Rail Select, one of Britain’s leading specialists in holidays by rail, has designed a majestic journey across South Africa.Starting with a three day fly-in safari at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, guests will then board the iconic Blue Train on a journey that winds its way through South Africa’s dramatic landscapes, onwards towards Cape Town where they will spend three days at the elegant Steenberg, to discover and explore the Cape’s Winelands.
The journey begins at Sabi Sabi’s romantic Selati Camp which is named after the historic rail road that once ran through the Eastern section of the game reserve. Infused with railway memorabilia from the 1900’s, vintage décor and gentle lamplight, the eight beautifully appointed thatched suites offer intimacy and a hushed opulence, with original antiques and four poster beds. Get close to the ‘The Big Five’ – lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalos – on morning and evening drives led by highly trained rangers and trackers. Unwind in the idyllic Spa, take in the epic sunsets and enjoy dinners in the farmhouse kitchen, or the open air boma, under the Southern night sky.
After a night in Pretoria guests board The Blue Train, widely regarded as one of the world’s most spectacular train journeys, and enter a timeless world of grace, elegance and romance. As the ever-changing scenery glides past, guests can savour local specialities freshly prepared on board by top chefs, complemented by the best South African wines. Generous lounge chairs offer panoramic views of Africa’s lesser known sights, from the gold fields of the Witwatersrand and sunflower farms of the northern Cape, on to Kimberley, seat of South Africa’s original diamond rush. By night your suite is, as if by magic, transformed into a sumptuous bedroom with en-suite bathroom and butler service.
The distinctive shape of Table Mountain appears in the distance as The Blue Train approaches Cape Town. From here, head to the graceful Steenberg for three nights. Located on Cape Town’s oldest wine farm, just 20 minutes from the city centre, the whitewashed buildings feature exposed beams, dating back to 1682, and have been declared a National Monument. The farmhouse suites are designed with period features and antiques, with mesmerising views across False Bay. Sit by the pool with the vineyards on one side, the mountains on the other, play a round of golf on the championship 18-hole golf course, head into the vibrant city centre, and sample the home-grown wines before flying back to London with British Airways.
Rail Select has a 10 night holiday including return night flights from London to South Africa with British Airways, Federal Air flight from Jo’burg to Sabi Sabi, 3 nights at Selati Camp on a full board basis, 1 night in Pretoria, 1 night on the Blue Train on a fully inclusive basis and 3 nights at the Steenberg Hotel from £4,650 per person May-July 2013 and from £4,800 per person at all other times of the year. This price includes complimentary flights from Johannesburg to Sabi Sabi return off peak and one night’s free stay in Pretoria, available all year round.