Being a typical Type A personality, I get immense satisfaction from ticking things off my list. This time it was an even better feeling as it was our bucket list. The 1st of June was a special occasion for us, being our 1 year blogaversary. So what better way to spend it than by celebrating on one of the world’s most luxurious trains, the Rovos Rail.
Our journey was a 2 night, 3 day trip beginning at Rovos’ private Station in Capital Park Pretoria on Friday afternoon and ending in Cape Town on Sunday night. On our arrival we were warmly greeted by the hostess who knew all our details down to blog celebrations :). Our bags were tagged and whisked away by friendly porters.
We had arrived early so we got to sip on some sparkling wine and explore the Station grounds. The Museum visit was interesting, displaying the history of this family owned business and its development over the years. We even got to see some Llamas on the property!
After exploring, we joined our fellow passengers in the sitting room, stocked with drinks and snacks providing a relaxing afternoon tea atmosphere. A briefing was done by the founder himself, Rohan Vos and whom this Pride of Africa is named after (Ro- Vos). The family remains hands on in the business and service is personalised. Each party was called by name, personally greeted and invited to board the train by Rohan and his daughter Brenda.
After boarding, we were taken to our cabins. Our suite was a deluxe cabin, where no detail was spared. The rich colours and attention to detail added to the luxurious nature of this trip, not to mention the Africology amenities which we love. Gloria was assigned to our room and explained how everything worked to ensure we had a comfortable stay and weren’t wanting for anything.
Charmaine and I were initially going to share a cabin but seeing as the train was not at full capacity, we were lucky enough to get our own cabins. Such a treat!
The trip is on a full board basis, food and drinks are plentiful, meals are tailored to the surrounding areas and paired with local South African wines. Every afternoon, tea is served in the Observatory Car where guests get to take in the wonderful views. Guests are requested to dress formally for dinner, cocktail dresses for ladies and black tie for the gents.
It was a chilly first night outside but we didn’t notice it. After dinner, we arrived back to turned down toasty beds. I would however recommend that light sleepers bring along a sleeping aid, I did wake up a few times during the night thinking I was on a rollercoaster. I was used to it by the second night though and had a much better sleep.
Our first full day saw us stop in Kimberly, we were excited to see the Big Hole. We have to be honest, we would never make the trek out to Kimberly to specifically see this previous diamond hub so the fact that this was a stop on our journey made it even better. Our local guide was quirky and gave us a history of the town, the Diamond Museum and some life lessons to the men wanting to propose and the ladies as to what to ask for. Our eyes were all sparkly with the sight of some unique diamonds. Just an FYI, Charmaine wants a lime or blue diamond, take note guys!
There was no stop in the Karoo both the Klein and Groot one but the views were amazing from the train. Our next stop on Sunday morning was a quaint town called Matjiesfontein. Here the train stops 5kms away from the station and guests can decide to take a morning stroll back to the train. I had really planned on doing this given that I had been feasting and relaxing for most of the past two days, but my cabin was so snug and warm that I decided to sleep in.
Matjiesfointen is such a hidden gem and the town can be easily explored in an hour or so. It is great to see parts of the country we would never think to visit. The residents are friendly and we got to view some artefacts at the local museums.
Generally, the train is delayed by a few hours but ours was steaming ahead and we arrived a bit early in Cape Town to be personally greeted by Rohan. The staff even waited with us to ensure that we were safely in our uber and on the way to our hotel. It was simply amazing to experience this unique, personalised service in such luxury with every need met. We are definitely considering one of the cross country journeys.
If you would like to share our experience, Rovos Rail is running some amazing specials until September 2018. Click on the links below to check them out. You can also visit their website at http://www.rovos.com if you would prefer a longer journey.
Until next time…