The Shongololo Express, based at Rovos Rail’s station in Pretoria, began operations in 1995 to provide a very special touring experience for visitors to Southern Africa. The three journeys of between 12 to 15 days offer tours that traverse South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
72 guests are accommodated in two categories of comfortable en-suite cabins with double or twin beds. Two historically appointed dining cars set the scene for meals, which are taken in one sitting.
Modern and traditional local cuisine is on offer with a selection of distinguished South African wines available. Guests can also relax in the bar car, small smoking lounge or the observation car with an open-air balcony situated at the back of the train.
The journeys offer a variety of off-train excursions that are undertaken in our air-conditioned vehicles. On occasion we will employ the expertise of local service providers who are better positioned to arrange our transport requirements. Come and join us on one of our captivating tours and allow us to provide the friendly and efficient service for which we are renowned.
Guests have two options for cabins. The Emarald Cabin which is measured +10sqm with a small lounge area and en-suite bathroom or the Gold Cabin which measures +7sqm with en-suite bathroom (shower, basin and toilet). Double beds are 190 x 150cm whilst Twin beds are 190 x 75cm.
Each train has its own bar, dining and accommodation carriages. As in any hotel, bedding and towels are provided and cabins are serviced daily.
Cabins have adequate storage and the small closets are equipped with both hangars and shelving.
An impressive 12-day journey between Pretoria and Victoria Falls stopping at carefully selected locations in South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
|Pretoria to Vic Falls||Vic Falls to Pretoria|
|04 – 15 Jan ’18||18 – 29 Jan ’18|
|12 – 23 Apr ’18||26 Apr – 07 May ’18|
|10 – 21 May ’18||24 May – 04 Jun ’18|
|06 – 17 Sep ’18||20 Sep – 01 Oct ’18|
An epic 12-day journey across Southern Africa between the Highveld in the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the west exploring some of the continent’s greatest destinations.
|Pretoria to Walvisbay||Walvisbay to Pretoria|
|07 – 18 Jun ’18||22 Jun – 03 Jul ’18|
Included in off train accommodation:
Excluded in off train accommodation:
Guests will be requested to sign for on-board purchases throughout the trip. This includes signing for drinks, additional excursions, optional extras, purchases of a personal nature etc. All accounts are to be settled on the evening before departure. Please note that drinks purchased on the last night of the trip will be settled on a ‘cash bar’ basis. Accounts may be settled by means of: South African Rand, major foreign currencies or credit cards. Regrettably debit cards are not accepted.
Air-conditioning (where available) is operational at all times, except when the generator requires servicing.
Banks and ATMs can be found in most of the towns we travel through. Should you wish to go into a bank or foreign exchange provider, a nominal transportation fee will be levied.
As Shongololo Express is a licensed establishment, a corkage fee applies: R150 per bottle of wine and spirits and R20 per can/bottle of minerals and water. If you have special requests with regard to liquor, please notify your reservations agent or Shongololo Express in advance. If notified timeously, we will make every effort to obtain the requested brand.
The dining carriages are air-conditioned and non-smoking. The total seating capacity is 72 and dress code for meal times is casual. Lunch is for guest’s own account except when otherwise stated. Meal times depend on the activities planned for the day, but are generally served at the following times: Breakfast 07h00-08h30; Lunch 13h00; Dinner 19h30.
We strongly advise against drinking the water in the cabins or bathrooms. Bottled water can be purchased from the bar. Each cabin receives a complimentary 1-litre bottle of water per day.
All guests are solely responsible for ensuring they are physically and mentally capable of undertaking the tour and activities.
Hairdryers are supplied in each cabin
A laundry service is offered on board. A laundry bag is provided in your cabin as well as a laundry list. Items cost between R10.00 and R35.00. Clean laundry is returned within 24 to 48 hours, dependent on weather conditions and the travelling time of the train.
Bed linen is changed every third day and towels are changed every second day. Extra pillows and blankets are available on request.
Accommodating approximately 40 guests, the observation and bar carriages have the following features:
Mail can be sent via our post box in the lounge area or handed to the Assistant Train Manager. Wherever possible, mail is posted daily except when in Zimbabwe and Mozambique. If you do not have stamps, please put your cabin number where the stamp will be affixed and this will be charged to your cabin.
First-aid boxes are carried on board as well as first-aid equipment, although limited medical facilities are available in some areas. We therefore request that the Train Manager be immediately advised of any possible medical requirements in order to assist effectively. It is strongly recommended that guests take Malaria prophylactics for all our journeys. A Yellow Fever/Medical Exemption Certificate is essential if travelling to/from Tanzania.
Pre and post packages are available on request.
In order to avoid accidents we request that guests adhere to the following:
The water used on the train is carried in tanks under each coach. These tanks are filled every day, but they cannot be topped up while the train is travelling. Please assist us by using water responsibly.
This is entirely at your own discretion. Tips are divided on a pro-rata basis between members of staff. Our recommended gratuity is between US$5 and US$15 per guest per day. Gratuities may be added to the final account or can be handed to the Train Manager. Please do not tip staff members individually.
While on board, please feel free to ask the Train Manager for assistance with regards to amenity items you may need.
It is compulsory for all guests to provide proof of comprehensive travel insurance including but not limited to medical cost, emergency evacuation and repatriation, cancellation or curtailment, loss of baggage, personal possessions or money.
It is very important that we have your arrival and departure details. Should you be delayed in any way, kindly contact the Train Manager using the details under ‘Telephone’. The train will be located at the following stations at the start or end of trips: Cape Town Station; Rovos Rail Station in Capital Park, Pretoria; Victoria Falls Station; Walvis Bay Station.
The bar is open daily from early in the morning until midnight.
Shongololo Express cannot accommodate children under the age of 10 years old. Children over 10 pay the full rate.
We suggest you bring Rands, US Dollars (in small denominations) or Euros (bank notes). In South Africa only Rands may be used. In Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique, Swaziland and Botswana it is possible to use US Dollars. In Namibia it is possible to use Rands. Euros are not recommended.
As a relaxed atmosphere prevails on board, comfortable clothing is recommended. Winter in Southern Africa can be very cold and it is therefore advisable to bring along warm clothing for early mornings and evenings.
Please inform your reservations agent or Shongololo Express directly of any special dietary requirements.
The electric current on board is 220V. Each compartment is fitted with a round 3-pin socket (South African). Adapter plugs are available from the Assistant Train Manager. Please treat sockets as live at all times. A generator supplies power. Please be aware that certain breaks in power are necessary when servicing is required.
Game drives are carried out in open 4×4 safari vehicles. We recommend warm clothing as the early mornings and evenings can become rather chilly. Some safari vehicles do not have a shade cover so a hat and sun block is essential.
The lounge and dining room can be heated via the air-conditioning units.
There are no Internet facilities on the train. Internet cafes are available in most towns we travel through.
A small library is located in the smoking lounge. Guests are free to make use of the books and guidebooks, but kindly return them before the end of the trip.
It is possible to store luggage in your cabin under the bed or above the door, depending on the category of accommodation you are in. It is not recommended to bring excess luggage as space is limited.
Should you discover that something in your carriage or cabin does not work, please advise the Train Manager in order for it to be repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
The onus is upon guests to ensure passports and visas, as may be required, are valid prior to departure for Africa. Visas available through booking agents; please check with relevant embassies for requirements. Visitors to South Africa are required to have at least three blank VISA pages in their passports to receive an entry visa. Passports must be valid for at least six months from the guests’ return-home date.
There is a small safe located in each cabin.
Shongololo Express uses the national railways of Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia and Swaziland. Therefore the possibility exists that the trains will run late from time to time. Should the train be delayed, land activities may have to be shortened, altered or cancelled for which we do not accept responsibility. No refunds will be offered as it is out of our control and therefore unavoidable.
In accordance with the Southern African Smoking Act, designated smoking areas are provided. The train has a smoking lounge, which can only be used when the train is moving. When the train is stationary you may only smoke outside on the platform. Smoking is not permitted in the dining car, bathrooms, your cabin, passageways or touring vehicles on any tour. Smoking of pipes/cigars is not permitted in the designated smoking area.
There is no telephone service on board. Should you however need to contact your Train Manager urgently while on tour, please call mobile number: +27 (0) 82 450 9134.
We can arrange transfers at an additional cost.
The Train Manager will gladly discuss upgrading your accommodation, provided that it is available. The cost for the upgrade is payable directly to the Train Manager. Payment must be secured before the upgrade is granted.