Shongololo Express – Southern Cross Tour

Elephants in Kruger National Park
Fortaleza Fortress, Maputo, Mozambique
Gold Double compartment - © Rovos Rail
Shongololo Express dining car - © Rovos Rail
Observation Balcony - © Rovos Rail
Lion In Kruger National Park
Nelson Mandela statue in Pretoria
Matopos National Park
Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls Hotel

Holiday Highlights

  • Travel in comfort and luxury
  • Enjoy delicious meals onboard
  • Full-day game viewing in Kruger National Park
  • City tour of Maputo, Mozambique
  • Visit Mantenga Cultural Village
  • Game drive in Kapama Private Game Reserve
  • Visit the Great Zimbabwe Monument
  • Matopos & Hwange National Parks

Tour Dates:
Northbound: 18 April 2019, 13 June 2019, 8 August 2019, 2 January 2020, 20 February 2020, 16 April 2020, 11 June 2020, 6 August 2020, 22 October 2020
Southbound: 2 May 2019, 27 June 2019, 19 September 2019, 3 October 2019, 16 January 2020, 5 March 2020, 30 April 2020, 25 June 2020, 17 September 2020, 5 November 2020

An incredible 12-day rail journey that travels through South Africa, passing through five countries en route. The journey has been carefully crafted to deliver stunning experiences each and every day. The train travels between Pretoria and Victoria Falls (reverse route also available), stopping at carefully selected locations in South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia. As the tracks unfurl a rare insight is offered into the cultural and geographical cocktail that makes Southern Africa so vibrant and exciting. Stunning scenery from the comfort of the train is guaranteed. Travel in comfort and luxury on board the Shongololo Express, a dedicated touring train that attends to your every need from relaxing accommodation to quality food.

NB: You have the option of including this special rail journey as part of a Tailored Rail tour. Ffestiniog Travel can make the additional arrangements to allow you to join this luxury train journey, at the beginning, during or at the end of a bespoke itinerary. We will organise rail and flight tickets where necessary and hotel accommodation. Please contact us direct at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or click the ‘Request a Quote’ button for more information and we will provide quotations on request.


Day 1 – Pretoria & Soweto

Your journey begins in Soweto, home to 1 million people and made famous by the Apartheid laws. Visit the Hector Petersen Memorial, named after one of the first students to be killed in the 1976 uprising against the Apartheid government. Spend the afternoon in Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa before boarding the train and enjoying dinner.

Days 2 & 3 – Panorama Route & Kruger National Park

Visit Bourke’s Luck Potholes, which are strange deep cylindrical cavities formed by river erosion and floodwater. Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve has the most spectacular viewpoints with astonishing views over South Africa’s Lowveld (so-named because it is much lower than the high escarpment along which the Panorama Route runs). The world-renowned Kruger National Park boasts 2-million hectares and is home to an unrivalled diversity of life forms including 114 species of reptiles, 507 species of birds and 147 species of mammals including the Big Five. Breakfast and dinner included on both days.

Day 4 – Maputo, Mozambique

Today you arrive in the capital of Mozambique, Maputo, a city of contrasts offering an exciting mix of cultures. Its architecture is a blend of African, Portuguese and early Colonial traditions with old Catholic churches sitting side-by-side with mosques, fortresses, Victorian mansions and other buildings from a bygone era. Breakfast and dinner included today.

Day 5 – Swaziland Tour

Visit the the tiny kingdom of Swaziland, the second smallest country in Africa. Experience Swazi Candles: a hive of activity displaying decorative candles, skilfully crafted woodcarvings, colourful textiles and superb basketwork for which Swazis are renowned. Continue through the Ezulwini Valley passing the Ludzidzini Royal residence en route to Mantenga Cultural Village, a living museum of old traditions representing a classical Swazi lifestyle during the 1850s. Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 6 – Kapama Reserve

Today you can enjoy an unforgettable game drive in the Kapama Game Reserve followed by a visit to the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre. Kapama Private Game Reserve is home to over 40 different mammal species including the Big Five, approximately 350 bird species and a myriad of smaller species. The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre is a unique African wildlife facility focusing on conservation and the sustainability of rare, vulnerable and threatened species. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included today.

Day 7 – Limpopo Province

Time to relax as you spend a day on board the train travelling to Oreti in Zimbabwe. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included today.

Day 8 – Great Zimbabwe Monument

Journey through attractive granite hill country to the Great Zimbabwe Monument, a hugely impressive monument situated on the south-eastern edge of the central plateau and the largest pre-colonial monument south of the Egyptian pyramids. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included today.

Day 9 – Antelope Park

Spend a full day at Antelope Park. Optional extras include canoeing, game drives, horseback game viewing, elephant interaction, bird-watching cruises, etc. Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 10 – Matopos National Park

Full-day tour of Matopos National Park where you can visit the grave of Cecil John Rhodes and bushmen caves. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 11 – Hwange National Park

Another chance to spend a full-day on safari, game viewing in Hwange National Park. Situated in the northwest corner of Zimbabwe, Hwange National Park is the nation’s largest wildlife area and contains a variety of animals and bird species, but is well-known for its prolific lion population. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included today.

Day 12 – Victoria Falls

Walking tour of the village and famous Victoria Falls. The little station of Victoria Falls was first reached by railway in June 1904. Old colonial buildings, bougainvillea and palm trees against the backdrop of the Victoria Falls Hotel form a charming oasis of soft sweetness after the rugged dryness of the landscape. The tour ends at the Victoria Falls Hotel (accommodation here is not included).

Price Includes

  • Journey in a Gold class compartment (upgrade to Emerald available)
  • Accommodation with meals as specified
  • Tea, coffee and bottled water on board
  • Excursions accompanied by a qualified tour guide
  • Entrance fees as per the itinerary
  • Government Tax

Price per person

2019: From £4,610 per person

2020: From £5,005 per person

Booking form

Download your tour booking form here.


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Ffestiniog Travel provides 'out of hours' support for all independent travellers in the event of an emergency.

Why Choose Ffestiniog Travel?

  • UK's first rail tour operator to run an overseas escorted rail holiday in 1974
  • Created for people who love rail holidays and exploring the world’s heritage railways
  • Dedicated rail holiday specialist - great destinations, sightseeing and unparalled railway content
  • Train ticket supplier for worldwide rail operators - we can plan and arrange your rail journey to anywhere
  • Knowledge of the world’s rail routes makes us leading specialists in escorted and Tailor Made rail holidays
  • Over 60% of our existing rail tour travellers return to holiday with us year after year
  • Committed to supporting rail travel and heritage railways around the world
  • Our profits support the continued preservation of the famous Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways
  • Small, dedicated rail holiday travel team offering an award winning personal service

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