Rovos Rail: Trail of Two Oceans
A luxury rail journey
Chishimba Falls • Kolwezi Copper Mine • Selous Game Reserve • South Luangwa National Park
Traverse Tanzania, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Angola on the only passenger train to travel the famous east-to-west copper trail.
Enjoy safaris in Tanzania and Zambia, a city tour of Lubumbashi in the DRC and join the Benguela line for short walking tours detailing Angola’s recent history.
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 : Dar es Salaam > Fuga Halt
After boarding the train depart from Tazara Statin in Dar es Salaam. Guests may freshen up in their suites before joining fellow travellers in the lounge car and observation car, which will be at the front of the train for the first 72 hours – a different aspect that rail enthusiasts enjoy. Lunch is served in the dining cars as the train travels the fertile lands of Tanzania towards the Selous. En route to Fuga Halt Station dinner is served in the dining cars.
Day 2 : Selous Game Reserve
Enjoy breakfast followed by a game visit in the Selous Game Reserve, the largest in Africa at 55,000 km2 (time permitting). Back on board the train lunch is served as the train travels towards the jungled Udzungwa Mountains and negotiates the dramatic switchbacks, viaducts and tunnels of the escarpment. Afternoon tea is served in the lounge and observation cars followed by dinner en route to Mlimba for overnight.
Day 3 : Makambako
Arrive at Makambako and enjoy a stroll through the town followed by lunch in the dining cars. The train passes baobab forests and ascends the Rift Valley to the border, almost exactly the midpoint between Africa’s two Great Rift Valley lakes.
Day 4 : Chisimba Falls
After breakfast complete border formalities followed by lunch in the dining cars. The train travels the TAZRA railway line, an engineering tour de force and one of Africa’s best-kept secrets as it passes through remote territory. Enjoy a visit to Chisimba Falls where guests can take a pleasant walk down to the tock pools at the base of the falls or admire them from various view points. Chisimba Falls is a series of three waterfalls named Mutumuna, Kaela and Chishimba (Chisimba), which are separated over 300m along the Luombe River. According to Bemba tradition, the nature spirit ‘Chishimba’ lives in a cave behind the falls therefore no bad behaviour (including fights, insults and arrogance) is allowed in this area. Though the Bemba people arrived here in the 17th century, they weren’t the first as the land surrounding the falls is dotted with evidence of Iron Age activities including kilns, smelting pipes and iron ore deposits. Return to the train for dinner en route to Mpika.
Day 5 : At leisure on board
As you travel from Serenje to Kapiri Mposhi enjoy some time at leisure, chatting with your fellow travellers or simply relaxing and taking in the views. Most of the territory of Zambia forms part of the great plateau of south and east Africa displaying a gently rolling and somewhat monotonous surface, relieved at intervals by hills, small escarpments of resistant rock formations and deep valleys that form part of the great African Rift system. The countryside, although high, is thick with Miombo woodland and Raffia palms. The Continental Divide, separating the drainage to the Atlantic and Indian oceans, forms the Zambia-DRC boundary as far as the southern tip where the DRC intrudes into Zambia. It then trends northeast to leave the country about halfway between lakes Tanganyika and Malawi. The railway, in fact, follows this line very closely. In this comparatively short section of the divide are the sources of the Congo and Zambezi rivers, two of the four largest rivers on the continent.
Day 6 : South Luangwa National Park
Packing an overnight bag (provided) we transfer to Ndola Airport for an hour’s flight to the wildlife-rich South Luangwa National Park. Check into your safari camp and enjoy lunch, followed by an afternoon game drive in the Luangwa Valley.
Day 7 : South Luangwa National Park
Enjoy an early morning game drive to spot the resident wildlife. Back for brunch, the rest of the day is at leisure until your afternoon game drive at 3.30pm.
Day 8 : South Luangwa National Park
After breakfast and a morning game drive you will fly to Ndola to rejoin the train and travel towards the border with the DRC.
Day 9 : Lubumbashi
After breakfast enjoy a drive through the city of Lubumbashi. Rejoin the train and travel towards Lukuni where lunch is served in the dining cars. As the train passes Luishia, an old open-pit copper and cobalt mine afternoon tea is served in the lounge and observation cars, with dinner served in the dining cars en route to Kolwezi for overnight.
Day 10 : Copper Mine
Disembark at Kolwezi for a visit to a copper mine in an area that holds one of the world’s largest known copper and cobalt resources. Enjoy brunch at Katebi Lodge then return to the train. Depart for Kasombo and then onto Mutshatsha as dinner is served in the dining cars.
Day 11 : At leisure on board
Enjoy breakfast and lunch in the dining cars as the train passes Kakopa en route to Malonga. Tea is served in the lounge and observation car and dinner served in the dining cars en route to Dilolo.
Day 12 : Luau
Breakfast is served in the dining cars followed by Angolan border formalities. Enjoy a walking of Luau, the start of the Benguela line before the train departs for Luena. Lunch is then served followed by tea as the train travels alongside the Cassai River. The catchment of the Cassai River encompasses a vast eco-region of 900,000km with an incredibly rich fish fauna. As the train passes the villages of Cassai and Cameia, there is sometimes an opportunity to see the local fisherman at work. Dinner is then served in the dining cars en route to Luena for overnight.
Day 13 : Luena
Enjoy a walking tour of Luena to learn more about the recent history of Angola before departing for Tchicala Tcholohanga. Lunch and afternoon tea is served followed by dinner as the train travels en route to Kuito.
Day 14 : Kuito
Enjoy a stroll through the town of Kuito, built in the historical heart of the Ovimbundu kingdom. Depart for Huambo and enjoy lunch in the dining cars, followed by tea in the lounge car and observation car. Dinner is served in the dining cars en route to Huambo for overnight.
Day 15 : Huambo
Enjoy a tour of Huambo, the second largest city in Angola and one of the old kingdoms on the central plateau, before departing for Lepi with lunch is served in the dining cars. Dinner is served as the train travels en route to Cubal for overnight.
Day 16 : Lobito
Arrive at journey’s end, Lobito Station, Benguela Province, Angola.
*Itinerary also operates in reverse
Pricing (per person), NZD
|1 Jan – 31 Dec
|Dar es Salaam to Lobito
|Lobito to Dar es Salaam
- Luxury rail journey
- All meals (B, L, D) during your trip
- Afternoon tea onboard most days
- All beverages onboard unless otherwise mentioned
- Local alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages at South Luangwa National Park
- Historian and doctor onboard
- Shared fixed-wing flights to/from South Luangwa National Park
- Shared guided excursions as per the itinerary
- Entrance fees as per the itinerary
- Shared game drives in South Luangwa National Park
- Room service and limited laundry on board
- Laundry at your South Luangwa National Park camp
- International sparkling wine onboard
- Premium beverages at South Luangwa National Park
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 & 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