Rovos Rail owns and operates the most luxurious trains in the world. Linking some of Africa’s greatest and most iconic destinations, Rovos Rail journeys are celebrated not only for the elegant train carriages and spacious suites but for the phenomenal on-board service and fine dining experience as well. Simply put, Rovos Rail offers a luxury train holiday like no other.
Rovos Rail was started by Rohan Vos in 1989 (hence the name Rovos) and he is still very much involved in the company, endeavoring to greet personally every guest arriving and departing from Rovos' private train station in Pretoria. Mr Vos has now built up a fleet of three trains for scheduled journeys whilst a fourth - the Edwardian Train featuring all wooden coaches - is available for charter throughout the year.
Guests can choose from a series of journeys lasting from 48 hours to a fortnight. Short train trips include travelling from Pretoria to Cape Town or north to thundering Victoria Falls, while the longest – and most famous – route is an epic rail safari starting in Cape Town and passing through the magnificent scenery of Africa all the way up to Dar es Salaam. Once aboard this luxury hotel-on-wheels guests can sit back and truly relax: drinks and snacks, meals and high teas - everything is included.
The coaches on Rovos trains have been remodelled and refurbished to mint condition with smooth wood panelling and antique fixtures sitting alongside modern in-room conveniences such as air conditioning and well-stocked bar fridges. Even the smallest of the three suite types have ample room whereas the Royal Suites are by far the largest suites on any train in the world today.
For many guests a real highlight of their Rovos experience is evening dinner, a suave jacket-and-tie affair with a 4-course menu and exceptional wine list. Also in keeping with the elegant atmosphere of a bygone era Rohan Vos has banned the use of mobile phones and laptops in the lounges, dining carriages and bar areas of the train, and there are no televisions on board. Those who simply can’t get by without such electronic devices should consider South Africa's other luxury rail experience, the Blue Train.
At a Glance