You are here:

Shongololo Express: Southern Cross Adventure

Private Travel | Non-exclusive | Rail journeys 17 Days & 14 Nights Lead-in price: £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
Prevsee moreNext

Standard Private Tour in brief

Day 1: Fly overnight to Johannesburg


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.


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 ...

Standard private tour extensions

Back to top

Dates & prices


Guideline Prices

Low season from £7585 per person

High season from £7675 per person


Vaccination Travel Policy
All clients must be fully vaccinated before travelling with us on a Cox & Kings (C&K) group tour. This means that a customer must have received their full two doses of the COVID‑19 vaccination at least 14 days before travelling with us. This does not apply to our private tours or tailor-made travel. If you have any questions please call us or visit our FAQs page on our website here

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

Guaranteed Departures Where a tour date has ‘yes’ listed, this tour is guaranteed to run.

For all other departure dates, once the minimum number of people booked has been reached, this tour is also guaranteed to run. Our sales consultants will be able to advise how many people are booked for your chosen date at the time of enquiry, giving you the confidence to book safe in the knowledge your tour will go ahead.

Terms & Conditions Guaranteed departures will run except in the circumstances where travel to the destination is advised against by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or entry restrictions relating to COVID-19 preclude travel.

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

Prev see more Next