Two of South Africa’s most luxurious trains have reopened – with major discounts for the holidays

After months of downtime to lockdown travel restrictions, South Africa’s Blue Train has once again resumed operations in time for the festive season.

The Blue Train is the country’s oldest luxury rail journey, running eight times a month between Pretoria and Cape Town.

As part of its reopening special, the train service is offering tickets from R12,715 per person sharing on bookings between 1 November 2020 and 31 March 2021. More detailed booking plans can be found here.

“When confirming bookings, guests will submit their dietary requirements and complete a pre-screening questionnaire which includes a declaration of Covid-19 symptoms.

“Should guests meet all requirements, confirmation will proceed. Should guests not meet the pre-screening requirements, the booking will be deferred to a later date.”

Crew will render services with a face mask and latex gloves and each staff member will be issued with their own hand sanitiser. All suites will be stocked with additional soap as part of the amenities.

The air conditioning system will be cleaned and disinfected at every departure, to ensure good ventilation at all times.

There will be a medical practitioner on board The Blue Train and an isolation car with two suites made available for quarantine purposes.

Constant cleaning with steaming of all upholstery and surface disinfecting of all furniture, doors, handles, toilets, trash bins and toothbrush beakers will be done. All cleaning detergents will be in line with the World Health Organisation and South African Tourism guidelines.

You can read more about the Covid-19 protocols here.


Rovos Rail 

The Rovos Rail has also resumed trips after the lockdown prevented national travel.

The train service said it is offering residents of South Africa and neighbouring countries a special 50% reduced rate on board a two-night Cape Town journey this January.

The trips include:

  • Pretoria – Cape Town: 20 January 2021
  • Cape Town to Pretoria: 23 January 2021
The special rates per person sharing is as follows;
  • Deluxe Suite: R18,250
  • Royal Suite: R24,450

You can find out more about the booking procedures and packages available on the Rovos Rail here.

The Rovos Rail was founded in 1986 when Rohan Vos received the first letter of permission to run a train on the national rail network.

In 1987 the first loco 2702 BIANCA was rebuilt along with the first seven carriages that were to depart on the first journey on 29 April 1989.

Rovos Rail follows a similar route to the Blue train, taking a 1,600 kilometre meander through the Highveld, the Great Karoo, through mountain ranges and the winelands of the Cape, ending the Mother City.

Highlights of the north- and southbound routes once again include a visit to the historic village of Matjiesfontein, and another stop in Kimberley.


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Two of South Africa’s most luxurious trains have reopened – with major discounts for the holidays