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Southern Cross Shongololo Express

12 day The Romance of Rail Tour

The Southern Cross Shongololo Express is a wonderful 12-day panoramic African train journey between Pretoria and Victoria Falls. Travel across the Drakensberg Mountains to join the Panorama Route with game viewing in Kruger. Tour Maputo, capital of Mozambique, before exploring the mountainous Kingdom of Swaziland. Enjoy a game drive at Kapama and a visit to the Great Zimbabwe Monument. Tour Antelope Park and Matopos, site of Cecil John Rhodes’ grave. Continue to Hwange for game viewing. Arrive in Victoria Falls for a walking tour of the village and the thunderous falls. End with a sunset cruise on the mighty Zambezi. 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 Southern Cross Shongololo Express

  • Ride the 4 star Shongololo Express: the most adventurous train in Africa
  • Full day tour of Soweto and Pretoria
  • Excursion along the Panorama route and Graskop Gorge lift
  • Full-day game viewing in Kruger National Park
  • visit of vibrant Maputo in Mozambique, a mix of old and new
  • Travel through Swaziland
  • Game drive in Kapama Game Reserve
  • Visit to the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre
  • Great Zimbabwe Monument, the largest precolonial monument south of the Egyptian pyramids.
  • Antelope Park, home to the African Lion and Environmental Research Trust (ALERT) lion rehabilitation programme
  • the dramatic hills and granite rocks of Matopos NP
  • Full-day game viewing in Hwange National Park
  • the world-famous Victoria Falls

The tour in reverse direction visits the same highlights.

Details of the Southern Cross Shongololo Express rail tour

Underneath you can download the itineraries for the 12 day Pretoria to Victoria Falls and Victoria Falls 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 to one 21 October 2021 departure, 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 the Romance of Rail Shongolo Express Southern Cross by Tales from Africa Travel

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