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Login  |   Unique, Authentic, Memorable African Experience

The Blue Train

Experience The Blue Train with Ntaba African Safaris

Welcome to The Blue Train – a luxurious South African rail experience. The Blue Train is unique – it is not merely a train but combines 5-star comfort with the charm of train travel. Think of it as an all-inclusive luxury rail voyage with an opportunity to view South Africa’s spectacular landscapes and visit interesting tourist attractions along the way from colourful Cape Town and the Great Karoo to the Victorian village of Matjiesfontein and the land beyond the Vaal River. Sit back, enjoy and relax in style!

The Blue Train has two routes:

  • Pretoria – Cape Town – Pretoria
  • Pretoria – Hoedspruit – Pretoria

The Blue Train Tours

Each route can be taken in reverse, creating a total of four itineraries.

Cape Town to Pretoria: This journey begins at The Blue Train Lounge, Cape Town Station where you can enjoy pre-departure drinks before setting off. The train will stop at Matjiesfontein for an off-train excursion.

View the full itinerary.

Pretoria to Cape Town: Check in at The Pretoria Station Lounge. On this route, you will have the chance to disembark at Kimberley station and learn about the old mining town.

View the full itinerary.

Hoedspruit to Pretoria: This 18-hour journey sets off from Hoedspruit Station at 15:00 (check-in is earlier at 13:00) and arrives in Pretoria the following day at 10:00.

View the full itinerary.

Pretoria to Hoedspruit: Arrive in Hoedspruit for a safari at the Kruger National Park in style. It is a unique way to travel between these two iconic South African destinations.

View the full itinerary.

South Africa Luxury Blue Train & Safari: Discover South Africa in style. On this safari you will spend 4 nights in Cape Town, 3 nights in the bush and 1 night on the Blue Train.

View the full itinerary

More about The Blue Train

The now iconic Blue Train started life as a fast train called the Union Express northbound and the Union Limited southbound, it was introduced in 1923 to link the Union Castle steamers arriving at Cape Town from Southampton with the goldfields of Johannesburg and the Transvaal capital at Pretoria. Originally, the coaches were wooden before being replaced by blue painted steel coaches in 1937. After frequently being referred to as ‘that blue train’, its name was officially changed to ‘The Blue Train’ in 1946.

On board The Blue Train

Every Blue Train excursion begins at one of their Guest Lounge’s, depending on where you start from; Cape Town, Pretoria or Hoedspruit. Here, you can enjoy snacks and drinks before starting your journey.

Depending on your budget you can opt for a deluxe or luxury suite. All suites are beautifully furnished with the finest bed linen, plus marble tiles and gold fittings in the bathrooms. Amenities include air-conditioning, underfloor heating, satellite TV, writing desk, safe, hairdryer, and more importantly, for some, Wi-Fi. Deluxe suites offer the choice of twin beds and en-suite shower or a double bed and a bathtub. Luxury suites are more spacious with a deep bathtub and include a DVD player with a selection of films. To make your experience even more luxurious, a personal butler is at your disposal for the entire duration of the journey, regardless of the suite you stay in.

The comfort does not end with your suite. On board, the train is two lounges; The Club Car and The Lounge Car. The Club Car is relaxed and stylish and has a gentleman’s club appeal where you are free to enjoy a Cuban cigar, which is served after dinner. In the Club Car, you can wind down with a cigar and cognac whilst chatting to the barman or new-found friends. Alternatively, you can take a glass of wine and a book from the library and enjoy the moment. The Lounge Car, conveniently situated in the middle of the train, is an ideal place to enjoy the passing views.

Food on board the train surpasses the highest expectations and is the highlight for many guests. Your taste buds will be treated to a fine selection of dishes, created using only the finest and freshest ingredients. The chefs on board regularly refresh their menus and meals from Karoo lamb, ostrich and venison, to Knysna oysters and other award-winning Cape cultivars.

For your consideration

Dress code: Smart casual during the day and evening wear for dinner. Gentlemen are required to wear jacket and tie and cocktail wear for ladies.

Meals: There is a menu for every taste. Whether you require Kosher or Halaal meals, gluten-free or vegan, your requirements can be catered to with prior notice at the reservation stage.

Smoking: Smoking is only permitted in the designated suite and the Club Car. The Lounge Car and dining cars are smoke-free zones.

If you want to make your African adventure extra special and follow in the footsteps of kings and presidents, this magnificent moving five-star hotel is for you.

To book or find out more email or fill out the enquiry form below.

Blue Train FAQs

How long does the Blue Train take from Pretoria to Cape Town?

The route between Pretoria and Cape Town is a 31-hour journey of 994 miles through some of the most diverse and spectacular scenery offered by the African sub-continent.

Is there WI-FI on the Blue Train?

Yes. The entire train offers complimentary wi-fi.

What should I wear on the Blue Train?

Smart casual during the day and evening wear for dinner. Gentlemen are required to wear jacket and tie and cocktail wear for ladies.

When did the Blue Train start?

The now iconic Blue Train started life as a fast train called the Union Express northbound and the Union Limited southbound, it was introduced in 1923. The train’s name was officially changed to ‘The Blue Train’ in 1946.

How many coaches does the blue train have?

There are nine Deluxe coaches on the first train and eight on the train with the conference car.

How fast does the Blue Train go?

The trains travel at a speed of up to 56 mph.

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