Rovos Rail: Namibia Safari
A luxury rail journey
• Etosha National Park • Fish River Canyon • Garas Park • Sossusvlei • Walvis Bay
Journey from the savannahs of the Highveld to the Atlantic in the west.
Departing from Pretoria, the first stop is Kimberley, centre of one of the world’s famous diamond rushes to savour the 1870s atmosphere of the mining village. The train traverses the stark vistas of the Northern Cape to the Fish River Canyon and Garas Park with its quiver-tree forest. Continue across the beauty of the Kalahari Desert to Namibia’s capital Windhoek a lively, cosmopolitan city with a strong German flavour.
Then it’s a short flight to Sossusvlei, a stunning pan in the Namib Desert, for an overnight stay followed by wildlife viewing in Etosha National Park, ending in Walvis Bay.
The Train: Each train has accommodation carriages, dining cars, lounge car, small gift shop, smoking lounge and observation car with open-air balcony. Maintaining the spirit of a bygone era, there are no radios or television sets on board. The three types of suites include a dedicated host available at all times and services the suites daily.
Pullman Suite: Used on short journeys, cabins feature an en-suite bathroom with shower, toilet and basin. During the day, the suites have a comfortable sofa-seat with a conversion to double or twin beds (side-by-side or upper and lower bunks) for the evening.
Deluxe Suite: Accommodates one or two passengers in double or twin beds with its own lounge area, and en-suite bathroom with shower, toilet and basin. Includes a bar fridge filled with the on-board beverages of the guests choice.
Royal Suite: Takes up half a carriage with its own private lounge area and en-suite bathroom with Victorian bath, separate shower, toilet and basin. Accommodates one or two passengers in double or twin beds and includes a bar fridge filled with the on-board beverages of the passengers choice.
Day 1 : Pretoria
Depart Rovos Rail Station in Pretoria and travel south towards the goldfields of the Witwatersrand. Guests may freshen up in their suites before joining fellow travellers in the lounge car or observation car at the rear of the train. Lunch is served in the dining cars followed up by afternoon tea and dinner.
Day 2 : Kimberley
Arrive in Kimberley and visit the Big Hole and the Diamond Museum. Capital of the Northern Cape, Kimberley is well known for the discovery of diamonds that led to its establishment in 1871. Return to the train for lunch where the observation car will be leading the train until after tea. Travel through the Karoo, a vast semi-desert region that was once an enormous inland sea. Over million of years, volcanic matter was ground down and deposited as silt upon the seabed to form what geologists call the Karoo system.
Day 3 : Upington & the Orange River
This afternoon disembark the train for a walking tour of Upington with a sundowner cruise on the Orange River. The Orange River is the longest river in South Africa (2432km). It rises in the Drakensberg Mountains in Lesotho and flows westwards through South Africa to the Atlantic Ocean, forming part of the borders between South Africa and Lesotho and South Africa and Namibia. Attorney General of the Cape, Sir Thomas Upington was principally responsible for liquidating the business activities of Orange River pirates and capturing their leader, Klaas Lucas. When the desperadoes were finally chased away in 1884, the town was founded on the banks of the Orange River and named in his honour.
Day 4 : Fish River Canyon
After lunch, board vehicles for the one-hour drive to the Fish River Canyon. The Fish River rises in the centre of the country before flowing south into the Orange River on Namibia’s border with South Africa. It has formed the great Fish River Canyon – the largest canyon in the southern hemisphere and probably only second to Arizona’s Grand Canyon in terms of size. The vast rocky landscape breaks up into a series of spectacular cliffs. Its size is impressive 161km long, up to 27km wide and almost 550m at its deepest.
Day 5 : Kolmanskop & Luderitz
Take a one hour transfer drive to the ghost town of Kolmanskop, followed by lunch in Lüderitz. Lüderitz is known for its museum, colonial architecture and wildlife including seals, penguins, flamingos and ostriches. Look out for the illusive legendary horses rumoured to roam the Namib. Return to the train. Depart for Keetmanshoop. The observation car will be leading the train until after dinner.
Day 6 : Keetmanshoop & Garas Park
After breakfast, visit Keetmanshoop and Garas Park (Quiver Trees), home to roughly 300 specimens of the Aloe dichotomy. The prehistoric trees have forked branches that reach up to 5m making for great photographic opportunities. Return to the train for lunch. Depart for Mariental and enjoy dinner en route to Rehoboth
Day 7 : Sossusvlei
This morning pack a small overnight bag for the stay at Sossusvlei. After breakfast, transfer to the airstrip for a light aircraft one-hour flight to a Sossusvlei lodge and check in. The dunes of the Namib Desert were created by sand carried by the wind from the coast of Namibia. The sand here is over five million years old and is red in colour due to its iron-oxide content. As the light changes during the day, so does the appearance of the dunes’ characteristic colour allowing for interesting photographs at any time. The wind in the Sossusvlei area blows from all directions causing the sand to form a star shape with multiple arms, hence the name “star dunes”. This afternoon enjoy a desert drive and bush dinner after sunset. Overnight at the lodge.
Day 8 : Sossusvlei & Windhoek
Enjoy an early morning desert drive with breakfast in the vlei. Transfer by light aircraft to Windhoek, where lunch will be taken at Windhoek Country Club, followed by a city tour. Windhoek is an attractive city surrounded by clusters of hills and the impressive Auas and Eros Mountains. The Trans-Namib Transport Museum outlines Namibian transport history, particularly that of the railway. The Independence Memorial Museum focuses on the anti-colonial resistance and the national liberation struggle of Namibia. Back on board the train, depart for Kranzberg and enjoy dinner.
Day 9 : Cheetah Conservation Project
After lunch, transfer to the cheetah conservation project in Otjiwarongo. Founded in Namibia in 1990, the CCF is dedicated to saving the cheetah in the wild.
Day 10 : Etosha National Park
This morning pack an overnight bag for your stay in Etosha. After breakfast transfer (one hour) to you Etosha lodge for overnight. Etosha National Park (22270km2) offers great game viewing with many species of mammals, birds and reptiles. It gets its name from the Etosha pan (4760km2), which almost entirely lies within the park. Etosha is a large salt pan forming part of the Kalahari basin and means ‘Great White Place’. Enjoy an afternoon’s game drive to spot the prolific wildlife, often around the waterholes, before enjoying dinner and overnight at the lodge.
Day 11 : Etosha National Park
Take an early morning game drive in the park while the wildlife are still active. Have a late breakfast at the lodge and transfer to Tsumeb Station to rejoin the train. The afternoon the train travels southwest towards the Atlantic Ocean as you enjoy a “1920’s” themed dinner.
Day 12 : Walvis Bay
Breakfast is served as you traverse the Namib Desert towards Walvis Bay. The Namib stretches for more than 2000km along the Atlantic coasts of Angola, Namibia and South Africa. The geology consists of sand seas near the coast while gravel plains and scattered mountain outcrops occur further inland. The name is of Khoekhoegowab origin and means “vast place”. Having endured arid or semi-arid conditions for roughly 55-80 million years, the Namib may be the oldest desert in the world. Your Rovos Rail journey ends on arrival in Walvis Bay at midday.
Itinerary also operates in reverse
Pricing (per person), NZD
|1 Jan – 31 Dec
|Pretoria to Walvis Bay
|Walvis Bay to Pretoria
- Luxury rail journey
- All meals (B, L, D) during your trip
- Afternoon tea onboard most days
- All beverages onboard unless otherwise mentioned
- Water, coffee/tea, and breakfast juices at your accommodations off-train
- Shared fixed-wing flights to/from Sossusvlei
- Shared guided excursions as per the itinerary
- Entrance fees as per the itinerary
- Room service and limited laundry onboard
- International sparkling wine onboard
- All other off-train beverages
Recommended USD $10 to $20 per person per night
- Pricing varies due to fluctuations in exchange rates; please contact us for current pricing
- Please enquire about pricing for children (3 to 9 years) and singles in Royal Suites
- The minimum age requirement is 3 years
- No child-minding services or activities are available onboard
- Long journeys are not recommended for children 12 and under
- Included excursions are subject to change based on the achieved train schedule
- Formal attire is required at dinner most evenings
Please refer to World Journeys terms & conditions