Travelling through the heart of Africa with Rovos Rail
If you’re looking for a different way to discover Africa, then finding Rovos Rail was your destiny. Tour Cape Town, Victoria Falls and a range of safaris, all from the comfort and luxury of a vintage railcar, giving you a taste of years gone by.2
Dating back to 1985, the history of this family run business only adds to the overall charm and character of its story. A vision of Rohan Vos, Rovos Rail’s passionate owner – alongside his wife Anthea, the company was created out of a love of coaches and the railway. In fact, each of the engines within the business have been named after the Vos children; Brenda, Bianca, Tiffany and Shaun.
With the first range of coaches being purchased in the same year of the business’ founding, one of which is still in service to this very day, and Rohan securing the right to sell tickets, Rovos Rail was born in Witbank, South Africa as a vintage train transportation business – a momentous occasion for this very involved family.
On board you’ll find elegant guest sleepers for your comfort as well as lounge cars, dining cars and smoking lounges, alongside the staffing and operational areas. A gong signals lunch and dinner, with breakfast being accommodated for all guests too. Dine with fine wines of Africa and traditional dishes using local ingredients and specialities, such as game if this would be to your taste, all within a specified one-sitting arrangement.
The range of available suites will suit the most discerning of tastes. From the luxury of the Royal Suites, with their accompanying lounge areas, through the Deluxe Suites and Pullman suites, each accommodation was built with a different traveller and their requirements in mind.
Each train keeps to a traditional, vintage feel with the added glamour of yesteryear and with it, so do their facilities. Whilst you’ll find all you need on board, televisions and radios are not present, to reflect the era of origin. Yet the use of mobile telephones and laptops is not prohibited, Rovos Rail just request that these are used within the privacy of suites to preserve the era in communal areas.
One of the highlights of passengers of Rovos Rail is the ability to visit the private station as a part of their journey. Headquartered in Capital Park, Pretoria, Rovos Rail formed their footings in the once energetic centre for all things rail in the old Transvaal. Housing a small museum, footbridge and the traditional semaphore signals, the setting is truly unique in itself. With the aim of recreating a traditional rail station, yet with a modern day vintage feel, Rovos Rail have a real treat in this location – one to be soon thought of as the greatest railway museum of all the world.
In addition, a 10,000 square feet workshop supports the 15 railway lines thanks to the number of teams working to keep the carriages in perfect working order. There’s nothing a rail carriage couldn’t ask for at this hub, being a mecca of repair and maintenance work.
Combined with flawless operations – the Rovos Rail experience of Africa proves extraordinary not only its presence, but its attention to detail and overall operation.