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Cape Town, The Blue Train and Kruger National Park

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A legendary South African rail experience

12 days From £4,195 per person
Operated by our sister company Great Rail Journeys

2022 Tour code: BKJ22

About the tour

Discover the highlights of South Africa as we journey aboard the luxurious Blue Train from Cape Town to Pretoria. Ascend Table Mountain, sample local wines in Stellenbosch, and enjoy fantastic game drives during a wondearful three night stay at Kruger National Park.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - London to Cape Town

We fly from London Heathrow to Cape Town.

Day 3 - The Cape of Good Hope and Boulders Bay

We spend a full day today exploring the magnificent Cape of Good Hope, heading to Cape Point on the south-western tip of Africa. Here, we take the Flying Dutchman funicular railway to a lighthouse that sits at the top of the peninsula, admiring views across the Atlantic Ocean and the stunning Cape Peninsula coastline. After sitting down to lunch at a local restaurant, we travel along False Bay and through Simon's Town naval base to Boulders Beach, a pristine beach that's home to a colony of indigenous penguins.

Day 4 - South Africa's Vineyards

We visit one of Africa's most famous sights today, taking a cable car up iconic Table Mountain to enjoy the incredible, panoramic views over the city and ocean beyond. We continue by taking a coach out of the city for an excursion that introduces us to one of South Africa's most famous exports, wine. We travel into the verdant countryside to two of the country's finest wine-producing areas, the Franschhoek and Stellenbosch Valleys. We sample some of the excellent local wines and are treated to a delicious 'boerelbraai' lunch - an authentic social event that sees loved ones gather together to grill meat on an outdoor barbecue.

Day 5 - Cape Town

Today you're free to explore Cape Town further. The city is home to some gorgeous natural landmarks, incredible displays of street art, and brightly-painted buildings along the waterfront. You could visit Robben Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site which, along with Alcatraz, is possibly one of best-known prison islands in the world. Its notoriety largely centres around the fact that President Nelson Mandela and many of his colleagues were imprisoned here during the final years of the apartheid regime. The island now houses a fascinating museum detailing the struggle for democracy in South Africa.

Day 6 - The Blue Train

You have some free time to explore Cape Town further today before we transfer to the station for our iconic journey on The Blue Train. A butler escorts you to your cabin and provides an orientation tour of the train as we begin our journey to Pretoria. The service on The Blue Train is impeccable, and we enjoy all meals and included drinks while on board, including afternoon tea, aperitifs and, after our lavish formal dinner of local cuisine accompanied by wine from the Cape Winelands, a selection of post-dinner drinks.

Day 7 - Kimberley

We arrive in Kimberley, the capital of South Africa's Northern Cape and a town that enjoyed a prosperous past thanks to the discovery of diamonds in the area. Here, we visit 'The Big Hole' mine museum. The hill where diamonds were first found quickly disappeared under the pressure of over-mining and the resulting space became known as the 'Big Hole'. Nowadays the mine is no longer in use, but there is a fascinating museum detailing the history of the site, which includes some preserved or restored period buildings from the early years of the rush. We re-board the train for dinner before continuing on our journey.

Day 8 - Pretoria

After a delicious breakfast on board, we arrive in Pretoria, a city that's home to South Africa's government and Union Buildings. From here, we transfer to our hotel on the banks of the Sabie River, just 330 feet from the entrance to Kruger National Park and the perfect base for safari drives. Kruger National Park was founded in 1898 to create a protected area for wildlife, away from developers and poachers. Today, it's the largest National Park in South Africa, and one of the most famous safari parks in the world.

Day 9 - Kruger National Park Safari

Today, we enjoy a full-day game drive to track the iconic wildlife of Kruger National Park. A local, skilled ranger drives each Jeep, finding us the best locations to see the different species' that live here, and pointing out animals whose camouflage makes them almost impossible to spot. We start by tracking the big cats, still out from their night spent hunting. The park is also home to the 'Big Five' - the lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo - all of which we hope to see during our drives. There are many other species that we hope to spot, large and small, as well as fascinating plants and colourful, unique birds.

The hotel provides us with a pre-prepared lunch ahead of the game drive, and we return to our hotel at mid-afternoon. The rest of the day is then free for you to relax or continue exploring. You could unwind in the spa or by the swimming pool, or take advantage of the nature reserve by the hotel and enjoy some extra game viewing. A fascinating variety of birdlife can be spotted, and bush walks can be organised by the hotel (payable locally).

Day 10 - Kruger National Park Safari

Today, we enjoy a full-day game drive to track the iconic wildlife of Kruger National Park. A local, skilled ranger drives each Jeep, finding us the best locations to see the different species' that live here, and pointing out animals whose camouflage makes them almost impossible to spot. We start by tracking the big cats, still out from their night spent hunting. The park is also home to the 'Big Five' - the lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo - all of which we hope to see during our drives. There are many other species that we hope to spot, large and small, as well as fascinating plants and colourful, unique birds.

The hotel provides us with a pre-prepared lunch ahead of the game drive, and we return to our hotel at mid-afternoon. The rest of the day is then free for you to relax or continue exploring. You could unwind in the spa or by the swimming pool, or take advantage of the nature reserve by the hotel and enjoy some extra game viewing. A fascinating variety of birdlife can be spotted, and bush walks can be organised by the hotel (payable locally).

Day 11 - Kruger

Enjoy a free morning in Kruger. Later, we transfer to Johannesburg airport for our flight back to London Heathrow.

Day 12 - London

Our flight arrives at London Heathrow.

Additional information

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape Town

Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape Town

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Protea Hotel Kruger Gate, Kruger

Protea Hotel Kruger Gate, Kruger

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Train

The Blue Train

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Cape Town, The Blue Train and Kruger National Park

A legendary South African rail experience

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Luke Simpson
Luke
Lynne Broadley
Lynne