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Southern Cross

13-Day African Explorer Train Journey from Victoria Falls to Pretoria

Southern CrossOne train journey—four African countries! Discover the incomparable diversity
of sights in South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. Enjoy highlights
like the immense Kruger National Park, the stunning Victoria Falls and the
mighty Zambezi River.

from6,960 $per person

What Makes Your Journey Unique

• Unique route through 4 countries in one trip: South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique and Zimbabwe
• Diverse landscapes: Highveld plateau and subtropical Lowveld; savannahs of Matabeleland and Hwange
• The sensational, thundering power of Victoria Falls, one of the largest waterfalls in the world
• Opportunity to watch leopards, elephants, hippos, lions, crocodiles, zebra and giraffes roam in their natural habitats
• Visit to the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre with opportunities to see cheetahs and rare African wild dogs

  • Epic ride along the Drakensberg escarpment and the Blyde River Canyon
  • Exclusive train charter with English-speaking tour guides
  • Exciting safaris, including an exhilarating night safari, in Kruger and Hwange National Parks
  • Empire of elephants: Hwange National Park
  • Energetic metropolis on the Indian Ocean: Mozambique’s capital, Maputo
  • South Africa’s Panorama Route, including Blyde River Canyon and God’s Window overlook
  • Matobo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home of Cecil Rhodes’ grave
  • Ruined city of Great Zimbabwe
  • Kingdom of Swaziland
  • Pretoria, South Africa’s capital

Dates

  • 18 Aug 20 - 30 Aug 20 (13 days)
  • 03 Sep 20 - 15 Sep 20 (13 days)

Info & Booking

Jakob Rastetter
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Day 1. Welcome to Southern Africa

Today you arrive at Victoria Falls Airport and transfer to your safari lodge. You enjoy views of the lodge’s on-site water hole, where many wild animals come to stave off their thirst, and the magnificent panorama of the Zambezi National Park from your private balcony. In the afternoon, you explore the Zambezi River by boat. With luck, you can view elephants and hippos up close. Your evening ends with a welcome dinner—a traditional Southern African barbecue, or braai—around a flickering camp fire. Overnight: Victoria Safari Lodge (D)

Day 2. Victoria Falls, the Smoke that Thunders

After breakfast, you enjoy a visit to the one-of-a-kind Victoria Falls, known locally as “the Smoke that Thunders,” one of the largest waterfalls in the world. Numerous vantage points provide stunning views of the waters of the Zambezi River pouring into the canyon below. A short walk takes you to the Victoria Falls Hotel, where you can enjoy amazing views of the Victoria Falls Bridge. In the afternoon, the crew of the African Explorer private train welcomes you on board. Overnight: On board (BD)

Day 3. Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe’s Largest Game Reserve

After an early breakfast, you go on a safari through Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe’s largest game reserve. With a bit of luck, you might encounter giraffes and lions and even the occasional wild dog. Here you can continue your safari in an open-top vehicle accompanied by a professional ranger. In the afternoon, you head back to your private train. Overnight: On board (BD)

Day 4. Matobo National Park and Cecil Rhodes’ Grave

In the morning, you enjoy a walk through Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city. You can also visit the Natural History Museum or the Railway Museum. Later you head to Matobo National Park, where you can visit the grave of Cecil Rhodes, the British imperialist and politician who founded the territory of Rhodesia in today’s Zimbabwe and Zambia. In the evening, you enjoy dinner on board your private train. Overnight: On board (BD)

Day 5. Great Zimbabwe

The destination of today’s bus excursion is the stunning, thousand-year-old ruined city of Great Zimbabwe, Africa’s largest pre-colonial structure south of the Egyptian pyramids. In Rutenga, you board your private train to continue your journey. Overnight: On board (BD)

Day 6. Realm of the Rain Queen

On its way through the Limpopo Province, your African Explorer private train passes the Soutpansberg mountains and the lands of South Africa’s Rain Queen. Later you enjoy a biltong (traditional beef jerky) tasting. Overnight: On board (BLD)

Day 7. Kapama Private Game Reserve

In the morning, you leave the African Explorer private train for a safari through the Kapama Private Game Reserve. As part of a wildlife resettlement program, many animals were brought here for conservation, including the famous Big Five game animals: the lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and Cape buffalo. Afterward you can see rare wild dogs and cheetahs on a visit to the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre. Lunch is served on board the African Explorer. Overnight: On board (BLD)

Day 8. Drakensberg in the Great Escarpment

Today you enjoy a scenic bus ride on South Africa’s Panorama Route, which includes the gorgeous Drakensberg, the highest region of the Great Escarpment, as well as Blyde River Canyon. Afterward you enjoy a safari in the world-famous Kruger National Park. In the afternoon, you leave the park and head to your safari lodge where you will spend the night. Here you can safely leave your larger luggage on the train in your compartment. At dusk you head out for an exciting night safari in open-top vehicles, one again on the tracks of wildlife. You end the night in style with a dinner under the starry African sky. Overnight: Pestana Kruger Lodge (BD)

Day 9. Kruger National Park

In the morning, you head out for a full-day safari in open-top vehicles through Kruger National Park. After lunch, the safari continues, and you return to your train in the late afternoon. Overnight: On board (BLD)

Day 10. Maputo

Overnight, your train had arrived in Maputo. You discover the Mozambican capital on an informative city tour. For lunch you enjoy delicious fish and seafood on the waterfront. In the late afternoon, you head back to your train and continue on. Overnight: On board (BLD)

Day 11. Swaziland

You start the day with a bus excursion from Mpaka to Swaziland, officially known as the Kingdom of Eswatini. Your trip takes you through the Ezulwini Valley and Eswatini’s capital, Mbabane, to Pegg’s Peak, surrounded by beautiful hills. In one of the bustling markets, you can look for souvenirs for your loved ones. In the early evening, your private train is waiting for you at Kaapmuiden. While you enjoy your dinner on board, your train continues on Pretoria. Overnight: On board (BD)

Day 12. Pretoria

After breakfast it’s time to say goodbye to your lovely train crew. On a city tour, you discover the South African capital, Pretoria. You get a magnificent view of the city from atop Meintjieskop, home to the Union Buildings—South Africa’s seat of government. Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, was sworn in here in 1994, and a larger-than-life statue of him was erected to greet visitors. You spend the night in a lodge that welcomes you with a lush, sprawling garden. In the evening, you enjoy a farewell dinner with your fellow travelers. Overnight: Misty Hills Lodge (BLD)

Day 13. Farewell, Africa!

Today you enjoy the day at your leisure until your transfer to the airport for your return flight or for onward journey. (B)

(B) = Breakfast, (L) = Lunch, (D) = Dinner

Visit a host of sights off the standard tourist trail, including Maputo, Matobo National Park and the ruined city of Great Zimbabwe, Africa’s largest pre-colonial edifice south of the Egyptian pyramids.

Since 2015, the African Explorer private train has provided exclusive service on this fascinating route. This unique journey takes you through inspiring and diverse landscapes—all without the hassle of air travel or having to repack suitcases every day. The African Explorer covers long stretches of the route at night while you sleep peacefully in your private compartment, leaving more time for memorable excursions and safaris during the day.

Rates Include

  • 9 nights aboard the African Explorer private train in the category booked
  • 1 night in a stylish safari lodge at Victoria Falls
  • 1 night in a safari lodge at the entrance to Kruger National Park
  • 1 night in a lodge near Pretoria
  • All meals as specified in the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • Culinary specialties and biltong tasting
  • Multilingual tour director from Victoria Falls to Pretoria throughout
  • English-speaking tour guide for maximum 25 guests
  • Doctor on board
  • All excursions and sightseeing including admission fees
  • Excursions and transfers in air-conditioned buses
  • Luggage service in airports
  • Entertaining and informative talks aboard private train
  • Airport transfers on first and last days
  • Log book and travel guide

Not Included

  • Visa fees
  • Gratuities
  • International flights
  • Personal expenses

Entry Requirements

  • You may require a visa, depending on your nationality. Please check with your local embassy
  • Depending on your country of origin, you may require vaccinations. Malaria tablets and hepatitis A vaccination are recommended. Please consult your physician

Elephant

The Elephant compartments offer private shower and toilet, individually adjustable air-conditioning, 220/230 V sockets, a small safe, towels, a compact wardrobe with coathangers, small bedside cabinets, hair dryer, toiletries and one small bottle of water per person per day on the train. The windows (equipped with blind and sunshades) can be opened as needed.

Leopard

In addition to the features of the Elephant category the Leopard compartments offer a small sitting area and are located closer to the restaurant cars.

Restaurant

  • Guaranteed
  • Available
  • Limited
  • Waiting List
  • Excursions and lectures conducted in: EN=English, FR=French

Dates

Dates ElephantLeopard
Price $
18 Aug 20 - 30 Aug 20African ExplorerAfrican Explorer | ENExcursions and lectures conducted in: English | Victoria Falls–Pretoria
Single use supplement in compartment + hotel
03 Sep 20 - 15 Sep 20African ExplorerAfrican Explorer | FRExcursions and lectures conducted in: French | Pretoria–Victoria Falls
Single use supplement in compartment + hotel
Total price $
Single use supplement for Leopard category available upon request