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Ultimate Southern Africa and The Pride of Africa

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Journey through Africa on one of the world’s most luxurious trains

22 days From £14,995 per person
Operated by our sister company Great Rail Journeys

2022 Tour code: TZG22

About the tour

Explore the magnificent attractions spanning five countries of Africa on this incredible adventure aboard the luxurious, 5-Star Pride of Africa. Journey across lush wildernesses and dusty desert plains, taking in natural wonders and rare creatures, and spend time in Africa's cosmopolitan cities.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Days 1-2 - London to Dar Es Salaam

We fly from London Heathrow to Dar es Salaam, via Dubai, arriving on Day 2. We're introduced to the city, Tanzania's largest and its cultural heart, with a visit to a local craft market before dinner. Enjoy time to peruse the colourful stalls, filled with enticing traditional goods from carved ornaments to locally made clothes and accessories.

Days 3-4 - The Pride of Africa and Selous Game Reserve

Today we begin our journey on the Pride of Africa, starting our epic rail journey across the continent that takes in five unique countries. After settling in on the luxurious train, we speed away from Dar es Salaam and make our way through Tanzania. Our journey takes us across the wild plains of the Selous Game Reserve by rail - a park which was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status thanks to its incredible indigenous wildlife. The park offers a vision of timeless Africa; there are almost no roads through the area, and as such most visitors are flown in. Our trip through the plains by rail is a rare treat indeed, as we try to spot elephants, hippos and buffalo from the comfortable carriages.

On Day 4 we head out into the wild landscapes on a safari drive. Selous Game Reserve is Africa's largest park, and on our game drive here we hope to spot some of the diverse wildlife that Africa is famous for. We return to the train and continue through the striking Udzungwa Mountains to Mlimba, where we stay for the night.

Days 5-8 - Makambako and across Zambia

We arrive in Makambako, a traditional Tanzanian town overlooked by the country's Southern Highlands. You have some time to explore here; you could check out the town's large clothes market. Back on the train, we traverse the vast and stark landscapes of the Rift Valley on the way to the town of Tunduma for the night, nestled on the border between Tanzania and Zambia.

On Day 6 we descend through the valleys of the Mbeya Mountains before crossing over into Zambia. We disembark at Kasama for a visit to the stunning Chishimba Falls. Here, the Luombe River tumbles over a succession of rapids cut into the deep valley, offering a truly beautiful sight, and great photo opportunity. We rejoin the Pride of Africa and settle down for a journey to Mununga, where we spend tonight.

Enjoy two relaxed days soaking up the luxury of the Pride of Africa as we're whisked across Zambia. You could visit the lounge car and listen as our on-board historian gives informative lectures about a fascinating range of subjects. Or, simply sit back in the observation car and admire the views as we make our way through the wilderness and across a region of quaint mining towns known as 'the Copperbelt'. On Day 8 the train travels through Lusaka, Zambia's tree-lined capital. Afterwards, we cross the Kafue Railway Bridge, a girder construction that spans the Kafue River and affords spectacular views.

Days 9-10 - Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls

A highlight of our holiday awaits today as we arrive in Livingston. From here we travel into Zimbabwe, crossing the border bridge that spans a gorge across the incredible Victoria Falls. Known as Mosi-oa-Tunya ('the smoke that thunders'), the falls are one of the world's finest natural wonders and one of the most stunning waterfalls in the world.

We disembark and transfer to our hotel close to the falls. Later, we take to the waters of the Zambezi River, just upstream from the magnificent falls, on a sunset cruise. Admire the changing hues of the African sunset as we absorb the breathtaking beauty of the river, and perhaps catch a glimpse of the resident crocodiles.

On Day 9, you're free to relax or explore the area. Our hotel is just a short walk from the crashing waters of Victoria Falls; if you're feeling adventurous, you could admire this stunning sight from a helicopter (payable locally).

Days 11-13 - Through Botswana and Madikwe Game Reserve

Relax on board today as we leave Zimbabwe and continue through Botswana. With a very small population, Botswana is a rural country, with wide open plains stretching out into the distant desert landscape, and dotted with traditional villages. The train crosses the Tropic of Capricorn on its route to Gaborone, Botswana's compact capital.

On Day 12, we disembark and transfer to Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa. Boasting a diverse landscape, Madikwe is home to a variety of rare and wonderful creatures including leopards, elephants, antelopes, rhinos and lions. This afternoon we take our first game drive through the wilderness. Day 13 is dedicated to wildlife spotting, and we contrast both early morning and afternoon drives to increase our chances of spotting these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat.

Days 14-15 - The Magaliesberg Mountains and Pretoria

After a final early morning game drive this morning, and hopefully having seen a number of stunning animals, we return to the train. We travel through the glorious scenery of South Africa, running alongside the dramatic Magaliesberg Mountains, a sharp ridge of peaks that tower above the tracks.

We arrive in Pretoria, South Africa's administrative capital, on Day 15. On arrival, we enjoy a guided tour of the colourful city, then return to Rovos Rail Station for lunch and a tour of the fascinating locomotive workshops. This afternoon we continue towards Kimberley.

Days 16-17 - Kimberley and Matjiesfontein

Today, we reach Kimberley, a city with a rich diamond mining history. Here we visit the 'The Big Hole', a huge, water-filled man-made pit that's home to a diamond mine. We also visit the Diamond Mine Museum, a recreated townscape and museum that houses many artefacts from the diamond rush.

On Day 17, we reach Matjiesfontein. This village was founded in 1884 and is officially a National Monument, famous for its main street with historic, colonial-era buildings and a timeless atmosphere. With time to discover it at your own pace, you could head to the old fashioned Victorian pub for a pint. We return to the train for the final leg of our journey, arriving in Cape Town this evening. We spend four nights in South Africa's cosmopolitan capital.

Days 18-19 - Cape Town and Vineyards

Today, we visit some of Cape Town's best-loved attractions. We ascend imposing Table Mountain by cable car to enjoy splendid views across the sprawling city and azure ocean. After descending, we take an insightful guided tour of Robben Island, the UNESCO-listed site where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. This afternoon we head to Kirstenbosch, at the base of Table Mountain, for a guided tour of the lush botanical gardens.

On Day 19, we travel by coach to South Africa's most celebrated vineyards, visiting Franschhoek and Stellenbosch Valley - two of the finest wine regions in the world. We soak up incredible views across the verdant sloping vineyards and sample some of the local, award-winning wines during a tasting session, accompanied by tapas-style food pairings.

Days 20-22 - Cape Point, Boulders Bay and London

Today we travel to Cape Point, situated on the Cape of Good Hope at Africa's south-western tip, overlooking the crashing waters of the South Atlantic Ocean. Here, we experience a journey aboard the Flying Dutchman funicular railway, as we wind up to the upper lighthouse above Cape Point, taking in incredible panoramic views on the way. Next, we head to Boulders Beach. The beach is a breathtaking paradise of blue-green waters and white sand, and is unique in that it's home to its own colony of African penguins. We spend some time in the beautiful surroundings enjoying close up views of the penguins, before returning to our hotel.

On Day 21, we board our flight to London Heathrow, arriving on Day 22.

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.

Hotel

Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape Town

Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape Town

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Train

The Pride of Africa

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Ultimate Southern Africa and The Pride of Africa

Journey through Africa on one of the world’s most luxurious trains

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Luke Simpson
Luke
Lynne Broadley
Lynne