Travel on the most luxurious train with a twist Africa

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From start to finish, The Blue Train experience is like stepping back in time where guests surrender to the luxury of slow. And now guests can travel the same “Bucket-list” Blue Train experience in South Africa, but with a safari twist.


There are many ways to experience South Africa – but if you really want to push the boundaries out and do it in style, you will be hard-pressed to beat this winning combination!

In 2019 South Africa’s legendary Blue Train reinvented its classic Cape Town/Pretoria journey, extending it to a 2-night “slow travel” experience. Now they are giving their Hoedspruit safari departures a complete makeover for 2020 – making it a round trip including sunrise & sunset Big 5 game drives, a boma dinner under the stars and even some traditional cultural dancing!

Previously, The Blue Train offered a one-way, overnight journey from Pretoria to Hoedspruit (or vice versa) leaving guests to check into one of the Sabi Sands/Greater Kruger Lodges for a few nights. The challenge, however, was finding availability for 70 – 80 guests.

Now the train will be offering its safari departure as a RETURN ROUND-TRIP to the Kruger that will depart Pretoria at 11am (time TBC) on Day 1, arrive at the Kruger National Park at 05am the next morning for a full day guided safari including sunrise and sunset game drives. The train will then depart at 10pm to head back to Pretoria, arriving around noon on day 3.

    What to expect on board:


Wine & Dine

Guests sip the best South African wines and bubbles and enjoy freshly prepared, mouth- watering meals throughout the journey, as some of South Africa’s most spectacular scenery glides past the large picture windows of its private suites, lounge/bar, club car, dining car and observation car. There are two sittings for each meal in the dining carriage, with high tea served mid-afternoon.

Suite Talk

Suites on the train are a distinguished affair, with comfortable couches perfectly placed for maximum enjoyment of the views outside the large picture window, a table for dining or drinks, a wardrobe and private, en-suite bathroom. Each suite is serviced by a butler, who transforms the seats into a comfy bed with crisp white sheets by night. The bathroom is compact but perfectly equipped, and a novel experience to shower on the move. The Luxury Suites even have a full-size bathtub!

   About the 2020 safari makeover itinerary


After boarding, guests will enjoy a five-course gourmet lunch, followed by high tea at 4pm and then dinner before heading off to bed to be lulled to sleep by the gentle rocking of the train. The next morning it’s an early start as the train arrives at Kruger’s Numbi Gate at 5am. Safari vehicles with guides will be waiting to take guests off on a sunrise game drive, including an incredible bush breakfast at an exclusive, unfenced location inside the iconic Kruger Park.

Guests return to the train for a decadent 5-course lunch around noon and a rest/freshen up. At 4pm guests head out on safari again, this time in a private 11,0000-hectare concession finishing off with a spectacular boma dinner under the stars at Nkambeni Safari Camp, complete with cultural dancing. Guests return to the train at 10pm and the train slowly makes its way back to Pretoria arriving before noon, after a decadent breakfast.

One thing is certain from start to finish, The Blue Train experience is like stepping back in time to a slower-paced and refined bygone era. This, while sipping expertly crafted cocktails and award-winning wines as the incredible landscape rolls by. Dress code on this route will be a bit more relaxed throughout with smart casual or safari wear recommended in the private suites, lounge/bar, club car, dining car and observation car.


   2020 Departure dates

  • 18 – 20 June 2020
    30 July – 01 August 2020

Book here for either Blue Train departure date.


  • Africa’s Leading Luxury Train 2018 World Travel Awards (winner for 10th consecutive year).
  • World’s Leading Luxury Train 2011 World Travel Awards (the eighth time it has won).
  • Gold in 2010 and silver in 2012 in the Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Awards in the Favourite Specialist Train category.



The Blue Train currently has a 4 out of 5 star TripAdvisor review rating from over 350 reviews.

Tracy Burrows101 Posts

    If there is one thing that I have learnt, it is the more I see, the more there is to see! My name is Tracy Burrows and I am the managing editor of Out There Global, a community driven travel magazine platform for cost effective, luxury, unusual and extraordinary but mostly immersive travel ideas around the globe. From Jan 2014 - Dec 2016 I managed the blog (a United Nations World Summit Award Winner: Culture & Tourism 2016 & National Geographic partner). I was also consulting editor at MOZambique Magazine, and contributor at Sawubona Magazine (South African Airways inflight magazine). Prior to my career I obtained a tourism marketing degree, and graduated from a 2 year 'Hospitality Management in Development Program' in California. Following this I acquired a journalism diploma and since it's been all about travel and writing! And my nourishment comes from all those who have impacted me: family; friends; and strangers alike. So thank you for inspiring me, and for joining our journey!

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