Day by Day Itinerary Back to Trips for South Africa

The Blue Train

The renowned Blue Train has captured the imagination of discerning travelers who have journeyed to Africa to experience this unique and very special trip through the fascinating South African landscape. From the Jacaranda City, The Blue Train glides past the gold fields of the Witwatersrand, the grain, fruit and sunflower farms of the northern Cape, on to Kimberley, seat of South Africa's original diamond rush. Kimberley is where Cecil John Rhodes established De Beers, today the biggest diamond mining concern in the world. The journey, heading smoothly and silently towards the heart of South Africa's finest winelands and one of the fairest cities on earth, Cape Town, covers 1 600 kilometers (994 miles). Scan the desolately beautiful Karoo thirstlands where ancient fossils attest to its history as a primeval swamp, where ostriches run wild, where the skies erupt into dramatic sunsets and from which Olive Schreiner, author of the classic South African novel, Story of an African Farm, drew much of her inspiration. Imbibe the emerald green Eden of the Hex River Valley, where most of South Africa's export grapes are grown. Late autumn produces one of the world's most extravagant natural sights when the barlinka vines transform into blazing crimson. The Hex River is also famous for one of South Africa's most romantic and ghostly legends about a beautiful young girl, Eliza Meiring who, in 1768, went mad after her beloved fell to his death in the forbidding Matroosberg mountains. Crossing the Hex River mountain range was a daunting task for surveyors in 1876 who had to plot the course the tracks should follow. The 16.3 km (10.13 mile) Hex River Tunnel system, the fourth longest in the world, is a monument to advanced engineering skills. Head to the town of Paarl, set in a wide, fertile valley surrounded by majestic, purple-hued mountains. Established in 1720 by French Huguenot settlers, the oak-lined streets are distinguished by beautiful old Cape Dutch buildings. Finally, the distinctive shape of Table Mountain appears in the distance as The Blue Train approaches Cape Town. In 1652 the Dutch East India Company established a settlement here to replenish the busy spice trade ships with fresh produce. Now a magnificent cosmopolitan city, Cape Town is one of the cultural centers of South Africa with fine art, architecture, music and, of course, wine. Visit pearl-white beaches washed by the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, watch colourful, old-style fishing boats in Kalk Bay, explore the old Malay slave quarters, enjoy the finest seafood in the world, wander through Greenmarket Square's famous flea market and enjoy a sundowner at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront.

Trip Details

Price Per Person: $1375 (Jan – Aug, 16 Nov – Dec ~ luxury double)
$1275 (Jan – Aug, 16 Nov – Dec ~ deluxe double)
$1725 (Sep – 15 Nov ~ luxury double)
$1575 (Sep – 15 Nov ~ deluxe double)
Per person, double occupancy. Based on a minimum of two travelers.
Estimated price of this tour is based on an exchange rate valid as of September 15, 2007; Please note the price will be re-quoted based on current rates when final payment is due.
Single Supplement: On request subject to availability
Activities: Rail Safaris, Day Trips
Nights: 1
Departure Dates:

Pretoria to Cape Town: January 2, 7, 14, 21, 28; February 4, 8, 13, 20, 25; 

March 5, 10, 17, 24, 31; April 7, 11, 14, 21, 28; May 12, 19, 26; June 4, 9, 16, 23;

July 9, 14, 21, 28; August 4, 11, 18, 22, 27; September 1, 5, 10, 15, 19, 24, 29; 

October 1, 3, 8, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 29, 31; November 3, 5, 7, 10, 14, 21, 26;
December 1, 5, 10, 15, 19

Cape Town to Pretoria: January 4, 9, 16, 23, 30;  February 6, 11, 15, 22, 27; 

March 7, 12, 19, 26;  April 2, 9, 14, 16, 23, 20; May 14, 21, 28; June 2, 6, 11, 18, 25; 

July 11, 26, 23, 30;  August 6, 13, 20, 25, 29; September 3, 8, 12, 17, 22, 26;

October 1, 3, 6, 10, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 29, 31;  November 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 17, 24, 28; December 3, 8, 12, 17, 22

Tour Type: Small Group - Scheduled Departures
Travel Style: Deluxe