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  • Writer's pictureBilly

The Blue Train of South Africa - Luxury from a Bygone Era

Updated: Oct 20, 2018

Blue Train crossing South Africa
The Blue Train crossing the South African countryside. Images of train courtesy of The Blue Train.

When most of us think about an African vacation we picture safari vehicles, game lodges and prides of lions. These are certainly top attractions, but there is much more to entice visitors; especially in South Africa. A country of amazing diversity, in its topography, ecosystems, tourist sites, and population, South Africa has something to offer just about any traveler. The Blue Train is a perfect example of an experience that can be had no where else.

Cape Town and Table Mountain from above.

Most travelers arrive in South Africa and later depart by way of Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport. Those coming from the US can fly nonstop between Johannesburg and both New York’s JFK and Atlanta airports. Washington Dulles also offers daily direct flights with a brief one hour stopover (but no plane change) in either Ghana or Senegal. For many, spectacular Cape Town, two hours further by air, will be either the first stop on arrival or final stop before heading home. The Blue Train gives you a chance to avoid that connecting flight and truly savor the South African experience in comfort.

The 790 foot deep Big Hole diamond mine outside Kimberly, South Africa.

The Blue Train’s signature route runs nearly one thousand miles between Pretoria (less than forty minutes from Johannesburg airport) and Cape Town, traversing the beautiful heart of South Africa. Beginning in 2019, departures in both directions will include two nights on board the train allowing guests to truly unwind and soak in the experience. Each voyage will also include a sightseeing stopover in the diamond mining town of Kimberly. Guests will visit the 790 feet deep Big Hole, a late 19th century mine owned by the famous De Beers corporation. At least three times per year, one night departures are offered between Pretoria and Hoedspruit, the gateway to Kruger National Park. Beginning in 2020, the Blue Train will offer a new service, traveling north from Pretoria through Zimbabwe to natural wonder of the world Victoria Falls

Few things evoke the romance of travel better than an overnight voyage by luxurious train. South Africa’s Blue Train hearkens to a past when the journey was as important as the destination. Passengers can choose either DeLuxe or Luxury suites which serve as a private sitting room by day and convert to a well-appointed bedroom by night. Each suite comes with a private en suite marble bathroom with either a shower or tub. Other amenities include the finest bed linens, an interactive entertainment system, complimentary WiFi, and butler service.

Life is just as good when you step out of your private sanctuary. The Blue Train has two opulent and welcoming lounge cars, each with a full bar. These salons serve as the social hub of the train throughout the day and night. The dining car serves the finest cuisine made with the best of local ingredients. Any dietary restriction or preference can of course be accommodated with advanced notice. Special moments happen one after the other on the Blue Train. Waking up to stunning ever-changing scenery, being pampered with white glove service at meal times and in between, enjoying after dinner cocktails and conversation with new friends from around the world. It all adds up to a journey you will never forget.

To learn more about The Blue Train or to begin planning your next adventure anywhere in the world, please reach out to me or our team at Epic Odysseys. Experiences like this are what life is all about and are the reason we love what we do.

*All images of the train courtesy of The Blue Train. Many thanks.



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