Travelling through Africa by rail on a luxury train safari harks back to the glamour of a bygone age, when each journey was a destination in itself. Train whistles have echoed across the savannah for decades, and today’s carriages combine modern comforts and timeless elegance, plus plenty of romance.
What’s it like to go on a luxury train safari?
It’s a rather wonderful combination of relaxation, the excitement of seeing new places, old-world glamour and quality time with your chosen travelling companion.
Who should choose a luxury train safari?
Train safaris are wonderfully romantic, making them ideal for couples, but they present plenty of opportunities to socialise, should you choose to travel alone. They also embrace the idea of a slow safari: that in between exciting excursions you simply kick back and watch the world go by, rather than rushing around. Apart from that, they offer excellent food, memorable wine, attentive service and spectacular scenery. Sound good? Then train travel is for you.
What kind of suites are there?
Trains vary, but Rovos Rail suites, for example, have double (or twin) beds, ensuite bathrooms with showers, wood panelling and period fittings. Royal suites take up half a carriage and include lounge areas and Victorian bathtubs; deluxe suites have lounge areas; and pullman suites come with day couches that convert into beds.
Will we be cramped?
Definitely not – the clever design features of the generously sized suites maximise the space, and you can roam the corridors at will. Plus, each suite comes with several million hectares of African landscape!
What’s on the rest of the train?
Again, different luxury trains offer different things, but they typically have sleeper suites, lounge cars, smoking lounges, dining cars, kitchen cars and observation cars at the rear with larger windows for even better views.
How will we pass the time?
A luxury train safari lets you finally read that novel, write that letter, swap travel tales with fellow passengers, take game drives and other excursions and enjoy overnights in luxury lodges. And best of all, you can lose yourself in contemplation as Africa slips by.