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November 1, 2013updated Aug 12, 2015

Rovos Rail

By Chris Boyle

Top cabin: Royal Suite

Hillside Excursion / Rovos Rail

Key selling points: Comprising half a carriage, the stately Royal Suite is outfitted with gorgeous wood paneling, period Edwardian pieces—such as wingback armchairs in the lounge—and rich textiles and fabrics. The large bathroom boasts a standup shower and a Victorian claw-foot tub with a view of the ever-changing panoramas through large windows.

Standout service: The crew stopped the train on a bridge near Victoria Falls, cleared the observation car, scattered rose petals on the open-air balcony, and left a bottle of champagne and two glasses for a guest who wanted to propose to his girlfriend at sunset.

Style: Pre-war glamour, by Rohan and Anthea Vos, 1989

Special amenities: Granny Goose linens, African Extracts bath amenities, Rovos Rail slippers, complimentary postal services, plastic goggles (for guests who want to stick their head out the window so they can shield their eyes fromdebris)

Lounge / Royal Suite

Square footage: 172

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Number of bedrooms: One open-plan space

Number of bathrooms: One

Number of cabins on train: 36 suites

Who’s slept here?: Sports professionals and notable businessmen

Rate: From $2,730 for a two-night itinerary

Route: The train operates eight different routes: Two-night excursions from Pretoria to Cape Town, Victoria Falls, and Durban; a nine-day Golf Safari, African Golf Collage, or Namibia Safari that all originate in Pretoria; a two-week Cape Town to Dar es Salaam journey; and a 28-day Cape Town to Cairo trip. Charter: Rovos Rail operates separate trains for private charters that, depending on availability, can travel along any railway line in Southern Africa. They can also allocate one leg of a scheduled departure to a private charter.

Owner Brenda Vos


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