Rovos Rail Namibia (10 Days)

Rovos Rail Namibia

Rovos Rail to Namibia – travel in style on the iconic luxury train, Rovos Rail either to or from Namibia to Pretoria, South Africa. This journey takes the train from the savannahs of the Highveld to the Atlantic in the west.

Departing from Pretoria, the first stop is Kimberley, the centre of one of the world’s famous diamond rushes; where there is an opportunity to savour the 1870s atmosphere of the mining village. The train traverses the stark vistas of the Northern Cape to the Fish River Canyon; second in size to the Grand Canyon; and Garas Park with its quiver-tree forest.

Guests continue across the untamed beauty of the Kalahari Desert to a cheetah conservation project and a stop in Namibia’s capital for a tour. Windhoek is a lively, cosmopolitan city with a strong German flavour.

Then it’s a short flight to Sossusvlei, a stunning pan in the Namib Desert, for an overnight stay followed by a night in the game-rich Etosha National Park. On the last morning, the train travels the Namib to the perfectly preserved 19th-century German Hansa town of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay; an unforgettable end to a remarkable journey.

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Rovos Rail to Namibia Daily Itinerary

Below is the itinerary for the train journey from Pretoria to Namibia. Available in reverse, beginning in Walvis Bay, Namibia to Pretoria, South Africa.

Rovos Rail to Namibia Daily Itinerary

Day 1

11 am: Depart from Rovos Rail Station, Pretoria. Travel south via the goldfields of the Witwatersrand. Guests may freshen up in their suites; before joining fellow travellers in the lounge car or observation car at the rear of the train.

1 pm: Lunch is in the dining cars.

4.30 pm: Tea is in the lounge and observation cars.

7.30 pm: Enjoy dinner in the dining cars.

Day 2

7 am: Breakfast is in the dining cars.

9.45 am: Enjoy a tour of Kimberley’s Diamond Mine Museum and the Big Hole. Kimberley, the capital of the Northern Cape; is well known for the discovery of diamonds that led to its establishment in 1871.

1 pm: Lunch is in the dining cars. The observation car will be leading the train until after tea. Travel through the Karoo, a vast semi-desert region that was once an enormous inland sea. Over millions of years, the volcanic matter was ground down and deposited as silt upon the seabed; to form what geologists call the Karoo system.

4.30 pm: Tea is in the lounge car and observation car at the front of the train.

7.30 pm: Dinner is in the dining cars en route to De Aar, an important railway junction.

Day 3

7 am: Breakfast is in the dining cars.

9 am: Disembark the train for an optional two-hour walking tour of Upington. Attorney General of the Cape, Sir Thomas Upington; was principally responsible for liquidating the business activities of all the Orange River pirates and capturing their leader, Klaas Lucas. When they were finally chased away in 1884; the town was founded on the banks of the Orange River and named in his honour.

1 pm: Lunch is in the dining cars. Border formalities with Namibia.

4.30 pm: Tea is in the lounge car and observation car at the rear of the train.

7.30 pm: Dinner is in the dining cars en route to Holoog.

Day 4

6 am: Breakfast is in the dining cars until departure.

8 am: Board vehicles for the one hour drive to the Fish River Canyon. The Fish River rises in the centre of the country before flowing south into the Orange River on Namibia’s border with South Africa. It has formed the great Fish River Canyon; the largest canyon in the southern hemisphere and probably only second to Arizona’s Grand Canyon in terms of size. The vast rocky landscape breaks up into a series of spectacular cliffs. Its size is impressive: 161km long, up to 27km wide and almost 550m at its deepest.

Fish River Canyon
Fish River Canyon

Return to the train at 11 am.

1 pm: Lunch is in the dining cars. The train travels along the southern reaches of the Kalahari Basin.

Namibia Tour
Rovos Rail travelling through the Kalahari

3 pm: Visit Garas Park (Quiver Trees), home to roughly 300 specimens of the Aloe dichotomy. The prehistoric trees have forked branches that reach up to 5m making for great photographic opportunities.

4.30 pm: Tea back on board Rovos Rail in the lounge and observation cars.

7.30 pm: Dinner is in the dining cars. The train travels north through the Kalahari to Mariental.

Day 5

Please pack a small overnight bag for the stay in Sossusvlei. Tog bags will have been placed in your suite for your convenience. See below for inclusions / exclusions.

7 am: Breakfast is served in the dining cars until 10 am.

10.30 am: Transfer to the airstrip. Depart in a light aircraft for a one hour flight to Sossusvlei. The dunes of the Namib were created by sand carried by the wind from the coast. The sand here is over 5-million years old and is red due to its iron-oxide content. As the light changes during the day so do the appearance of the dunes’ characteristic colour allowing for interesting photographs at any time. The wind in the Sossusvlei area blows from all directions causing the sand to form a star shape with multiple arms, hence the name “star dunes”.

Luxury train Rovos Rail Namibia
Excursion to Dune 45, Sossusvlei

12 pm: After check-in, enjoy lunch at the restaurant.

4.30 pm: Afternoon desert drive and a bush dinner after sunset. Overnight at the lodge.

Day 6

An early wake-up call with tea and coffee. Enjoy a desert drive with breakfast in the vlei.

11 am: Return to the lodge to use the facilities, check-out and transfer to the airstrip.

12 pm: Depart in a light aircraft for the one hour flight to Windhoek. Enjoy lunch and visit the Transport Museum. Situated in Namibia’s central highlands, Windhoek is an attractive city surrounded by clusters of hills and the impressive Auas and Eros Mountains. The Trans-Namib Transport Museum outlines Namibian transport history, particularly that of the railway. The Independence Memorial Museum focuses on the anti-colonial resistance and the national liberation struggle of Namibia.

Namibia flying safari
Light aircraft flight in Namibia

6 pm: Depart Windhoek.

7.30 pm: Dinner is served in the dining cars en route to Kranzberg.

Day 7

7 pm: Breakfast is in the dining cars until 10 am.

12.30 pm: Lunch is in the dining cars.

2 pm: Visit a cheetah conservation project in Otjiwarongo. Founded in Namibia in 1990, the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) is dedicated to saving the cheetah in the wild. Time may be earlier.

7.30 pm: Dinner is in the dining cars en route to Otavi.

Day 8

Please pack a small overnight bag for the stay in Etosha. See below for inclusions/exclusions.

7 am: Breakfast is in the dining cars until 10 am.

10.30 am: Transfer (120min) to Mokuti Lodge in Etosha National Park. Check-in and enjoy lunch. Etosha National Park (22 270km²) offers great game viewing. It gets its name from the Etosha pan (4760km2), a large salt pan forming part of the Kalahari Basin. Etosha means ‘Great White Place’.

Etosha Safari
Etosha safari

3 pm: Afternoon game drive (approximately 3 hours).

7 pm: Dinner at the lodge and overnight.

Day 9

An early wake-up call with tea and coffee. Enjoy a game drive in the Etosha National Park.

9.45 am: Return to the lodge for breakfast and check-out.

11 am: Meet in the foyer to check out and transfer (60 min) to the train at Tsumeb Station.

1 pm: Lunch is served in the dining cars.

4.30 pm: Tea is served in the lounge and observation cars.

7.30 pm: Dinner is served. The train travels southwest towards the Atlantic Ocean.

Day 10

7 am: Breakfast is in the dining cars until 10 am. Traverse the Namib Desert towards Walvis Bay. The observation car will be at the front of the train for the last stretch; which gives a different aspect that rail enthusiasts enjoy. The Namib Desert stretches for more than 2000km along the Atlantic coasts of Angola, Namibia and South Africa. The name is of Khoekhoegowab origin and means “vast place”. Having endured arid or semi-arid conditions for roughly 55-80 million years, the Namib may be the oldest desert in the world. The geology consists of sand seas near the coast while gravel plains and scattered mountain outcrops occur further inland.

12 pm: Arrive at the Rovos Rail Namibia journey’s end in Walvis Bay.

Rovos Rail Namibia Rates and Departure Dates

2022

2022 Rovos Rail Namibia Safari Rates

Royal Suite: R198 000
Deluxe Suite: R155 000
Pullman Gold: R116 000

2022 Departure dates:

Pretoria to Walvis Bay
5th until 14th April 2022
27th April until 6th May 2022
4th until 13th May 2022

Walvis Bay to Pretoria
16th until 25th April 2022
8th until 17th May 2022
15th until 24 May 2022

2023

2023 Rovos Rail Namibia Safari Rates

Royal Suite: R214 000
Deluxe Suite: R167 500
Pullman Gold: R125 000

2023 Departure dates:

Pretoria to Walvis Bay
4th until 13th April 2023
26th April until 5th May 2023
18th until 27th May 2023

Walvis Bay to Pretoria
15th until 24th April 2023
7th until 16th May 2023
30th May until 8th June 2023

Single Supplement: +50%

Rovos Rail Namibia Rates Include:

Accommodation, all meals, all beverages on board the train, room service, limited laundry, excursions with a qualified guide (where applicable), entrance fees as per itinerary, government tax. The rates also include the light aircraft flights to / from Sossusvlei and your overnight bag.

EXCLUDED:

All off-train beverages, international/French Champagne, gratuities, personal expenses, visas, travel insurance, pre-and post-tour transfers and international flights.

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