Luxury Tanzania to Angola Rail Journey

15 days

Highlights

  • Safaris in Selous and South Luangwa
  • Guest lectures from experts aboard the train
  • Visits to the Chishimba Falls, Lubumbashi and the Tenke copper mine
  • Walking tours of Luau, Kuito and Huambo
  • Be among the first to explore Angola
  • Travel across Tanzania and Zambia
  • Complete digital detox as there is no Wi-Fi or cellular signal on board
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Overview

This 15-day railway journey turns back time to help you discover contemporary Africa, all in perfect comfort and plenty of luxury. You will start in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s most storied city on the Indian Ocean shore. From there, the train chugs you to the outstanding Selous Game Reserve, one of the biggest wildlife areas in the world.

After time on safari, you reboard and head for another safari hotspot; this time, South Luangwa National Park in Zambia.

The final stretch sees you and your fellow passengers pass through southern-most Democratic Republic of Congo and onto Angola, a scenic country still very much off the beaten track that has plenty to offer adventurous travellers. For two weeks, you will enjoy village visits and walking tours, see waterfalls and copper mines, and pass magnificent baobab forests and thriving rivers. Coupled with gourmet meals and fine wines served in a gracious dining car, as well as lectures by experts and time wiled away in an open-air observation car over an iced drink, and you have all the ingredients for an unbelievable 2-week traverse of Africa.

Summary

  • Tour Duration: 15 Days

Accommodations Visited

Rovos Rail

4 Nights

Rovos Rail

8 Nights
An incredible journey travelling through four countries from one side of Africa to the other. The highlights on this trip include the Selous National Park in Tanzania and the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia – offering fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities. The Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola are both known for their unexplored natural beauty. The train routing will take you through these destinations, all in true Rovos Rail luxury. A trip of a lifetime!
Lorna Symons

Lorna Symons

Africa Safari Expert

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Day to day

Itinerary

Detailed breakdown

Day 1: Depart from Dar es Salaam | 4 Nights

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You and your fellow passengers gather at the Tazara Railway Station in Dar es Salaam, a sprawling building that is a classic example of 1970’s African architecture. Boarding Rovos Rail, you will be delighted to discover spacious suites, attentive staff, beautiful common areas and welcome small touches like thoughtfully stocked en suite bathrooms and carefully curated passenger lists.
After a midday departure, you will enjoy a multi-course lunch accompanied by excellent South African wines in the dining car, which has crystal, china, silverware and fresh flowers. The train is heading for Selous Game Reserve so you can pass the afternoon napping in your suite, chatting in the lounge or watching the scenery from the open-air observation car. Your butler is always available should you want drinks or snacks.

Afternoon tea is a delightful tradition: nibble on cakes, pastries and savouries while enjoying a reviving cup of freshly brewed tea or coffee. Life aboard the train certainly whets your appetite as you walk up and down long carriages to get to your suite and the common areas.

Another unshakeable tradition is dressing for dinner: ladies must wear cocktail attire and gentlemen must don at least jackets and ties (some even carry tuxedos with them). Children should change out of jeans, T-shirts and trainers into more appropriate clothes. The atmosphere is one of romance and glamour, with candles, champagne and lovely music. Many passengers end the evening with a nightcap in the bar, perhaps venturing out to the observation car if the moon is out…

Day 2: The splendour of Selous

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Named after a 19th century French explorer, Selous (pronounced ‘se-loo’) is Africa’s largest game reserve and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1982. After breakfast, you will disembark at Kisaki and undertake a fascinating game drive through Selous, discovering its elephants, lions and leopards, all without the crowds.

Take lunch back on board and then spend the rest of the day passing the Udzungwa Mountains en route to Mlimba. This part of Tanzania is home to a section of the Rift Valley, making for some spectacular scenery.

Day 3: Travel through western Tanzania

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As the train negotiates exciting switchbacks, viaducts and tunnels while it descends the escarpment, you ready yourself to stretch your legs with a stroll through the large town of Makambako in Tanzania’s southern Highlands. This is a good opportunity to see how many Tanzanians live and understand live outside the cities and game reserves.
As you take lunch on the train, you should pass mesmerising baobab forests. Known as ‘the upside-down tree’ for the way its branches resemble roots, baobabs may be hundreds or even thousands of years old, and store masses of water in their trunks. Marauding elephants have been known to strip away the bark of baobabs in order to get to the soft, juicy flesh beneath the tough exterior.
Dinner is served as you trundle towards Tunduma and onto Zambia. You will be reminded to set the time on your watches, mobile phones and other devices back by an hour to accommodate crossing the border.

Day 4: Marvel at the Chishimba Falls

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The Chishimba Falls are the second largest in Zambia after the almighty Victoria Falls. Part of the Luombe River, they incorporate the Mutumena Falls and the Kaela Rapids, and are considered a sacred place of the Bemba.

You will enjoy an afternoon excursion to Chishimba after crossing the border between Tanzania and Zambia, and disembarking at Kasama. After marvelling at these incredible sheets of falling water, it is back on the train for dinner and the town of Mpika in Zambia.

Day 5-6: Explore South Luangwa | 2 Nights

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South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

Have an overnight bag as you will be temporarily leaving your rail residence for the comfort of Mfuwe Game Lodge, located in South Luangwa National Park. This lodge is particularly famous for the elephant families that wander through the lobby when the marula trees are in bloom to get at their sweet fruits.
Game drives through South Luangwa will have you looking for lions, leopards, puku, giraffe and birds aplenty. Have your camera and binoculars to hand as Zambia promising exciting wildlife viewing and birding.
Back at Mfuwe, you can bask on the sun loungers, cool off in the pool, catch up on the news from home (the library is a Wi-Fi zone) and enjoy time on terra firma.

Day 7: Crossing into the DRC | 8 Nights

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After all the excitement of South Luangwa, you will have something different again today as you border a light aircraft for a short flight from Mfuwe Airport to Ndola, where you reboard the train for the onward journey to Misundu.

At about tea-time, you should be at Sakania where you will cross from Zambia into the southern-most reaches of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The DRC is a green and fertile land, and the train will pass villages and settlements on the way to Mushoshi as you take dinner in the dining car.

Day 8: Stroll through Lubumbashi

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The DRC has a strong mining industry and many mining companies are headquartered in Lubumbashi, the second-biggest city after the capital, Kinshasa. After breakfast, you will pull into the station at Lubumbashi and enjoy a tour of the city to better understand the people and economy of the DRC.

Back on board, tea-time sees you passing the old open-pit copper and cobalt mine at Luishia en route to Tenke.

Day 9: Visit Tenke

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Today you have another opportunity to discover the DRC. The Tenke area hold one of the world’s largest known cobalt and copper resources, and you will tour a copper mine to see how this half-precious metal is extracted.

After lunch and en route to Kolwezi, repair to the lounge car for a guest lecture. By nightfall and dinner time, the train will be racing along to Mutshatsha.

Day 10: A day of leisure

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Taker today to rest, read, chat and perhaps attend morning or afternoon lectures as the train does not stop on its journey west to the Angolan border. By lunchtime, you should be passing Kasaji en route to Malonga while by dinner progress should see you reaching Dilolo. Staff will remind you to set your watches and devices back an hour to prepare for the crossing into Angola tomorrow.

Day 11: Cross into Angola

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An exciting day today as you cross into Angola, a country – much like the DRC – that has much to offer adventurous travellers looking to get off the beaten track. By mid-morning, border facilities should be complete and you can undertake a walking tour of the Angolan town of Luau. This is also the start of the famous Benguela railway line that the train will take for the rest of the journey to the Atlantic Ocean.

During lunch, you will head to Luena and onto the Kasai River, a vast ecosystem that has a rich array of fish species. As you pass the villages of Cassai and Cameia, look out for local fishermen at work on the Kasai.

Day 12: Walkabout in Luena

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It is no secret that Angola has a dramatic history and today you will learn more about it during an informative morning walking tour of the town of Luena, the administrative capital of the province.

Lunch is served as the train speeds towards Tchicala Tcholohanga, and you can enjoy a specialist lecture in the afternoon. By nightfall, you should be well on your way to town of Kuito.

Day 13: Discover the heart of the Ovimbundu kingdom

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From Angola’s modern history to its ancient tribes: today you leave the train to walk the town of Kuito, which was built in the historical centre of the original Ovimbundu kingdom. The history of the Ovimbundu pre-dates the start of their trading links with the Portuguese in the 16th century and your guide will be able to share more about their importance in Angolan lore.

After lunch, you can choose to attend a different lecture as the train chugs towards Huambo for the rest of the day.

Day 14: More about Huambo

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After breakfast, more of Angola’s fascinating history is uncovered during a walking tour of Huambo, the second largest city in Angola and one of the oldest kingdoms on the central plateau. Afterwards, the train departs for Lepi and you have the choice of an interesting afternoon lecture, time on the observation car, board games or a siesta.

Day 15: Disembark at Lobito

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After a mammoth 15-day rail journey across four countries, you will have traversed Africa from east to west, taking in game reserves, mines, quaint towns, food-for-thought lectures and so much more. After a last breakfast in the wood-panelled dining car, you arrive at Lobito on the Atlantic.

You can choose to extend your time with Rovos Rail by checking into the Hotel Terminus for meals and an overnight stay, and enjoying a guided afternoon of Benguela province.

Inclusions tick icon

Inclusions

  • 24-hour full room service and bar facilities aboard Rovos Rail
  • Government Tax
  • On-board historian and doctor
  • Scheduled guided excursions
Exclusions tick icon

Exclusions

  • International flights
  • Airport taxes
  • All meals and drinks not specified
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

Rates

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Dates Price
2020-01-01 — 2020-12-31 $12,820
Our rates are per person sharing unless we note differently. Please treat all pricing as a guide only:
  • All rates are subject to availability and may change without notice.
  • Single supplements may apply.
  • Request a quote or speak to one of our African Safari Experts for the best, most current rates available.

Departure Dates

  • 2020 Departures
    July
    Start date End date
    2020-07-14 2020-07-28