Shongololo Train: Pretoria to Namibia


9YF14P
14 NIGHTS
FROM £3,796
International flights quoted separately
Journey across Namibia & South Africa in the renovated Shongololo Train. Starting from Pretoria, visit Kimberley, Upington & Fish River Canyon, before travelling through the Kalahati & Namib to Luderitz & Sossusvlei. Visit Windhoek & enjoy a night at a safari lodge in Etosha. All off-train excursions included. 2 departures per year in each direction.
Photo Shongololo Train Namibia Pretoria South Africa
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Pretoria
• 
Kimberley Big Hole
• 
Fish River Canyon
• 
Luderitz & Kolmanskop
• 
Kalahari
• 
Sossusvlei Sand Dunes
• 
Windhoek
• 
Etosha National Park
• 
Walvis Bay
• 
Swakopmund
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Pretoria
• 
Kimberley Big Hole
• 
Fish River Canyon
• 
Luderitz & Kolmanskop
• 
Kalahari
• 
Sossusvlei Sand Dunes
• 
Windhoek
• 
Etosha National Park
• 
Walvis Bay
• 
Swakopmund
Day 1
You will be met at Johannesburg Airport and transferred 1-hour to your hotel in Pretoria.
   
Check in and relax in this beautiful city under warm blue South African skies.
 
Day 2
This morning transfer to Capital Park Station in good time to board the Shongololo Express, departing at 15.00 for Swakopmund
 
Relax and enjoy the elegance of train travel of a bygone age, as you settle in to your wood-panelled coach.  This spectacular 12 day journey starts in Pretoria and  winds its way to Swakopmund on the west coast of Nambia, a country of compelling beauty, abundant sunshine and seemingly endless space.
 
The train will make an overnight stop at Kingswood, before continuing towards Kimberley in the morning.
 
Note: All meals on the train are included, but alcohol and all lunches off the train are for your own account. A relaxed atmosphere prevails on board, so comfortable clothing is recommended with good walking shoes for off-train excursions. Bring  warm clothes for early mornings and evenings, especially if you are travelling during the winter months (June to August).
Day 3
This morning we travel past a lake that is home to a spectacular flock of flamingos and arrive in the diamond town of Kimberley at 10h00.
 
Here we disembark for a tour of the famous Big Hole and Open Mine Museum. With a surface area of over 40 acres and a perimeter of over 1 mile, this open-pit area was mined to a depth of over 3,000 feet at the height of the diamond rush – the largest hand-dug excavation in the world. At the Village Museum you can also view Eureka, the first recorded diamond discovered in South Africa.
 
Depart Kimberley at 12.00 and enjoy lunch on the train, as we continue our journey through the Northern Cape to Upington.
Day 4
We disembark this morning at Upington to see its sights, beginning with a drive past the Donkey Memorial that honours these animals that worked on Orange River railway line. At the Bezalel wine and brandy cellar enjoy a tour and wine tasting before returning to the train.
  
The train continues through the North West Province and around midday arrives at Nakop on the South African border. Enjoy lunch on board the train as we enter Namibia and marvel at the spectacular scenery of the arid Kalahari. We overnight this evening at Holoog.
Day 5
This morning we visit the Fish River Canyon, the second largest on earth.
 
The Fish River rises in the centre of the country, before flowing south into the Orange River on Namibia's southern border with South Africa.  The vast rocky landscape breaks up into a series of spectacular cliffs formed by the river, which now meanders between boulders over half a kilometre below.
 
We return to the train for lunch and continue travelling across the untamed beauty of Namibia to Aus for overnight.
Day 6
This morning we disembark for a full day tour of the ghost town Kolmanskop and the diamond mining town of Luderitz.
 
En route we might see the legendary wild horses that roam the Namib Desert. After visiting the deserted town of Kolmanskop, now absorbed into the sands of the Namib, we continue to Luderitz known for its museum, colonial architecture and marine wildlife including seals, penguins and flamingos.
 
We return to the train and travel to Keetmanshoop for overnight.
Day 7
This morning we disembark at Keetmanshoop to see the Giants Playground, with its 20 km long dolerite dykes as well as the Quiver Tree Forest, home to 300 different species of aloe.
 
We return to the train around 13.00 for lunch before departing towards Mariental.
Day 8
Today we disembark from the train and travel to a lodge in the Namib Naukluft National Park.   
 
We visit the magnificent Sesriem Canyon, shaped over millions of years by the Tsauchab River and one of the few places in the area that holds water all year round, before returning to the lodge for an evening at leisure.
Day 9
Set out early this morning on our 4x4 tour into the famous sand dunes at Sossusvlei, as this is the coolest part of the day and the best for photography
 
This clay pan is surrounded by some of the highest dunes in the world – an endless sea of reddish sand stretching all the way to the distant horizon. These monumental star shaped dunes, some as high as 1,000 ft (325 m), were formed by strong multi-directional winds. The warm tints of sand range in colour from apricot to orange, red and maroon - and contrast vividly with the stark white clay pans at their base.
Take the opportunity to climb one of these dunes, which afford endless vistas across the desert landscape and the sea of sand.
 
After a scenic drive through the Namib Naukluft National Park we return to the train for the journey towards Rehoboth for overnight.
Day 10
This morning we disembark for a tour of Windhoek, Namibia's capital city surrounded by clusters of hills and the impressive Auas and Eros mountains.
 
We visit the Trans-Namib Transport Museum situated in the Windhoek railway station, before continuing to the Old Fortress and Evangelical Lutheran Church - a striking landmark. Lastly we visit the Namibia Craft Centre in the old brewery.
 
In the late morning we return to the train for lunch and continue our journey towards Otjiwarongo.
Day 11
This morning we disembark and transfer to our lodge situated near the eastern gate to Etosha National Park.
 
Enjoy afternoon game viewing activities and overnight at the lodge.
Day 12
After a morning game drive in Etosha National Park, we leave the lodge and return to the train.
 
We continue our journey towards Kranzberg for overnight.
Day 13
This morning we arrive in Walvis Bay, where your journey aboard the Shongololo Express ends.
 
Here you will be met and transferred to the beach resort of Swakopmund, with its old lighthouse and easy access to the sand dunes and activities of the Namib Desert.  
 
Swakopmund is situated on the Atlantic Coast where the cold Benguela Current sweeps up from Antarctica, releasing no moisture into the prevailingly onshore winds – hence the very low rainfall and desert conditions. Fog is common along the coast in the early mornings and late afternoons and this is what gives life to the desert-adapted flora and fauna of the region. The cold current is also highly oxygenated, causing it to teem with marine life. Check into your hotel and relax on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.
Day 14
This morning we recommend transferring 30-minutes to Walvis Bay for an optional 3-hour Marine Cruise to view the resident school of dolphins and large seal colony at Pelican Point, whilst enjoying oysters and champagne on board.
 
Marine bird life is abundant and includes pelicans, terns and large flocks of flamingos which live in the shallow waters surrounding the harbour. You may also see migrating whales in season (September to October).
 
Afternoon at leisure to relax at the beach resort of Swakopmund.
Day 15
Transfer 30-minutes to Walvis Bay Airport for your flight home.
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