Rovos Rail from Pretoria to Cape Town

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Your Rovos Rail experience begins amidst the delightful surrounds of the restored Art Deco station Capital Park, in Pretoria. You’ll be drawn by steam train for the first few kilometres before being hooked up to the diesel that will haul you the rest of the way to Cape Town. Leaving Capital Park at 3 pm you can relax and get to know your fellow passengers before dinner. The following day you arrive in Kimberley for your tour. Kimberley is one of the more remote towns right in the heart of South Africa but has played an absolutely crucial role in the nation’s history, for it was here that diamonds were discovered and men like Cecil Rhodes made their fortunes; doubtless the presence of such massive mineral wealth also helped shaped Rhodes’ belief that the area should be governed by the British Empire. The Big Hole is Kimberley’s most striking feature, a vast hole 463 metres wide and originally excavated down to 240 metres by hand, yielding 2,700 kilograms of diamonds in its life as a mine. A visitor centre has grown around the mine and offers a great introduction into this remarkable period of South African history. You have dinner back on board before retiring for the night. As you wake the next morning you are in Matjiesfontein. Matjiesfontein is situated on the edge of the Klein Karoo, just north of the Winelands of the Western Cape. Founded in 1884 and originally a staging post on the Imperial British railway, it soon became known as a health spa – the dry air was reckoned to be the perfect cure for chest complaints. The remoteness of Matjiesfontein is part of its appeal and perhaps also why the 21st and indeed the 20th century appear to have passed her by. A National Monument, it has been preserved exactly as it was in Victorian times. Your tour will take in a ride around the small town in a historic bus, a visit to the museum and a drink at the Lord Milner Hotel. You continue on from Matjiesfontein through the stunning Winelands before arriving in Cape Town at 6 pm.

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