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Shongololo Express: Southern Cross Adventure

Private Travel | Non-exclusive | Rail journeys 17 Days & 14 Nights Lead-in price: £7585 Current prices from: £7585
This panoramic rail journey aboard the Shongololo Express offers an exciting alternative to a self-drive or privately guided safari tour. Starting from Victoria Falls, travel by train across Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Eswatini (Swaziland) and South Africa. Along the way join thrilling game drives, absorb colourful colonial and tribal history and marvel at the ever-changing landscapes, from dramatic peaks and fertile plains to lush forests. Finish in Pretoria before flying back from Johannesburg.

The Cox & Kings signature experiences

  • Journey through four countries
  • Insight into the history of Johannesburg
  • Wildlife drives in Kapama Game Reserve and Kruger, Hwange and Matobo national parks
  • Evening cruise on the Zambezi river
  • Visit Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre
  • Stay in 4- & 5-star accommodation

Bulawayo

  J F M A M J J A S O N D
Max temp (C)(F) 2882 2781 2781 2679 2475 2170 2170 2475 2882 2984 2882 2882
Min temp (C)(F) 1661 1661 1559 1254 846 541 541 846 1152 1457 1559 1661
Sunshine hours 8 8 8 8 9 9 9 10 10 9 8 7
Daylight hours 13 13 12 12 11 11 11 11 12 13 13 13
Rainfall (mm)(in) 1245 1104 552 341 80 30 10 10 70 371 904 1235
Rainy Days 12 11 7 4 2 1 1 1 1 5 10 13
Humidity E E E VH VH H H VH E E E E
UV 11+/E 11+/E 11+/E 10/VH 8/VH 7/H 7/H 9/VH 11/E 11+/E 11+/E 11/E
Sea temp (C)(F) N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A

Great Zimbabwe

  J F M A M J J A S O N D
Max temp (C)(F) 2781 2781 2679 2577 2373 2170 2170 2475 2781 2984 2882 2781
Min temp (C)(F) 1763 1661 1559 1355 948 643 643 846 1152 1559 1661 1763
Sunshine hours 8 7 8 8 9 8 9 9 9 8 8 7
Daylight hours 13 13 12 12 11 11 11 11 12 13 13 13
Rainfall (mm)(in) 1857 1667 1315 412 151 161 90 90 110 301 853 1667
Rainy Days 13 11 8 4 3 2 2 2 2 5 9 13
Humidity E E E VH VH H H VH VH E E E
UV 11+/E 11+/E 11+/E 10/VH 8/VH 7/H 7/H 8/VH 10/VH 11+/E 11+/E 11+/E
Sea temp (C)(F) N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A

Harare

  J F M A M J J A S O N D
Max temp (C)(F) 2679 2679 2679 2577 2373 2272 2170 2475 2781 2984 2882 2679
Min temp (C)(F) 1661 1661 1457 1254 846 643 541 745 1050 1355 1559 1661
Sunshine hours 7 6 7 8 9 9 9 10 10 9 8 6
Daylight hours 13 13 12 12 11 11 11 12 12 13 13 13
Rainfall (mm)(in) 2098 1817 1165 442 80 20 20 20 60 381 1004 1797
Rainy Days 17 15 11 6 2 1 1 1 1 5 11 16
Humidity L L L N N N N N L L L L
UV 11+/E 11+/E 11+/E 11/E 8/VH 7/H 8/VH 9/VH 11/E 11+/E 11+/E 11+/E
Sea temp (C)(F) N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A

Hwange National Park

  J F M A M J J A S O N D
Max temp (C)(F) 2984 2984 2984 2984 2781 2577 2577 2882 3290 3493 3290 3086
Min temp (C)(F) 1864 1763 1661 1457 948 541 541 846 1355 1763 1864 1864
Sunshine hours 8 8 8 9 9 9 10 11 11 9 8 7
Daylight hours 13 13 12 12 11 11 11 12 12 13 13 13
Rainfall (mm)(in) 1436 1165 572 271 40 10 0 0 30 181 643 1235
Rainy Days 14 12 8 3 1 0 0 0 1 4 9 13
Humidity E E E VH VH H H VH E E E E
UV 11+/E 11+/E 11+/E 10/VH 8/VH 7/H 7/H 9/VH 11/E 11+/E 11+/E 11+/E
Sea temp (C)(F) N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A

Lake Kariba & Matusadona NP

  J F M A M J J A S O N D
Max temp (C)(F) 3188 3188 3188 3188 2984 2781 2781 2984 3391 3595 3493 3290
Min temp (C)(F) 2272 2170 2170 1966 1559 1254 1254 1457 1966 2373 2475 2272
Sunshine hours 7 7 8 9 10 9 10 10 10 10 8 6
Daylight hours 13 13 12 12 11 11 11 12 12 12 13 13
Rainfall (mm)(in) 1958 1576 1225 331 50 0 0 0 0 151 733 1877
Rainy Days 16 14 9 4 1 0 0 0 0 2 8 15
Humidity E E E E VH H VH VH E E E E
UV 11+/E 11+/E 11+/E 11/E 8/VH 7/H 8/VH 9/VH 11/E 11+/E 11+/E 11+/E
Sea temp (C)(F) N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A

Mana Pools NP

  J F M A M J J A S O N D
Max temp (C)(F) 3188 3188 3290 3290 3086 2882 2882 3086 3493 3799 3595 3391
Min temp (C)(F) 2272 2272 2068 1864 1457 1152 1152 1355 1864 2272 2373 2272
Sunshine hours 6 6 7 9 9 9 9 10 10 9 8 6
Daylight hours 13 13 12 12 11 11 11 12 12 13 13 13
Rainfall (mm)(in) 1817 1526 883 221 10 0 0 0 0 131 492 1807
Rainy Days 17 14 11 3 1 0 0 0 0 2 8 15
Humidity E E E E VH H VH VH E E E E
UV 11+/E 11+/E 11+/E 11/E 9/VH 7/H 8/VH 9/VH 11/E 11+/E 11+/E 11+/E
Sea temp (C)(F) N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A

Victoria Falls

  J F M A M J J A S O N D
Max temp (C)(F) 3188 3086 3188 3086 2882 2679 2679 2984 3391 3493 3391 3188
Min temp (C)(F) 2068 1966 1864 1661 1152 846 745 1050 1559 1966 2068 2068
Sunshine hours 7 7 8 9 10 9 10 10 10 9 8 7
Daylight hours 13 13 12 12 11 11 11 12 12 13 13 13
Rainfall (mm)(in) 1717 1406 763 201 30 0 0 0 10 201 643 1636
Rainy Days 15 13 8 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 10 15
Humidity H H H H M N L L H H H H
UV 11+/E 11+/E 11+/E 11/E 8/VH 7/H 8/VH 9/VH 11/E 11+/E 11+/E 11+/E
Sea temp (C)(F) N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A N/AN/A
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Standard Private Tour in brief

Day 1: Fly overnight to Johannesburg

(N)

Day 2: Johannesburg • Pretoria

Early morning arrival in Johannesburg. Afternoon tour of Constitution Hill and the downtown area for an insight into South Africa’s turbulent history and the bustling district of Braamfontein. Cross the Nelson Mandela Bridge and enjoy a spectacular view of Johannesburg’s skyline. Then transfer to Pretoria for an overnight stay at the charming 131 on Herbert Baker hotel (or similar). (N)

Day 3: Pretoria

Check in at Rovos Rail Station before taking a tour of Pretoria. In the afternoon join the Shongololo Express train in a Gold Cabin* for an 11-night journey through some of Africa’s most picturesque landscapes. (B, D)

Day 4: Panorama Route

Full-day panoramic tour of Pilgrim’s Rest, a once thriving gold rush town; Bourke’s Luck Potholes, strange cylindrical cavities formed by erosion; and Graskop, which offers sweeping views of the Lowveld. Rejoin the train in Nelspruit and continue on to Malelane. (B, D)

Day 5: Kruger National Park

Full-day wildlife drive in Kruger National Park, home to the ‘Big Five’ as well as cheetahs, hippos and wild dogs. In the evening, depart for Mozambique. (B, D)

Day 6: Maputo

Wake up in Mozambique and take a tour of the colourful capital city of Maputo, an architectural blend of African and Portuguese colonial traditions. Return to the train for afternoon tea and head for Mpaka in Eswatini (Swaziland). (B, L, D)

Day 7: Eswatini (Swaziland)

This morning depart in road vehicles from Mpaka to discover the beauty of the tiny kingdom of Eswatini (Swaziland). Take in the spectacular views of the Ezulwini valley and the Komati river and visit the Swazi market. Rejoin the train in Kaapmuiden and depart for Hoedspruit in Limpopo. (B, D)

Day 8: Kapama Game Reserve

Morning wildlife drive in Kapama Game Reserve, South Africa, followed by a visit to the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre. The centre focuses on the conservation of rare, vulnerable or endangered animals, particularly cheetahs. Return to the train for lunch as it departs for Tzaneen, with an overnight stop at Louis Trichardt. (B, L, D)

Day 9: On board the train

A day on board the train as you travel north to Zimbabwe. (B, L, D)

Day 10: Great Zimbabwe Monument

Upon arrival in Oreti, drive to the Great Zimbabwe Monument, a Unesco world heritage site. This is the largest ancient man-made structure south of the Egyptian pyramids. (B, L, D)

Day 11: Antelope Park

Full day at Antelope Park, home to the ALERT lion conservation program. Optional extras include canoeing, wildlife drives, horseback wildlife viewing and a birdwatching cruise. Return to the train and depart for Bulawayo. (B, D)

Day 12: Matobo/Matopos National Park

Full-day tour of Matobo/Matopos National Park with its dramatic hills and rock formations. Visit the grave of Cecil John Rhodes as well as Bushmen caves hidden among the hills. Continue on to Kennedy. (B, L, D)

Day 13: Hwange National Park

Full day of game drives in Hwange National Park, the largest wildlife reserve in Zimbabwe and known for its prolific elephant, lion and wild dog populations. (B, L, D)

Day 14: Victoria Falls

Disembark at Victoria Falls station then take a walking tour of the falls. In the evening join a sunset cruise on the Zambezi river. Stay 2 nights at the landmark Victoria Falls Hotel. (B)

Day 15: Victoria Falls

Day at leisure. Optional activities include a scenic helicopter flight over the falls. (B)

Days 16-17: Fly home via Johannesburg

Transfer to the airport and fly home via Johannesburg. Arrive the next day. (B) (N)

Meal basis:

As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.

Important information Non-exclusive activities:

During the rail journey, all transfers and excursions are operated as a group with other passengers who may or may not be Cox & Kings clients.

Itinerary:

The Shongololo Express offers the itinerary in reverse without any changes to the content of the tour. Please check the itinerary when you board the train as this is subject to change at the discretion of the operator. As the train uses the national railway facilities of Zimbabwe, South Africa, Eswatini (Swaziland) and Mozambique, there is the possibility that the train could be delayed, stopped or rerouted at any time. Daily activities could therefore be shortened, altered or cancelled.

* Cabin upgrade:

Upgrades to an Emerald cabin are possible, please contact our specialists for details.

Overnight journeys:

The train travels overnight between towns, allowing more time to see the sights in each destination.

Standard tour

This tour is based in 3- and 4-star accommodation.

Single supplement

Available on request.

Tailor-made travel

For a price quote based on alternative accommodation standards, to discuss flight options or to tailor this itinerary, please call to speak with a Cox & Kings consultant or enquire online.

Standard private tour accommodation

  • The Victoria Falls Hotel
    The Victoria Falls Hotel

    The historic Edwardian-style Victoria Falls Hotel is located amongst lush tropical gardens inside the Victoria Falls National Park, just a ten minute walk away from the Unesco World Heritage Site of Victoria Falls. Established in 1904, this original railway hotel is full of nostalgia of a bygone colonial era and is noted for the splendid views across the manicured gardens to the Victoria Falls Bridge. There are 161 en suite rooms, comprising 37 standard rooms, 58 traditional rooms, 48 de luxe rooms, seven junior suites, four honeymoon suites, six executive suites and the royal suite. The latter was occupied by Queen Elizabeth during a royal visit in 1947. The corridors to the rooms are lined with historical artefacts, with particular reference to the building of the railway from Cape Town to what is now Zambia. Inside, the rooms retain their old world charm, but are now fitted with modern conveniences, including air ...

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  • 131 on Herbert Baker
    131 on Herbert Baker

    131 on Herbert Baker is an exquisite boutique hotel, which is grandly situated on the famous Herbert Baker street in Pretoria. The property is five minutes' drive from Pretoria's CBD and within close proximity to the top shopping malls, restaurants, golf courses, and entertainment venues. There are seven luxury rooms and one presidential suite, all with private balconies and breathtaking views. The rooms are beautifully furnished in an understated elegance. Each room has large, comfortable beds, fine linen, a telephone, wireless internet access, a television, air conditioning, a hairdryer, minibar and digital safe.

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Standard private tour extensions

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Dates & prices

LOO2021

Guideline Prices

Low season from £7585 per person

High season from £7675 per person

 

Flexible Prices & Itineraries
For a quote based on alternative accommodation standards or flight options, or to tailor this itinerary, please call 020 7873 5000 or send an email enquiry

Additional Information

Please call 020 7873 5000 for more information or to make a booking.

Prices above are per person in pounds sterling (£), based on two people sharing a twin-room. The prices which were valid at the time of publication, may be subject to change, particularly as a result of variable flight costs. You will be informed of any such changes prior to booking.

 
  • • 4- & 5-star accommodation either side of the rail journey
    • 11 nights aboard the stylish Shongololo Express train
    • 14 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 11 dinners
    • Guided off-train excursions as specified
    • Entrance fees & porterage

Destinations on this tour

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