For luxury train travel, Rovos Rail South Africa, a five-star hotel on wheels, has been traveling through Africa since 1989. Riding the luxury train Rovos Rail through South Africa is a fantastic experience. The train itself is lush, with beautiful, comfortable cars. But the real luxury is in the scenery. The train winds its way through the countryside, giving riders incredible landscape views.
The Rovos Rail Safari is the perfect way to experience the best of South Africa’s wildlife, scenery, and culture. During the day, passengers can enjoy the sights from the train car or one of the open-air observation cars. The open-air cars are perfect for taking photos or enjoying the fresh air.
Rovos Rail is the perfect way to see South Africa in style. The scenery is beautiful, the train is luxurious, and the experience is one of a kind.
Rohan and Athena Vos took a trip on the Magaliesberg train in 1985, where Rohan spent time in the engine room with the driver. This sparked his passion for trains. In addition, Rohan was influenced by Phil Acutt and his work within Witbank’s Railway Preservation Society.
Rohan went on to attend an auction and purchased several coaches to restore. Geoff Pethick recalls the day at the auction and said, “I’d hoped Rohan wasn’t another penniless lunatic with grand ideas. But, as we chatted, I quickly realized that here was a man of vision.” After the auction, Rohan restored the coaches to their former glory and made it so much more.
Rohan soon realized he needed to be self-sufficient due to difficulties working with the South African Transportation Services Administration. This prompted him to purchase a 1938 Class 19D locomotive that required restoration. Rohan named it Bianca in honor of one of his daughters.
After negotiations with SAR, Rohan could finally run his train at the end of 1986. There’s something about vintage trains that get people excited. It could be the luxurious feel of the trains or the nostalgia they evoke. Whatever the reason, people can’t help but be drawn to them.
Riding on a vintage train consists of luxury travel where you can step back in time. You can imagine the kinds of people who rode these trains back in their heyday. They were probably the epitome of sophistication and style.
The business of vintage train rides was born, and Rohan was ready to take it to the next level. The cars have been refurbished and are ready and available for charter. It’s a great way to experience a bit of luxury and history all at the same time. However, the tariff for hauling the train was expensive, leading to Rohan selling tickets for the train ride.
The train launched on the 29th of April 1989, consisting of seven carriages. The guests included four paying customers, the press, and loved ones for the four-night experience that started in the Eastern Transvaal. By 1991, Rohan started the Pretoria to Cape Town run, and he could finally see the business’s direction. However, this new venture required consistency and reliability for all involved in the trips, including the passengers and agents.
In 1994, Rohan took a trip to the London World Travel Market, where he met Philip Morrell, a tour operator and owner of Jules Verne. The idea sparked to plan of a scenic train ride for guests from Cape Town to Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Ticket sales increased tremendously, putting an end to financial woes. Well enough that Johan could purchase 38 carriages a year later.
Rovos Rail has remained a family business, and all the engines are named after his children Bianca, Shaun, Tiffany, and Brenda. Today, Rovos Rail offers a variety of luxury train journeys through South Africa, Namibia, Angola, and Tanzania. Rovos Rail’s trains are luxurious, with opulent decor, fine dining, and attentive service.
Rovos Rail South Africa offers a wide range of itineraries, constantly tweaking and adding new experiences for their passengers. No two trips are ever the same!
There are many reasons to take a luxury train ride on the Rovos Rail. Below are just a few:
The train comprises restored vintage locomotives and carriages, which have been carefully renovated to offer a luxurious experience. In addition, various classes of travel are available on board the train, from economy class to presidential suites. So no matter your budget, there is something to suit everyone.
Rovos Rail’s luxury train journeys offer a unique way to see South Africa and its neighboring countries. So if you’re looking for an unforgettable travel experience, consider booking a trip with Rovos Rail.