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Good Hope Tour (North)

(Semi-Luxury Shongololo Express)

Good Hope Route    Southern Cross Route    Dune Route    Livingstone Route    Train Hire


Shongololo Express Good Hope North

Days 1 & 2 Cape Town

Guests arriving at Cape Town International Airport today should arrive no later than 08h00 at the airport in order to be able to participate in the day’s excursions. Collection will be from the airport and transferred to the train.

Cape Town’s nautical heritage, diverse cultural influences and the magnificence of its setting with Table Mountain dominating the skyline make this one of the most vibrant and beautiful cities in the world.

(Please Note: All the activities below will be covered over Days 1 & 2, but as some are weather dependent, the order in which we visit them may vary.)

The train remains stationary at Cape Town station for the night. An evening shuttle service will be available to take passengers to/from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.
Included Meals: D

Day 3 Winelands / Overberg Region

Surrounded by proud mountain ranges, the fertile green valleys of the Cape Winelands enjoy a Mediterranean climate and winter rainfall which produce some of the best wines in the world. The rich, fertile soils along the Breede River and the Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl areas have become justly famous for their whites, reds, and fortified wines and brandies. The Overberg region to the southeast embraces mountains, valleys and coastal areas and annually welcomes the Southern Right Whale to its waters.

(Full day; Distance travelled ± 420 km) 
Guests meet the train at Worcester. The train departs for Kimberley over night.
Included Meals: BD

Day 4 Kimberley / Bloemfontein

Kimberley is the capital city of the Northern Cape, well known of the Big Hole and the discovery of the diamonds that led to the establishment of the city in 1893. Bloemfontein is the seat of the South African judicial system. At the end of the 19th century it was also the capital of the old Boer republic of The Orange Free State.

(Full day; Distance travelled: ± 330 km)
Guests rejoin the train in Bloemfontein and travel overnight to Ladysmith.
Included Meals: BD

Day 5 Midlands / Southern Drakensberg

Guests spend the day on the train as it rocks and rolls to Durban through the Drakensburg Mountains, now head to the eastern jagged peaks of the Drakensberg, following the waterways as they drop and cascade down mountain clefts, and through hidden valleys to the tumbling luscious hills that extend through the Midlands. Light Lunch will be served on-board the train. 

The Train arrives in Durban after Lunch, and overnights at Durban Station.
Included Meals: BD

Day 6 Durban

Durban is South Africa’s third largest city and enjoys great importance due to its industry and extensive sea port. Thanks to the subtropical climate and the long stretches of beautiful beaches large numbers of “uplanders” retreat to Durban in winter. An orientation tour of the city will allow you to see a very good mix of old and new, African, Orient and the West. We will drive along the “Golden Mile” promenade with its many hotels and restaurants. A visit to the Victoria Market will also be included. At the end of the morning we will drop you at either the Botanical Gardens or at uShaka Marine World, Africa’s largest marine theme park, at either of which you can have lunch and spend the afternoon (all entrances and lunch for your own account). Pick up will be at a pre arranged time later in the afternoon.

(Morning; Distance travelled: ± 50 km)
(Full day of relaxation; distance travelled: ± 60 km)

The train departs for Empangeni Station in Zululand.
Included Meals: BD

Day 7 Zululand

In the morning guests will depart to visit the St Lucia Wetlands, declared a World Heritage Site, here we will take a cruise on the St Lucia Estuary, looking for hippos, crocodiles, and a large variety of water birds. After lunch we’ll drive to Bushlands & Dumazulu to undergo a guided tour of a Zulu Cultural Village.

(Full day; Distance travelled: ± 180 km) 
Included Meals: BD

Day 8 Zululand

An early departure to the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve will get us into the park to experience wildlife magic. The park lies in the heart of Zululand where ancient trails lead through the thorn veld and along the mighty rivers of Africa’s oldest established wilderness area. Once the exclusive royal hunting ground of King Shaka, it is a tapestry of natural and cultural history. The park is a treasure store of species including Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo, Wildebeest, Zebra, Giraffe, Kudu, Bushbuck, Cheetah, Hyena and many others. Over 300 bird species have been recorded. Game drives will be conducted in our vehicles.
(Full day; Distance travelled: ± 350 km)

Guests meet the train at Golela station. Please note that guests will go through the immigration before they get back to the Train. Guests will need to take their passports with them for the day.

The Train Departs for Swaziland, Mpaka Station.
Included Meals: BD

Day 9 Swaziland

The tiny Kingdom of Swaziland covers only 17 000 square kilometres, making it the second smallest country in Africa.

(Full day; Distance travelled: ± 280 km)

Guests rejoin the train at Kaapmuiden South Africa. The train remains stationary at Kaapmuiden for the night.
Included Meals: BD

Day 10 Kruger National Park

The Kruger National Park straddles the province of Mpumalanga, which means “Land of the Rising Sun”. It is a province of extraordinary natural beauty.

(Full day; Departure time depends on the season, as gates open and close with sunrise and sunset. Distance travelled: ± 220 km)
The train remains stationary at Kaapmudein for the night.
Included Meals: BD

Day 11 Panorama Route or Kruger National Park

1.Panorama Route
In 1873 gold was discovered in the area around the quaint town of Pilgrim’s Rest, now a living museum and National Monument. The discovery attracted 1500 diggers and today, many of the restored miners’ houses serve as shops. Further along the escarpment we find the great Blyde River Canyon, a gorge 26 km in length and 800 m deep, carved from the face of the escarpment. The Three Rondavels, three huge rock spirals rising out of the far wall of the canyon and resembling African huts present an unforgettable sight. Bourke’s Luck Potholes are strange deep cylindrical cavities formed by river erosion and floodwater. From the vantage point of God’s Window we gaze across the sweeping landscape of the Lowveld, where subtle fragrances of the lower region rise to merge with the crisp winds of the Highveld.
(Full day; Distance travelled: ± 280 km)

2. Kruger National Park
The world-renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience second to none. Its 2 million hectares are unrivalled in diversity of life forms and the park is a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques. The park is home to an impressive number of species e.g. 336 species of trees, 49 species of fish, 34 species of amphibians, 114 species of reptiles, 507 species of birds and 147 species of mammals. Game drives will be conducted in our air-conditioned vehicles.
(Full day; Departure time depends on the season, as gates open and close with sunrise and sunset. Distance travelled: ± 220 km)

Guests rejoin the train at Nelspruit and the train departs for Witbank.
Included Meals: BD

Day 12 Pretoria / Johannesburg / Soweto

Gauteng is the economic powerhouse of the Southern African region and home to some of Africa’s greatest cities. The name of the province is a Sotho word meaning “Place of Gold”, which is very suitable since much of the wealth of Gauteng derives from this precious metal.

1. Pretoria and Soweto
We will spend the morning in Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa. We visit the Union Buildings designed by the famous colonial English architect, Sir Herbert Baker and completed in 1913 and which now houses the offices of the President and his ministers. The buildings overlook the city towards the once fortified hills to the south. A grand bronze statue of “Oom Paul (Kruger)”, the patriarch president of the ZAR or old Transvaal Republic, surrounded by his Boer fighters, dominates Church Square, at the centre of the city. Before leaving the capital behind, we visit the Voortrekker Monument which commemorates the Great Trek of the 1830s. In the afternoon we travel to Soweto to visit the Hector Petersen Memorial, named after the first student to lose his life in the 1976 uprising against the Apartheid government.
(Full day; Distance travelled: ± 200 km)

2. Johannesburg and Soweto
Our day starts at Constitution Hill in Braamfontein in the centre of Johannesburg. This is the new home of the Constitutional Court and the site of Johannesburg’s notorious Old Fort Prison Complex, where many of South Africa’s leading political activists were detained. We then head onto the Newtown precinct to visit Museum Africa previously known as the market of Johannesburg. This is all part of the history of the “City of Gold”. This is followed by a lunch break (guests’ own account) in the suburb of Rosebank, where you can experience the multi-cultural “Rainbow Nation” in a modern, ethnocentric setting. Rosebank showcases a mix of first and third world cultures and arts and crafts from all over the African continent. In the afternoon, we travel to Soweto to experience the heartbeat of this township, comprising one million people and made famous by the laws of Apartheid. We pass the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital (the largest hospital in the Southern Hemisphere) and also drive past the only street in Africa that once housed two Nobel Peace Laureates - Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. We visit the Hector Petersen Memorial, named after the first student to lose his life in the 1976 uprising against the Apartheid government.
(Full day; Distance travelled: ± 150 km)

The train travels empty during the day to Boksburg East Station - Johannesburg.
Included Meals: BD

Day 13 Transfer Day

Guests transferring to a hotel will be taken during the morning. Guests who are flying from Johannesburg International Airport later may take optional tours within the Johannesburg area.
Included Meals: B

Day 14

Cape Town 
Included Meals: B

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Cape Town's famous Table Mountain on the Good Hope Train Safari

Neat, private cabins from small and basic to luxurious

The Shongololo Express winding up a mountain pass on the Good Hope train safari

Cape Overberg

Bloemfontein War Museum at the Women's Memorial

Pilgrimsrest Historic Mining Town

Dinner with friends

Robben Island

On Safari