Shongololo Express – South Africa by Train

Shongololo, which means centipede in the Zulu language, is a safari-class train. On this train journey you will experience the most and best of South Africa without having to repack your suitcase once. You use the dark hours of the day for transport and the light hours of the day to see and experience South Africa, short for ZA by Abbreviationfinder. This means that during the train journey you have time to see and do more than you might think is possible. Pretoria, Johannesburg, Panorama Route, Kruger Park, Swaziland, Drakensberg’s world heritage sites, culture, shantytowns, Zululand, safaris, golden beaches, St Lucia, Simangaliso Park which is another world heritage site, turquoise sea, vineyards and Cape Town with its sights, just a few examples of what these days will contain. There are also some excursions to choose from; for example a whale watching boat trip in St Lucia on the Indian Ocean depending on the season.

South Africa by train

Arrival Johannesburg “day 0”.

Once at Johannesburg International Airport, you will be met by representatives on site and boarded the train. This day is for you who arrive a day early to Johannesburg. You can choose between different day activities such as visiting the exhibition “The Cradle of humankind” at Maropeng and Sterkfontein Caves, Apartheid Museum & The World of Beerc, Lesedi Cultural Village or East Rand Mall & Emperors Palace. You will spend the night on the train and also have dinner on board.

Day 1. Pretoria and Soweto

You will spend the morning in Pretoria and visit Union Buildings with its beautiful design where, among other things, the president has his office. You will also visit Church Square, the central point of the city where the statue of “Oom Paul Kruger” stands. Arriving in Soweto, you visit the Hector Petersen Memorial, named after one of the first students killed in the uprising against the apartheid government in 1976. You return to Pretoria and at 15.30 the train departs.

Day 2. Panorama Route

The world-famous Panorama Route is located in the province of Mpumalanga, which means “Land of the Rising Sun”. It is a province with an extraordinary nature. Today we will visit the village “Pilgrim’s Rest”, which is a living museum and national monument where gold was discovered in the 19th century. Then you head towards Blyde River Canyon, with a gorge of 26 km and a depth of 800 m. From here you get an unforgettable view.

Day 3. Kruger Parks

You will spend the day in the Kruger Park, a world-famous national park and the best in South Africa when it comes to safari experiences. The park, which covers an area of ​​2 million hectares, has a fantastic wildlife that you will be able to enjoy for a whole day.
The train continues its journey through Kaapmuiden during the night.

Day 4. Swaziland

Today you are in Swaziland, which is Africa’s second smallest country. During the day you will see a part of the country’s everyday life. After crossing the border, the tour continues through the Komati River Valley with its panoramic views of the famous glassworks in Ngwenya. Then on through the capital Mbabane to the Swazi National Museum with exhibitions by King Sobhuza followed by a lunch stop at Mantenga Lodge. In the afternoon you drive through the Ezulwini Valley, passing Ludzidzini’s royal residence to Manzini where guests will experience the Swazi Market. The market is in full swing and shows a wide range of skillfully designed wood carvings, colorful textiles and beautiful basket work, which Swazis is known for.
The train travels during the night to Golela.

Day 5. Hluhluwe – Umfolozi Game Reserve

An early departure to Hluhluwe – Umfolozi Game Reserve will take us into the park to experience the magic of wildlife. The park is located in the heart of Zululand where ancient paths lead through thorn bushes and along mighty rivers of Africa’s oldest established wilderness area. Once the exclusive and royal hunting ground of King Shaka, the site now has an exciting natural and cultural history. The park is a treasure trove of animal species including lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, kudu, bushbuck, cheetah, hyena and many others. Over 300 bird species have been registered. The safaris will be carried out in safari vehicles.

Day 6. Isimangaliso Wetland Park

You visit the Simangaliso Wetland Park in St Lucia, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you have the opportunity to find crocodiles and hippos and many other animals. In the afternoon you go on a guided tour to the Zulu Cultural Village to take part in the tribes’ everyday life.

Day 7. Durban

Today you wake up in South Africa’s third largest city Durban and can choose between 3 different day trips:

Durban city tour
You will see a wonderful mix of the new and the old of the city. You will travel along the “Golden Mile”, walk in an area full of good hotels and restaurants. You will also visit Viktoria Market in the morning. You then choose whether you want to go to the botanical garden or to uShaka Marine World, Africa’s largest marine park. There you can have lunch and spend your afternoon.

Durban’s spiritual tour
You start in Mariannhill to get a guided tour through the monastery followed by a short visit to Hari Krishna “Temple of Understanding” and lunch. It carries after lunch off towards the Phoenix Settlement, created by Mahatma Gandhi and then on to Hindu, Sufi and Muslim temples. Among other things, you will see Juma Musjid, South Africa’s largest mosque.

Umhlanga Rocks beach day
You can also choose to spend the whole day on the beach with sun and swimming and then if desired go on some shopping in the Gateway Shopping Center before returning to the train.

Day 8. Drakensberg

The train has today taken you to Drakenbergen and you can today choose between 4 different day trips:

Today you will follow in the footsteps of the Anglo Boer War by visiting the Siege Museum and other places famous for battles, such as Spioenkop. Other highlights are Wagon Hill. You will also gain more knowledge about Winston Churchill and Gandhi.

Midlands Meander
The famous Midlands Meander in KwaZulu-Natal is a unique mix of more than 160 places to eat, drink, sleep, shop, play and have fun in general. It started many years ago as a voluntary gathering of artisans, who wondered if they could entice visitors to leave the paved path and explore their studios and galleries. Midlands Meander has now grown into a fascinating mix of arts and crafts, world-class restaurants and homely amenities. It offers a wide range of sports, environmental and historical activities. Among your stops will be a visit to Howick Falls and a beer tasting (Pickled Pig, Pie Eyed Possum, Whistling Weasel) at Nottingham Road Brewing Company a microbrewery.

Southern Drakenbergen Birding Trail
You will travel to the foot of the Drakenbergen and you will take a guided walk into the “Pursers Bush” A native forest dominated by the wood species Yellowwood. This is a habitat for the rare Cap Parrot (350 out of 800 left in the world live here) and many other different bird species, such as the Sakabula, Bald Ibis and Gray Crown Crane.

Drakenbergen hiking
trail The hike begins in the Cobham region, through the Mcheche forest to see the beautiful flora and fauna. Further towards Boundary Rocky where Captain Allen Gardiner and Wagon Master Dick King had to abandon their mission, to find a direct route through the mountains from Durban to Cape Town. Here you have the opportunity to see rock carvings and swim in the pools. On the way home we stop at a workshop and “Allans Shelter”. The hike is 8.5 km.
If you want, it is also possible to book a day trip to Lesotho. (not included in the price)

Day 9. Bloemfontein

Today you wake up in Bloemfontein and can choose between 3 different day trips;

Bloemfontein city tour and go to Kimberley
After breakfast you take a bus to Bloemfontein and visit the “Women’s Memorial” at the Anglo-Boer War Museum. This monument is in memory of the 27,000 women and children who died in concentration camps. You will have lunch at “Loch Logan Waterfront”. After lunch we drive towards Kimberley.

Go to Kimberley for a city tour
After breakfast you take a bus to Kimberley and visit the “Big Hole Diamond Mina Museum”. After lunch at one of the restaurants in the city, we visit “William Humphrey Art Gallery” and “Macgregor House Museum”. Then back to the train.

Train to Kimberley for a city tour in the afternoon
After breakfast you take a train to Kimberley to have lunch at a restaurant in the city and take you on to “The Big Hole Diamond Mine Museum”.
During the night you go to Worcester.

Day 10. Wineries or Hermanus

Today you can choose between 2 different day trips;

Historic hearts of vineyards The
day begins with a trip to Franschhoek via Villiersdorp and offers a fantastic view of vineyards and plantations. You are visiting the “Huguenot Memorial”. You continue your journey across the Hellshoogte Pass through a landscape of orchards, Cape Dutch houses and vineyards. In Stellenbosch, the second oldest city in the country, located in the heart of the Winelands, you can enjoy a lunch break. In the afternoon you drive to Paarl, named after the large granite domes of mountains overlooking the city. A wine tasting is included in this excursion.

Scenic mountain passes and Hermanus
You travel over scenic mountain passes such as Rooihoogte and Floorshoogte Pass and via Overberg, the towns of Villiersdorp and Botrivier to Hermanus, once a famous fish market and whaling station. During the whale season (approximately from July to November each year) whales can be seen from as close as 5 meters away from the cliffs. WWF includes Hermanus in its list of 12 best whale watching sites in the world. In the afternoon, take the coastal road past Betty’s Bay and Clarence Drive towards Mother City to meet the train. A wine tasting is included in this excursion.
If desired, you can book to go out by boat for whale watching during the election season. (not included in the price)

Day 11 & 12. Cape Town

During these days you will be in Cape Town and can choose between 2 different day trips.

Kirstenbosch and Cape Peninsula
You will visit the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, which is world famous for its beauty and diversity, a farm of 528 hectares. Further towards Hout Bay and its charming and colorful boats and then Simons Town, a cozy little coastal town. You will visit the Boulders Penguins Colony, which is the only place in the world where you can actually swim among penguins. The day will not be complete if you do not visit Godahoppsudden’s nature reserve with thousands of native plant species and baboons and antelopes.

City tour in Cape Town The
day begins with a cable car up the Table Mountains (not included in the price). You continue with the state tour and walk through Company Garden followed by a visit to “Bo – Kapp Museum”. On the way to Victoria & Alfred Waterfront you will stop at Diamonds Works, where you will see more of jewelry making and diamond grinding. In the afternoon you will visit “District 6”. You end your state tour by visiting the “Castle of Good Hope”, the oldest preserved building in the country.

You can also book extra activities if desired. There are, among other things, helicopter flights over Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, diving among white sharks in Gansbaai, taking the cable car up Table Mountain, visiting Robben Island. (not included in the price)

Day 13. Return trip

Today you will now be driven from the train to either your hotel or to the airport.

The price varies depending on which class you want to live in. Read more under travel facts

Gold = from SEK 56,250 per person
Emerald = from SEK 71,250 per person
Contact us for departures during 2021-2022 and more detailed price

This is included in the price:

  • Transfer between airport and train round trip.
  • Accommodation on board the train during the journey.
  • Breakfast and dinners during the trip.
  • A free choice of included excursions and activities according to the program.

This is not included in the price:

  • International flight between Sweden and Johannesburg, from about SEK 8,500 per person
  • Luncher
  • Drinks for meals
  • Laundry
  • Extra excursions and activities
  • Tip
  • Overnight 1 extra night in Johannesburg
  • Cancellation or travel insurance that can be taken out by us through Gouda

We reserve the right to make changes to the program beyond our control and to any currency changes.

The trip is for 15 days / 14 nights.

Around South Africa by train with guided tours in minibus. Good Hope – From Johannesburg to Cape Town or vice versa. English-speaking guides accompany us on the train and guide us on all excursions included in the South African trip. Also on the train are air-conditioned minibuses that we use on the excursions.

Cabins: The train has double coupes in the Gold and Emerald classes as well as a few single coupes, a restaurant trolley and a bar trolley. In total, the train contains ten carriages. Each passenger compartment has 6 double compartments and two single compartments. Gold and Emerald have private shower / wc and air conditioning in the cabin. What distinguishes these coupes is mainly the size. All compartments have safes / lockable storage boxes. The train is not a luxury train.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner are served in the air-conditioned restaurant trolley. The menu includes traditional, local dishes. The train also has a lounge / bar trolley with room for 60 people.

Flights: We help you book flights. The flight includes breakfast and dinner.

Payment: Special payment rules: 40% of the total amount must be paid upon booking and will not be refunded in the event of cancellation. The remainder, which is refunded in the event of cancellation, must be paid 2 months before departure.

Tour guide: Professional guides accompany the train and speak English.

Transport: The excursion vehicles are included with the train. All buses have air conditioning.

Credit card / payment: A refundable deposit will be requested upon boarding. Payment on board the train can be made by Rand, traveler’s checks or credit card. Everything bought on board is paid at the end of the trip.

Electricity: 220V, adapter required

Tips: If you are satisfied with the trip and the service, we recommend about 500 Rand per adult guest for the entire trip. This is put in a pot and shared equally among the staff.

Insurance: Check with your home insurance about which trip and cancellation protection you have.

Passport / Visa: Valid passport for at least 6 months. Two blank pages for stamps in the passport are required.

Vaccinations: We refer to the nearest vaccination center for information on what is required for your particular trip.

Climate: Much depends on what time of year you choose to travel to South Africa. It is winter there when we have summer in Sweden.

Equipment / Clothing: Casual clothing on the train. Soft clothes such as khaki pants, jeans or similar. Sandals / sneakers. Attire depends on the season, bring warm clothes June-August. KwaZulu-Natal is hot all year round.