Rovos Rail and River Slow Travel Safari

Perfect the art of slow travel on a luxury Rovos Rail and Zambezi Queen safari to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana.


12 Days


1 May – 12 May 2021

Price from


Ker & Downey® Africa > Trips > Rovos Rail and River Slow Travel Safari

Trip Highlights

game drives (1)
Game drives
Train Icon
Luxury train travel
Boat Cruise Icon
Luxury river safari
big game
Big game

About this trip

Sit back and allow the safari to unfold on the ultimate slow travel safari on the luxurious Rovos Rail and the Zambezi Queen houseboat. This 12 day journey invites you to discover Southern Africa at a leisurely pace, giving you time to appreciate the smaller, slower and simpler pleasures while on vacation. Your journey begins in Cape Town where you can discover the Cape Floral Kingdom on sunset walks and venture further afield on a guided tour of the winelands. Next, make your way to Pretoria before boarding the iconic Rovos Rail train. Disconnect from the outside world and settle into the pace of a bygone era as the train meanders north through ever-changing landscapes towards its final destination Victoria Falls. After a night in Victoria Falls, you can relish in utter relaxation aboard the luxurious Zambezi Queen as it glides past Chobe National Park’s legendary wildlife on a 3 day river cruise. 

Your day-to-day- breakdown of this trip

Day one – four


Arrive Cape Town, South Africa

Check-in Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

Your slow travel safari starts on arrival at Cape Town International Airport. A Ker & Downey® Africa representative will welcome you and accompany you to the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel in a private vehicle. An oasis in the heart of Cape Town, this iconic pink hotel is set against the backdrop of Table Mountain and makes for the perfect base to explore the city at a leisurely pace. During your stay you will have the opportunity to discover the Cape Floral Kingdom on a guided sunset walk on Table Mountain, as well as a half day excursion  through the Cape Winelands.

Where you’ll stay: Belmond Mount Nelson

Belmond Mount Nelson is located in the heart of Cape Town with easy access to the city’s top sights. With Table Mountain as a backdrop, this iconic blush hotel is a tranquil oasis and guests can enjoy access to the Librisa Spa and hair salon, fitness centre, two swimming pools, tennis courts and nine-acre lush garden.


Discover Cape Town’s unique history before getting in touch with nature on a sunset walk through Table Mountain National Park. Guests can also enjoy leisure time at the hotel’s swimming pool, savour afternoon tea in the lounge or sip on a refreshing cocktail at the Planet Bar overlooking the property’s gardens.

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Day five


Transfer Pretoria

Check-in Castello Di Monte, Pretoria

After a fresh breakfast at the hotel, your driver will meet you to transfer you to Cape Town International Airport for your scheduled flight to OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg. From here, you can enjoy a private transfer to the luxurious Castello Di Monte in Pretoria. The Tuscan style property is surrounded by landscaped gardens and boasts panoramic views of the city. Unwind after your travels with an in-room wellness treatment or relax by the Roman style swimming pool with a refreshing drink from the bar. 

Where you’ll stay: Castello Di Monte

Located in the heart of the city, Castello Di Monte is the perfect urban oasis for your overnight stay in Pretoria. The Tuscan-style estate features an outdoor pool, manicured gardens and panoramic views of the city.

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Day six – eight

Train Icon

Transfer Rovos Rail Station

Check-in Rovos Rail

Today, your driver will accompany you to the Rovos Rail Station in Pretoria. Step back in time as you board the luxurious Rovos Rail for their bespoke 4 day journey north to Zimbabwe. The ultimate slow travel experience, sit back and relax as the train ambles from Pretoria, through Warmbaths, Nylstroom and the Tropic of Capricorn before traversing Hwange National Park to your final destination, Victoria Falls. Life on board is effortless and you can enjoy the charm of a bygone era while mingling in the lounge car, watching the scenery unfold with the wind in your hair from the open-air observation deck and sipping on bubbles before a culinary experience in the dining car. In Hwange, you can enjoy an afternoon game drive at The Hide, home to herds of elephant, buffalo and following close behind, lion. 

Where you’ll stay: Rovos Rail

Recapture the atmosphere of a bygone era aboard the Rovos Rail, a reconditioned train. The train features luxurious suites, an old world dining car and observation car – the perfect spot to watch the world go by.


Enjoy the day unfold at a leisurely pace, soak up the ever-changing scenery from the observation car and relish in world-class culinary experiences at the dining car. Guests will also have the opportunity to enjoy a safari.

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Day nine

Train Icon

Arrive Victoria Falls Station

Check-in Victoria Falls Hotel

Today, marks the end of your luxury train safari. As the train pulls into Victoria Falls Station, you will meet a representative who will accompany you to the historic Victoria Falls Hotel. Located in Victoria Falls National Park and within walking distance of the Falls, the 1904 Edwardian-style hotel is the perfect base for your night in Zimbabwe. In the afternoon, follow the direct footpath to the Falls or enjoy a traditional afternoon high tea served on Stanley’s Terrace with spectacular views of the spray from the Falls below. 

Where you’ll stay: Victoria Falls Hotel

Built in 1904, the historic Victoria Falls Hotel exudes an old world charm and is ideally located a short 10 minute walk from the Falls. The hotel is renowned for impeccable service, luxurious accommodation and exceptional facilities.


The highlight of your stay will be meandering through the manicured garden to Victoria Falls. Guests can also enjoy the hotel’s Heritage Tour,  tea overlooking the Victoria Falls bridge and relaxing beauty treatments.

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Day ten – eleven

Boat Cruise Icon

Transfer Chobe River

Board Zambezi Queen

Your slow travel safari continues on the luxurious Zambezi Queen, a world-class floating hotel designed with all the creature comforts for the discerning traveler. Your guide will meet you at the Victoria Falls Hotel and transfer you from Kasane through to the Namibian banks of the Chobe River. Here, you will enjoy two nights on board the Zambezi Queen as it glides by wallowing hippos and elephants drinking from the shores. There are an array of water-based safari activities on offer including tiger fishing, photographic safari expeditions, water-based birding excursion and guided river safaris. After adventurous days exploring the banks of the Chobe, return to your floating hotel and relax in the spacious lounges, enjoy the pool on board and world-class dining. 

Where you’ll stay: Zambezi Queen

An ever-elegant floating hotel, the Zambezi Queen features 14 pristine suites, a swimming pool and luxurious dining area. Guests can enjoy their very own front facing private deck – the perfect vantage point to watch the landscape unfold with plenty of big game viewing opportunities. 


Your time onboard the Zambezi Queen can be designed according to your mood. Join your guide on a unique boat safari, fishing expedition or work on your photography skills. Land based activities include visiting Africa’s most ancient baobab trees and a tour of the local village.

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Day twelve



Transfer to Kasane International Airport

As the Zambezi Queen returns to the riverbank of the Chobe River, your guide will accompany you through the Namibia Immigration Office and transfer you to Kasane International Airport for your onward journey home.

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