Price range, per nightmin R max R
*All distances listed are as the crow flies, and not actual travel distances.
South African Museum and Planetarium, Table Mountain, South African National Gallery , Noon Gun, The Company's Garden, Heart of Cape Town Museum, Holocaust Centre, Rhodes Memorial, Two Oceans Aquarium, Chavonnes Battery Museum, Castle of Good Hope, District Six Museum, Groot Constantia, Signal Hill, Newlands Brewery, Long Street, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Orange Kloof, Lions Head, Two Oceans Marathon, Langa Township, Greenmarket Square, Long Street Baths, Whisky Live Festival, Newlands Stadium, Koopmans-de Wet House, St George's Cathedral
It’s no longer the most expensive overnight train in South Africa but the Blue Train personifies absolute rail luxury and is known for being one of the top luxury trains in the world. For those able to afford the costs, a trip on the Blue Train is an exciting prospect.
The Blue Train has its roots in the 1920s, at a time when steam-powered trains were giving way to electrified locomotives, and the groundwork – that of an established railway network throughout South Africa – had already been established a decade earlier. It was the golden era of trains. This method of transport was further popularised in the early 1930s by Agatha Christie’s Inspector Poirot novels where some were set on train journeys. Coincidentally, her 11th novel was titled ‘The Mystery of the Blue Train’, however, the storyline was based in France.
The Blue Train travels between Pretoria and Cape Town and offers spectacular scenery along the route. Most notable is the Hex River Valley, and depending on the direction travelled, stops are taken either in Kimberley to view the mining museum and Big Hole or in Matjiesfontein, an old-world Victorian town. The journey takes 31 hours to complete.
Inside the train are two types of suites, a 42-seater dining car and two lounges, one of which is a smoker’s lounge. Dinner is a black tie affair served using only the finest china, crystal, and silverware. Large windows throughout the dining and lounge carriages provide unobstructed views. An observation car is also available at the back of the train to check out the scenery in silence.
The Blue Train occasionally travels between Pretoria and Hoedspruit for passengers wanting to include a safari through the Kruger National Park.
A sumptuous travel experience, the Blue Train is likely to be one to always remember.