Rovos Rail African Collage (10 or 11 Days)

Rovos Rail African Collage Map

The Rovos Rail African Collage is a 10-day luxury train journey that includes a golfing and non-golfing itinerary; travels from Pretoria to Cape Town (southbound). The Cape Town to Pretoria (northbound) journey includes an extra night; to enjoy some of the sights in Eswatini too (11 days). The golf offered on this journey is at some of South Africa’s best golf courses such as; Leopard Creek, Beachwood, Humewood, Fancourt, and Oubaai Golf Clubs.

Highlights on the Rovos Rail African Collage

The famous Kruger National Park (2-million hectares) is a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and is home to an impressive number of species; for example; 336 species of trees, 49 species of fish, 34 species of amphibians, 114 species of reptiles, 507 species of birds and of course; 147 species of mammals including the Big Five.

Kwa-Zulu Natal

The Drakensberg Mountains were first named by the Voortrekkers who thought the unbroken chain of heavily weathered peaks reminded them of the spines on a dragon’s back, hence the name ‘Dragon Mountain’ or Drakensberg in Afrikaans.

As the oldest proclaimed reserve in Africa, Hluhluwe consists of 960km² of hilly topography in central Zululand and is known for its rich wildlife and conservation efforts. It has all the Big Five game animals and is also a prime birding destination.

Luxury Rovos train journey
KwaZulu Natal scenery

Durban is the third-largest city in South Africa and enjoys great importance due to its industry and very large port.

Cape

Addo Elephant Park is South Africa’s third-largest national reserve stretching from the semi-arid Karoo, over the Zuurberg Mountains, and down through the Sundays River valley to the coast. The park is home to one of the densest African Elephant populations on earth.

The Garden Route – Traverse the Karoo, a vast and beautiful semi-desert stretching across the great South African plateau inland from the Cape coast with scattered towns and villages. Cross the dry southeastern region with its variety of grasses, hardy shrubs, tumbleweeds, and succulents and descend the Great Escarpment towards the coast.

This semi-desert region is situated at the foot of the majestic Swartberg mountain range where many rivers, streams, and falls have their origins. Oudtshoorn is regarded as the center of the Klein Karoo and is famous for feathering the world in the time of the boa and grand hats. The ostrich boom of the early 20th century turned out many millionaires who, in turn, created elaborate lifestyles in this remote part of Africa. George and Knysna sit between the majestic Outeniqua Mountains to the north and the Indian Ocean to the south.

The Knysna Heads; two sandstone cliffs guarding the mouth of the lagoon connecting the estuary with the sea; is a dramatic viewpoint. The train travels the Garden Route, a narrow coastal terrace lying between the deep-set coastal cliffs rising sheer out of the sea and the mountains a short distance inland; a topology that facilitates for heavy rainfall, hence the name as it is always lush and green.

Available in reverse from Cape Town to Pretoria.

Cape Town to Pretoria is 11 days including eSwatini

The tiny landlocked Kingdom of Eswatini (Swaziland) covers only 17 000km2, most of which is mountainous. For such a small country, it is surprising that it sustains two capital cities; Mbabane is the administrative capital and Lobamba is the royal and legislative capital. In April 2018; Swaziland changed its name to the Kingdom of eSwatini (meaning “place of the Swazi”) and is an absolute monarchy. It borders South Africa and Mozambique.

Mealtimes (unless adjusted): Breakfast 7 am-10 am • Lunch 1 pm • High Tea 4.30 pm • Dinner 7.30 pm

Courses dependent on availability:
Leopard Creek or White River or Mbombela (Nelspruit),
Nkonyeni (Eswatini so on the northbound journey only),
Durban Country Club or Beachwood or Zimbali,
Champagne Sports Resort,
Humewood,
Fancourt, and Ernie Els Oubaai.

10 Day Luxury Rovos Rail African Collage Southbound Itinerary

Pretoria to Cape Town Daily Itinerary

Day 1

Depart Rovos Rail Station in Pretoria at 10 am. Enjoy lunch, tea, and dinner as the train traverses the Highveld to the Drakensberg Mountains and Malelane.

Day 2

Golfers: Morning tee-off at either Leopard Creek (±15 min) OR White River (±75 min) OR Nelspruit (±60 min) (subject to availability) near Kruger with lunch.

Non-golfers: Game drive in the Kruger National Park with tea and lunch and an opportunity for curio shopping.

Day 3

Travel across the mountainous Kingdom of Eswatini.
Transfer (±30 min) to Hluhluwe for a game drive.

Day 4

Golfers: Morning tee-off at either Durban Country Club, Beachwood (both 15 min), or Zimbali (45 min) and lunch.

Non-golfers: Enjoy a Durban city tour, a visit to the botanical gardens, and lunch at Umhlanga’s beachfront.

Travel the Valley of a Thousand Hills to Ladysmith. Tonight’s dinner is an “Africa” theme or smart casual

Day 5

Golfers: Transfer to Champagne Sports Resort for a morning tee-off.

Non-golfers: Transfer (±30 min) to Spionkop Lodge to hear the historic tale of the Battle of Spionkop and walk in the footsteps of Churchill and Gandhi. Enjoy lunch. Afternoon game drive OR relax at the lodge.

Travel towards Kroonstad across the Drakensberg Mountains.

Day 6

A full day on board Rovos Rail to enjoy the scenery of Karoo. The observation car will be at the front of the train until Port Elizabeth; a different aspect that rail enthusiasts enjoy.

Day 7

Golfers: Morning tee-off at Humewood Course and lunch.

Non-golfers: Morning game drive at Addo Elephant Park.

The train travels to Oudtshoorn via Willowmore.

Day 8

Golfers: Transfer to Fancourt (45 min) OR Ernie Els Oubaai (±60 min) for tee-off and lunch.

Non-golfers: Enjoy a visit to an ostrich farm in Oudtshoorn. After lunch on board the train, take a shuttle to the mall or railway museum.

Everyone has dinner at Fancourt Estate.

Garden Route Tour
Ostrich Eggs

Day 9

Golfers: Morning tee-off at either Ernie Els Oubaai OR Fancourt.

Non-golfers: Disembark in George for the scenic drive (±60 min) to Knysna. Enjoy a ferry ride on the lagoon.

1920s-themed dinner.

Rovos Rail African Collage
Garden Route luxury train through the Outeniqua Mountains

Day 10

Trundle through the spectacular mountain ranges and scenic Winelands of the Western Cape towards the coast.
5 pm: Arrive at Cape Town Station.

10 Day Luxury Rovos Rail African Collage Northbound Itinerary

Cape Town to Pretoria Daily Itinerary

Day 1

Depart Cape Town Station at 9.30 am. Enjoy lunch, tea, and dinner as the train traverses through the spectacular mountain ranges and scenic Winelands of the Western Cape.

Rovos Rail African Collage
The scenic beauty of the Heidelberg Mountains

Day 2

Golfers: Morning tee-off at either Ernie Els Oubaai (30 min) OR Fancourt (15 min).

Non-golfers: Disembark in George for the scenic drive (±60 min) to Knysna. Enjoy a ferry ride on the lagoon with lunch before returning to the train. In the afternoon, optional shuttle to a mall OR railway museum.

Everyone has dinner at Fancourt Estate.

Day 3

Golfers: Transfer to Fancourt (15 min) OR Ernie Els Oubaai (±30 min) for tee-off and lunch. Enjoy the scenic drive to Oudtshoorn.

Non-golfers: Enjoy a visit to an ostrich farm in Oudtshoorn.

Day 4

Golfers: Tee-off at Humewood Course and lunch. Enjoy the scenic drive (±75 min) over the Zuurberg Mountains to Coerney to rejoin the train.

Non-golfers: Enjoy a tour of Port Elizabeth before the train travels towards Coerney in the Sundays River Valley. Afternoon game drive at Addo Elephant Park.

The observation car will be at the front of the train until tomorrow afternoon; a different aspect that rail enthusiasts enjoy.

Day 5

A full day on board Rovos Rail to enjoy the scenery of Karoo. Ascend the Great Escarpment and cross the dry southeastern region with its variety of grasses, hardy shrubs, tumbleweeds, and succulents. The train is turned in Kroonstad.

Tonight’s dinner is an “Africa” theme or smart casual

Day 6

Golfers: Transfer to Champagne Sports Resort for tee-off and lunch. Drive to meet the train at Escort. Shortly after Chieveley, on the right of the track, stands a memorial to Winston Churchill who was captured here in November 1899 while trying to free an armored train trapped by a Boer ambush.

Non-golfers: Transfer (±30 min) to Spionkop Lodge to hear the historic tale of the Battle of Spionkop and walk in the footsteps of Churchill and Gandhi. Enjoy lunch. Afternoon game drive OR relax at the lodge.

Travel across the Drakensberg Mountains to Escort to meet the golfers and onwards towards Pietermaritzburg.

Day 7

Golfers: Enjoy the scenic drive through the Valley of a Thousand Hills to Durban Country Club (±75 min) ORBeachwood (±75 min) OR Zimbali(±90 min) for tee-off and lunch.

Non-golfers: Traverse the Valley of a Thousand Hills. Enjoy a Durban city tour, a visit to the botanical gardens, and lunch at Umhlanga’s beachfront with an afternoon at leisure.

The train travels north along the Indian Ocean coastline.

Day 8

Transfer (±30 min) to Hluhluwe for a game drive.

The train travels towards eSwatini. After border formalities, the train heads towards the eastern central town of Mpaka.

Day 9

Golfers: Transfer to Nkonyeni for tee-off and lunch.

Non-golfers: Transfer (±90 min) to Swazi Candles and Mantenga Cultural Village for a visit with lunch.

At Swazi Candles, guests are invited to interact with the artisans as they make a variety of candles. Woodcarvings, colorful textiles, and superb basketwork are also on display. Mantenga Lodge is nestled in the mountains overlooking ‘Execution Rock’. The village is a living museum of old traditions that represents a classic Swazi lifestyle during the 1850s.

Rovos Rail African Collage Journey
Execution Rock in Eswatini

Day 10

Golfers: Transfer to Leopard Creek (±15 min) OR White River Country Club (±75 min) OR Nelspruit (±60 min) for tee-off and lunch.

Non-golfers: Game drive in the Kruger National Park with tea, lunch, and an opportunity for curio shopping.

1920s-themed dinner.

Day 11

Arrive at the journey’s end at Rovos Rail Station, Pretoria at approximately 5 pm.

Rovos Rail African Collage Golf Courses

Golf Course Information

Leopard Creek Golf Estate

The championship Leopard Creek golf course is situated near Malelane, in the heart of Mpumalanga; on the southern border of the Kruger National Park. It is this location, on the banks of the Crocodile River; that allows for the true essence of Africa to be experienced while playing what is recognized; by international golf journalists, commentators, and players alike, as a world-class golf course.
It is a testament to the skills of Gary Player’s design style; that South Africa’s maestro has also created this course. Here, he has used the naturally undulating terrain that meanders past low lying bush, typical of the area; and made great use of high vantage points to maximize the views not only of the golf holes; but also the mesmerizing surrounds of this wildlife area.

The course is exceptionally well-manicured; and the memory will be of immaculate sweeping fairways, dramatic and sparkling water features, and quite superb greens. Gary Player describes Leopard Creek as, “ A blend of good golf holes, a balance of short, long and medium-length holes.”

The feature hole at Leopard Creek is the 13th. This is not only because of the challenge it presents; but also because the green overhangs the Crocodile River; allowing for spectacular views over the river and the Kruger National Park.

Parklands • 6 631m • Carts compulsory

Kruger Golf
Leopard Creek Golf Course

White River

Naturally adapted to the valley floor upon which it lies; White River is located at the feet of several private nature reserves. Such is the beauty of the course that holes 7 and 11 have been compared to the likes of Augusta. Opened in 1924, it was designed by Gary Player and Reg Taylor. The long, snaking river that runs through the course is the
defining feature and is home to an astounding array of flora and fauna.

Signature hole: 5th – par 3 – 138m:
This hole calls for an accurate tee shot over the river onto a gently sloping green.

Parklands • 6 036m • Carts available

Kruger Golf
White River Golf Course

Mbombela (formerly Nelspruit) Golf Club

Mbombela lies in the fertile valley of the Crocodile River in the hot and humid Lowveld. It has a very important place on the tourist map due to its close proximity to the Kruger National Park. Founded in November 1928 and moved to its present location in 1939; Mbombela Golf Club is one of Mpumalanga’s top courses. The bushveld course is a Bob Grimsdell design built among rocky outcrops. It was a nine-holer for nearly 30 years before Grimsdell returned to complete a second nine in 1967. It was left largely untouched until 1998 when Peter Matcovich upgraded it.

The course is lined with indigenous Lowveld trees and bent grass greens and Cynoden / Kikuyu fairways complement the landscape. Mbombela Golf Club is famous for hosting the annual Jock of the Bushveld Festival of Golf; considered the biggest amateur tournament of its kind in the world. Started in 1968, it now receives some 800 amateurs from far and wide; who play more than 2 000 rounds during a week in May.

Parklands • 5 700m • Carts available

Kruger Golf
Mbombela Golf Course (ex Nelspruit)

Durban Country Club

Built by George Waterman and fellow professional golfer Laurie Waters, the Durban Country Club was established in 1922 and has a proud history. The difficulties these men faced were immense; as all earth-moving had to be done manually, giant sand dunes were flattened and dense bush and trees were chopped down and carted away. Renowned for its classic Cape Dutch architecture, lush vegetation, undulating fairways, sand dunes, and beautiful setting overlooking the Indian Ocean; the club has been the venue of choice for many an important celebration in its rich history.

Signature Hole: 3rd – par 5- 468m
A tee shot from the highest point on the course into a valley below; completely exposing the drive to the ocean gusts. Trees on the right of the straightaway hole need to be avoided; as well as the large fairway bunker on the landing area to the left.

Semi-links • 6 157m • Carts available

KwaZulu Natal Golf
Durban Country Club

Durban Beachwood

The seaside layout of Beachwood has deservedly received accolades for its immaculate conditioning. Originally designed by Sid & Jack Brews in 1930, it has always been famed for its narrow fairways and indigenous trees. When Beachwood amalgamated with Durban Country Club in the late 1990s; Gary Player’s design team was asked to upgrade and redesign some of the holes while introducing additional hazards. The results are to be savored as one plays a course with clever bunkering and water features with superb greens. The land follows rolling and undulating contours allowing fairways to follow natural valleys between high grassy banks; requiring precision shots and lay-ups.

Signature Hole: 6th – par 4 – 410m
One of the most demanding holes, the 6th is set high in the dunes and doglegs left with a stream, bush, and water hazard to be negotiated en route to the green.

Semi-links • 6 016m • Carts available

Beachwood Golf Course
Beachwood Golf Course -18th hole

Zimbali

Zimbali is a truly spectacular golf estate offering sweeping panoramas of the surrounding hills, forest, and ocean of the North Coast in KwaZulu-Natal. Former South African PGA and British Open Champion Tom Weiskopf has remained true to his style; and designed a course that caters to players of all abilities. Opened in 1998 it has firmly cemented itself as one of the area’s favorites. Being an eco-conscious estate; the tee boxes are often situated in slightly tricky positions to avoid environmental disturbances. The first 11 holes take you over rolling hills with ideal vantage points from which to enjoy the magnificent views. Holes 12 to 18 explore the Zimbali indigenous forest.

Links Coastal & Parklands • 6 524m • Carts compulsory

South Africa Golf
Zimbali Country Club 6th hole

Champagne Sports Resort

Located in the beautiful Drakensberg area, the Champagne Sports Resort golf course has to be rated as one of the most scenically memorable golf layouts in South Africa. Designed by Hugh Baiocchi and Kevin Curren; it successfully blends the natural attributes of the terrain and the surrounding beauty; with the modern demands of a quality course. It undulates up and around the contours of a valley; that nestles under the dominant peaks of Champagne and Cathkin Peaks and incorporates several holes with blind tee shots.

Professional and novice alike will appreciate the 84 well-appointed bunkers that line the fairways and greens. Though the drama of the mighty mountains dominates the eye, the course also enjoys gentle vistas; where the lower hills create a kaleidoscope of color blessed with trees, rivers, and dams; to add even more of a challenge.

Mountain • 7 400m • Carts available

Drakensberg Golf
Champagne Sports Resort Golf

Humewood Golf Club

Humewood Golf Club in Port Elizabeth is on the sand dunes on the shores of Algoa Bay, this true links course is characterized by thick coastal bush, swales, humps, and hollows. Although the fairways are wide and undulating in order to compensate for the strong winds; the rough that borders them is unforgiving. The holes are simple yet neat, the gulf greens are fast and firm; the few bunkers are well-positioned with tough, steep faces and there are no water hazards.

Signature hole: 13th – par 4 – 408m
This hole runs uphill along a severely sloped fairway with a tough semi-blind approach; to a tiny green hidden behind a mound; with rough to the right, a bunker to the left, and thick bush behind it.

6 225m • Walking course • Carts available

Garden Route Golf
Humewood Golf Course

Oubaai Golf Club

In designing Oubaai (Herold’s Bay), Ernie Els and his team have taken full advantage of the spectacular landscape with the support of Nicklaus Design. The philosophy is based on flexibility where concepts are molded according to the landscape, not vice versa. With its special cliff-side location and high vantage point above rivers and valleys; the initial impression will be of large open fairways, superb directional and protective bunkers, and large undulating greens, but; be assured that despite the seeming freedom off the tee; there is a strategy that requires intelligent positioning of each shot.

Signature hole: 17th – par 3 – 132m
With an elevated tee and breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean; the ever-changing winds and undulating green guarded by four bunkers make this a tough little hole.

Links • 6 516m • Carts available

Garden Route Golf
Oubaai Golf 9th and 10th holes

Fancourt Country Club

There are actually 4 x golf courses at Fancourt; we use Montagu and Outeniqua; in the town of George on the Garden Route. Carts are available.

Fancourt Country Club Montagu Course – This course is exquisitely conditioned with a glorious parkland layout covering large tracts of varying terrain on rolling land. Mature trees, flowerbeds, shrubs, and water hazards provide a colorful contrast.

Signature hole: 17th – par 3 – 190m
This is scary for the average golfer with its long carry-over water but the green is large and receptive; so ignore it and go for the flag. If conservative, favor the left side of the green.

Parklands • 6 714m

Fancourt Golf
Fancourt Montagu Golf Course

Fancourt Country Club Outeniqua – Named after the mountain range overlooking the area, this parklands course is regarded as the easier one being more open in appearance yet it has its share of challenges and risk and reward moments.

Signature hole: 14th – par 4 – 421m
No surprise this is the toughest hole with its intimidating tee shot over water. If the flag is on the left of the green; play conservatively for the middle as there is water lurking at the back left.

Parklands • 6 312m

Fancourt Golf
Fancourt Outeniqua Golf Course

Pezula

Pezula is a sweeping spectacle of fairways and greens rolling through the pristine Southern Cape landscape. The award-winning course, designed by David Dale and Ronald Fream of GolfPlan USA; rates among the best and the most scenic in the world. Covering 254 hectares on the Knysna clifftops, Pezula has views of both the Knysna Lagoon and the Indian Ocean. It is designed to include a full range of shots in a diverse coastal terrain; making it a challenging, rewarding, and complete golf experience for players of all levels.

Signature hole: 13th – par 5 – 467m
This amazing hole drops 200ft and is measured in ‘airtime’. Your level or uneven lie will determine your second shot selection. Don’t forget to look back to the tee when you finish the hole.

Links and Parklands • 5 963m • Carts available

Knysna golf
Pezula Championship Golf Course – 6th Hole

Nkonyeni Golf Estate (Northbound only)

Nkonyeni offers Swaziland’s premier 18 Hole championship golf course. The course designed by Phil Jacobs presents a challenge to young and old; and is at the same time fun playing. The Course meanders through the Game Reserve and you will enjoy the golf with the game looking on.

Rovos Rail African Collage
Nkonyeni Golf Estate 8th hole

Rovos Rail African Collage Rates and Dates

2022

9 nights Pretoria to Cape Town: 20th – 29th May 2022 & 26th October – 4th November 2022
10 nights Cape Town to Pretoria (including Eswatini): 7th – 17th November 2022

Pullman Suite: R99 500
Deluxe Suite: R146 500
Royal Suite: R194 500

2023

9 nights Rovos Rail African Collage Southbound: Pretoria to Cape Town: 5th – 14th April 2023 & 24th October – 2nd November 2023
10 nights Rovos Rail African Collage Northbound: Cape Town to Pretoria (including Eswatini): 4th – 14th November 2023

Pullman Suite: R107 500
Deluxe Suite: R158 000
Royal Suite: R210 000

Single Supplement +50% on all suites

Have a look at a second journey similar to Rovos Rail African Collage; the Rovos Rail Golf Safari for golfers and non-golfers; that includes Sun City Gary Player or Lost City, Champagne Sports Resort, Durban Country Club or Beachwood, Royal Swazi, and Highland Gate.

You may also like...