General Info

General Info


Upon written request via email/fax and subject to availability, we will PROVISIONALLY book your place on the chosen tour. Space is allocated and held BUT if another client requires definite suites, the holding agent/guest will be asked to confirm with a deposit payment or release the suite. Upon written confirmation via email/fax and a completed Reservation Form, final confirmation details and an invoice will be sent. Upon receipt of the relevant payment the booking will be CONFIRMED. Conditions apply. See T&C.


Cancellation of a confirmed booking received prior to departure is subject to a fee of the per person tour price. See T&C. Cancellation insurance is compulsory as these fees will not be waived. We offer insurance to South African residents. For international guests we suggest you contact your local insurance agent for assistance. Please bring a copy of your travel insurance policy stating clearly the company, policy number and 24-hour medical emergency telephone number.

Scheduling Times, Routes and Excursions

We cannot be held liable for any delays due to trains not running to schedule. Off-train excursions cannot be guaranteed and will only be undertaken if time and circumstances permit. Departure and arrival times are approximate and cannot be guaranteed. We reserve the right to alter our routing at any time between departure and arrival points. We caution against same-day air travel on departure or arrival days due to possible delays with flights or the train. We do our best to fulfil our obligations but it goes without saying that with many locomotive changes as well as other logistical permutations it is not uncommon to be delayed.


  • All guests are solely responsible for ensuring they are capable of undertaking the tours and activities.
  • Please inform us at the time of your reservation if you have any medical conditions, physical disabilities or allergies.
  • There is a basic First Aid Kit on board.
  • We have a doctor on board on the Dar es Salaam and Angola trips.
  • Anti-malarial precautions are recommended. Malaria areas: Swaziland, Kruger Park, Northern Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Etosha, Tanzania, DRC and Angola.
  • Recommended immunisations (not required): Hepatitis A + B, Polio, Tetanus, Cholera (low risk).
  • A Yellow Fever/Medical Exemption Certificate is essential if travelling to/from Tanzania, DRC and Angola. Although all countries travelled through don’t require this, countries guests return to after the trip often require them.
  • Please consult your clinic or doctor. TRAVEL DOCTOR AFRICA local 0861 300 911 or international +27 (0) 11 214 9030.

Passports & Visas

The onus is upon the client to ensure that passports and visas, as may be required, are valid prior to departure for Africa. On the various journeys we travel through South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Angola. Some nationalities are eligible to purchase port-of-entry visas. Immigration forms will be available on board. Please ensure you have a minimum of US$200 in cash with you. Angolan and DRC visas must be obtained prior to travel. We request guests obtain their Tanzanian visa prior to travel when possible. Passports must have at least five blank VISA pages and must be valid for at least six months from your return-home date. Please enquire with us or check with the relevant embassies in good time regarding applications. Visas are also available through visa and booking agents.


Rovos Rail provides a complete amenity bag with the following organic South African products: soap (25g), tissues, shampoo (30ml), conditioner (30ml), bath and shower gel (30ml), hand and body lotion (30ml), lip balm (4.8g), sun cream SPF50 (8ml), insect repellent gel (8ml), cotton-wool pads, ear buds, a shoe mit, nail file, small sewing kit and a shower cap. Plug-in hairdryers – in addition to your bathroom unit – are available on board.


Please be sensitive to the adult atmosphere of the train by keeping your children respectful and quiet. There are no child-minding facilities or activities for children on board. See Child Policy.


  • South Africa – Rands only. We accept all major credit cards on the train.
  • Outside of South Africa – Any off-train expenses or additional excursions booked while on the train are to be paid with US Dollars. Cash is highly recommended. Hotels and major dealers accept credit cards.
  • US Dollars printed before year 2009 or that look worn will not be accepted. Low denominations recommended for shopping/gratuities. Larger denominations recommended for exchanging money to local currency (especially in Tanzania) as you get a better rate.

Dietary Requirements

We will do our best to cater for dietary requirements provided a detailed request has been made on the Reservation Form. If a special request has not been made, the chefs will endeavour to prepare suitable meals with the ingredients available on board. We regret we are unable to provide meals requiring strict religious observance in the preparation.


We will do our best to cater for dietary requirements provided a detailed request has been made at that time of your reservation. If a special request has not been made, the chefs will endeavour to prepare suitable meals with the ingredients available on board. We regret we are unable to prepare meals requiring strict religious observance in the preparation.


  • Days on board are smart casual: Neat, conventional yet relatively informal in style combining casual and formal clothing pieces.
  • Evening attire is more formal: For gentlemen a jacket and tie is a minimum requirement while for ladies we suggest cocktail/evening dresses or suits. On long journeys we enjoy theme evenings where guests can dress up accordingly or opt for smart casual:
  • Golf Safari, African Golf Collage, Dar es Salaam and Lobito: 1 x “AFRICA” evening and 1 x “1920s” evening.
  • Namibia Safari: 1 x “AFRICA” evening. See Journey Info.
  • Off-train excursions: We recommend comfortable walking shoes, sun lotion and hats. If required, blankets and rain capes are available.
  • Game drives are on open vehicles so please dress accordingly: mornings can be cool then warm up considerably; afternoons can be warm then cool down considerably. Please see average temperatures as a guide.


220V AC 50Hz 3-point round-pronged wall plugs and 110V/220V 2-pin plugs for shavers and chargers. International adaptors available. A generator supplies power. Please be aware that certain breaks in power are necessary when servicing is required.

Gift Shop/Administration

There is a small gift shop on the train and at Rovos Rail Station. Due to the varying exchange rates, credit cards are preferred. The host/ess on duty has a basic First Aid Kit and personal essentials (toothbrushes, razors, earplugs etc.). He/she will also fulfil any administrative requirements and check your onward arrangements.


Gratuities for the staff are at your discretion. If you wish to show your appreciation in this manner, there will be a suitably marked envelope in your suite that you can hand directly to the Train Manager who will distribute any amounts on a pro-rata basis (share) among the staff on board. An amount between ZAR100-200 (± US$10-20) per person per night is suggested, depending on the length of your journey.


There is a limited laundry service on board comprising household washers, dryers and steam irons. The turnaround is
48 hours so we are not able to handle a week’s worth of laundry. There are no dry-cleaning facilities en route or on board the train. Please note that while we are providing a complimentary service we cannot be held responsible for items that may be damaged or
lost in the process.


Use of steam has become increasingly difficult over the years as more and more water and coaling facilities have been scrapped. Diesel or electric locomotives are used while steam is used in and around the area of Rovos Rail Station only.


Each suite has a luggage rack that runs its length providing ample space for storage. On selected annual journeys, guests are provided with a Rovos Rail tog bag that can be used for overnight trips or hand luggage on aircraft.

Magazines, Maps and Games

There are board games, playing cards, a card table (dependent), books and magazines available for your use in the lounge and observation cars while on board. In your suite is a map, itinerary and the Journeys magazine featuring articles of interest related to your route.

Mobile Devices and Internet

In maintaining the spirit of train travel there are no radios or television sets on board. The use of mobile phones, laptops and essentially anything that has the ability to disturb other passengers is confined to the privacy of your suites only. The reception is poor while the train is moving. It is advised to contact your service provider to ensure the correct settings for network services are activated. WiFi is available at our lounges in Cape Town and Pretoria and at most off-train accommodation.


Stamps are available for sale from the Gift Shop. Postcards may be posted in the postbox at the entrance to the observation car or at Rovos Rail Station in Pretoria.


An electronic safe is provided in the cupboard in each suite.


On board the train smoking is allowed in the club lounge and suites. HOWEVER, please be mindful of other non-smoking guests, that the train is generally made up of wood and DO NOT throw flammable items such as cigarette or cigar butts off the train. Bush fires in Africa are a constant and dangerous hazard. Please note at the time of your reservation if you are smoking or non-smoking so that the appropriate room might be requested at the hotels.

Special Occasions

Please note at the time of your reservation if you are celebrating an occasion as we’d like to share it with you.


All public cars are fitted with gas-filled air-conditioning systems. Each suite has an individual air-conditioner with individual temperature controls that can also be set to heat mode. Fresh-air intake is solved by opening a window. Windows should be closed while operating the air-conditioning unit. Electric under-blankets are fitted on the bed. See General Info download for average temperatures.

The Track

The track over which we travel is inconsistently maintained. If you wake at night imagining the train is travelling at high speed, be assured it is the state of the track below creating that impression. We restrict the train to 60km/h (37mph) and over bad sections reduce speed to as little as 20km/h (12mph). If you find it noisy, earplugs are available.


The water used on the train is carried in tanks under each coach. These tanks are filled every day but they cannot be topped up while the train is travelling. Please assist us by using water responsibly. Water inside the cabins has been filtered and chlorinated; it is safe for bathing and brushing teeth only. Please use the bottled water provided for drinking.


The world-renowned Kruger National Park has 2-million hectares of an unrivalled diversity in life forms. It is a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and 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 Five. Read more >
Activity: Game drive.

Read More