DISCOVER THE HIGHLIGHTS OF SOUTH AFRICA WITH A RAIL JOURNEY ON THE LUXURIOUS BLUE TRAIN FROM PRETORIA TO CAPE TOWN.
Watch as the highlights of South Africa unfold before your eyes on this unforgettable journey from Cape Town to Johannesburg. Enjoy amazing views from the Flying Dutchman Funicular Railroad, taste the flavorful wines of the Franschhoek and Stellenbosch valleys and take in the unique offerings of Cape Town. A hotel on wheels, the iconic Blue Train takes us even further into South Africa, all the while offering luxurious amenities and memorable vistas of mountains, wine country, old diamond mines and more. The train arrives in Pretoria with even more excitement lying ahead. Our time in Kruger will have no shortage of opportunities to spot wild game and soak in the exotic beauty of the protected land. From the cultural epicenter of Cape Town to the wild of Kruger, there is much to see on this memorable trip.
* Rail travel on the iconic Blue Train (2 nights on train)
* Scenic rail excursion on the Flying Dutchman Railroad
* Hotel accommodations for 8 nights
* 18 meals including, including a 'Boerebraai' lunch in Stellenbosch
* Visit to Table Mountain and Cape Point
* Boulders Bay excursion to visit the penguin colony
* Tour of Kimberley with visit to 'The Big Hole' Mine Museum
* Two full-day game drives in Kruger National Park
* Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
* Services of a professional tour escort and knowledgeable local guides for touring
Day 1 – Arrive in Cape Town
Your flight arrives in Cape Town, at which time you check-in to the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront. The evening is yours explore. Overnight Cape Town.
Day 2 – The Cape of Good Hope and Boulders Bay
Cape Point on the Cape of Good Hope is our destination today. At Cape Point, we board the Flying Dutchman Funicular railway for an unforgettable ride up to the lighthouse vantage point at the top. As we reach the summit, views of lush foliage, crashing waves and impressive rock formations. Reaching the bottom of the mountain, we lunch together and then travel along False Bay via Simon's Town naval base to the penguin colony at Boulders Beach. This beach is home to Africa’s only indigenous penguin, and the perfect place to watch these adorable marine birds in their natural habitat. We return to Cape Town for an evening at leisure at our hotel. Overnight Cape Town.
Day 3 – Stellenbosch Vineyards
Immerse yourself in the beauty of two of South Africa’s finest wine-producing areas: the Franschhoek and Stellenbosch Valleys. As we travel through the valleys by coach, we sample local wines at Stellenbosch Vineyards and enjoy a delicious Boerebraai lunch, a unique South African social event in which family and friends gather together to create a memorable dining experience. We return to our hotel later this afternoon, and the remainder of the day is yours to do as you please. Overnight Cape Town.
Day 4 – Cape Town at Leisure
Take time to explore Cape Town at your own pace today. Among the gorgeous natural landmarks, incredible displays of street art and the brightly-painted buildings along the waterfront lies an array of fascinating sites to discover. Perhaps visit Robben Island where the late Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years. Now a museum detailing the struggle for democracy in South Africa, the prison is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You could also hike Table Rock Mountain or peruse the offerings at the V&A Waterfront. Overnight Cape Town.
Day 5 - The Blue Train
This morning enjoy some free time to explore Cape Town before we travel to the railroad station and begin our journey on the iconic Blue Train. A Blue Train butler escorts you to your cabin aboard and provides an orientation of the train. As our journey to Pretoria begins, you are invited to join brunch in the Dining Car.
The service aboard The Blue Train is impeccable. We enjoy delicious meals and wonderful drinks throughout the day, including afternoon tea, aperitifs, lavish formal dinners of local cuisine and wine, and post-dinner drinks. Overnight train.
Day 6 - Kimberley
Awake to scenes that continue to change before your eyes as we make our way toward Kimberley, the capital of South Africa's Northern Cape, for a quick excursion. This city has enjoyed great prosper, thanks to the diamond rush of the 1870s, and is the site of the world’s largest excavation site. Upon arrival, we visit ‘The Big Hole’ and the Kimberley Mine Museum next door. The Big Hole was formed under the pressure of the thousands of people who visited the hill where the diamonds were first found. Incredibly, the hole is 1,519 feet wide, with the mine underneath reaching a depth of 3,599 feet. The mine is no longer in use, but the fascinating onsite museum details the history of the site and offers both preserved and restored period buildings from the early years of the rush. We reboard the train for lunch and continue our southerly journey through this wild continent to Cape Town. Overnight train.
Day 7 – Arrival into Pretoria
Enjoy a fresh breakfast on the train as we arrive in Pretoria. From here we transfer to our hotel, the 4-Star Protea Hotel Kruger Gate. Set on the banks of the Sabie River, just 330 feet from the entrance to Kruger National Park, our luxury lodge-style hotel, the perfect base for safaris into the magnificent game park. Overnight Kruger.
Day 8 – Exploring Kruger National Park
Our first taste of wild Africa lies ahead as we enjoy a full-day game drive to track the iconic wildlife of Kruger National Park. A skilled local ranger navigates our Jeeps through the park, taking us to the best locations to see animals. Some of the animals are perfectly camouflaged with their surroundings, and our guides assist us in spotting them. First, we track the big cats, who are still out from their night of hunting. Later in the morning, we move on to the rest of the “Big Five” that live within the park- lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffalo).
The hotel provides us with a lunchbox ahead of each day's game drive, for convenience. As we return to the hotel in the mid-afternoon, the rest of the day is free for you to spend at leisure. Relax in the spa or by the swimming pool, or head over to the nature reserve by the hotel for extra game viewing at your own pace. If you desire, the hotel can even arrange a bush walk for you. Overnight Kruger.
Day 9 – Kruger National Park Continued
Much like the day before, we head out early this morning in search of big cats returning from their nocturnal hunts and the Big Five. Our guide offers invaluable information about the local flora and fauna, including the fascinating plants and colorful birds, as we track the animals.
Returning mid-day, your afternoon and evening are again at leisure to enjoy the amenities of this luxury hotel. Overnight Kruger.
Day 10 – Tour Conclusion
Your African adventure comes to an end today as you make your way to the airport for your return flight home.