The diverse beauty of Africa’s southern point ranges from elephant-roamed national parks and giant waterfalls to the giraffes of South Africa’s nature reserves and Cape Town’s mountain-framed urbanity. You’ll knit it all together with a trip aboard the immaculately Edwardian Rovos Rail, winding through green mountain valleys and endless savannah grasslands as you enjoy gourmet dining and a Zimbabwean Big Five safari. You’ll also call into Botswana to cruise and drive through the elephant capital of Africa – Chobe National Park.
Start your trip with premium UK airport lounge access before your overnight flight.
A private transfer will bring you to Victoria Falls, where thousands of cubic metres of water crash over its dizzying precipice each and every second, forming one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. You’ll stay just 10 minutes’ walk away in Zimbabwe’s oldest and grandest hotel, whose Edwardian-era charm is ringed by tropical-garden verdure.
Other than stunning waterfall overlooks, enjoy an included a sunset cruise on the falls’ Zambezi River; sip fine wines and tuck into gourmet canapés as your expert guide points out the elephant, hippo and crocodile that call its palm-tree-lined banks home.
On day three, dip into Botswana for a tour of Chobe National Park; host to some 85,000 elephants, it features the largest elephant herds in the world. Along with the hippo and crocodile, they congregate at the park’s eponymous river, which you’ll sail in the morning. After, enjoy an included lunch and afternoon game drive through its wild bushland of savannah grasses and dense tree groves.
Here, you’ll find everything from lions and leopard to buffalo and whole herds of antelope. You’ll then return to Victoria Falls for a further day of exploration, with raking walks and optional canoeing and rafting bringing you to superb vantage points.
Breakfast & Lunch included
Board one of Africa’s most luxurious trains – realised in true Edwardian style – to relive the golden age of rail travel as you sweep through the rural beauty of Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa. Watch as giant baobab trees mark great desert swathes only to turn into national-park greenery populated by diverse wildlife.
Along the way you’ll relax in the wingback chairs of the lounge car and enjoy gong-heralded fine dining in the restaurant carriage before retiring each night to the timber-panelled luxury and dark-wood furniture of your Deluxe Suite. You’ll disembark for a selection of curated excursions, including game drives through Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park where the Big Five roam free.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included
Arriving into Pretoria’s colonial Capital Park Station, a private transfer will bring you to your luxury accommodation – an opulent Tuscan-style residence turned boutique hotel set amid sprawling African gardens. Located on the doorstep of Jacaranda City, it sits beneath the canopied purple blossoms in the sub-tropical suburb of Waterkloof.
As well as Pretoria's urban attractions, you're also just a short hop from the Groenkloof Nature Reserve where horse, mountain bike and hiking trails bringing you through ridged thickets that host everything from kudu and ostrich to giraffe and zebra.
Stay: Castello Di Monte
Fly to the continent’s end and the ‘Mother City’ where you’ll stay just yards from its well-heeled V&A waterfront. Discover its harmonious multiculturalism in innovative restaurants and Afro-chic bars or uncover its rich past in superb museums and Robben Island, the site of Nelson Mandela’s incarceration. But it’s Cape Town’s natural world that surprises the most; perhaps take some time to relax on the golden sands of its surfing beaches, cruise out to island crags dotted with seals, or visit the penguin colonies that dot the Cape of Good Hope.
On an included private half-day tour you'll also take a cable car up Table Mountain for city-wide views before a walk through Company Gardens and a visit to the 17th-century Castle of Good Hope reveals Cape Town's chequered colonial past. End with a drive to the neoclassical Houses of Parliament and the Grand Parade where a newly released Nelson Mandela first addressed the country from the Edwardian City Hall.
After a final private transfer and overnight flight, you'll arrive back in the UK.
"This is Southern Africa at its finest. When planning this itinerary I thought about the most interesting and rewarding way to connect the thunderous Victoria Falls and mighty Zambezi River with magnificent Cape Town – on a luxury rail trip. What more, you'll also get to enjoy game drives in Botswana’s Chobe and Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park where the Big Five roam"
Low Season from: £6,950 pp
High Season from: £7,770 pp