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The trip can also be booked in the opposite direction.
This 16 day journey travels across six countries. The route is carefully crafted to deliver stunning experiences every day. The train travels leisurely between Victoria Falls and Johannesburg making numerous calls at destinations in Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. As the tracks unfurl you’ll gain rare insight into the cultural and geographical cocktail that makes Southern Africa so vibrant and exciting.
1. Flight of Angels
A highlight of any visit to Victoria Falls is a trip in a light aircraft or helicopter over the Falls.
2. White Water River Rafting
Batoka Gorge provides one of the most intense sensorty thrills imaginable.
3. Elephant Riding
Seated comfortably on the back of nature's true King of the Beasts, guests can experience an age-old African tradition.
4. Bungee Jumping from Livingstone Bridge
The bridge spans the gorge between Zambia and Zimbabwe and offers one of the world's highest bungee jumps (111m).
Should you arrive at Victoria Falls International Airport today, you will be met upon arrival and transferred to the train. Please note that you should arrive no later than 08h00 at the airport in order to participate in the day's touring.
The Victoria Falls
(Morning. Distance traveled: ± 15 km). The afternoon is spent at leisure.
The train remains stationery at Victoria Falls Station over night.
Chobe National Park (Botswana)
A 70-kilometre drive from Victoria Falls brings us to the Botswana border, where we cross into the famous Chobe National Park. Today's highlights include a game drive in 4x4 vehicles and a river cruise on the Chobe River. Lunch (Guests' own account) will be taken at a waterfront lodge where guests can relax by the pool. (Full day. Distance traveled: ± 200 km).
The train remains stationary at Victoria Falls Station over night.
Across the Falls and into Livingstone
Today we cross over from Zimbabwe into Zambia to take a different view of Victoria falls before continuing to the town of Livingstone. We visit the Livingstone Museum before heading to the Wafterfront Lodge for lunch. Our last visit in the afternoon will be to the Fifth Gorge for a spectacular view fo the Zambezi River. (Full day. Distance traveled: ± 70 km).
Lunctime Boat Cruise
This spectacular lunchtime cruise on the Zambezi includes a buffet lunch and drinks.
Over night at Sikumi Tree Lodge
Guests have the opportunity to spend in a rustic lodge in Hwange National Park. You will depart from Victoria Falls in our Shongololo vehicles after lunch. During the late afternoon you will board open 4x4 safari vehicles for a game drive. The following day, you will experience a series of game drives unil late afternoon when you will rejoin the train at Dete Station. This add on package includes game drives, dinner, bed, breakfast and lunch.
The train departs after dinner for Dete.
Hwange National Park
An early morning game drive in the park is followed by breakfast at the Sable Valley Lodge. After a morning of game viewing, lunch (Guests' own account) will be at the Sikumi Tree Lodge. There will be an opportunity to relax at the pool for a while before we resume our game viewing later in the afternoon. (Full day. Departure time depends on gate opening times. Distance traveled: ± 120 km).
The train departs for Bulawayo in the evening.
Bulawayo and Matobo National Park
1. Matobo Hills and an Art Gallery (closed on Sunday)
Today includes a visit to the burial place of Cecil John Rhodes, and an inspection of a busman cave. There will be time for lunch (Guests' own account) before joining a tour of the Natural History Museum, which is one of the best of its kind in teh Southern Hemisphere. Lastly, we take a drive through the city and visit an art gallery. (Full day. Distance traveled: ± 150 km).
2. Matobo Hills and the Railway Museum
This follows the same itinerary as above, but for train and rail enthusiasts, we visit the Railway Museum instead of the art gallery. (Full day. Distance traveled: ± 150 km).
A visit to Chipangali gives an insight into the plight of abandoned and orphaned wild animals.
The trian travels to Somabhula in the evening.
Antelope Park, Gweru
Antelope Park - Walk with lions and lion club viewing
A highlight of the tour is walking and interacting with lions and lion cubs in Antelope Park. This full day includes lunch and the opportunity to relax or enjoy any number of addiotnla activities, listed below.
Gweru Military Museum and Aviation Display
After lunch in Antelope Park, guests who are interested in militarty and aviation hardware will board a Shongololo bus and drive to the town of Gweru to visit the Military Museum.
Somabhula Primary School
In the late afternoon after Antelope Parka dn teh Military Museum, guests will head back to Somabhula for a vist to the local primary shcool where staff and children have prepared a show for us. Donations of clothes, stationery etc are always well received at this exceptional school (full day. Distance traveled: ± 50 km).
1. Canoe Hire
During our stay at Antelope Park, you will be able to hire a canoe and paddle on your own on the river.
2. Game Drives
Take an open safari vehicle game drive through the park.
3. Horseback Game Viewing
For experienced riders only. Enjoy one and a half hours on horse back through the park on a guided ride.
4. Elephant Riding
View the park from a different perspective on Africa's largest mammal.
5. Lion Breeding Project
A presentation of the Park's Alert project whose objective is the release into the wild a new generation of lions.
6. Birdwatching Boar Cruise
Enjoy 45 minutes of birdwatch on the river in an open ten-seater boat.
After the return to the train in the early evening, we will depart for Bannockburn and Great Zimbabwe.
Largest monument in Africa south of the Pyramids
This tour of the largest pre colonial monument south of Egypt's pyramids is followed by lunch at the Great Zimbabwe Hotel (Guests' own account). After lunch we travel trhough attractive granite hill country to Rutenga. (Full day. Distance traveled: ± 300 km).
Guests rejoin the train at Rutenga and travel to Beit Bridge where the train crosses into South Africa.
Day on train to South Africa
Guests spend the day on the train traveling through the countryside of Limpopo. Gauteng and Mpumalanga Provinces. Lunches will be served on the train and guides will host informative talks in the lounges.
The train stops in Nelspruit, where guests spend the night, departing for the Panorama Route the following morning.
In 1873 gold was discovered in the area around the quaint town of Pilgrim's Rest, now a living museum and National Mounument. Further along the escarpment are the great Blyde River Canyon, Bourke's Luck Potholes and God's WIndow, great natural features of hte area. Guests return to meet the trian at Nelspruit station. (Full day. Distance traveled: ± 280 km).
Sunrise Balloon Experience
Early morning pick-up and transfer to the balloon launch site. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be served on arrival, followed by a scenic balloon flight lasting around one hour. Local sparkling wine will be served upon ladning, followed by breakfast at a country lodge. Later we rejoin the rest of the group in Sabie town and continue on the Panorama tour. (This activity is weather dependent).
The train remains stationary in Nelspruit.
Kruger National Park
The Kruger National Park offers a 2 million hectare wildlife experience. Game drives are conducted in our air-conditioned vehicles. (Full day. Departure time depends on the season, as gates open and close with sunrise and sunset. Distance traveled: ± 220 km).
1. Open Vehicle Safari
Game drives are conducted in open safari vehicles, specifically designed to ensure safety as well as optimum game viewing. Lunch (Guests' own account) will be at one of the rest camps in the park. Game viewing continues for the remainder of the afternoon.
2. Private Game Reserve
In the late morning you will be transferred to a private game lodge where you have lunch, an evening game drive, dinner, an early morning game drive and breakfast. After breakfast guests join the rest of hte group in the Kruger Park. Game viewing (in our air-conditioned vehicle) will be done en-route back to the train. (Bookings subject to availability).
3. Local Pub in Town
Guests can enjoy an evening in a local pub in the company of local farmers and villagers.
The train moves on to Komatipoort during the day and remains stationary overnight.
1. Kruger National Park
Guests can choose to spend a further day sight seeing in the park. Game drives are conducted in our air-conditioned vehicles. (Full day. Departure time depends on the season, as gates open and close with sunrise and sunset. Distance traveled: ± 220 km).
The Lowveld Botancial Gardens have a rare collection of plant species and the first man-made rain forest. Lunchtime will be spent at the Riverside Mall. In the afternoon you will head to the nearby Sudwala Caves and Dinosaur Park. (Full day. Distance traveled: ± 130 km).
Guests rejoin the train at Komatipoort before crossing into Mozambique. The train travels to Maputo.
At the beach
Guests are transferred to the ferry port for a ride to a beach resort where you can relax in the sun or go for a swim. Lunch (Guests' own account) can be taken at a restaurant specialising in Indian Ocena cuisine with an emphasis on the freshest seafood dishes prepared in traditional African-Portuguese style. (Full day. Distance traveled: ± 160 km).
Dinner tonight will be enjoyed at a local seafood restaurant. The train remains stationary at Maputo Station over night.
Tour of Maptuo
A visit to the municipal market is followed by a stop at the old Fortzleza, which dates back to 1769. Other interesting city sites include the Catholic Cathedral, the Civic Centre, Louis Trichardt Trek Memorial, Samora Machel Statue, the Jardim Tunduru (Botanical Gardens) and Eiffel's Iron House (Casa do Ferro). The tour also includes a visit to an art gallery wehre furniture and sculptures are made out of old AK 47 weapons. A drive along the marginal takes us to Costa do Sol, one of Maptuo's landmark restaurants and hotels where there is an opportunity to relax and enjoy a cold drink. Lunch (Guests' own account) will be at Mundos Restaurant or one of the other restaurants or hotels in town. After lunch we head back to the train. An afternoon high tea will be served on board while we travel through the Mozambican countryside. (Half day. Distance traveled: ± 60 km).
The train departs from Maputo at around 15h00 and travels towards the South African border.
Tour through Swaziland
You will need your passport for today's tour.
A drive from Kaapmuiden into Swaziland where we visit the Swazi Market, the glass and candle factory, stopping at Mantenga Lodge for lunch. (Full day. Distance traveled: ± 350 km).
Guests rejoin the train in South Africa and continue to Johannesburg.
Pretoria / Johannesburg / Soweto
1. Pretoria and Soweto
We will spend the morning in Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa, visiting the Union Buildings, the grand bronze statue of Oom Paul (Kruger) and the impressive Voortrekker Monument. In the afternoon we travel to Soweto to visit the Hector Petersen Memorial and the only street in the world home to two Nobel Peace Iaureates. (Full day. Distance traveled: ± 200 km).
2. Johnnesburgh and Soweto
Our day starts at Constitution Hill in Braamfontein in the centre of Johannesburg, new home of the Constitiutional Court and site of Johannesburg's notorious Old Fort Prison Complex. We then head onto the Newtown Precinct to visit Museum Africa previosuly known as the market of Johnnesburg. This is followed by a lunch break (Guests' own account) in the suburb of Rosebank. In teh afternoon, we visit some of the sites of Soweto. (Full day. Distance traveled: ± 150 km).
The train remains stationary in Johannesburg for the night.
Guests transferring to an hotel will be taken through during the morning. Guests flying from O.R. Tambo International Airport later in the afternoon or evening may take one of the following optional tours:
1. The Cradle of Humankind: Maropeng and Sterkfontein Caves
Our visit to this World Heritage Site starts at the Maropeng Visitor's Centre, continuing to the Sterkfontein Caves where there are many prehistoric fossils on display. These include the two world renowned hominid finds, namely Mrs. Ples discovered in 1947 and Little Foot discovered as recently as 1997.
2. Lesedi Cultural Village
We visit this multi-cultural African Village set between pristine bushveld and rocky hills. Experience the culture of five of South Africa's major indigenous tribes: the Xhosa, the Zulu, the Pedi, the Basotho and the Ndebele. Lunch is included.
3. Sandton City
Sandton is the financial hub of Johannesburg and a retail mecca! Two extensive Malls, Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square offer a wide variety of shops and restaurant. Nelson Mandela Square features a large open piazza and vast statue of its namesake.
4. Gold Reef city and Apartheid museum
Situated ont eh old site of Crown Mine which closed in the 1970s, Gold Reef City is an entertainment centre and theme park showcasing Johannesburg as it was at the time of the Gold Rush. In addition to the many activiities included in the entrance fee, guests can god own a gold mine at a small additional costs. The Apartheid Museum is a dynamic and powerful multi media presentation of the political regime in South Africa unil 1994.
5. East Rand Mall
A very modern shopping centre where you will find banks, supermarkets and exclusive shops as well as a good selection of restaurants.
Included in the package price:
shongololo express does not accept any responsibility for any changes to the daily programme. however the company will always endeavour to complete the daily programmes to the best of its ability.
in addition all of our great train adventure tours may head in reverse, simply read the days in reverse to get an overview of the tour in the other direction.
Art masterclass & lunch with a local artist, art in the townships and more combined with the 'must do's' of Cape Town such as a Peninsular Tour, safari and opportunity to draw and sketch on Table Mountain. Find out more
You get to watch some fantastic rugby and to see some of the most beautiful sights in the world. 2011 tour coming soon!
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