Journey Specialist Anisha recently enjoyed a few days aboard South Africa’s most luxurious train – Rovos Rail. Hearkening back to the romantic train travel days of old, it’s a unique, unforgettable experience. Her 2-night journey took her from Pretoria to Cape Town. During these two days, the train journeys through some beautiful regions of South Africa, including the Great Karoo and the Winelands as you get closer to Cape Town. She even got to explore Kimberley, a well-known diamond mining town as well as Matjiesfontein, a small historic town where the train stations for a few hours. She shares her top 5 highlights of the train trip below.
Mr. Vos: One of the highlights of my 2-night journey from Pretoria to Cape Town was Mr. Rohan Vos calling out my name for boarding and shaking my hand to welcome me on board. Mr. Rohan Vos is the owner of Rovos Rail, and before our journey, and every time he is in town, he comes to the Station to welcome all his guests personally, gives a wonderful welcome speech and personally calls out each passenger for boarding. It was such an incredibly personalized touch and great way to start off this incredible 2-night journey to Cape Town!
Personalized Service: Mr. Vos welcoming us was just the beginning of what was to be a flawless experience when it comes to service. Rovos Rail is truly 5-star when it comes to the level of service guests experience on board. I would barely have sat down in the lounge or observation car for a minute and someone would already be there asking me if I wanted a drink! The staff onboard were friendly and available at all times!
Disconnect to Connect: The charm of Rovos Rail is that it delivers the experience of travel of a bygone era and part of that is not having WiFi on board! I loved that…it can be so hard to put down your devices in this day and age, so to have to do that felt like a welcome forced detox. It allowed me to pick up a book and read, which I haven’t had time to do in ages and some of my favorite memories from our time on the train are conversations with other guests and playing cards with my travel companions! I grew up in a time before tablets and iPhones so this was a wonderful, nostalgic experience for me.
Food: The food on board was spectacular, especially the dinners, which are quite the event. Everyone is asked to dress in formal wear for dinner time, so it’s nice to see everyone in jackets and dresses, it creates a great atmosphere. Dinners were lavish 5-course meals complete with wine pairings. I have no idea how they manage to cook up these delicious, beautiful presented plates in the tiny kitchens. The chefs on board are truly talented!
Observation Car: This was my favorite area on the train. It is an open-air car at the end of the train to enjoy glorious views as you travel through remote lands of Africa, seeing untouched parts like the Great Karoo that not many get to see. It’s a great place to hang out and meet new people, enjoy some sundowners and catch up on some reading.