This incredible 11 night holiday will take you from cosmopolitan Cape Town, packed with priceless natural beauty and steeped in fascinating history, to an exclusive wilderness for a safari experience with all the large game species from elephant and rhino to the big cats, as well as an amazing variety of birds.
Your holiday begins in Camps Bay, Cape Town. Stroll along the beach, enjoy spectacular sunsets over the Atlantic Ocean, and just unwind slowly into the holiday mood. The Bay Hotel stands proudly on the seafront, boasting not one but 4 swimming pools if the ocean proves to be a tad too cold for you! Guests at The Bay Hotel also enjoy honorary membership at the private beach club, Sandy B. Overlooking the popular Camps Bay Beach, it is a stylishly relaxed venue complimented by natural décor and is the ideal location for guests to revel in the sunshine and indulge in a glass of chilled champagne.
You then step aboard the Rovos Rail train for a 3 night epic journey across South Africa to Pretoria. The Rovos Rail has earned an international reputation for its truly world class travel experiences. Travel aboard an authentically refurbished Edwardian-style train, accommodating up to 72 guests in a spacious suite with en-suite bathroom and subtle modern conveniences. Enjoy off-train excursions to the historic village of Matjiesfontein, and a tour of the city of Kimberley, the Diamond Mine Museum and 'The Big Hole' - one of the deepest holes ever excavated by hand in the search for diamonds.
Having spent one night in Pretoria at a spa hotel adorned with fine antiques and 17th Century tapestries, you are whisked away for the final 4 nights of your trip to a private game reserve, where your stay in a luxury tented suite will bring you closer to nature - without trading any comfort for the experience. All of the Big Five, including the rare and endangered black rhino, can be seen here, along with flourishing birdlife - on both daily game drives and boat cruises.
Holiday Title: Luxury Train Journey across South Africa
Countries Visited: South Africa
Arrive into Cape Town Airport. Once you have collected your luggage, make your way into the Arrivals Hall where your driver will meet you. You will then be transferred to Cape Town's Camps Bay - home to palm trees, beach cafes and perfect sunsets.
With the majestic Twelve Apostle mountain range as a back drop and the Atlantic Ocean less than a minutes walk away, The Bay Hotel boasts an unrivalled location in the heart of glitzy Camps Bay. After a busy day seeing Cape Town's world-class sights, exhale and relax with a sunset cocktail, a treatment in the on-site spa or some time lounging around one of the 4 sea-facing pools.
You will need to check out of your room this morning but you can store your luggage at the hotel until you are collected for your afternoon transfer to Cape Town Railway Station, where you will check in for your Rovos Rail train journey. Alternatively, the hotel may be able to arrange a late check out for you (additional cost and payable directly to the hotel) subject to the availability of the room.
Depart from Cape Town Railway Station at 16:00 for your 3 night journey. Guests may freshen up in their suites before joining fellow travellers in the lounge car or observation car at the rear of the train for afternoon tea at 16:30 as the train trundles through the Winelands of the Western Cape towards Worcester. Dinner is served in the dining cars from 19:30 as the train climbs approximately 750m up the face of the escarpment. Around midnight, the train arrives at the first of 4 tunnels on the pass. The last tunnel is 135.km long.
Breakfast is served between 07:00 and 10:00. During breakfast at 08:00, guests can disembark at Matjiesfontein for an opportunity to stroll through the historic village. Of special interest is the museum on the platform and a collection of historic cars and railway carriages to the right of the Lord Milner Hotel. Return to the train for a 10:00 departure. The train travels through the Karoo - a vast semi-desert region that was once an enormous inland sea. Over millions of years, volcanic matter was ground down and deposited as silt on the seabed to form what geologists now call the Karoo System. Lunch is served at 13:00 and afternoon tea from 16:30. Dinner is then served from 19:00 in the dining cars.
Breakfast is served from 06:00 until 08:30 in the dining cars. The train arrives at 08:30 into Kimberley, and guests can disembark for a tour of the city, the Diamond Mine Museum and the Big Hole. Return to the train where lunch is served from midday as the train travel onto Klerksdorp and the broad grassland plains of the Highveld. Afternoon tea is then served at 16:30 in the lounge car or observation car at the rear of the train and dinner is served in the dining cars at 19:30.
Breakfast is served in the dining cars from 07:00 until 09:30 and at 10:00 the train arrives into the Rovos Rail Station in Pretoria.
You will be met and transferred to Illyria House for an overnight stay.
Illyria House is a magnificent hotel and spa with views that extend over historical Jacaranda City - otherwise known as Pretoria. Enter through wrought iron gates and be transported to a different world where gracious and romantic living unfolds.
After breakfast, you will be collected and transferred to Marataba Safari Lodge.
Marataba Safari Lodge is set in a malaria-free 23,000 hectare private concession within the Marakele National Park. Just 4 hours from Johannesburg, this is a sanctuary where busy people can find themselves again by connecting with nature. In the company of your Field Guide, you will learn more about the Big Five and the many unique animal species found on the Marakele National Park. Two safaris a day (one early morning, and one late afternoon, into the evening) are each approximately 3-4 hours long, and include a scenic coffee and sundowner break to purely appreciate just being in the moment.
After you return from your morning game drive, you will have time to enjoy breakfast at the lodge before you are collected and transferred to Johannesburg Airport, arriving in time to check in for your flight home.
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