CHANGES FROM 1 JANUARY 2024
We have successfully operated the Shongololo Express since 2016. Acquiring this business was beneficial as we were introduced to new guests and had the opportunity to run more excursion-led programmes. We have made the decision to merge the Shongololo train and its offerings into the Rovos Rail portfolio.
• The Shongololo Express name will be steadily phased out.
• The suites will match the level and be classed the same as on Rovos Rail with Traditional Pullmans, Pullman Golds, Deluxes and Royals.
• Dinner on board will be formal. For gentlemen, collar and tie are mandatory while a jacket is optional.
• The Southern Cross and African Trilogy journeys will remain as per the schedule but as a Rovos Rail product.
• The African Collage and Good Hope will merge to become 11 nights. The running times have been tweaked with the addition of visits to the Kingdom of eSwatini, Golden Gate National Park, the picturesque town of Clarens and Bloemfontein, the city of roses. Herewith the new African Collage itineraries:
– African Collage: Pretoria-Cape Town Journey Info 2024
– African Collage: Cape Town-Pretoria Journey Info 2024
• The Namibia Safari and Dune Express journeys will merge to become 11 nights. The running times have been tweaked with the addition of a visit to Kolmanskop and Lüdertiz, known for its museum, architecture and coastal wildlife. Herewith the new Namibia Safari itineraries:
– Namibia Safari: Pretoria-Walvis Bay Journey Info 2024
– Namibia Safari: Walvis Bay-Pretoria Journey Info 2024
• ROVOS RAIL’S 11 JOURNEYS WILL INCLUDE (nights):
– Cape Town 3n Pretoria-Cape Town
– Durban Safari 2n Pretoria-Durban
– Victoria Falls 3/4n Pretoria-Victoria Falls
– Golf Safari 9n Pretoria-Pretoria
– African Collage 11n Pretoria-Cape Town
– Namibia Safari 11n Pretoria-Walvis Bay
– Southern Cross 11n Pretoria-Victoria Falls
– African Trilogy 14n Pretoria-Walvis Bay
– Dar es Salaam 14n Cape Town-Dar
– Trail of Two Oceans 14n Dar-Lobito
– Copper Trail 14n Victoria Falls-Lobito
– Note our combinations journeys
Herewith our provisional 2024 Rates & Dates. Please be sure to follow the schedule updates on rovos.com.
CAPE TOWN JOURNEY UPDATE
Since 2019, we have been transparent about the potential delays on our Cape Town journey and have clearly communicated this in our reservations correspondence and on media platforms. We are reliant on the traction and railway services provided by Transnet so, should these fail due to locomotive issues, signals being down, drivers not arriving for shifts, overhead power-cable theft or electricity outages, our hands are regrettably tied as we are not permitted to maintain or repair any of their infrastructure. When serious delays take place, our train team are in constant contact with head office to ensure our agents and clients are kept updated. In 2021, we considered removing the journey from our offerings but it’s not like us to give up. Instead we added a night to the itinerary, at no additional cost to our guests, in the hope that it would ease the issues. We are pleased to say that out of the 14 return journeys we have run this year on the new three-night schedule, 12 of them have gone well. In addition, we have recently received permission to travel with our own diesel and electric locos between Pretoria and Kimberley, which cuts down on possible delays. Our team is able to make immediate repairs if there are mechanical issues or, for example, if there is no overhead power due to theft or electricity outages (loadshedding) then we can switch over to our diesel loco and keep the train running.
Our vaccination requirement is still in place as we are responsible for the safety of our guests and team, all of whom are travelling in a confined space. This currently excludes children under the age of 12 or anyone with a valid medical exemption. Please appreciate that we cannot ethically or legally remove this requirement at this stage. Mask wearing is now optional and testing is only required if entering Angola or if unvaccinated. See our Covid-19 policy, preparations, compliance and testing. Much like you, we look forward to this pandemic being declared over.
Our popular Namibia Safari was featured on the World’s Most Scenic Railway Journeys, which aired on 24 June in the UK on Channel 5. If you are in the UK you’ll be able to view the incredible episode. In March 2022, we created a video about the company and surviving the global shutdown. Download our latest images and content on Dropbox, One Drive or Google Drive. Unless otherwise specified, please credit Rovos Rail.
Visit rovos.com to see our current specials as well as our winter warmers at our guesthouses in St James, Cape Town.
Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Thank you for your valued support. Africa is ready and waiting for you.
ROVOS • SHONGOLOLO • ST JAMES
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