Jewel of the Desert
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A railroad safari across some of Africa’s most spectacular landscapes. Deep canyons, wide-open plains, wild animals and the highest sand dunes in the world. The voyage of a lifetime. Set out on an unparalleled adventure across South Africa and Namibia. The African Explorer train takes you from the metropolis of Cape Town to the otherworldly wonders of the Namib Desert. Travel in comfort and ease by private train, watching elephants and giraffes graze in fields outside your window.
Your Fly & Rail Package Includes:
- Economy class flight from Sydney to Cape Town, return from Windhoek
- 13 night rail journey on board the African Explorer private train, Cape Town to Windhoek
- 8 nights on board the African Explorer in an Elephant cabin
- 1 night in a Windhoek city hotel
- 1 night in a generously spaced safari lodge at the entrance to Etosha National Park
- 2 nights in a stylish lodge in the Namib desert
- 1 night in a premium class hotel in Cape Town
- All meals as specified in the itinerary
- All excursions & sightseeing including admission fees
- Excursions & transfers in air-conditioned buses
- Multi-lingual tour director from Windhoek to Cape Town throughout
- English-speaking tour guide for max. 25 guests from Cape Town to Windhoek
- Fascinating series of lectures on sights, history, daily life & culture
- Airport transfers
Pricing is per person twin share and based on travel 02-15 November 2023
Solo traveller pricing available, speak with your travel consultant
UPGRADE to the Leopard cabin from $2925 per person!
Day 1. Welcome to Africa, Arrival in Cape Town
Your journey begins in a destination that has drawn adventurers to Africa for centuries. Few places can rival Cape Town’s spectacular setting, nestled between Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean. You discover everything this multicultural melting pot has to offer during a fun and informative city tour. Later you take a pleasant stroll on the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront or ascend Table Mountain via its iconic cable car, the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway (on request), to enjoy stunning views. You finish off the day by joining your fellow travelers on an excursion to Signal Hill and enjoying a special welcome dinner. Overnight: The Commodore Hotel (or similar) (D)
Day 2. Matjiesfontein and Hex River Mountains
Your journey through Southern Africa truly begins as you board your private train, the African Explorer. Your friendly crew welcomes you aboard, and you discover the incomparable ease of rail travel as the African Explorer whisks you through green valleys and the dramatic tunnels of the Hex River Mountains. You pass the small railroad town of Matjiesfontein with its colonial flair.
Overnight: On board (BLD)
Day 3. Across South Africa
Today you enjoy a day of once-in-a-lifetime views from the comfort of your private train. As gorgeous landscapes pass by your windows, informative and entertaining lectures reveal local customs, culture and history that most travelers miss. Overnight: On board (BLD)
Day 4. Augrabies Falls and Upington
Visits to Upington and Augrabies Falls National Park are on the schedule for today. As you stand before the world-famous Augrabies Falls, your senses come alive with their thunderous roar and refreshing spray—a truly invigorating wonder of the world! As the early evening sets in, your private train takes you further north. Overnight: On board (BLD)
Day 5. Fish River Canyon, Namibia
Welcome to Namibia—a land of color and texture, with landscapes almost too staggering to take in all at once. You marvel at its sweeping landscapes of deep, ancient ochre and its huge, aquamarine sky. In the distance, silhouettes of animals shimmer beneath the hot sun.
You arrive at Holoog Station and take a scenic bus tour to discover the awe-inspiring Fish River Canyon, the largest canyon in Africa. If you wish, you can take a short walk along the canyon’s edge. Before sundown, there is time for a quick excursion to the Quiver Tree Forest. Later you enjoy a biltong (traditional beef jerky) tasting. Overnight: On board (BLD)
Day 6 Kolmanskop: Namibian Ghost Town
In the morning, you arrive at Aus Station, from which you head out to Kolmanskop. In 1908, diamonds were discovered in Kolmanskop, attracting money and miners in droves. But today it’s a ghost town with abandoned buildings filled knee-deep with sand for you to explore. Later you take a quick bus trip through the so-called Sperrgebiet (German for “restricted area”), a diamond mining area that is now a national park. The bus takes you to Lüderitz, a historic port town situated on the Atlantic coastline across from the famous Diaz Point. Back on board at Aus station, your private train continues on its journey south. Overnight: On board (BD)
Day 7. Namib-Naukluft National Park
In the morning, you arrive in Mariental, from where you take a scenic bus ride to your lodge. Via the Tsaris Pass, unpaved roads lead you to the Namib-Naukluft National Park. Your lodge is a quiet oasis in the midst of the wilderness—the perfect place for stargazing. If you feel like taking in the sights from the sky, a panoramic aerial tour over this breathtaking landscape is available upon request. Overnight: Namib Desert Lodge (or similar) (BD)
Day 8. The Namib Desert: A Walk Among Giants
Today you take in the otherworldly beauty of the Namib Desert and have the opportunity to stand atop the biggest sand dunes in the world—immense, sculptural sand waves as dramatic and vast as the ocean. You’ve seen them in photographs, but nothing compares to real life. An excursion in open-top vehicles takes you to the famous Sossusvlei salt pan. Later, as the sun begins to set, you have the chance to join a desert safari. The natural beauty you see here is simply unforgettable. Overnight: Namib Desert Lodge (or similar) (BD)
Day 9. Walvis Bay and Swakopmund
Today you head back to the coast, this time to Walvis Bay (aka Whale Bay), a deepwater port city named for its historical abundance of southern right whales. Your tour guide advises you to look out for them as well as pink flamingos strutting along Walvis Bay Lagoon. Later you continue your journey via air-conditioned bus to the coastal city of Swakopmund, famous for its unique examples of German colonial architecture. In the afternoon, you can enjoy a stroll on the promenade or a slice of Black Forest cake in Café Anton before heading back to your train. Overnight: On board (BD)
Day 10. Spitzkoppe: Namibia's Most Famous Peak and a Traditional Barbecue
You begin your day with a hearty breakfast, after which you continue your exploration of the Namib Desert. Today you arrive at Usakos, from where you head to the Spitzkoppe—known as Namibia’s Matterhorn—and marvel at its immense, granite peak. The ancient rock paintings you see here speak to the fascination this famous landmark has long held for humankind. Later, you return to your private train, stopping in the evening to enjoy a braai—a traditional African barbecue—alongside your train, beneath a fabulously starry sky. Overnight: On board (BLD)
Day 11. Etosha National Park: The Great White Place
The seemingly endless, shimmering white plain you stand on is the largest salt flat in Africa—the Etosha Pan. With the mineral crust crunching underfoot and the horizon going on forever, it’s easy to understand why this was named the Great White Place. You watch as elephants, giraffes and countless other wild animals congregate near watering holes while crossing the entire park by bus. If you’re lucky, you might even see the rare black rhino before sunset. Overnight: Mokuti Lodge (or similar) (BLD)
Day 12. Safari Day
Today is a safari day, and you jump into a jeep in the golden light of the morning. You set out in search of feathered, furry and fanged creatures in their natural habitats. Overnight: On board (BD)
Day 13. Windhoek and Katutura
This morning’s unique train route is a veritable safari. Your private train passes through game farms where giraffe, antelope and ostrich are often visible from your window. Soon, you arrive in the Namibian capital Windhoek, where you embark on a fun and informative city tour. Among the major sights of the day are the Christ Church—which combines neo-Gothic design with local African sandstone—and the Namibian parliament building, also known as the Tintenpalast (German for “Ink Palace”). Later in the day, you visit the township of Katutura and a local market, before heading back to relax at your hotel. That evening, you enjoy a special dinner in celebration of your exceptional journey and to say farewell to your fellow travelers. Overnight: AVANI Windhoek Hotel (or similar) (BLD)
Day 14. Farewell Africa!
After your last delicious breakfast in Africa, you get the shuttle to the airport for your flight home. Looking back on your rail adventure, you smile, remembering the amazing sights you’ve seen, feeling that you’ve become a true African explorer. (B)
(B) = Breakfast, (L) = Lunch, (D) = Dinner
* Conditions apply. Offer is limited, subject to availability and change without notice. Promotion is correct and valid at the time of publication. Booking and full supplier terms and conditions apply. Valid for new bookings only and not combinable with any other offer (unless stated).
Prices listed are per person in Australian Dollars, based on twin occupancy in elephant cabin type, including all discounts unless otherwise stated. The offer is subject to availability at time of booking. Fares are capacity controlled and are subject to change at any time without notice. Prices/Offers are correct as at 25 January 2023 and can be withdrawn without notice. Hotels may charge resort fees not included in this package, payable direct upon check in. Visas are not included. Payments made by credit card will incur a surcharge. Airfares are based on economy class flights from Sydney and are subject to the carriers’ flight schedules and conditions, please call us for prices from other cities. • Price is subject to change without notice, until a booking has been confirmed and paid. Once the security deposit is paid, the price will be guaranteed.Price does not include foreign departures port charges, customs, immigration, agricultural, passengers-facility charges. Price does not include tips/gratuities; vaccinations; emergency evacuation costs; passport and visa fees; baggage insurance, personal insurance; travel insurance, any item of personal natures.We reserve the right to surcharge the cost of your booked travel arrangements prior to commencement for circumstances beyond our control such as minimum passengers requirements not met, or the imposition of new or amended Government charges. o Name Changes to International bookings will incur a fee of $99 per booking in addition to travel service provider fees. o Any date change for tour & cruise is considered as a cancellation and will be subject to cancellation charges. For further terms and conditions please speak with your agent.