Travelling in a luxury train through southern Africa. The African Explorer takes you through four countries in eleven days. In this journey through South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique and Zimbabwe you will cover almost 3,000 km.
Elephant or leopard?
No, I’m not talking about your favourite animal. Before starting off on this adventurous journey you have to decide for one of the two types of cabin available. The compartments of the elephant class have an area of approximately 7 m² and have a private bathroom with toilet, shower and wash basin. For the leopard class, a suite with an area of approximately 10 m², you also have a small sitting area. In both cases – elephant or leopard – the compartments have air-conditioning, sockets for electrical appliances, a small safe, towels and a hairdryer. In addition to the ten carriages with these compartments the train has two climatised restaurant cars as well as one bar and one lounge carriage with an open viewing platform at the end of the train.
The journey starts in Pretoria, the capital of South Africa. And after that there’s just one highlight of another. The first stop, on the second day, is the kingdom of Swaziland. This country, ruled by King Mswati III, is the second smallest in the whole of the African continent – just half the size of Switzerland. On the third day, the train takes you to the capital of Mozambique, Maputo. It’s only a short distance from the wonderful station there to the promenade along the Indian Ocean.
Wild animals without end
In the next few days you will be on safari. The first stop is the legendary Kruger National Park in the north east of South Africa. With an area of 20,000 km² the national park is about the same size as Swaziland and is one of the largest in Africa. You’ll see here the so-called “big five” right up close: lion, elephant, buffalo, rhinoceros and leopard. And a large number of other types of animals: 142 mammals (in addition to the big five), around 507 bird, 114 reptile, 49 fish and 34 amphibian species.
Time for culture
On the seventh day you will arrive in Zimbabwe, opportunity for a highly varied sightseeing programme. In the following days you will be visiting among other things the huge ruins of Great Zimbabwe. This is the largest pre-colonial construction in Africa south of the Egyptian pyramids. It is a thousand years old and around 18,000 people lived here once. Other trips will be to Bulawayo, the second biggest city of Zimbabwe, in the Matoba National Park and also the Hwange National Park, renowned for its large elephant and buffalo herds.
Smoke which thunders
On the last day on board the African Explorer you will arrive at an absolute highlight of your train journey, the Victoria Falls. The water from the River Zambezi, at this point 1,700 m wide, drops a hundred metres into the depths. The water spray mist rises from the falls to a height of up to 300 m and can be seen up to 30 km away. And that’s why natives of the area call the waterfalls „Mosi-oa-Tunya“, in English: Thundering Smoke.
With its unforgettable impressions of breathtaking nature, wild animals and a high standard of comfort on board the luxury train your journey with the African Explorer comes to an end.