Shongololo Express began operations in 1995 to provide a very special touring experience for visitors to Southern Africa. Shongololo tours traverse seven countries on the southern African continent: South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia and Namibia.
Each train carries a fleet of air-conditioned Mercedes Benz touring vehicles with professional guides on board (English, German, Dutch or French speaking) who are ready to take guests on inclusive scheduled tours to experience the unique sights of the area. For the more adventurous there are also tour add-ons from ballooning, to elephant riding to scuba diving available at many locations.
The chefs offer South African menus that include Cape Dutch and Malay recipes as well as authentic African dishes. Meals are complemented by a selection of delightful and distinguished South African wines. It is the aim and the pleasure of every staff member on board to provide you with friendly and efficient service.
Day 1: Johannesburg
Gauteng is the economic powerhouse of the Southern African region and home to some of Africa’s greatest cities. The name of the province derives from the Sotho word meaning “Place of Gold”, which is very suitable since much of the wealth of Gauteng has come from this precious metal.
Day 2: Panorama Route
The world-renowned Panorama Route is situated in the province of Mpumalanga, which means “Land of the Rising Sun”. It is a province of extraordinary natural beauty.
Day 3: Kruger National Park
The world-renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience that equals the best anywhere. Its 2 million hectares are unrivalled in diversity of life forms and the park is a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques. The park is home to an impressive number of species, e.g. 336 species of trees, 49 species of fish, 34 species of amphibians, 114 species of reptiles, 507 species of birds and 147 species of mammals Including the big 5. Game drives will be conducted in our air-conditioned vehicles.
Day 4: Swaziland
The tiny Kingdom of Swaziland covers only 17 000 square kilometres, making it the second smallest country in Africa.
Day 5: Zululand, Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park
An early departure to the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve will get us into the park to experience wildlife magic. The park lies in the heart of Zululand where ancient trails lead through the thorn veld and along the mighty rivers of Africa’s oldest established wilderness area. Once the exclusive royal hunting ground of King Shaka, it is a tapestry of natural and cultural history. The park is a treasure store of species including Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo, Wildebeest, Zebra, Giraffe, Kudu, Bushbuck, Cheetah, Hyena and many others. Over 300 bird species have been recorded. Game drives will be conducted in our vehicles.
Day 6: Zululand, Isimangaliso Wetland park - St Lucia & Zulu Cultural Experience
In the morning guests will depart to visit the St Lucia Wetlands, declared a World Heritage Site, here we will take a cruise on the St Lucia Estuary, looking for hippos, crocodiles, and a large variety of water birds. After lunch we’ll drive to Bushlands & Dumazulu to undergo a guided tour of a Zulu Cultural Village.
Day 7: Durban
We recommend that you opt for an excursion today – a Durban city tour, a Durban spiritual tour or a Umhlanga Rocks beach day, as the train will go into the yard for inspection & service.
Day 8: Midlands / Southern Drakensberg
Guests now head towards the eastern jagged peaks called the Drakensberg, follow the waterways as they drop and cascade down mountain clefts, and through hidden valleys and the tumbling luscious hills that extend through the Midlands.
Day 9: Bloemfontein / Kimberley
Bloemfontein is the seat of the South African judicial system. At the end of the 19th century it was also the capital of one of the old Boer republics, namely the Orange Free State. Kimberley is the capital city of the Northern Cape, well known of the Big Hole and the discovery of the diamonds that led to the establishment of the city in 1893.
Day 10: Winelands / Overberg Region
The fertile green valleys of the Cape Winelands are surrounded by proud mountain ranges. A Mediterranean climate and winter rainfall create some of the best wines in the world. The rich, fertile soils along the Breede River and the Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl areas have become justly famous for their Whites, Reds, Sherries, Ports and Brandies. The Overberg region to the southeast embraces mountains, valleys and coastal areas and annually welcomes the Southern Right Whale to its waters.
Day 11 - 12: Cape Town
Cape Town is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world with Table Mountain dominating its skyline. Enjoy tours of the city and Cape Point.
Day 13: Cape Town
Afternoon transfer to the airport.