 – World Travel Awards (for 10th consecutive year)
World’s Leading Luxury Train 2011 – World Travel Awards (for the 8th time)
Gold in 2010 and Silver in 2012 for the Favourite Specialist Train category – Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Awards
Explore fascinating sites of yesteryear during scheduled stopovers
Enjoy award-winning fine-dining, five-course dinner banquets and opulent high teas
A dedicated 24-hour personalized butler service will take care of your needs as you journey across borders
+44 (0) 20 3745 6457
53-59 Chandos Place,