Shongololo Rail Adventures: Dune Express
Affordable train adventure

Photo album

Dune Express, The Route

PRE DAY – NAMIBIA
Having a “pre-day” means that one is able to acclimatize and unpack prior to the first day of touring

SPECIALISED ACTIVITIES:
Golf at the Windhoek Country Club

TRAIN Remains stationary in Windhoek

DAY 01 - WINDHOEK
Situated in Namibia’s central highlands, Windhoek is an attractive city surrounded by clusters of hills and the impressive Auas and Eros Mountains.

TODAY’S OFF-RAIL ACTIVITY
1. Windhoek City Tour:
The city tour of Windhoek starts with a visit to the Transnamib Transport Museum. The museum is situated in the Windhoek Railway Station and was built from 1912 to 1913. In front of the building is the narrow-gauge locomotive (vintage 1900) that used to operate between Swakopmund and Windhoek. The museum at the Alte Feste Castle offers a range of displays, including the Social History Gallery and the Independence Display. Both give an insight into Namibia’s complex history. At the top of Robert Mugabe Avenue is the Christuskirche or Evangelical Lutheran Church. This is one of the city’s most striking landmarks and was built from local sandstone and completed in 1910. Romanesque, neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau styles influenced its design and Kaiser Wilhelm II donated its stained-glass windows. We visit the Namibia Craft Centre in the old Breweries Building and our final stop is at the Heroes Acre Monument. Departure time: 08h30 Distance travelled:100 km

TRAIN departs in the early evening from Windhoek to Otjiwarongo

DAY 02 – ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
TODAY’S OFF-RAIL ACTIVITY:
1. Etosha National Park
Guests enjoy breakfast on board before disembarking in Otjiwarongo. The tour departs to Etosha National Park, entering via the Okaukuejo gate. The Etosha National Park is one of the major sanctuaries for wildlife in Africa and was proclaimed a game reserve by German Governor Von Lindquist in 1907. The heart of the park is the Etosha Pan, which means “place of dry water”. It is an extensive, flat depression of about 5 000sq km. There are 144 mammal species in the park, which covers an area of 22 270 km. This includes Elephant, Giraffe, Blue Wildebeest and Black Rhino. Among the predators are Lion, Cheetah, Leopard and several species of wild cat. Hyena and Jackal are the scavengers. Antelope species range from the majestic Eland to the shy little Damara Dik-Dik. The most striking of the antelope species is the Gemsbok, with its dramatic black and white markings. It also appears on the Namibia coat of arms. Bird life is prolific and some 340 species have been identified, including Namibia’s national bird, the crimson-breasted Shrike. Lunch is taken (guest’s own account) before departing to Halali Camp in the Etosha National Park. Here we overnight in a tented camp. Departure time: 08h30 Distance travelled:250 km

TRAIN travels empty from Otjiwarongo to Tsumeb

DAY 03 – ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
TODAY’S OFF-RAIL ACTIVITY
1. Etosha National Park
After breakfast at Halali Camp, guests spend the day game viewing in Etosha. Lunch (guest’s own account) to be enjoyed in the park. We return to the train in Tsumeb in the late afternoon. Departure time: 08h00 Distance travelled:275 km

TRAIN remains stationary in Tsumeb overnight

DAY 04 – GROOTFONTEIN / TSUMEB / OMBILI
TODAY’S OFF-RAIL ACTIVITY
1. Lake Otjikoto / Tsumeb / Hoba Meteorite / Grootfontein:
After breakfast, we visit Lake Otjikoto, Namibia’s largest permanent natural lake. As part of an underground river system, the lake was exposed when the roof of what was a large dolomite cave, fell in. The lake is small with a diameter of about 102 m, but very deep. The depth is estimated to be in excess of 142 m in places. We make the short trip to the Tsumeb Mining Museum. Here, a comprehensive collection of rare minerals can be viewed. This was done shortly before the signing of the Khorab Peace Treaty. On to visit the largest known meteorite in the world, the Hoba Meteorite. This 50 ton mass of nickel and iron, between 100 and 300 million years old, crashed to earth some 30,000 to 80,000 years ago. We continue to Grootfontein and to the Grootfontein Museum before heading to Otavi were we board the train.
Departure time: 08h30 Distance travelled: 120 km

2. Ombili Bushmen Settlement / Tsumeb:
The Ombili Bushman Settlement is well worth a visit. Home to some 300 San Bushman, the Ombili Foundation was started to help preserve the San way of life. The foundation has helped raise funds to build a community centre, a pre-school and junior school and a small workshop. This visit is regarded as one of the highlights of this tour. Back in Tsumeb, we make the short trip to the Tsumeb Mining Museum. Here, a comprehensive collection of rare minerals can be viewed. In the Khorab Room one can view cannons and other armaments that were dumped into Lake Otjikoto by retreating German forces. This was done shortly before the signing of the Khorab Peace Treaty. We drive on to Otavi. Departure time: 08h30 Distance travelled: 70 km

TRAIN Guests board the train at around lunchtime for the ride to Otavi on to Ebony in the evening.

DAY 05 – SWAKOPMUND / SPITZKOPPE AND NORTH COAST
TODAY’S OFF-RAIL ACTIVITY
1. Spitzkoppe, Henties Bay and the Cape Cross Seal Reserve
Spitzkoppe (between Usakos and Swakopmund) is known as the 'Matterhorn of Namibia'. It rises to an altitude of about 1800 m. However, Spitzkoppe is by no means Namibia's highest mountain. Due to its striking features and outlines, it is the most famous mountain in the country. Situated in an endless, dry landscape, the island of mountains can be seen from quite a distance. The enormous granite rocks developed more than 100 million years ago due to volcanic activities and subsequent erosion. We continue to the small, thriving town of Henties Bay. The town was named after Major Hentie van der Merwe, who discovered a freshwater fountain in the estuary of the Omaruru River. He returned to this place year after year, and it became known as Henties Bay. Lunch (guest’s own account) is enjoyed before visiting the Cape Cross Seal Reserve, north of Henties Bay. Here a prodigious number of Cape Fur Seals flourish in the cold waters of the Benguela Current. Along the coast are numerous islets and isolated parts of the shore. These they use as nurseries for their young. This area is also of historical significance as the Portuguese navigator, Diago Cao, planted a cross at this point in the year 1486. We make our way back to the train in Swakopmund in the late afternoon. Departure time: 08h30 Distance travelled: 300 km

TRAIN departs during the day from Ebony to Swakopmund where it will remain stationary overnight

DAY 06 – SWAKOPMUND / WALVIS BAY
Swakopmund, Namibia’s seaside resort on the West Coast, is a place of singular charm. It resembles a small Bavarian village nestling between the desert and the sea and has a restful and relaxing atmosphere. The source of Swakopmund’s continental atmosphere is the graceful art nouveau buildings dating back to the turn of the century.

TODAY’S OFF-RAIL ACTIVITY
1. Walvis Bay and Dune 7
Morning is free to explore the town. But, after an early lunch (guest’s own account) we head out to Walvis Bay. Today, it is a pretty South African style town with 25,000 inhabitants. Strategically located half way down the coast of Namibia and with direct access to principal shipping routes, Walvis Bay is a natural gateway for international trade. Visit the Walvis Bay Lagoon, a great attraction in the Walvis Bay area. The tranquil stretch of water, its natural beauty accentuated by thousands of flamingos gathering at the rich feeding grounds, is over 3 000 years old. Because of its value as a wetland area, it was declared a RAMSAR site (a convention pertaining to wetlands was held in Ramsar, Iran in 1971). Dune 7, located on the outskirts of Walvis Bay, it is the highest sand dune in the area. It is an unforgettable experience for those who feel inclined to challenge the height of this outstanding landmark to admire the view from the top. Departure time: 12h30 Distance travelled: 80 km

SPECIALISED ACTIVITY
Mola Mola Seal & Dolphin Cruise: Experience the thrill of dolphins leaping from the water alongside the boat, seals fed by hand, fresh oysters and cold champagne on the calm water of the Walvis Bay lagoon. It is an experience not to be missed.

TRAIN remains stationary in Swakopmund overnight

DAY 07– SWAKOPMUND
This day is spent at leisure

SPECIALISED ACTIVITIES
Sossusvlei – “Classic Flight”: Take to the skies on a journey over richly contrasting desert and coastal scenery. Fly over the Namib Desert and see the dry Kuiseb riverbed, which is the dune belt’s natural border. Soar over imposing sand formations to Sossusvlei, where the world’s highest shifting sand dunes are to be found. As you hover above the coastline, glimpse shipwrecks, seal colonies and flamingos at Sandwich Harbour. Feel free as a bird as you pass over the salt flats of Walvis Bay and the picturesque town of Swakopmund before touching down to reality. Duration is 2,5 hrs & about 650 km
Conception Bay Flight: This flight affords stunning views of Swakopmund and surroundings, i.e. the Swakop River, Richthofen Farm, Moon Landscape, Goanikontes Oasis, Namib Desert Park, Rössing Mines, Khan River, Walvis Bay, Kuiseb River, White Mountain, Conception Bay, Eduard Bohlen Shipwreck, Seal Colonies, “Shawnee” shipwreck, “Long Wall’ dune ridge, Sandwich Harbour, Salt Pans, Walvis Bay Harbour and Guano Island. Duration is 1,2 hrs & about 375 km
Quad Bikes: To explore the dunes, guests are equipped with fully automatic quad bikes and no prior experience is needed. The dune sea teems with a multitude of insects and animals. These remarkable dune dwellers live their whole life in permanent contact with grains of sand. Their ties to this habitat are so binding that they cannot exist without it. Evolution has adapted these creatures by means of a complex array of extraordinary body structures, functions and behavioural traits. The tour ends with a glass of sparkling wine while enjoying a view of the ocean from the dunes.
A Combination Tour: Guests depart from Walvis Bay for a Marine Seal & Dolphin Cruise around the bay. A light lunch of fresh oysters, snacks and sparkling wine is enjoyed on the beach. At Pelican Point, guides and 4 x 4 vehicles await to take us on a ride through magnificent dune landscape. This tour offers the best of both worlds – the Atlantic Ocean and the Namib Desert! Duration is 3.5 hrs

TRAIN remains stationary in Swakopmund overnight

DAY 08 - NAMIB NAUKLUFT / SESRIEM CANYON
TODAY’S OFF-RAIL ACTIVITY
1. Welwitschia Drive. Namib Naukluft Park and Overnight at Sesriem Camp
The Welwitschia Nature Drive takes us from vast plains where herds of Oryx, Springbok and Zebra roam the eerie landscape of the badlands (also known as the “Valley of the Moon”). The hardy survivor of the desert, the Welwitschia Mirabilis, can be seen along this route. One very large specimen, which is specially protected, is estimated to be 1 500 years old. We drive on through the Namib Naukluft Park. Not only is the park the largest nature conservation area in Namibia, but it is also rated as the fourth largest in the world. Landscapes range from impressive mountains to desert plains and high dunes, from deep gorges to an estuarine lagoon.. Overnight will be at the Sesriem Camp tonight. After checking in at the Camp, guests visit the nearby Sesriem Canyon. Erosion of many centuries has incised a narrow gorge about 1 km in length. At the foot of the gorge, which plunges down 30 m to 40 m, are pools of water that are replenished by good rains. Sesriem derives its name from the time early pioneers tied six lengths of rawhide thong together to draw up water from the deep pools. Departure time: 08h00 Distance travelled: 250 km

TRAIN travels empty from Swakopmund via Windhoek to Mariental

DAY 09 –SOSSUSVLEI / MARIENTAL
TODAY’S OFF-RAIL ACTIVITY
1. Sossusvlei, Dune 45 and Duwisib Castle
The highlight of the southern region is Sossusvlei with its monumental dunes. Guest leave early for Dune 45 in order to watch the sun rise over the dunes. After this breathtaking view, brunch awaits at the camp. Enjoy a scenic drive to Duwisib Castle, situated amongst rolling red hills. It’s a solid rectangular structure of red sandstone with battlements and turrets on its corners. Built by the legendary Baron Von Wolf for his American wife, Jayta, the castle was completed in 1909. Most of the construction materials, including the furniture and fittings, were shipped all the way from Germany, off-loaded at Luderitz and transported to Duwisib by ox wagon. Today the interior of the castle and much of its original furniture and artwork, including firearms dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, can still be seen at the castle. There is a short tea / coffee (guest’s own account) at Maltahohe before continuing to Mariental where we re-join the train. Departure time: 08h00 Distance travelled: 250 km

TRAIN travels overnight to Holoog

DAY 10 – FISH RIVER CANYON
TODAY’S OFF-RAIL ACTIVITY
1. Fish River Canyon
Enjoy breakfast, before we head off to the Fish River Canyon. Eroded over millennia, the Fish River Canyon is the second largest natural gorge in Africa. Set in a harsh, stony plain, dotted with drought resistant succulents such as the distinctive quiver tree or kokerboom, the canyon is a spectacular natural phenomenon. It took hundreds of millions of years to evolve into its current shape. Its full length is 160 km, the width up to 27 km and the depth 550 m. Lunch (guest’s own account) will be at the Canon Roadhouse, which is interestingly decorated with old car parts, found in the region. Departure time: 08h30 Distance travelled: 250 km

TRAIN departs from Holoog around noon to Ariamsvlei (border post) before travelling overnight into South Africa

DAY 11 – WE TRAVEL THROUGH THE NORTHERN CAPE TO WORCESTER
Travelling through the Great Karoo, a place of vast plains and endless blue mountains, guests experience a land of enchantment and mystery. Lunch to be enjoyed on board.

TRAIN travels during the day to Worcester

DAY 12 – KLEIN KAROO / BREEDE RIVER VALLEY
TODAY’S OFF-RAIL ACTIVITIES
1. Worcester and Montagu:
The first stop is at the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden. This is the only garden devoted to succulents in the southern hemisphere and boasts some 400 naturally occurring species. It is also a haven for rare and endangered plants - over 300 being protected and propagated here. We leave Worcester through the Hex River Valley over the Matroosberg mountain range and drive over Burgers Pass to Montagu. Montagu was founded in 1851 and lies in a fertile valley between the Keisie and the Kingna rivers. Montagu is a peaceful country town with numerous well-kept buildings both in Cape Dutch and Victorian styles. Many artists have chosen Montagu as their domicile and they contribute to the town’s special atmosphere. The Montagu Museum is well worth a visit. The beautiful KWV building is an important part of the Little Karoo’s brandy heritage, although brandy has not been made here since 1948. The brandy exhibition includes old pot stills, cooperage tools and information on the area’s brandy-making history. We visit a Wine Estate located in one of the best white and red wine areas in the country. The tasting room and cellar is set in a magnificent garden, with beautiful hydrangeas, trees and roses. Departure time: 08h30 Distance travelled: 200 km

SPECIALISED ACTIVITY
Montagu Tractor and Trailer ride:
Experience the thrill of a “Tractor and Trailer” ride, as it takes us to the summit of the Langeberg Mountains for a breathtaking view over the Robertson and Koo valleys.

TRAIN remains stationary in Worcester overnight

DAY 13 – WINELANDS (STELLENBOSCH, FRANSCHHOEK & PAARL)
The fertile green valleys of the Cape Winelands are surrounded by proud mountain ranges. Due to the Mediterranean climate and winter rainfall in the south-western Cape, it produces some of the best wines in the country. The rich, fertile soils along the Breede River and especially the areas Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl, have become world famous for their Whites, Reds, Sherries, Ports and Brandies.

TODAY’S OFF-RAIL ACTIVITIES

1. Historical Walk:
We follow the coastal road “Baden Powell Drive” and make our way to Stellenbosch, second oldest town in South Africa established in 1679. We visit the Stellenbosch Village Museum where a superb collection of historic houses can be viewed. A walk down Dorp Street, over “Die Braak” and a stop at Oom Samie se Winkel (one of Stellenbosch's first general dealer stores) will prove to be an interesting experience. The drive from Stellenbosch over Helshoogte Pass treats the traveller to some magnificent views of the Simonsberg and the Wemmershoek mountains and we visit the Huguenot Monument and Huguenot Museum. The town of Paarl was named after the huge granite dome of rock overlooking the town. The “Afrikaanse Taal Monument”, which was opened in 1975, is situated on the southern side of the mountain. Lastly we take a scenic drive through the Huguenot Tunnel to Worcester were we will re-join the train. One wine tasting is included in this excursion. Departure time: 08h00 Distance travelled:150 km

2. Cape Coast and Overberg: This excursion is seasonal - July – November
We make our way to Hermanus via Strand, Betty’s Bay and Kleinmond. Hermanus situated on the sea, has long been known as a holiday place. A wandering shepherd - Hermanus Pieters - came across a fresh water spring in the early 1800's and decided that this is where he would bring his family to live and his cattle to graze in the summer months. The area became known as Hermanus Pietersfontein. The spot soon became a popular fishing area, developing later into a renowned fish market and whaling station. The whale hunts were eventually stopped by international treaty and the whales were reprieved from this merciless slaughter in 1935. Today, Walker Bay, due to the efforts of the local community, is in the process of becoming the world’s first whale sanctuary. The World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) has acknowledged Hermanus as one of the 12 best whale-viewing sites in the world and Hermanus is on top of the list when it comes to land based whale watching. The natural cliffs allow for whales to be seen from as little as 5 metres away! An awesome experience! Departure time: 08h00 Distance travelled: 150 km

TRAIN travels from Worcester during the day, where guests rejoin it at around 17h30 at Muizenberg where it remains overnight.

DAY 14 / 15 - CAPE TOWN
Cape Town is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Its character reflects the cultural melting pot of Indonesian, French, Dutch, British & German settlers, as well as the local Khoisan tribes and the Bantu tribes from the north. The paternal presence of Table Mountain, pristine coastline, magnificent countryside, bountiful rivers, marshes, dams and the unique flora kingdom make the Western Cape perfect for any vacation.

TODAY’S OFF-RAIL ACTIVITIES
Please Note
There is no particular order in which the inclusive activities will be executed during the first two days. Sites visited include Table Mountain, Castle of Good Hope, SA Museum, Company Gardens, Bo Kaap and Museum, District Six and Museum, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Simon’s Town, Boulders Penguin Colony, Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, Chapman’s Peak Drive, Hout Bay and Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

1. Table Mountain:
The exhilarating cable car ascent of Cape Town’s Table Mountain is a must for any visitor and provides breathtaking views over the city and its beaches. The panorama stretches from Table Bay to False Bay and around the mountain to the Hottentots Holland Mountains. The bulk of Table Mountain is composed of layer upon layer of erosion-resistant light grey sandstone, shale & siltstone. It rises 1 086 m above the bay and its flat summit measures nearly 3 km from end to end. The mountain is home to over 1 500 species of plants. Many of these are found nowhere else on earth. Examples are the rare Silver Tree and the wild orchid Disa Uniflora. The Cableway was opened in 1929 and today carries some 600 000 people to the summit annually. It provides safe access and the trip takes about six minutes. On the summit there is a restaurant and a souvenir shop, from which letters (bearing the Table Mountain postmark) can be sent. Short walks may be taken from the cable-station, and the flora that can be seen in the different seasons, makes it an essential trip for nature lovers. The ascent is dependent on weather conditions. The cable ride ticket is for guest’s own account

2. The Castle:
The Castle of Good Hope is the oldest surviving building in South Africa. Building started in 1666 and it took about 30 years to complete. This pentagonal fortification replaced a small clay and timber fort built by Commander Jan van Riebeeck in 1652. He established a maritime replenishment station at the Cape of Good Hope on the instruction of the Dutch East India Company. The Castle was designed in accordance with the old defence system of the Netherlands, in a pentagonal shape with the five points of the star forming the bastions. The stone walls between the bastions are 150 m long and 12 m high. It was considered to be quite secure with a powder magazine under each bastion and a 25 m moat dug around the entire fortification. The five bastions were named after the main titles of Willem, the Prince of Orange: Leerdam, Buuren, Katzenellenbogen, Nassau and Orange. In1936, the castle was declared a National Monument.

3. South African Museum And Company Gardens:
Founded in 1825, the South African Museum is the oldest museum in sub-Saharan Africa. Exhibitions are designed to educate, stimulate and entertain. Examples of the extinct quagga are the only preserved specimens in Africa. Dioramas depict the mammal-like reptiles of the Karoo and some of the finest examples of rock art in the world are to be seen here. The essence of the museum is found in the great diversity of specimens exhibited. Time will be well spent in the Whale Well, interactive Sunlit Sea Exhibition area or in the Discovery Room for a hands-on experience of a wide range of museum objects. It is the only museum in South Africa with an adjoining planetarium presenting daily shows and is an experience not to be missed. The first people to arrive in the Cape from the East were Malaysian, who came as political refugees and slaves in the mid seventeenth century. Nearly two centuries later -at the time of emancipation of slaves - these Islamic people moved into the area known today as Bokaap. They built their mosques with picturesque minarets and their own style Georgian houses with Dutch influences - simple, single storied dwellings with high stoeps, flat roofs and colourfully tinted plastered walls. One of the oldest buildings in 71 Wale Street houses the “Bo Kaap Museum”. It is furnished as a Muslim house of the 19th century and documents the history of the Cape Malay people.

4. Bo Kaap And Museum:
The first Malays to arrive in the Cape from the East, came as political refugees and slaves in the mid seventeenth century. Nearly two centuries later (at the time of emancipation of slaves in the 1930’s) these Islamic people moved into the area known today as Bokaap. They built their mosques with picturesque minarets and their own style Georgian houses with Dutch influence. Simple, single storied dwellings with high stoeps, flat roofs and colourfully tinted plastered walls. One of the oldest buildings in 71 Wale Street houses the “Bo Kaap Museum”. It is furnished as a Muslim house of the 19th century and documents the history of the Cape Malays.

5. District 6 And Museum:
The area known today as District 6 was an area mainly for the working classes. Close to the town centre District 6 became overcrowded and overbuilt and facilities were lacking. By 1900 the largest group of people whom the then Cape government referred to as “Malay”, “Mixed and Other” or “Coloured” lived in these poor conditions. Yet, on the other hand, the area was vibrant, full of colour and there were busy streets and lively life styles here. Various religions and cultural heritages flourished and mingled. The community spawn wonderful musicians and this tradition lives on today in their descendents of District 6 families. In the 1940s the new government of the Nationalist Party began bit by bit to ‘reallocate’ the residents and remove the buildings. Today the city still grapples with the problem of what to do with this valuable real estate but also deal fairly with the strong emotions that still charges the issue.

6. Victoria & Alfred Waterfront:
For over a century the Dutch East India Company contributed to the development of the Cape of Good Hope. The arrival of their merchant ships, laden with spices and treasures from markets explored, caused great excitement in the community. Times have changed, yet the same spirit lives on at the Waterfront Craft Market, where craftsmanship and artistry of an ageless quality can be found. Apart from shops selling gemstones, fashion, souvenirs and more, there are also restaurants, taverns, cinemas, theatres, and delightful views over the harbour.

SPECIALISED ACTIVITIES
Two Oceans Aquarium: The Aquarium is located at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and offers an exciting insight into the indigenous fresh and seawater creatures of South Africa.
Robben Island Tour: For nearly 400 years, Robben Island was a place of banishment, exile, isolation and imprisonment. It was here that rulers sent those they regarded as political troublemakers, social outcasts and the unwanted of society. During the apartheid years Robben Island became internationally known for its institutional brutality. The duty of those who ran the island and its prison was to isolate opponents of Apartheid and to crush their morale. But those imprisoned on the island succeeded on a psychological and political level in turning a prison 'hell-hole' into a symbol of liberation. Robben Island came to symbolise, not only for South Africa and the African continent, but also for the entire world, the triumph of the human spirit over enormous hardship and adversity
Helicopter flight: Commencing at the V&A Waterfront, follow the Atlantic route and view the majesty of the Twelve Apostles, the white sands of Clifton, the wreck off Llandudno and the "Republic" of Hout Bay with the magnificent seal island. Follow the heart stopping curves of the Chapman’s Peak highway built by Italian prisoners during World War II and fly over long lagoon laced stretches of Noordhoek Beach. We take the inland route through Sun Valley to Fish Hoek, along Muizenberg, past the lush Constantia Valley and Groot Constantia, over Table Mountain and the City Bowl and back to the V&A Waterfront for a glass of sparkling wine.

Evening shuttle service to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront
TRAIN remains stationary in Muizenberg overnight

DAY 14 / 15 – CAPE TOWN
TODAY’S OFF-RAIL ACTIVITIES
1. Simon’s Town:
In years gone by, sailing fleets from Europe soon discovered that Table Bay was extremely dangerous during the winter months. While exploring the peninsula, Governor Van Der Stel discovered the Bay, which he named Simon’s Bay after himself and ordered that all sailing ships visiting the Cape during winter, should anchor in the Bay. Tucked along the shore between the mountain and the sea, Simon’s Town has developed into a charming little coastal town with many architecturally gracious buildings, hidden corners and cobbled lanes. In 1814 the English colonial rulers of the Cape turned Simon’s Town into a Naval Base and this it has remained so ever since. In 1940 when the sailors’ favourite Great Dane dog caused problems in the area, the Navy asked the British parliament that he is be enlisted in the Navy. Permission was granted and the dog was brought to the Recruiting Officer who enquired, “Name?” “Nuisance, Sir”, the sailor replied. “First name?” “Just Nuisance, Sir,” the sailor stated. ‘Able Seaman Just Nuisance’ was the only dog ever to hold rank in the Royal Navy and he became a legend in his own lifetime. He died prematurely after a boisterous leap from a moving vehicle but is immortalised in a life-sized statue in Simon’s Town’s Jubilee Square.

2. Boulder’s Penguin Colony:
In 1983 a pair of African Penguins were spotted on Foxy Beach at Boulders and in 1985 they began to lay eggs. Since then the colony has grown rapidly, increasing initially at about 60% a year. By 1997 there were 2 350 adult birds. The area has been taken over by the Cape Peninsula National Park, the birds have been restrained from wandering inland by a fence and a board walk and an information room have also been established. Boulders remains the only place in the world where one can actually swim amongst the penguins. They are remarkably untroubled by people, but visitors are discouraged from getting to close or chasing them.

3. Cape Of Good Hope Nature Reserve:
Sir Francis Drake called it "the fairest cape in the whole circumference of the earth". Portuguese explorers called it Cabo Tormentoso or "Cape of Storms". Many vessels, wrecked by the turbulent seas, have found their resting-place along this rocky coastline. The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve is situated at the southern tip of the Western Cape Province, about 80 km from Cape Town. The 7,675 hectare reserve is filled with priceless indigenous flora and fauna. The Cape Peninsula, in the south-east corner of Africa, is indeed regarded by many as one of the most beautiful sights in the world. The reserve is host to approximately half of the 2 700 species of indigenous plants contained in the Cape Peninsula. There are over 250 species of birds as well as baboons, a wide variety of buck and various other mammal species.

4. Chapman’s Peak Drive:
Chapman’s Peak Drive is one of the most spectacular routes in the world and was built between 1915 and 1922.
5. Hout Bay:
Large fleets of colourful fishing vessels enhance the bustling ambience of this attractive resort. Fresh seafood is a speciality at Mariner’s Wharf.

6. Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden:
People used Kirstenbosch (Kirstens Forest) long before the arrival of the European settlers in the 17th Century. Traces of large pear-shaped stone implements and round perforated stones, which were used to weight pointed digging sticks, are all the record that exists of them today. In 1660 a hedge of wild almond and brambles was planted to form the boundary of the colony. Sections of this hedge, known as Van Riebeeck’s Hedge, still exist in Kirstenbosch. Today Kirstenbosch is world-renowned for the beauty and diversity of the Cape flora displayed and for the magnificence of its setting against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. It was founded in 1913 and grows only indigenous South African plants. The estate covers 528 hectares and supports a diverse fynbos flora and natural forest. The cultivated garden (36 hectares) displays collections of South African plants. There are walks through the gardens that wind amongst thousands of species of plants and trees and a pleasant tea shop and restaurant.

SPECIALISED ACTIVITIES
Robben Island Tour: See description on Day 14
Victoria & Alfred Waterfront: See description on Day 14
Helicopter Flights: See description on Day 14

TRAIN remains in Muizenberg station overnight

DAY 16 – TRANSFER DAY
If guests are transferring to a hotel, this will be arranged for them between 10h00 and 14h00 am. If guests are flying from Cape Town International Airport, their flight may only be this evening. In this case the Train Managers we will be happy to discuss optional tours within the area.

Activities that could be undertaken are the following:
A stroll around the False Bay area
Leisurely walk along the beach walkway to St. James, where a variety of small restaurants are situated
A short walk to the beach for a refreshing swim

SPECIALISED ACTIVITIES
Helicopter Flights: See description on Day 14
Cable Car: See description on Day 14
Robben Island Tour: See description on Day 15
Two Oceans Aquarium: See Description on Day 15


NORTHBOUND


PRE DAY – CAPE TOWN
Having a “pre-day” means that one is able to acclimatize and unpack prior to the first day of touring Activities that could be undertaken in the afternoon include the following:

A stroll around the False Bay area
Leisurely walk along the beach walkway to
St. James, where a variety of small restaurants art situated.
A short walk to the beach for a refreshing swim
Guests stay overnight onboard, dinner and breakfast included.

SPECIALISED ACTIVITIES
Helicopter Flights: Follow the Atlantic route and view the majesty of the Twelve Apostles, the white sands of Clifton, the wreck off Llandudno and the "Republic" of Hout Bay with the magnificent seal island. Follow the heart stopping curves of the Chapman’s Peak highway built by Italian prisoners during World War II and fly over long lagoon laced stretches of Noordhoek Beach. We take the nland route through Sun Valley to Fish Hoek, along Muizenberg, past the lush Constantia Valley and Groot Constantia, over Table Mountain and the City Bowl and back to the V&A Waterfront for a glass of sparkling wine. Duration of flight is 30 minutes.
Robben Island Tour: For nearly 400 years, Robben Island was a place of banishment, exile, isolation and imprisonment. It was here that rulers sent those they regarded as political troublemakers, social outcasts and the unwanted of society. During the apartheid years Robben Island became internationally known for its institutional brutality. The duty of those who ran the island and its prison was to isolate opponents of Apartheid and to crush their morale. But those imprisoned on the island succeeded on a psychological and political level in turning a prison 'hell-hole' into a symbol of liberation. Robben Island came to symbolise, not only for South Africa and the African continent, but also for the entire world, the triumph of the human spirit over enormous hardship and adversity,
Cable Car: The exhilarating ascent of Cape Town’s Table Mountain is a must for any visitor and provides breathtaking views over the city and its beaches. The panorama stretches from Table Bay to False Bay and around the mountain to the Hottentots Holland Mountains. The Cableway was opened in 1929 and today carries some 600 000 people to the summit annually. It provides safe access and the trip takes about six minutes. On the summit there is a restaurant and a souvenir shop, from which letters (bearing the Table Mountain postmark) can be sent. Short walks may be taken from the cable-station, and the flora that can be seen in the different seasons, makes it an essential trip for nature lovers.
Two Oceans Aquarium: The Aquarium is located at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and offers an exciting insight into the indigenous fresh and seawater creatures of South Africa.

TRAIN remains stationary in Muizenberg station overnight

DAY 01 / 02 – CAPE TOWN
Cape Town is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Its character reflects the cultural melting pot of Indonesian, French, Dutch, British & German settlers, as well as the local Khoisan tribes and the Bantu tribes from the north. The paternal presence of Table Mountain, pristine coastline, magnificent countryside, bountiful rivers, marshes, dams and the unique flora kingdom make the Western Cape perfect for any vacation.

TODAY’S OFF-RAIL ACTIVITIES
Please Note
There is no particular order in which the inclusive activities will be executed during the first two days. Sites visited include Table Mountain, Castle of Good Hope, SA Museum, Company Gardens, Bo Kaap and Museum, District Six and Museum, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Simon’s Town, Boulders Penguin Colony, Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, Chapman’s Peak Drive, Hout Bay and Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

1. Table Mountain:
The exhilarating cable car ascent of Cape Town’s Table Mountain is a must for any visitor and provides breathtaking views over the city and its beaches. The panorama stretches from Table Bay to False Bay and around the mountain to the Hottentots Holland Mountains. The bulk of Table Mountain is composed of layer upon layer of erosion-resistant light grey sandstone, shale & siltstone. It rises 1 086 m above the bay and its flat summit measures nearly 3 km from end to end. The mountain is home to over 1 500 species of plants. Many of these are found nowhere else on earth. Examples are the rare Silver Tree and the wild orchid Disa Uniflora. The Cableway was opened in 1929 and today carries some 600 000 people to the summit annually. It provides safe access and the trip takes about six minutes. On the summit there is a restaurant and a souvenir shop, from which letters (bearing the Table Mountain postmark) can be sent. Short walks may be taken from the cable-station, and the flora that can be seen in the different seasons makes it an essential trip for nature lovers. The ascent is dependent on weather conditions. The cable ride ticket is for guest’s own account

2. The Castle:
The Castle of Good Hope is the oldest surviving building in South Africa. Building started in 1666 and it took about 30 years to complete. This pentagonal fortification replaced a small clay and timber fort built by Commander Jan van Riebeeck in1652 . He established a maritime replenishment station at the Cape of Good Hope on the instruction of the Dutch East India Company. The Castle was designed in accordance with the old defence system of the Netherlands, in a pentagonal shape with the five points of the star forming the bastions. The stone walls between the bastions are 150 m long and 12 m high. It was considered to be quite secure with a powder magazine under each bastion and a 25 m moat dug around the entire fortification. The five bastions were named after the main titles of Willem, the Prince of Orange: Leerdam, Buuren, Catzenellenbogen, Nassau and Orange. In1936, the castle was declared a National Monument.

3. South African Museum And Company Gardens:
Founded in 1825, the South African Museum is the oldest museum in sub-Saharan Africa. Exhibitions are designed to educate, stimulate and entertain. Examples of the extinct quagga are the only preserved specimens in Africa. Dioramas depict the mammal-like reptiles of the Karoo and some of the finest examples of rock art in the world are to be seen here. The essence of the museum is found in the great diversity of specimens exhibited. Time will be well spent in the Whale Well, interactive Sunlit Sea Exhibition area or in the Discovery Room for a hands-on experience of a wide range of museum objects. It is the only museum in South Africa with an adjoining planetarium presenting daily shows and is an experience not to be missed.

4. Bokaap and Museum
The first people to arrive in the Cape from the East were Malaysian, who came as political refugees and slaves in the mid seventeenth century. Nearly two centuries later -at the time of emancipation of slaves - these Islamic people moved into the area known today as Bokaap. They built their mosques with picturesque minarets and their own style Georgian houses with Dutch influences - simple, single storied dwellings with high stoeps, flat roofs and colourfully tinted plastered walls. One of the oldest buildings in 71 Wale Street houses the “Bo Kaap Museum”. It is furnished as a Muslim house of the 19th century and documents the history of the Cape Malay people.

5. District 6 And Museum:
The area known today as District 6 was an area mainly for the working classes. Close to the town centre District 6 became overcrowded and overbuilt and facilities were lacking. By 1900 the largest group of people whom the then Cape government referred to as “Malay”, “Mixed and Other” or “Coloured” lived in these poor conditions. Yet, on the other hand, the area was vibrant, full of colour and there were busy streets and lively life styles here. Various religions and cultural heritages flourished and mingled. The community spawn wonderful musicians and this tradition lives on today in their descendents of District 6 families. In the 1940s the new government of the Nationalist Party began bit by bit to ‘reallocate’ the residents and remove the buildings. Today the city still grapples with the problem of what to do with this valuable real estate but also deal fairly with the strong emotions that still charges the issue.

SPESIALISED ACTIVITIES
Two Oceans Aquarium:
See description on Pre Day.
Robben Island Tour:
See description on Pre Day

There will be an evening shuttle service to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront

TRAIN remains in Muizenberg station overnight

DAY 01 / 02 – CAPE TOWN
TODAY’S OFF-RAIL ACTIVITIES
1. Simon’s Town:
In years gone by, sailing fleets from Europe soon discovered that Table Bay was extremely dangerous during the winter months. While exploring the peninsula, Governor Van Der Stel discovered the Bay, which he named Simon’s Bay after himself and ordered that all sailing ships visiting the Cape during winter, should anchor in the Bay. Tucked along the shore between the mountain and the sea, Simon’s Town has developed into a charming little coastal town with many architecturally gracious buildings, hidden corners and cobbled lanes. In 1814 the English colonial rulers of the Cape turned Simon’s Town into a Naval Base and this it has remained so ever since. In 1940 when the sailors’ favourite Great Dane dog caused problems in the area, the Navy asked the British parliament that hebe be enlisted in the Navy. Permission was granted and the dog was brought to the Recruiting Officer who enquired, “Name?” “Nuisance, Sir”, the sailor replied. “First name?” “Just Nuisance, Sir,” the sailor stated. ‘Able Seaman Just Nuisance’ was the only dog ever to hold rank in the Royal Navy and he became a legend in his own lifetime. He died prematurely after a boisterous leap from a moving vehicle but is immortalised in a life-sized statue in Simon’s Town’s Jubilee Square.

2. Boulder’s Penguin Colony:
In 1983 a pair of African Penguins were spotted on Foxy Beach at Boulders and in 1985 they began to lay eggs. Since then the colony has grown rapidly, increasing initially at about 60% a year. By 1997 there were 2 350 adult birds. The area has been taken over by the Cape Peninsula National Park, the birds have been restrained from wandering inland by a fence and a board walk and an information room have also been established. Boulders remains the only place in the world where one can actually swim amongst the penguins. They are remarkably untroubled by people, but visitors are discouraged from getting to close or chasing them.

3. Cape Of Good Hope Nature Reserve:
Sir Francis Drake called it "the fairest cape in the whole circumference of the earth". Portuguese explorers called it Cabo Tormentoso or "Cape of Storms". Many vessels, wrecked by the turbulent seas, have found their resting-place along this rocky coastline. The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve is situated at the southern tip of the Western Cape Province, about 80 km from Cape Town. The 7,675 hectare reserve is filled with priceless indigenous flora and fauna. The Cape Peninsula, in the south-east corner of Africa, is indeed regarded by many as one of the most beautiful sights in the world. The reserve is host to approximately half of the 2 700 species of indigenous plants contained in the Cape Peninsula. There are over 250 species of birds as well as baboons, a wide variety of buck and various other mammal species.

4. Chapman’s Peak Drive:
Chapman’s Peak Drive is one of the most spectacular routes in the world and was built between 1915 and 1922.

5. Hout Bay:
Large fleets of colourful fishing vessels enhance the bustling ambience of this attractive resort. Fresh seafood is a speciality at Mariner’s Wharf.

6. Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden:
People used Kirstenbosch (Kirstens Forest) long before the arrival of the European settlers in the 17th Century. Traces of large pear-shaped stone implements and round perforated stones, which were used to weight pointed digging sticks, are all the record that exists of them today. In 1660 a hedge of wild almond and brambles was planted to form the boundary of the colony. Sections of this hedge, known as Van Riebeeck’s Hedge, still exist in Kirstenbosch. Today Kirstenbosch is world-renowned for the beauty and diversity of the Cape flora displayed and for the magnificence of its setting against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. It was founded in 1913 and grows only indigenous South African plants. The estate covers 528 hectares and supports a diverse fynbos flora and natural forest. The cultivated garden (36 hectares) displays collections of South African plants. There are walks through the gardens that wind amongst thousands of species of plants and trees and a pleasant tea shop and restaurant.

SPECIALISED ACTIVITIES
Robben Island Tour: See description on Pre Day
Victoria & Alfred Waterfront:
A shuttle service to the Waterfront will be provided for some shopping or to have a great meal at one of the many fine restaurants. Vehicles will return to the train at 23h00.

TRAIN remains in Muizenberg station overnight

DAY 03 – WINELANDS (STELLENBOSCH, FRANSCHHOEK & PAARL)
The fertile green valleys of the Cape Winelands are surrounded by proud mountain ranges. Due to the Mediterranean climate and winter rainfall in the south-western Cape, it produces some of the best wines in the country. The rich, fertile soils along the Breede River and especially the areas Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl, have become world famous for their Whites, Reds, Sherries, Ports and Brandies.

TODAY’S OFF-RAIL ACTIVITIES
1. Historical Walk:
We follow the coastal road “Baden Powell Drive” and make our way to Stellenbosch, second oldest town in South Africa established in 1679. We visit the Stellenbosch Village Museum where a superb collection of historic houses can be viewed. A walk down Dorp Street, over “Die Braak” and a stop at Oom Samie se Winkel (one of Stellenbosch's first general dealer stores) will prove to be an interesting experience. The drive from Stellenbosch over Helshoogte Pass treats the traveller to some magnificent views of the Simonsberg and the Wemmershoek mountains and we visit the Huguenot Monument and Huguenot Museum. The town of Paarl was named after the huge granite dome of rock overlooking the town. The “Afrikaanse Taal Monument”, which was opened in 1975, is situated on the southern side of the mountain. Lastly we take a scenic drive through the Huguenot Tunnel to Worcester were we will re-join the train. One wine tasting is included in this excursion. Departure time: 08h00 Distance travelled: 150 km

2. Cape Coast and Overberg: This excursion is seasonal - July – November
We make our way to Hermanus via Strand, Betty’s Bay and Kleinmond. Hermanus situated on the sea, has long been known as a holiday place. A wandering shepherd - Hermanus Pieters - came across a fresh water spring in the early 1800's and decided that this is where he would bring his family to live and his cattle to graze in the summer months. The area became known as Hermanus Pietersfontein. The spot soon became a popular fishing area, developing later into a renowned fish market and whaling station. The whale hunts were eventually stopped by international treaty and the whales were reprieved from this merciless slaughter in 1935. Today, Walker Bay, due to the efforts of the local community, is in the process of becoming the world’s first whale sanctuary. The World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) has acknowledged Hermanus as one of the 12 best whale-viewing sites in the world and Hermanus is on top of the list when it comes to land based whale watching. The natural cliffs allow for whales to be seen from as little as 5 metres away! An awesome experience! Departure time: 08h00 Distance travelled 150 km

TRAIN Guests rejoin the train at Worcester

DAY 04 – KLEIN KAROO / BREEDE RIVER VALLEY

TODAY’S OFF-RAIL ACTIVITIES
1. Worcester and Montagu:
The first stop is at the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden. This is the only garden devoted to succulents in the southern hemisphere and boasts some 400 naturally occurring species. It is also a haven for rare and endangered plants - over 300 being protected and propagated here. We leave Worcester through the Hex River Valley over the Matroosberg mountain range and drive over Burgers Pass to Montagu. Montagu was founded in 1851 and lies in a fertile valley between the Keisie and the Kingna rivers. Montagu is a peaceful country town with numerous well-kept buildings both in Cape Dutch and Victorian styles. Many artists have chosen Montagu as their domicile and they contribute to the town’s special atmosphere. The Montagu Museum is well worth a visit. The beautiful KWV building is an important part of the Little Karoo’s brandy heritage, although brandy has not been made here since 1948. The brandy exhibition includes old pot stills, cooperage tools and information on the area’s brandy-making history. We visit a Wine Estate located in one of the best white and red wine areas in the country. The tasting room and cellar is set in a magnificent garden, with beautiful hydrangeas, trees and roses. Departure time: 08h30 Distance ravelled: 200 km

SPECIALISED ACTIVITIY
Montagu Tractor and Trailer ride:
Experience the thrill of a “Tractor and Trailer” ride, as it takes us to the summit of the Langeberg Mountains for a breathtaking view over the Robertson and Koo valleys.

TRAIN departs for Namibia in the late afternoon.

DAY 05 – NORTHERN CAPE TO NAMIBIA
Travelling through the Great Karoo, a place of vast plains and endless blue mountains, guests experience a land of enchantment and mystery. After the very busy days in the Cape guest have time to relax and recoup before exploring Namibia. Lunch is served on board.

TRAIN travels during the day and crosses into Namibia via Upington in the late afternoon.

DAY 06 – FISH RIVER CANYON
TODAY’S OFF-RAIL ACTIVITY
1. Fish River Canyon
Enjoy breakfast, before we head off to the Fish River Canyon. Eroded over millennia, the Fish River Canyon is the second largest natural gorge in Africa. Set in a harsh, stony plain, dotted with drought resistant succulents such as the distinctive quiver tree or kokerboom, the canyon is a spectacular natural phenomenon. It took hundreds of millions of years to evolve into its current shape. Its full length is 160 km, the width up to 27 km and the depth 550 m. Lunch (guest’s own account) will be at the Canon Roadhouse, which is interestingly decorated with old car parts, found in the region. Departure time: 08h30 Distance travelled: 250 km

TRAIN Guests rejoin the train at Holoog and travels overnight to Mariental

DAY 07 – MARIENTAL / SESRIEM CANYON
TODAY’S OFF-RAIL ACTIVITY
1. Scenic drive to Maltahohe and Overnight at Sesriem Camp
About 72 km south west of Maltahohe, situated amongst rolling red hills, is Duwisib Castle. It’s a solid rectangular structure of red sandstone with battlements and turrets on its corners. Built by the legendary Baron Von Wolf for his American wife, Jayta, the castle was completed in 1909. Most of the construction materials, including the furniture and fittings, were shipped all the way from Germany, off-loaded at Luderitz and transported to Duwisib by ox wagon. Today the interior of the castle and much of its original furniture and artwork, including firearms dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, can still be seen. We travel on to Sesriem Camp and check in for the night. Then guests visit the nearby Sesriem Canyon. Erosion of many centuries has incised a narrow gorge about 1 km in length. At the foot of the gorge, which plunges down 30 to 40 m, there are pools of water that are replenished by intermittently by good rains. Sesriem derives its name from the time early pioneers who found they needed to tie six lengths of rawhide thong together to draw up water from the deep pools. Departure time: 08h00 Distance travelled:250 km.

TRAIN Guests rejoin train at Swakopmund where it remains overnight.

DAY 08 - SOSSUSVLEI / NAMIB NAUKLUFT
TODAY’S OFF-RAIL ACTIVITY
1. Sossusvlei, Dune 45 and Namib Naukluft Park and Valley of the Moon
The highlight of the southern region is Sossusvlei with its monumental dunes. Guests leave early for Dune 45 in order to watch the sun rise over the dunes. After this breathtaking view, brunch awaits at the camp. Brunch is followed by a scenic drive through the Namib Naukluft Park. Not only is the park the largest nature conservation area in Namibia, but it is also rated as the fourth largest in the world. Landscapes range from impressive mountains to desert plains and high dunes, from deep gorges to an estuarine lagoon. The Welwitschia Nature Drive takes us from vast plains where herds of Oryx, Springbok and Zebra roam the eerie landscape of the badlands (also known as the “Valley of the Moon”). The hardy survivor of the desert, the Welwitschia Mirabilis, can be seen along this route. One very large specimen, which is specially protected, is estimated to be 1 500 years old. Distance travelled 250 km

TRAIN remains stationary overnight in Swakopmund.

DAY 09 – SWAKOPMUND / WALVIS BAY
Swakopmund, Namibia’s seaside resort on the West Coast, is a place of singular charm. It resembles a small Bavarian village nestling between the desert and the sea and has a restful and relaxing atmosphere. The source of Swakopmund’s continental atmosphere is the graceful art nouveau buildings dating back to the turn of the century.

TODAY’S OFF-RAIL ACTIVITY
1. Walvis Bay and Dune 7
Morning is free to explore the town. But, after an early lunch (guest’s own account) we head out to Walvis Bay. Today, it is a pretty South African style town with 25,000 inhabitants. Strategically located half way down the coast of Namibia and with direct access to principal shipping routes, Walvis Bay is a natural gateway for international trade. Visit the Walvis Bay Lagoon, a great attraction in the Walvis Bay area. The tranquil stretch of water, its natural beauty accentuated by thousands of flamingos gathering at the rich feeding grounds, is over 3 000 years old. Because of its value as a wetland area, it was declared a RAMSAR site (a convention pertaining to wetlands was held in Ramsar, Iran in 1971). Dune 7, located on the outskirts of Walvis Bay, it is the highest sand dune in the area. It is an unforgettable experience for those who feel inclined to challenge the height of this outstanding landmark to admire the view from the top. Departure time:
12h30 Distance travelled: 80 km

SPECIALISED ACTIVITY
Mola Mola Seal & Dolphin Cruise: Experience the thrill of dolphins leaping from the water alongside the boat, seals fed by hand, fresh oysters and cold champagne on the calm water of the Walvis Bay lagoon. It is an experience not to be missed.

TRAIN remains stationary in Swakopmund overnight

DAY 10 – SWAKOPMUND / SPITZKOPPE AND NORTH COAST
TODAY’S OFF-RAIL ACTIVITY
1. Spitzkoppe, Henties Bay and the Cape Cross Seal Reserve
Spitzkoppe (between Usakos and Swakopmund) is known as the 'Matterhorn of Namibia'. It rises to an altitude of about 1800 m. However, Spitzkoppe is by no means Namibia's highest mountain. Due to its striking features and outlines, it is the most famous mountain in the country. Situated in an endless, dry landscape, the island of mountains can be seen from quite a distance. The enormous granite rocks developed more than 100 million years ago due to volcanic activities and subsequent erosion. We continue to the small, thriving town of Henties Bay. The town was named after Major Hentie van der Merwe, who discovered a freshwater fountain in the estuary of the Omaruru River. He returned to this place year after year, and it became known as Henties Bay. Lunch (guest’s own account) is enjoyed before visiting the Cape Cross Seal Reserve, north of Henties Bay. Here a prodigious number of Cape Fur Seals flourish in the cold waters of the Benguela Current. Along the coast are numerous islets and isolated parts of the shore. These they use as nurseries for their young. This area is also of historical significance as the Portuguese navigator, Diago Cao, planted a cross at this point in the year 1486. We make our way back to the train in Swakopmund in the late afternoon. Departure time: 08h30 Distance travelled: 300 km

TRAIN remains stationary in Swakopmund overnight

DAY 11 – SWAKOPMUND
This day is spent at leisure

SPECIALISED ACTIVITIES
Sossusvlei – “Classic Flight”: Take to the skies on a journey over richly contrasting desert and coastal scenery. Fly over the Namib Desert and see the dry Kuiseb riverbed, which is the dune belt’s natural border. Soar over imposing sand formations to Sossusvlei, where the world’s highest shifting sand dunes are to be found. As you hover above the coastline, glimpse shipwrecks, seal colonies and flamingos at Sandwich Harbour. Feel free as a bird as you pass over the salt flats of Walvis Bay and the picturesque town of Swakopmund before touching down to reality. Duration is 2,5 hrs & about 650 km
Conception Bay Flight: This flight affords stunning views of Swakopmund and surroundings, i.e. the Swakop River, Richthofen Farm, Moon Landscape, Goanikontes Oasis, Namib Desert Park, Rössing Mines, Khan River, Walvis Bay, Kuiseb River, White Mountain, Conception Bay, Eduard Bohlen Shipwreck, Seal Colonies, “Shawnee” shipwreck, “Long Wall’ dune ridge, Sandwich Harbour, Salt Pans, Walvis Bay Harbour and Guano Island. Duration is 1,2 hrs & about 375 km
Quad Bikes:
To explore the dunes, guests are equipped with fully automatic quad bikes and no prior experience is needed. The dune sea teems with a multitude of insects and animals. These remarkable dune dwellers live their whole life in permanent contact with grains of sand. Their ties to this habitat are so binding that they cannot exist without it. Evolution has adapted these creatures by means of a complex array of extraordinary body structures, functions and behavioural traits. The tour ends with a glass of sparkling wine while enjoying a view of the ocean from the dunes.
A Combination Tour: Guests depart from Walvis Bay for a Marine Seal & Dolphin Cruise around the bay. A light lunch of fresh oysters, snacks and sparkling wine is enjoyed on the beach. At Pelican Point, guides and 4 x 4 vehicles await to take us on a ride through magnificent dune landscape. This tour offers the best of both worlds – the Atlantic Ocean and the Namib Desert! Duration is 3.5 hrs

TRAIN departs in the early evening for Otjiwarongo

DAY 12 – ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK

TODAY’S OFF-RAIL ACTIVITY
1. Etosha National Park
Guests enjoy breakfast on board before disembarking in Otjiwarongo. The tour departs to Etosha National Park, entering via the Okaukuejo gate. The Etosha National Park is one of the major sanctuaries for wildlife in Africa and was proclaimed a game reserve by German Governor Von Lindequist in 1907. The heart of the park is the Etosha Pan, which means “place of dry water”. It is an extensive, flat depression of about 5 000sq km. There are 144 mammal species in the park, which covers an area of 22 270 km. This includes Elephant, Giraffe, Blue Wildebeest and Black Rhino. Among the predators are Lion, Cheetah, Leopard and several species of wild cat. Hyena and Jackal are the scavengers. Antelope species range from the majestic Eland to the shy little Damara Dik-Dik. The most striking of the antelope species is the Gemsbok, with its dramatic black and white markings. It also appears on the Namibia coat of arms. Bird life is prolific and some 340 species have been identified, including Namibia’s national bird, the crimson-breasted Shrike. Lunch is taken (guest’s own account) before departing to Halali Camp in the Etosha National Park. Here we overnight in a tented camp. Departure time:08h30 Distance travelled:250 km

TRAIN travels from Otjiwarongo to Tsumeb

DAY 13 – ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
TODAY’S OFF-RAIL ACTIVITY
1. Etosha Naitonal Park
After breakfast at Halali Camp, guests spend the day game viewing in Etosha. Lunch (guest’s own account) to be enjoyed in the park. We return to the train in Tsumeb in the late afternoon. Departure time: 08h00 Distance travelled:275 km

TRAIN remains stationary in Tsumeb overnight

DAY 14 – GROOTFONTEIN / TSUMEB / OMBILI
TODAY’S OFF-RAIL ACTIVITY
1. Lake Otjikoto / Tsumeb / Hoba Meteorite / Grootfontein:
After breakfast, we visit Lake Otjikoto, Namibia’s largest permanent natural lake. As part of an underground river system, the lake was exposed when the roof of what was a large dolomite cave, fell in. The lake is small with a diameter of about 102 m, but very deep. The depth is estimated to be in excess of 142 m in places. We make the short trip to the Tsumeb Mining Museum. Here, a comprehensive collection of rare minerals can be viewed. This was done shortly before the signing of the Khorab Peace Treaty. On to visit the largest known meteorite in the world, the Hoba Meteorite. This 50 ton mass of nickel and iron, between 100 and 300 million years old, crashed to earth some 30,000 to 80,000 years ago. We continue to Grootfontein and to the Grootfontein Museum before heading to Otavi were we board the train. Departure time: 08h30 Distance travelled:
120 km

2. Ombili Bushmen Settlement / Tsumeb:
The Ombili Bushman Settlement is well worth a visit. Home to some 300 San Bushman, the Ombili Foundation was started to help preserve the San way of life. The foundation has helped raise funds to build a community centre, a pre-school and junior school and a small workshop. This visit is regarded as one of the highlights of this tour. Back in Tsumeb, we make the short trip to the Tsumeb Mining Museum. Here, a comprehensive collection of rare minerals can be viewed. In the Khorab Room one can view cannons and other armaments that were dumped into Lake Otjikoto by retreating German forces. This was done shortly before the signing of the Khorab Peace Treaty. We drive on to Otavi. Departure time: 08h30 Distance travelled: 70 km

TRAIN Guests rejoin the train at Otavi where it departs for Windhoek.

DAY 15 – WINDHOEK
Situated in Namibia’s central highlands, Windhoek is an attractive city surrounded by clusters of hills and the impressive Auas and Eros Mountains.

TODAY’S OFF-RAIL ACTIVITY
1. Windhoek City Tour:
The city tour of Windhoek starts with a visit to the Transnamib Transport Museum. The museum is situated in the Windhoek Railway Station and was built from 1912 to 1913. In front of the building is the narrow-gauge locomotive (vintage 1900), that used to operate between Swakopmund and Windhoek. The museum at the Alte Feste Castle offers a range of displays, including the Social History Gallery and the Independence Display. Both give an insight into Namibia’s complex history. At the top of Robert Mugabe Avenue is the Christuskirche or Evangelical Lutheran Church. This is one of the city’s most striking landmarks and was built from local sandstone and completed in 1910. Romanesque, neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau styles influenced its design and Kaiser Wilhelm II donated its stained-glass windows. We visit the Namibia Craft Centre in the old Breweries Building and our final stop is at the Heroes Acre Monument. Departure time: 08h30 Distance travelled:100 km

The rest of the afternoon is spent at leisure.

TRAIN remains stationary in Windhoek overnight

DAY 16 – TRANSFER DAY
A late breakfast will be served on board the train.

If guests are transferring to a hotel, this will be arranged for them between 10h00 and 14h00. If guests are flying from Windhoek International Airport, their flight may only be this evening. In this case the Train Managers we will be happy to discuss optional tours within the Windhoek area.

SPECIALLISED ACTIVITY
Golf at the Windhoek Country Club

DISCLAIMER: RATES, DATES, ADD-ONS, TIMES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. THE FINAL SOURCE - WRITTEN QUOTATION.

RELATED: @ Pictures @ Add Ons and information @ Train layouts @ Dates and rates @ Shongololo Southern Cross @ Shongololo Good Hope @ Desert Express in Namibia @ Desert Express Northern Namibia tour @ Desert Express Southern Namibia tour @ TransNamib Railway museum and station in Windhoek @ First railway lines in Namibia @ Blue Train South Africa

Contact & reservations:
E-mail: info@namibweb.com

To book:

1) you can fill in our booking form and fax it back or sign, scan and e-mail it back to us indicating a method of payment
2) you can e-mail us requesting information and/or rates

Reservations are only accepted in writing: by fax or via e-mail.
Final availability confirmation: in writing: by fax or via e-mail.

Terms & conditions, Payment options and Cancellation policy

Bookmark and Share

Page created and serviced by

www.namibweb.com

Copyright © 1998-2017 NamibWeb.com - The online guide to Namibia
All rights reserved
Page is sponsored by ETS & www.namibweb.com
Disclaimer: no matter how often this page is updated and its accuracy is checked www.namibweb.com and ETS will not be held responsible for any change in opinion, information, facilities, services, conditions, etc. offered by establishment/operator/service/information provider or any third party

Itineraries, pictures, description and logos: Copyright © Shongololo Express