Embark on an epic two week rail journey, weaving through Namibia and travelling down the coast of South Africa’s western cape, clattering along some of Africa’s oldest and longest railway tracks on a train adventure that packs in all the magnificent sights these two destinations have to offer. Our 2016 departures dates are the 06th March and the 20th November.
This tour combines and contrasts two of Africa’s most enticing countries. You’ll discover the vast natural beauty and iconic creatures of Namibia’s harsh environments before savouring the lush verdant nature of South Africa, all aboard the African Explorer; a comfortable three-star train. The different style of compartments, charmingly named Antelope, Elephant or Leopard, offer different levels of amenities to suit your needs yet all are cosy, intimate and a lovely place to spend your leisure time while travelling.
Start your incredible holiday with a flight to Windhoek, in Namibia, and spend the day exploring the city before commencing your train up to Etosha to take on some fantastic game viewing. Making your way down the rugged skeleton coast, you’ll voyage into the wild and arid, almost surreal scenery of the Namib Desert. When the orange sun illuminates the red sands of the dunes, you’ll enjoy a few days discovering the impressive elegance of this phenomenal landscape.
Wind your way down to the abandoned mining ghost town of Kolmanskop, before continuing to the South African Border and end your African adventure in Cape Town. This itinerary is the perfect way to discover both countries and easily cover impressive distances, accompanied by a knowledgeable guide.
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Depart from London Heathrow on your overnight flight to Windhoek via Johannesburg. Flights from regional airports are available for the same and sometimes lower fares.
On arrival in Windhoek, you will be taken to your hotel where you will enjoy dinner and recover from your long haul flight.
Windhoek - Etosha
Start the day with a city tour of Windhoek, visiting the neo-Gothic Christ Church and the Tintenpalast before heading to the station to get acquainted with your train. Set off to begin making your way north through private game farms on your way to Etosha National Park. Keep your eyes open for wildlife as you trundle through the countryside; you may be lucky enough to spot antelope and giraffe from your train window.
Etosha National Park
Step off the train and hop into a mini bus to make the final part of your journey into the Etosha National Park. The Etosha Pan, an extremely flat salt pan which is large enough to be seen from space, is found at the heart of national park. The 20,000 sq km of the wildlife sanctuary surrounding the salt pan protects 114 mammal species, 340 bird species and 16 reptile species. Zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, springbok, impala, silverback jackal and elephant abound through the park in great numbers and are easily spotted congregating around the water holes, while you will have to patiently search for the lion, hyena, the rare black rhino and the black faced impala.
Your thrilling day will end with an overnight stay in a comfortable lodge nearby.
Eosha National Park - Otjiwarongo
This morning depart on your safari before heading to Otjiwarongo where your train will be waiting for you.
Otjiwarongo - Spitzkoppe - Swakopmund
Today your train will set off early and head deep into the Namib Desert to Spitzkoppe. Here the seemingly endless dry plains are home to a striking island of granite peaks, known as the ‘Matterhorn of Namibia’. You’ll have the chance to fully appreciate this captivating scene with walks and climbs between the bizarre rock formations and have the opportunity to visit a local school and enjoy a fascinating insight into the everyday life of the children of the Damara people.
Head back to your train to continue your journey to Swakopmund.
Swakopmund – Walvis Bay – Namib Desert
After breakfast your mini bus will take you north up to Walvis Bay. Accessed by an ocean road, Walvis Bay is in a wide open lagoon where you will find huge numbers of sea birds, flamingo and pelican.
A five hour mini bus journey through to Naukluft National Park to your lodge where you will spend the night.
An early morning start is essential to capture the indescribable beauty of the dunes at first light. Climb to the top of Dune 45 for sweeping panoramic views over the sea of red dunes, the unique land resembling a lunar moonscape.
Jump into your open top vehicle to drive over to the Deadvlei, a white salt clay pan encircled by immense sand dunes, reaching heights of up to 300 to 400 metres, and dotted with skeletons of trees blackened by the scorching sun.
During your travels of this incredible area, you may be lucky enough to pass oryx, antelope and springbok. As the sun sets on your adventure, enjoy a romantic journey through the desert landscape looking up to the inky black sky heavy with stars.
Overnight at your lodge with dinner and breakfast included.
Mariental – Maltahohe
In the morning you will be taken by your mini bus up to the town of Mariental where your train will be waiting. Enjoy a tasty brunch in the town of Maltahohe followed by a visit of the Quiver Tree Forest before sunset.
Aus – Kolmanskop – Luderitz
You will arrive in Aus station this morning, your day beginning with a bus ride to the ghost town of Kolmanskop. Once a thriving diamond mining hub, where these gemstones were found resting on the sand in 1908, Kolmanskop is now an abandoned desert town. Due to the desert winds, sand has been blown into many of the houses filling the rooms and door ways with indoors dunes giving the appearance they are sinking into the barren ground.
Travel through the Sperrgebiet, the ‘restricted diamond area’, into Luderitz; a quirky historical town along the coast where little has changed since the early 20th century. Cross the Lüderitz peninsula to the Diaz Point where you can view the red and white striped lighthouse against the dramatic crashing waves of the South Atlantic Ocean.
In the late afternoon, board the train at Aus station to continue your journey South.
Holoog – Fish River Canyon
Continue your journey overnight and wake up in Holoog, where you will be transferred by mini-bus to the Fish River Canyon. The second largest canyon in the world, measuring 550m deep, 27km wide and 160km long, just a short walk along the canyon’s edge offers truly incredible views and an irresistible way to appreciate the size of this gigantic ravine, set against an equally stunning background of arresting reds and browns.
Upington - South Africa
Today you’ll cross the border to South Africa and arrive in Upington, a town famed for its award-winning wine production. Enjoy some wine tasting of the local produce before continuing south.
Matjiestontein - Cape Town
Your train will depart in the late morning, destined for the small town of Matjiestontein. Spend your afternoon watching the changing views of rustic wineland estates filled with flourishing vineyards and charming towns and villages.
On board you will be able to taste some of the world’s best wines, produced from the land right outside your window, from a crisp, dry refreshing Sauvignon Blanc to a bold, rich Shiraz from Stellenbosch.
You will arrive in Matjiestontein in the early afternoon with an overnight stay on the train, lunch and dinner included.
On arrival into Cape Town you will be transferred to your hotel before spending the day in this stylish, urban city filled with many natural wonders. Stroll along the Victoria and Albert waterfront, browse the vibrant markets, shops and boutiques before stopping at any of the first class restaurants and cafes for delicious food. For an extra cost take a cable-car to the top of the impressive Table Mountain for incredible views across the city. End your last day by travelling up Signal Hill for cocktails and panoramic vistas as the sun sets.
Overnight in a hotel with dinner and breakfast the next day included.
Cape Town – London
Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flights back to London.
Pricing Information & Dates
15 day tour, from £5550 - £5750 per person
20 Nov 2016
03 Dec 2016
06 Mar 2017
19 Mar 2017
• International flights from the UK
• Domestic flights
• Pre-paid air taxes
• Accommodation and visits
• Breakfast and dinner throughout
• Visa fees
• Entrance fees
• Additional meals
Departure date of the 02nd of March and then the 20th November 2016 book now to avoid disappointment
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