Luxury Train Travel Across Africa
Luxury train travel from Cape Town, via Victoria Falls, to Dar es Salaam form the first leg of Rovos Rail’s Cape to Cairo African travel experience. This 34 day luxury tour runs in January and February 2012. Highlights include Victoria Falls, the ancient monuments of Egypt, and game drives in Southern and Eastern Africa, including visits to the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti.
The nineteenth century British colonialist, mining magnate and business entrepreneur dreamed of a continuous strip of British Empire territories from Egypt to South Africa. All would be joined by the marvel of the Victorian Age, the railway. However Rhodes’ Cape-Cairo railway has never been completed.
The British Empire’s plan for a north-south strip of territory from Egypt to the Cape was in conflict with the French, who had their own conflicting plan for an east-west strip of French colonial territory. This came to a head in 1898, during the Fashoda incident. Although war was avoided, and the dispute was resolved in Britain’s favor, the Empire did not gain the vital German East African territory (later Tanganyika, and now Tanzania) until 1918. By then the railway age was over, and the railway still remains unfinished.
The Cape to Cairo route can now be traveled on Rovos Rail’s 34 day tour of Africa, which starts in Cape Town on 13th January 2012. Luxury train travel on the Pride of Africa train is included in the section of the route from Cape Town to Dar es Salaam.
The first rail section travels on the Pride of Africa from the Cape to Victoria Falls, via Kimberley and Pretoria. City tours of Pretoria and the Cape are included, as is a two day stay at the Tau Game Lodge.
Two nights are spent at Victoria Falls. This spectacular waterfall is also called Mosi-oa-Tunya, the Smoke that Thunders. Spray from the falls rises to a height of over 400 meters, and can be seen from up to 50 kilometers away. Activities at the falls include a sunset dinner cruise on the Zambezi River, and during the leisure day here optional activities include helicopter rides, bungee jumping and guided tours.
The luxury rail section of the tour ends on Day 17, when the Pride of Africa train arrives at Tazara Station, in Dar es Salaam. Highlights of the second section of the tour, which is mainly covered by airplane, with overnight stays in luxury hotels, include the Island Spice Tour on Zanzibar, the game drives at Ngorongoro Crater and in the Serengeti, and finally all the temples and pyramids of Egypt.