Spending nights on board a train immediately conjures up ideas of romance, intrigue and the mystery of days gone by. Whether you’re a honeymooning couple, a family looking for a travel adventure with a twist, or you want to make a rail journey part of your wider African itinerary, rail travel is unlike any other experience – here’s what you can expect.

1. Romance and the taste of a bygone era

Rail travel is associated with the nostalgia of times gone by. On Rovos Rail, you’ll stay in vintage wood-panelled coaches restored with period décor and get dressed up in your finest (formal) attire for dinner, truly immersing yourself in the glamour of the golden age of yesteryear. If you’ve ever wondered how it would feel to be Kate Winslet on the set of Titanic, this experience is not far off.

Take a look at our Romantic Cape, Kruger & Luxury Rail itinerary

2. Minimum effort, maximum enjoyment

There really is very little you have to worry about when it comes to train travel other than what to order at your next meal and what sights to see at your next stop. Once you’ve boarded and had your luggage stowed away by a friendly porter, there is nothing else required of you except to sit back and enjoy the unique views of Africa.

The Blue Train takes minimum effort a step further with a personal butler who will see to your every desire. Got midnight munchies? Your butler will deliver a gourmet snack, and press your clothes so you can look snazzy at dinner.

3. Comfort and space

Think of the last time you flew in an airplane? Your knees crushed up against the seat of the person in front of you, one narrow aisle in which to stretch your legs – that’s if you can get past the traffic jam queuing for the loo.

Train travel has none of these problems. From the moment you board, you’re free to move around wherever you like, from suite to dining car to observation lounge, all with plenty of space and no seat belts. Motion sickness is also a non-issue in today’s rock solid trains, ideal for those who have to have a paper bag ready on planes or boats.

4. The scenic view

As thrilling as flying can be (movies for days, drinks on tap, compartmentalised plane food! – or is that just us?), when you look out the window, all you see are clouds. Train travel lets you see an entire continent unroll outside the wraparound windows. It’s a unique way to really see a country, rather than just tick it off your checklist.

5. Multiple countries in one journey

You’ve always wanted to do multiple countries in one trip, but you can’t stand the waiting around for flights and endless hotel transfers. On a train you can easily clickety-clack your way to several destinations without leaving your chair.

6. International relations

The relaxed environment of train travel gives guests a sense of bonhomie. You’ll find that by the end of the first night you’ll have learnt the names of many of your fellow passengers, and by the end of your trip you’ll have exchanged stories and made new friends. Who knows, maybe you’ll even fall in love….

7. All in one cost

One of the hassles of modern travel is calculating all the different costs, working out the currencies and planning the logistics. Travel by luxury train takes care of everything. Your rate per person includes three meals daily, all alcoholic and other beverages, sightseeing excursions, entrance fees to places of interest included in the journey tour, 24-hour room service, bar facilities and government tax. So put away those calculators and have another sherry.

To book your luxury rail trip as part of your African itinerary, contact our Portfolio Journeys travel experts and let them set the wheels in motion for you.