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Dune Express Shongololo Express Rail Tour

12 day The romance of rail tour

The Dune Express Shongololo Express Rail Tour is a spectacular 12-day odyssey, starting in Pretoria. It winds its way through the stunning Kalahari desert to the coast of Namibia, a country of compelling beauty, abundant sunshine and seemingly endless horizons.

First stop is Kimberley to visit the Big Hole and Diamond Mine Museum village. Then we continue across the Karoo to Upington for a walking tour and wine tasting. After crossing the border, visit the Fish River Canyon. This is second in size to the Grand Canyon, followed by tours of historical towns Lüderitz, Kolmanskop and Keetmanshoop.

Enjoy a night at a Sossusvlei lodge surrounded by the dramatic dunes of the Namib-Naukluft Park. Visit the natural Sesriem Canyon and the 170m-high star dune “45”. Leave the vast stillness of the Kalahari Desert for a tour of Windhoek and an overnight stay in Etosha with game-viewing activities. Arrive at journey’s end in the seaside town of Walvis Bay.

The Dune Express Shongololo Express Rail tour is also available in reverse.

The advantage of booking Shongololo Express with us

If you book this tour with Tales from Africa Travel, you are guaranteed the same rates as when booking direct. You also get our additional services like a personal consultant, all carbon offsetting of your journey and full bespoke services from airport to airport (transfers, add-ons etc.). Want to know more about these advantages?

Highlights of the Dune Express Shonololo Express Rail tour

  • Ride the 4 star Shongololo Express: the most adventurous train in Africa
  • The enormous Big Hole and mining museum in Kimberley
  • Wine tasting along the Orange River
  • See the Great Fish River Canyon, the second largest canyon in the world
  • Transverse the great Kalahari Desert by train
  • Kolmanskop ghost town
  • Wild desert horses of Aus
  • Prehistoric Quiver Tree Forest
  • The spectacular high red sand dunes of Sossusvlei
  • City tour and railway museum in Windhoek
  • Game drives and lodge stay in Etosha National Park
  • End in Walvis Bay with good flight connections

Details of the Dune Express Shongolo Express Rail Tour

Underneath you can download the itineraries for the 12 day Pretoria to Walvis Bay in Namibia and Walvis Bay to Pretoria tours. Both tours visit the same places but in reverse order.

In each itinerary you will find:

  • the day to day itineraries for this year and next year
  • train specifications
  • full information on the available suites and amenities
  • general information about the journey
  • Note: dates of operation for 2021 are still limited, but more dates will be planned if more nationalities are allowed to travel to South Africa. Also, more dates are planned in 2022.

Map of the tour

Map of Dune Express Shongololo Express Rail Tour by Tales from Africa Travel in South Africa - Namibia

Rovos Rail or Shongololo Express?

Though both are luxurious, there is a clear difference between the Rovos Rail and the Shongololo Express. The Rovos Rail is more luxurious and the journey is focused on the train ride experience, intermingled with visits and excursions. The cabins are larger than on the Shongololo Express and the amenities are on a 5 star level. All meals and local baverages are included. If you like pampering and luxury, this is the train for you.

With the Shongololo Express the primary focus is on the off-train experiences and excursions, whilst the train ride is an important secondary focus. The cabins are smaller in size and the amenities are on a 4 star level. Meals on the train are included, other meals and all beverages not. If you are more adventurous minded, this is the train for you.

Dress code on Rovos Rail is smart casual during the day, formal in the evening. On the Shongololo Express the dress code is more informal and smart casual in the evening.

Bespoke private experiences

Use our unique tours and experiences as a source of inspiration for your exclusive holiday. Tell us what you like and what you don’t like in this tour, or any particular tour that speaks to you. Or let us know in general what experiences you would like to have. Based on what you tell us we’ll make a bespoke, unique tour for you. We’ll keep adjusting the itinerary, accommodations and way of travel until you have YOUR perfect holiday. Your exclusive experience of a lifetime.

This is experiential travel at its best. Nothing is set in stone, all can be combined, adjusted, changed to make your own bespoke holiday! Here are some more ideas to inspire you.

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Romance of Rail