South Africa and Namibia by Private Train

009341 - W20

On this exclusive, private train tour you will be taken on a journey of discover from Cape Town to the natural wonders of Windhoek, Namibia, a journey of around 3000km.

Not Included
Tour Notes
  • Unique journey of nearly 3,000 km by private train from Cape Town to Windhoek or reverse
  • Fish River Canyon
  • Namib Desert, UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Safari tour of Etosha National Park
  • Lüderitz: the first German colonial settlement in then South West Africa
  • Ghost-town of Kolmanskop
  • Winhoek, a beautiful modern city with German roots

Group Size: Minimum 2 / Maximum 23

2019 Departures:
February: 18
October: 21
November: 11

Reverse itinerary:
Windhoek to Cape Town
14 days/13 nights
**guided in French only**
March: 03
November: 03, 24

Windhoek to Pretoria
14 days/13 nights
July: 24

2020 Departures:
February: 17
October: 19
November: 09

Reverse itinerary:
Windhoek to Cape Town
14 days/13 nights
**guided in French only**
March: 01
November: 01, 22

Windhoek to Pretoria
14 days/13 nights
July: 22 (guided in French only)

2019 Pricing:
February 18, March 03 departures:
US$6,300 – Elephant cabin – Twin
US$8,340 – Leopard cabin – Twin

October 21, November 03, 11, 24 departures:
US$6,600 – Elephant cabin – Twin
US$8,640 – Leopard cabin – Twin

Windhoek to Pretoria
US$6530 – Elephant cabin – Twin
US$8570 – Leopard cabin – Twin

2020 Pricing:
February 17, March 01 departures:
US$6,300 – Elephant cabin – Twin
US$8,340 – Leopard cabin – Twin

October 19, November 01, 09, 22 departures:
US$6,600 – Elephant cabin – Twin
US$8,640 – Leopard cabin – Twin

Windhoek to Pretoria (guided in French only)
US$6530 – Elephant cabin – Twin
US$8570 – Leopard cabin – Twin

Prices are shown in US$, per person based on two people sharing twin accommodation. Single use of cabin may be available on a limited basis, please inquire.

See Tour Notes for details on the cabin categories.

Tour Code:
009341 - W20

Open All
Day 1: Arrive Cape Town

Your journey begins in a city that has drawn adventurers to Africa for centuries. Few places can rival Cape Town’s spectacular setting, nestled between the Table Mountain and the sea. Discover everything this multicultural melting pot has to offer during a city tour: Head to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront for a pleasant stroll or ascend to the top of Table Mountain via its iconic cable car and take in stunning views of it all (optional). Round off the day by joining your fellow travellers for an excursion to Signal Hill and a special welcoming dinner. Meals: D

Days 2: The African Explorer

Board a legend to begin your South African train tour. Discover the unmatchable ease of rail travel, as the African Explorer whisks you past verdant valleys and through the dramatic tunnels of the Hex River Mountains. Stop in Matjiesfontein to soak up this tiny railroad town’s colonial flair while enjoying a refreshment at the charming Victorianera
Lord Milner Hotel. Meals: B, L, D

Day 3: Wine Tasting

South African wine is some of the finest in the world. Upington, set on the fertile banks of the Oranje River, has much of the region’s most-prized soil for growing grapes. It’s the perfect place to spend a relaxed afternoon at a vineyard, enjoying a wine tasting. Meals: B, L, D

Day 4: Fish River Canyon

Welcome to Namibia! This is a land of colour and texture, with landscapes almost too staggering to take in. Sweeping grounds of deep, ancient ochre. A huge, aquamarine sky. Animals in the distance, shimmering in the heat. In the afternoon, attend a biltong tasting—but not before discovering Fish River Canyon. Fish River Canyon is the largest in Africa and the second largest in the world. Stare across its vast space and feel majesty, awe and perspective on this most stunning of Namibia train tours. Meals: B, L, D

Day 5: Ghost Town

Diamonds were discovered in Kolmanskop in 1908, drawing money and miners in droves. But today it’s a Teutonic ghost town with abandoned buildings covered knee-deep in sand for you to explore. A quick bus trip through Namibia’s heavily restricted diamond zone takes you to Lüderitz, a historic port town nestled on the dramatic Atlantic coastline and further on to famous Diaz Point. Meals: B, L, D

Day 6: Namib Naukluft National Park

Passing the shambling mounds of thousand-year-old welwitschia plants, your Namibian train journey takes you to the edge of this otherworldly nature preserve. But, before retiring to your lodge for the day, stop in the humble hamlet of Maltahöhe and break bread at a delicious brunch. Meals: B, D

Days 7: Giant Namib Sand Dunes

Stand atop mighty orange-red giants—the biggest sand dunes in the world. Sculptural, ochre sand waves, waxing and waning, the drama of rippling black shadow and a vast, perfect sky under a searing-hot sun. Take in the alien beauty of the Namib Desert. It feels like outer space. These are the images you’ve seen a thousand times in photographs but nothing can prepare you for the sight in real life. Climb a dune and join a tour with open-top vehicles as the sun begins to set. You’ll never forget the natural beauty you witnessed today. Meals: B, D

Day 8: Walvis Bay and Swakopmund

Head back to the coast to Walvis Bay—named after the whales that still frolic by this deep-water port city. Look for pink flamingos strutting along the lagoon and then continue your day’s air-conditioned bus journey to Swakopmund, famous for its exceptional examples of colonial architecture. Meals: B, D

Day 9: Spitzkoppe

Marvel at the craggy, barren dome of the Spitzkoppe—the tawny granite peak known as Namibia’s Matterhorn. Huntergatherer artwork on the rocks here speaks to the fascination this famous landmark has long held for humankind. Then prepare for beaming smiles and friendly laughter, as you visit a school* for local Damara children. Meals: B, L, D

Day 10: Etosha National Park

The seemingly endless, shimmering white plain you’re standing on is the largest salt flat in Africa. With the mineral crust crunching underfoot and the horizon going on forever, it’s easy to understand why this was named the Great White Place. Watch as elephants, giraffes and countless other wild animals congregate near watering holes while
crossing the entire park by bus. If you’re lucky, you might even see a rare black rhino before sunset. Meals: B, D

Day 11: On Safari

Jump into a jeep and go on safari in the golden light of the morning. Seek out creatures of the feathered, furry and fanged kind right where they live. Then return to rail, stopping in the evening to experience braai—a traditional African barbecue—right by your train, beneath a fabulous starry sky. meals: B, D

Day 12: Windhoek

With luck, the morning’s unique train route will be a veritable safari. It passes through private game farms, where giraffe, antelope and ostrich are often visible from the train. The Namibian capital Windhoek draws near. A tour of the city brings you to the Christ Church, which combines Germanic neo-Gothic design with local African sandstone. After this, stop off at the Namibian parliament building. You’ll visit the township Katutura and a local market, before relaxing into your hotel. Then a special dinner in celebration of your exceptional journey and to say farewell to your fellow travellers. Meals: B, L, D

Day 13: Farewell to Namibia

You’ve become a true African Explorer. Transfer to the airport for your flight home or onward to your next destination. You may also choose to extend your time in Windhoek and further explore this beautiful city. Meals: B

  • Eight nights of accommodation on the private African Explorer train
  • One night at a Windhoek city hotel
  • One night at a safari lodge near Etosha National Park
  • Two nights at a stylish lodge in the Namib Desert
  • One night at a premium-class hotel in Cape Town
  • English-speaking tour guide on the train except for the 3 March and 3,4 November departures, which will be guided in French only
  • Multi-lingual tour director
  • Doctor on board the train
  • Meals per the itinerary
  • Fine dining in the train’s dining car and local specialities, such as traditional BBQ
  • All excursions and sightseeing listed, including admission fees
  • Transfers and excursion in air-conditioned busses
  • Series of talks on sights, life and culture of the area
  • Extensive information material prepared especially for this journey
Not Included
  • International travel to Cape Town/from Windhoek or to Windhoek/from Cape Town (or Pretoria) depending on departure date
  • Any other extra/ optional activities or accommodation added to your program
  • Passport and visa fees, if required (passport must be valid for 6 months beyond your intended stay in South Africa/Namibia and have at least 2 blank visa pages)
  • Vaccination fees (Yellow fever and malaria vaccinations recommended)
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Travel Insurance
Tour Notes

The African Explorer, your comfortable private train takes you all the way from stunning Cape Town to Windhoek, Namibia. ranked as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The African Explorer private train also transports air-conditioned mini tour busses, for a maximum of twelve guests each, for your select programme of excursions. Your tour guide is a fund of fascinating information about the country and its people. For your comfort and safety a doctor is also on board your private train for the entire journey.

Meals: B=Breakfast or brunch L=Lunch D=Dinner

Note: For 2017 this itinerary also operates in reverse as a 14 day/13 night program, starting in Windhoek and ending in Cape Town (except the 19 November, 2017 departure which returns to Pretoria). The 14 day itinerary includes an additional day of touring in Diamond City Kimberley on Day 12, followed by or the reverse itinerary are listed as such under Departure details.

For 2018 this itinerary also operates from Johannesburg to Windhoek on July 11 as a 14 day/13 night trip and in reverse as a 14 day/13 night program, starting in Windhoek and ending in Cape Town.

Extensions: We can provide you with extensions to other destinations in South Africa, Namibia, Africa or anywhere in
the world. Just ask!

Cabins on the train

Elephant: There are five cars in the Elephant category, comprised of five compartments each. Each sleeping compartment in the Elephant category measures approximately 75 sq. ft./7m² and accommodates two guests in either two single berths or a double.

Leopard: There are five cars in the Leopard category, comprised of three compartments each. The more spacious Leopard category sleeping compartments measure approximately 107 sq. ft./10m² and accommodate two guests in either two single berths or a double bed.

Both Elephant and Leopard cabins include:
● Private bathroom with shower
● Windows that open, equipped with blinds and sunshades
● Individually adjustable air-conditioning
● 220/230V electricity sockets
● Safe
● Closet
● Bedside cabinets
● Hairdryer
● Towels and complimentary toiletries
● Complimentary bottle of water per day

Disclaimer: We do our utmost to ensure that information posted on our website is correct at the time of publication, however trip details are subject to change without notice by the suppliers and operators involved. We update the information as soon as possible when changes are advised to us, however, we cannot assume responsibility for such changes made by the suppliers and operators.