Trip aboard the Rovos Rail & Victoria Falls

The world’s finest luxury train, Rovos Rail offers journeys across South Africa or further afield to iconic destinations such as Victoria Falls.

Getting There: Before hopping on Rovos Rail, we flew from Cape Town to Pretoria and then onto Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

“Victoria Falls also known as “Mosi oa-Tunya” (“the smoke that thunders”) is positioned almost exactly half way along the mighty Zambezi River’s 2700 km journey from its source to the sea. Here the river plunges headlong into a 100m vertical chasm spanning the full one-and-a-half-kilometer width of the river. Creating the biggest curtain of falling water in the world and also one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

Upon arrival at Victoria Falls Airport, we were met by a very friendly Shearwater – Victoria Falls representative holding a sign with our names on it, warmly welcoming us to Victoria Falls.

We proceeded to the vehicle, stocked with bottled water, and ready to see the beauty, that is Victoria Falls.

Our first stop was the Victoria Falls Hotel, while on route to the hotel the driver provided us with interesting information regarding Victoria Falls, did you know that the Victoria Falls Town is in a national park and people who harm the animals are fined?

Given the popularity of Victoria Falls, accommodation options are plentiful and cover from the most modest of budgets to the heights of luxury.

We chose to stay at the The Victoria Falls Hotel, being the first hotel to be built (over 100 years ago) it in prime position, with views overlooking the magnificent Victoria Falls Bridge and gorge below.

The Queen Mother’s hotel of choice, this hotel sits firmly in the luxury hotel category. Built in 1904, it mixes colonial charm with modern comforts in a grand setting. The very first hotel to be built in the area, The Victoria Falls Hotel continues to be a very popular choice.

The Victoria Falls Hotel is located on a huge property, showcasing local art around the property, while being walking distance to the local town and having it has its own private path to Victoria Falls Rain Forest – this was a bonus! My husband and I absolutely loved mixing with the locals in Zimbabwe they were always extremely friendly, attentive and welcoming.

After freshening up at the hotel we went on our first excursion, a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River. We were really spoilt as we were only 4 guests booked on this sunset cruise, we had the entire boat to ourselves, sharing it with 2 guests from England, we all thoroughly had a great time, sipping cocktails and enjoying the beautiful sunset.

It was not long before we are all back on our feet as we have spotted some hippos. A couple of them eye us suspiciously, barely visible above the water line, their ears twitching as they watch us glide on by, whilst others treat us to a fantastic yawning display – it is a hard life doing all this wallowing!

Our captain gave us history on the river and where it all started, while providing information on the animals and birds we saw on the river, this was honestly the best way to start off our honeymoon trip.

As the light begins to fade, we turn around and make our way back down river. I stand at the back of the boat with the others. We are quiet, all lost in thought as we watch the sun setting below the horizon. The only sounds are the light whirr of the engine, animal calls and the faint rumble of Victoria Fall a few kilometers away.

Back on dry land, we were all in high spirits – what a great excursion!

The following day was all about Victoria Falls! First off, the Flight of The Angels – a 10 – 12-minute flight over the Falls, which provided majestic panoramic views over Victoria Falls. This flight is short, sweet but unforgettable.

Our next stop was the rain forest for a guided tour of the falls, we booked all our day tours and transfers with Shearwater – Victoria Falls. They were friendly, knowledgeable and extremely attentive.

Our guide escorted us through the one of the Seven Natural Wonders of The World.

The main attraction and number one reason to visit this unique destination. The Victoria Falls. An astounding natural beauty of thundering water and misty rainbows.

There are 19 viewpoints, 15 in Zimbabwe and 4 in Zambia – we only walked until 9 as it started to really come down, but we were provided with plastic raincoats! A travel tip – do NOT wear expensive shoes when visiting the falls, it will just get damaged, and ensure your shoes have grip – it gets seriously wet!

It was a breathtaking experience!

After all that walking, we enjoyed a late lunch in the town and decided to lounge at the pool before it was time to board Rovos Rail!

We boarded the Rovos Rail later that day for a 4-day experience on the world’s most luxurious train!

Not only was the look very “old school cool,” but it was also no-tech. No phones or electronics are allowed outside of your cabin. As someone who spends most of her time online and with technology, this was a nice break.

Like all Rovos Rail trips, you can expect 5-star service onboard the trains. The charming “Victorian chic” atmosphere is everywhere. Every meal feels like an event– from breakfast to lunch, the food was incredible.

Rovos Rail is all about keeping things local and fresh, so the meals were all traditional African cuisine with seasonal ingredients.

Africa In Style - Albatros Travel

Our second day on the train had us depart the train for a early morning game drive at The Hide Lodge located in Hwange.

With just over 100 species of mammels & 400 birds recorded in the park, including the largest population of elephants – this was a welcomed stop on the trip!

On return, we were met by very friendly staff providing hand towels and champagne. We then relaxed in the observation car for the rest of the afternoon.

Rovos Rail’s unique train safaris through the heart of Africa combine some of the most magnificent scenery with the glamour and excitement of the golden age of steam.

Our suite was equipped with a comfortable sofa-seat during the day with a conversion to double or twin beds for the evening, and also have an en-suite bathroom with shower to that of the Deluxe Suites.

All suites offer passengers the opportunity to travel in privacy, comfort and luxury, with fittings and facilities that are of the highest standard. All are equipped with a writing surface and a personal safe for valuables. There is also a bar fridge filled with beverages of the passengers’ choice and room service is available 24 hours a day.

Rovos Rail was honestly an amazing experience, but my favorite part was dinner, each evening, we had to dress up for dinner, making it a romantic, special occasion each evening with my husband.

For stylish holiday travel through Southern Africa on the Rovos Rail with Albatros Travel Africa, a journey on the classic train which combines exhilarating bucket list experiences in Zimbabwe, while recapturing the romance of a by-gone era, a wonderful way to witness the beauty of Africa

I won’t easily forget this trip.

Have a look at Albatros Travel Rovos Rail & Victoria Falls packages here:

10 Day South Africa in Style

4 Day Victoria Falls Package

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