The Blue Train Safari

South Africa

  • Nights 6
  • Days 7
  • Departure Dates for 2019
  • October 11th
  • November 8th
Your Adventure of a Lifetime Begins

The Blue Train, in its charisma and majesty, has been synonymous with the ultimate in luxury travel since 1946. It offers a unique way of traversing some of Southern Africa’s magnificent landscapes and landmarks.

Guests will revel in inspiring scenery during bespoke excursions and relish Shamwari Big Five adventures along with exceptional culinary experiences throughout.

Perhaps you will glimpse the elusive leopard, dozing in the bough of a tree; spot a beautiful black rhino with its magnificent horns and bad temper, half-hidden in thick shrubs; come across a pride of lions stalking their prey; or a large herd of elephants silently crossing the road.
That is, when you are not discovering a new favorite vintage while exploring wine farms.

Enjoy your first-class seat to ever-changing vistas of the countryside in a spectacular suite.
Your suite aboard The Blue Train offers a home-away-from-home lounge with WiFi, free of charge, as well as a phone for complimentary on-train calls and local or international calls at a minimal fee.
At night, your sitting area is transformed into a restful night-time sanctuary. Goose down duvets and pillows are enveloped in 100% percale cotton bedding ready to welcome you after a soothing, scented soak or shower in your marble and gold-appointed bathroom.
All that is left is to drift away as you are lulled by the rhythm of the whispering wheels.

Itinerary

Day1
Day 1 - Cape Town
Aboard your Palace on Rails
Morning: welcome and departure

Arrive at the luxurious Blue Train Lounge at Cape Town for an short orientation reception by the train manager or one of our representatives.

As your luggage is received, tagged and safely whisked away, the stage is set for a personal invitation to stroll onto the platform and settle into your own private suite. Soon the train leaves the Cape Town station for George.

On The Blue Train, a dedicated butler comes as standard, ready to meet your every whim. A late-night snack? An early-morning wake-up call? A dinner jacket in need of pressing? At the touch of a telephone, your butler is waiting.

Soon its lunchtime, as you sit down for a multi course spread with the flavor of local cuisine, matched by many fine wines. Bon appetit !

Late-afternoon: as you like it
As the train moves through an ever changing landscape, meet with your travel companions in the Observation Car at the rear of the train. You may also opt for an engaging talk in the Lounge Car by historian Tim Carr who will narrate South Africa’s colorful heritage.
Evening: a movable feast
While every meal on The Blue Train is special, but dinner occupies a platform all of its own. As the sky darkens, the day’s smart-casual dress code gives way to formal evening-wear in tune with classic livery and earthy African décor of the Dining Car. Take your seat and indulge in a legendary cuisine prepared from the freshest ingredients and artfully presented in the finest Sheffield cutlery and crystal glassware on crisp white linen sets. The banquet is about to begin.
Day2
Day 2 - George
In the heart of Garden Route
Morning: Outeniqua Powervan

As the train leisurely strolls into the historic town of George, enjoy a made to order delightful breakfast, before being privately transferred to experience one of the region’s most popular tourist attractions: the Outeniqua Powervan.

This unique railroad trip introduces you to the stunning Outeniqua Mountains, and the four scenic passes that cut through it. The mini train journey will make you marvel at the natural opulence of the area as you move between forests and waterfalls filled with bird and animal life as well fynbos and proteas. There are six tunnels in the route and the train stops for a short halt in a panoramic picnic area.

Your next stop will be Jakkalsvlei Private Family Cellar for some Wine Tasting followed by a memorable picnic in the vineyards.

Late-afternoon: Herold’s Bay
After an indulgent afternoon, enjoy a quiet walk along Herolds Bay beach, passing by holiday homes both historic and modern, before visiting the village. From the tidal pool to the heritage Stella Maris Catholic Chapel on the beachfront, you will have many camera worthy moments on this leisurely stroll.
Evening: eastward ho!

Return to the train as it departs via Oudtshoorn and Uitenhage to Port Elizabeth.

You may choose to hear Tim Carr speak on the 1820 Settlers of South Africa in the Lounge Car.before sitting down to another superb dinner, with highly polished gleaming décor, exceptional service and award-winning wines paired with delectable dishes.

Day3
Day 3 - Port Elizabeth
Nelson Mandela’s Final Resting Place
Morning: Port Elizabeth city tour

Yet another delightful breakfast will be served before the train arrives at Port Elizabeth.

Embark on a guided Port Elizabeth City Tour which includes Route 67 which consists of 67 Public Art Works by local artists from the Eastern Cape symbolizing Nelson Mandela’s 67 years of struggle dedicated to South Africa’s freedom.

Start at the Donkin Reserve’s old lighthouse as you walk down to admire the many artworks that have been added over the years. Pause to admire the large mosaic near the pyramid built by Sir Rufane Donkin, the founder of the city, before saluting the largest South African flag in the world on the hilltop which can be accessed via 67 colorful steps. The route is a glorious celebration of this city’s proud heritage.

Lunch/light snack is included in this day tour.

Afternoon: check-in at Shamwari Reserve

After the city tour you will be transferred via luxury vehicles to the award-winning, 5-star Shamwari Game Reserve for two nights.

Before checking in to your lodge, visit the Shamwari Wildlife Rehabilitation Center helps to rescue, rehabilitate and care for sick, injured, abandoned or orphaned animals under the care of their professional veterinary team. Once these animals have been nursed back to health, they are released back into their natural habitat.

Settle down in your room and after freshening up, enjoy a splendid dinner at this award winning African paradise; perhaps at the outdoor Boma to the sounds of roaring lions and trumpeting elephants in the distance under a clear African sky lit up by a million stars.

Day4
Day 4 - Shamwari
Welcome to Big Five Country
Morning game drive
Big Five safaris are a must-do for anyone visiting South Africa, the term referring to the animals considered most difficult to hunt, namely lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhino.

The sound of “Big Five” still conjures up the romance thrilling encounters in the wild, as you will experience today at Shamwari. Your ranger will wake you up pre-dawn with hot coffee and rusks before escorting you to 4WD custom-built Land Rovers for a drive through the African bushveld. This is often the best time of the day to spot predators before they duck into the shade to escape heat.

Come back for a hearty breakfast, following which, you can spend time catching a nap, laze at the pool with an iced cooler or even take a educative Bush Walk with armed rangers. Your guide can point out animal tracks, dung, hiding spots and tell you about the reserve’s history.

Late-afternoon: more wildlife

After lunch, and afternoon high-tea, an evening game drive takes you back into the bush for some more action and adventure.

This is your chance to spot an abundance of plains game and birds of prey that are different from those seen in the morning, If you have a particular area of interest, you are welcome to inform your guide who will include it along the journey. Your vehicle will stop at a scenic spot for a traditional “sundowner”, often dubbed as the high point of any African safari.

Return back to your lodge to freshen up and perhaps enjoy a spa treatment (at your own cost). As the sky lights up with a million stars, gather around a campfire over drinks and trade stories about the highlights of the day.

Enjoy a final dinner at this award-winning African paradise paired with fine beverages.

Day5
Day 5 - Port Elizabeth
Hope for Freedom – Penguins & Madiba
Morning: Penguin Patrol at Algoa Bay

Your final morning game drive at Shamwari may be the most exciting yet if you spot a Big Five! Return for a hearty breakfast before checking out and transfer for a boat cruise in Algoa Bay.

Port Elizabeth is home to the largest breeding colony of African Penguins in the world and you will visit St. Croix Island too see over 22,000 of these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. Watch these comical birds slip, slide and fly through the water as they show off their amazing acrobatic adaptations. Unfortunately, the African penguins in Algoa Bay lost 70% of their population in 7 years, and a part of your contribution from this tour goes towards the conservation of these endangered species.

Potential sightings of other marine wildlife is also high on this thrilling day out in the ocean.

Late-afternoon: Welcome Christo Brand
It is fitting that Christo Brand, Mandela’s former prison warden at Robben Island joins the tour at Port Elizabeth – Mandela’s final resting place.

The two men – one a young white warder, the other a resilient freedom fighter serving life sentence – should have become bitter enemies. Instead they formed an extraordinary friendship through small acts of human kindness, which cemented a bond of trust between the two men long after the latter was freed.

In his own words, Christo will tell the incredible moving story of his unlikely relationship with Mandela and share first-hand personal insights about the leader’s life in prison.

Prepare to remain fascinated even after dinner as The Blue Train continues its return journey along the Garden Route towards Mossel Bay.

Day6
Day 6 - Mossel Bay
Golf and Caves of Pinnacle Point
Morning: Diaz Express & De Vette Mossel

Enjoy breakfast in the dining car before the train arrives in Mossel Bay, where you will taken for a ride on the Diaz Express. This rail experience with a difference will take you to the scenic seaside resort of Great Brak River. Enjoy lovely views over the Indian Ocean, river estuaries and rich indigenous plant life of the Cape Floral Kingdom.

Step off at Great Brak River where a unique food experience awaits you at De Vette Mossel. With your feet in the sand and the beach in your face you will love this gastronomic adventure where you are encouraged to eat as much as you can! Relax, wind down and do not expect handcrafted crystal glasses, or silver cutlery – you are on the West Coast mate.

With your stomach full, return back to Mossel Bay aboard the Diaz Express. Do watch out for whales frolicking in the ocean from your seat.

Late-afternoon: Point of Human Origin
Experience the awe of being at Point of Human Origins where homo sapiens dwelled some 200,000 years ago. Located below the Pinnacle Point Golf Course, a series of wooden steps will take you to Cave 13B where you will discover early evidence of modern human behavior – including the earliest use of ochre for coloring and symboling. Your guide will explain how the caves were found and even show stone age artifacts. You will be inspired even if you are not an archeology buff!
Evening: Westward Ho!

Return to the train to hear Christo continue his inspiring narrative about Mandela after which he will personally answer your questions.

Prepare for your final grand dinner on The Blue Train that will captivate your senses. Delight in a nightcap and relive the past days as the train speeds towards its final stop in Paarl.

Day7
Day 7 - Paarl / Cape Town
Cork & Fork… Au Revoir
Morning: Wineland discovery

Enjoy a final smashing breakfast before the train arrives in Paarl, where you will be transferred via luxury vehicles to the Franschhoek Wine Tram.

The Franschhoek Wine Tram hop-on hop-off tour is one of the best ways to discover the true essence of the fabled Cape Winelands – quaint vineyards, breathtaking scenery, fine wines, warm hospitality, world-class cuisine and a 300- year history. Passengers aboard the hop-on hop-off tour will experience a unique and leisurely way to see the Franschhoek Valley as they journey through rolling vineyards in an open-side tram and open-air tram-bus stopping at historic wine estates.

Sample famous vintages as you step inside ancient cellars to learn about the intricacies of winemaking. There is also a delightful picnic lunch in the vineyards included in your day tour.

Late-afternoon: See You Soon!

Your last day of this remarkable journey may well usher in some sadness. But, like all good things that must come to an end, so too must the Blue Train Safari.

As the train departs for Cape Town late in the afternoon, meet up in the Lounge Car for a Prizegiving session where you will receive an autographed copy of Christo’s book “Doing Life with Mandela”.

Bid farewell to your new found mates and the wonderful staff who have made the past week a dream vacation.

Have a safe trip and we hope to welcome you back in South Africa soon!

Blue Train Safari

Shamwari Game Reserve

Included

  • 4x nights accommodation on The Blue Train
  • Three meals daily and all alcoholic and/or other beverages while on board
  • Suite orientation by Personal Butler, 24-hour full Room Service, Bar Facilities and Portage
  • 2x nights accommodation at 5-Star Shamwari Game Reserve on Full-Board basis
  • All Safari activities at Shamwari (excluding Spa)
  • Guided tours including Outeniqua Power Van, Jakkalsvlei Wines, Algoa Bay Boat Cruise, Port Elizabeth City Tour, Point of Human Origins, Diaz Rail, De Vette Mossel & Franschhoek Wine Tram
  • Personally autographed copy of Christo Brand’s book “Doing Life with Mandela”
  • All local taxes and service levies

Photos

Dates & Prices

Prices are in USD, per person, based on double occupancy.

October 11, 2019 — October 17, 2019
Package Options Starting From Single Occupancy
Deluxe Cabin $5,000.00 $4,500.00
Luxury Cabin $6,000.00 $5,500.00
November 8, 2019 — November 14, 2019
Package Options Starting From Single Occupancy
Deluxe Cabin $5,000.00 $4,500.00
Luxury Cabin $6,000.00 $5,500.00

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