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NAMIBIA & SOUTH AFRICA BY PRIVATE PLANE & ROVOS RAIL

  • Overview
  • Accommodation
  • Itinerary
  • Fares

A journey overview

  • Johannesburg
  • Etosha National Park
  • Rovos Rail
  • Namib Desert
  • Lüderitz
  • Fish River Canyon
  • Matjiesfontein
  • Cape Town

16 Days Exploration
  • Departing:
  • 11 May 2024 Selling Fast

Immerse yourself within astonishing south-western Africa. We fly into Etosha National Park, where we witness exquisite beauty amid the life and death struggle of predator and prey from the comfort of our luxury lodges. Then the privately chartered Pride of Africa train presents us with vistas of Namibia and South Africa during our journey’s 10-day rail portion. This journey is reserved for only 58 guests.

Map

Tour Manager - Denise Van Sever

Tour Doctor - Dr Mike Beckoff

As Your Tour Manager, Denise Van Sever Welcomes You On This Journey

Your Accompanying Tour Doctor For This Journey Is Dr Mike Beckoff


Check into the Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff as you anticipate the wonders awaiting you within one of southern Africa’s most renowned wildlife regions, Etosha National Park. Enjoy a gala Welcome Dinner at our hotel this evening, during which you will have the opportunity to meet your Tour Host Team and fellow travellers.

We venture north to Namibia, boarding a chartered jet for the flight to Ondangwa, north of Etosha National Park. From Ondangwa, we drive to Etosha King Nehale Lodge. Our detached, light-filled chalets look out onto the extensive desert plain, while their interiors are stylishly decorated with cultural ornaments. Following lunch, our hosts take us out on a game drive. In addition to four of the ‘Big Five’, we will also have the chance to see giraffes, ostriches and oryx. Dinner is served in our lodge’s restaurant this evening.

Over the next two days, we take advantage of our lodge’s proximity to the park, rising early each morning to embark on game drives. Look for herds of zebra congregating around a waterhole. Or several springboks leaping gracefully through the air. We may be lucky enough to catch sight of a lone lioness resting beneath the shade of a mopani tree. Refuel back at our lodge before heading out in search of more wildlife each afternoon. With a bit of luck on our side, we may sight one of the park’s black rhino — there is practically nowhere else on Earth where you will have a better chance to see these commanding creatures. Evenings are sure to involve many accounts of well-timed wildlife sightings as we gather for dinner at our lodge.

Enjoy a final breakfast at our magnificent lodge this morning, before taking the road to Tsumeb Station. Here, we board the Pride of Africa, Rovos Rail’s stylish train. Our custom-designed rail itinerary begins as we settle in to enjoy a leisurely lunch in the train’s elegant dining cars. Watch Namibia’s grand landscapes pass by the floor-to-ceiling windows of the observation car and enjoy tea in the lounge. This evening’s meal is served in the dining cars before we retire to our comfortable compartments.

This morning, we visit the Cheetah Conservation Fund’s Research and Education Centre in the city of Otjiwarongo. The staff here engage in the rehabilitation and release of injured and orphaned cheetahs, as well as habitat restoration and environmental education programs. Returning to our train, we continue on our way toward Namibia’s sprawling capital, Windhoek. Enjoy the amenities of the train, before attending a formal dinner on board this evening.

Alight from the Pride of Africa upon our arrival in Windhoek this morning. From here, we embark a light aircraft for the short flight to the Namib Desert. Soon, we are welcomed to the spectacular Sossusvlei Lodge, our residence for the evening. After lunch at our lodge, we head out for a drive across the expansive desert landscape. We then watch as the sun makes its dramatic retreat beyond the horizon, before enjoying a special bush dinner.

We eat on the go this morning during an early morning 4WD jaunt across the desert. Big Daddy makes a big impression; the imposing sand dune reaching a height of 325 metres. In nearby Deadvlei, we see an astonishing area populated by petrified trees. Now more than 1000 years old, these seemingly immortal plants remain trapped in a region too dry for them to even decompose. They stand today as memorials to a time long gone. 

A light aircraft then returns us to Windhoek for lunch and a tour of the city. See the exhibits at the Trans-Namib Transport Museum; learn about Namibia’s struggle against colonialism at the Independence Memorial Museum; stand before the striking Evangelical Lutheran Church; and visit the Namibia Craft Centre, which provides a platform for the local community to display their diverse projects. We rejoin the Pride of Africa this afternoon and journey through the Kalahari Desert. Adjourning to the train’s dining cars, we enjoy dinner as we continue south through the city of Mariental.

Further south, we arrive in Keetmanshoop and learn of its German heritage. From here, we travel by road to Garas Park, home to Aloe dichotoma, also known as the quiver tree. The distinctive forked branches of these plants can reach five metres in height and make for arresting photographic models. We return to our train in time for tea, before passing through the somewhat-familiar-sounding village of Aus, en route to Kolmanskop.

We bear witness to the ghost town of Kolmanskop this morning, before making our approach to the Atlantic coast and Lüderitz. Much of the former German colony’s architecture has been painted in various vivid tints. We manage to tear our eyes away from this mesmerising sight just long enough to keep watch for some of the resident wildlife, including seals, penguins, flamingos and ostriches. Embarking our train once more, we return inland on our way to Fish River Canyon, via little-known Holoog.

You would be forgiven if you thought you had been transplanted to the United States today. Fish River Canyon is the world’s second-largest canyon, beaten only by the Grand Canyon. Almost 1.5 billion years of geological history stretches out before us. Cast your gaze over the vast expanse for staggering views. While here, we may cross paths with baboons, rock hyraxes, ground squirrels and klipspringers. Returning to our train for lunch, we prepare to cross the border into South Africa; our eventual destination, the town of Upington.

Upington’s past contains stories of diamond smugglers, horse rustlers and ruthless fortune-seekers. We learn more, while also seeing the Upington of today, during a walking tour. Back on board the Pride of Africa, we enjoy tea in the lounge car as we continue our southbound journey.

Our train enters the Karoo, a vast semi-desert. If we are lucky, wildebeest and antelope will be out. On the Karoo’s fringe sits Matjiesfontein, a Victorian town where time stands still. About five kilometres prior to reaching our destination, you will have the opportunity to disembark and walk through the countryside into town. Otherwise, remain on board and alight in Matjiesfontein for a stroll through the main street, passing ornate buildings and a collection of historic cars. We also take time to appreciate the Pink Church and the Lord Milner Hotel. As we resume our rail journey, enjoy tea in the observation car. We soon enter a succession of four tunnels, the first of which is 13.5kms long. During this time, we turn our attention to our train’s considered amenities. Spectacular scenes ensue as we make our gradual descent toward Worcester.

Our train passes through the Hex River Valley and, late in the afternoon, we arrive in Cape Town, where our rail journey concludes. We then check into the Cape Grace, our luxurious waterfront hotel. Choose where to dine this evening: You may like to experience the culinary sensations available at our hotel’s Signal Restaurant, or perhaps discover some of the other gastronomic delights on offer at one of the other fine-dining establishments along the V&A Waterfront.

This morning, ride to the summit of Table Mountain aboard a cable car. On reaching our destination, we traverse the mountain’s walkways and observation decks for stunning views over False Bay. Of course, you’re also free to remain at our hotel to enjoy its facilities or explore Cape Town’s wealth of shopping opportunities. 

After lunch, further your discovery of Cape Town with one of these Your World experiences:
— One of the world’s most impressive gardens, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden invites you to explore its expansive grounds. Then venture along the Constantia Wine Route. At Groot Constantia Wine Farm, enjoy a tasting at South Africa’s oldest wine estate. 
— Join your guide Christo Brand, former prison warden and friend of Nelson Mandela. Retrace the footsteps of the late president and one-time political prisoner through key locations of the city, including City Hall; Greenmarket Square; and Tuynhuys, the office of the president. 

This evening, a gala Farewell Dinner awaits us within a spectacular location in Cape Town. Celebrate all that we have seen during our time in Africa while savouring a sumptuous dinner with your fellow guests.

Take a final opportunity to mingle with new-found friends this morning, recounting your favourite experiences of our magnificent journey, before being transferred to the airport.

Brochure