South Africa’s legendary Blue Train is on many people’s bucket list, the ultimate luxury train journey across the vast African landscapes between Cape Town and Pretoria. The 27 hour journey whisks guests into a bygone era of elegance, a time when the journey itself was something to be savoured, with the luxury of being looked after by a butler and indulged with excellent cuisine. The trip north from Cape Town stops at the quaint Victorian Karoo town of Matjiesfontein, while the journey south from Pretoria visits the Kimberly diamond mine, excursions that add to the atmosphere of South Africa’s colonial past.
Never mind a room with a view, your suite on the Blue Train is a room with a thousand views, unrolling from the dramatic mountain passes leaving Cape Town, to the Little Karoo valleys and then the wide almost desert sweeps of the Great Karoo.
Small but perfectly formed with inlaid wood panelling, brass fittings and lush fabrics, each air-conditioned suite has comfortable armchairs that are transformed at night into twin or double beds decked in goose-down duvets and smooth cotton linen. The fully fitted ensuite marble bathroom has either a shower or a bathtub, vanity and toilet with plenty of hot water and luxurious scented bath salts. The Luxury suites offer an extra metre of space in the main room and a larger bathroom with bathtub and shower. There’s complimentary wifi and a phone as well as a selection of movies on Blu-Ray DVD.
A fabulous brunch is served in full style in the elegant dining car with crystal glasses and fine china, three courses and a glass of bubbly. Then there is a lavish high tea to greet guests after they return from their excursion. Relax in one of the two lounge cars between meals, play cards or meet fellow travellers before dressing for dinner and savouring the flavours of South Africa, as night falls and the train glides through the starlit darkness.
A wonderfully lavish way to link a visit to Cape Town with an African safari, the Blue Train really is the journey of a lifetime.