A look inside the revamped Shongololo Express luxury rail line

Luxury train group Rovos Rail has completed its purchase and refurbishment of 16 Shongololo Express coaches, which now forms part of the rail line’s offering.

Rovos purchased Shongololo Express in January 2016 for an undisclosed sum, and work began on renovating and refurbishing the coaches to be in line with Rovos’ standards.

The brief was to gut all existing bathrooms for a complete revamp, while the layout of the Shongololo’s Gold and Emerald cabins were overhauled to allow for more space.

All the rooms have now been fitted with wood-panelling, linen, day covers, curtains, paintings, carpets, towels and the Shongololo Express now comes with full amenities kits too.

First have a look at some before photos:

Shongololo Express bedroom Shongololo Express bar Shongololo dining cabin

And this is how the Shongololo Express looks now:

Emerald Cabins

Gold Cabins

Train facilities

The refurbished coaches are used on three new routes guests can take on the Rovos Rail, ranging between R52,000 and R95,000 for a 12-15 day trip.

Golf has been introduced to the Good-Hope trip, renamed Good-Hope Golf, with courses such as the Arabella Golf Estate, Ernie Els Oubaai, Fancourt, Champagne Sports Resort, Durban Country Club, Zimbali, Royal Swazi and Leopard Creek being available to guests.

All journeys are available in reverse and guests can purchase optional extras that include visits to cultural, historical or heritage sites and overnight stays at safari lodges. The rates do not include most lunches, beverages and laundry, the rail said.


Southern Cross journey (12 days)

  • Gold cabin R52,000 per person
  • Emerald cabin R65,000 per person

Dune Express journey (12 days)

  • Gold cabin R59,800 per person
  • Emerald cabin R75,000 per person

Good Hope Golf (15 days)

  • Gold cabin R75,000 per person
  • Emerald cabin R95,000 per person

Read: South Africa’s most luxurious train journeys

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A look inside the revamped Shongololo Express luxury rail line