• $11,995
  • $2,500
  • Orbridge
  • Moderate
  • Land Only

Explore the diverse sights of four African countries during this private train expedition—an exclusive journey guiding you through historically notable cities, inspiring scenery, and legendary national parks. Uncover a tapestry of cultural wonders, untamed dynamic landscapes, and thrilling wildlife encounters throughout this soul-stirring expedition.

Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 1: En Route from U.S.
Day 2: Arrive in Johannesburg, South Africa
Day 3: Pretoria
Day 4: Full Day Aboard Train
Day 5: Kingdom of Eswatini (Swaziland)
Day 6: Maputo, Mozambique
Day 7: Kruger National Park
Day 8: Drakensberg Mountains
Day 9: Makalali Game Reserve
Day 10: Full Day Aboard Train
Day 11: Great Zimbabwe
Day 12: Matobo National Park | Bulawayo
Day 13: Hwange National Park
Day 14: Victoria Falls, Zambia
Day 15: Victoria Falls | Depart for U.S.
Day 16: Arrive in U.S.

Full Itinerary

Locations selected for this safari promise excellent viewing of wildlife, though spotting specific wildlife cannot be guaranteed. Activities may be dependent on weather and seasonal conditions.

Day 1: En Route from U.S.

Day 2: Arrive in Johannesburg, South Africa 
Welcome to Johannesburg! Upon arrival, guests are transferred to Pretoria to settle in for the night with a welcome cocktail at the hotel. Meet your Orbridge representative and fellow travelers.
Overnight: DaVinci Hotel and Suites

Day 3: Pretoria 
Begin the private train expedition by embarking the African Explorer. Traveling by train provides a unique, convenient, comfortable, and ecological way to discover Africa at the intersection of Old World charm and modern technology and efficiency. Settle in to your compartment, unpack bags, watch the sunset paint the sky, and savor the first scrumptious meal onboard before drifting asleep to the sound of the wheels gliding across the country. With luxury train travel, the journey is just as thrilling as the destination.
Overnight: African Explorer (B,D)

Day 4: Full Day Aboard Train 
Spend today on the luxurious train. Enjoy informative lectures, marvel at the landscapes, and socialize with fellow travelers.
Overnight: African Explorer (B,L,D)

Day 5: Kingdom of Eswatini (Swaziland)
Today see the Kingdom of Eswatini—formerly known as the Kingdom Swaziland—which is a landlocked country slightly smaller than New Jersey.

Loosely translated as “place of heaven,” the Ezulwini Valley is Eswatini’s main tourist hotspot, offering a wealth of attractions. Nearby Mbabane (pronounced Um-ba-ba-neh) is Eswatini’s capital city, ringed by the craggy backdrop of the Dlangeni Hills. While the town of Piggs Peak was founded for gold mining potential, today its main industry is forestry. Visitors are drawn by its beautiful scenery of rolling hills, sparkling steams, and enchanting waterfalls.

Shoppers will delight browsing the handcarved wooden pieces and raffia products at lively local craft markets for souvenirs.
Overnight: African Explorer (B,D)

Day 6: Maputo, Mozambique
A panoramic tour awaits today in Maputo, the lush capital of Mozambique sitting on the shore of the Indian Ocean. A melting pot of African and Latin flavors, it is a unique and historical city, one developed around a Portuguese fortress completed in 1787. With Mediterranean-style architecture and wide avenues lined with jacaranda and flame trees, Maputo is one of East Africa’s most picturesque capitals.

Maputo is also known for the simple, linear shapes and white color of the Cathedral of our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. Constructed in 1944 by Marcial Simões de Freitas e Costa, the church was built in the Art Deco style. Inside are paintings representing the Portuguese settlers, stained glass, and a detailed altar.

Other sights along the bus tour include botanical gardens, a statue of the country’s first president, and the Casa Do Ferro, or “Iron House.” One of two edifices in Maputo designed by Gustave Eiffel of Eiffel Tower renown, the Casa de Ferro was originally designed as the residence of the General Governor of Mozambique.

Savor a delicious seafood lunch before reboarding the train for the South African border to the north.
Overnight: African Explorer (B,L,D)

Day 7: Kruger National Park
Situated roughly 260 miles northeast of Johannesburg, the nearly five-million-acre Kruger National Park offers some of the best wildlife sighting in Africa. With an exhilirating full-day safari, watch for the “Big Five”— buffalo, elephants, leopards, lions, and rhinos—as well as Nile crocodiles, hippos, zebras, hyenas, and numerous birds. In addition to animals, this sanctuary showcases giant baobab, fever, and marula trees.

Tonight, relax along the banks of the iconic Sabie River at the Kruger Gate Hotel. This lodge-style property, famed for its soaring wooden walkways and treetop ambiance, offers all the comforts of an elevated hotel experience. With refined Africa-inspired décor, all rooms have en suite bathrooms, air-conditioning, and free Wi-Fi.  Take pleasure in a cocktail or a glass of fine South African wine while lounging at the stunning infinity pool as various game, including vocal hippos, wander down to the river.

Conclude this memorable day with an African bush dinner beneath starry skies. Assemble around the fire as delicious aromas and the sounds of camaraderie and the night fill the air. Listen to gauge whether resident hyenas, wildebeest, and lions create a symphony tonight.
Overnight: Kruger Gate Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 8: Drakensberg Mountains
Cross Kruger National Park for another exhilirating game drive before taking a a scenic sojourn through the rugged Drakensberg mountain range.

Granted UNESCO World Heritage status, the Drakensberg, (or “dragon”), mountains rise to more than 11,400 feet. Along the way, take in breathtaking views of the green and lush Blyde River Canyon, one of the biggest canyons on Earth carved over millions of years.

Sweeping for 700 miles through two countries and five South African provinces, the Drakensberg Mountains are rightly one of Southern Africa’s most impressive geological features.

Later, re-board the train and continue in the direction of Zimbabwe.
Overnight: African Explorer (B,D)

Day 9: Makalali Game Reserve
This morning, delight in a safari at the Makalali Game Reserve. This diverse habitat hosts many species, including lion, elephant, leopard, black and white rhino, spotted and brown hyena, cheetah and wild dogs.

Enjoy lunch on board the train followed by an afternoon at leisure.
Overnight: African Explorer (B,L,D)

Day 10: Full Day Aboard Train
On its way through the Limpopo Province, the African Explorer private train passes the Soutpansberg mountains and the lands of South Africa’s Rain Queen.

During the ride, enjoy a biltong (traditional spiced jerky) tasting. This beloved snack in South Africa is often cured with coriander seeds, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, and vinegar.

In the bar car, relax if you choose with a cool Windhoek lager or one of South Africa’s famous wines. Also listen to presentations given by the tour guide, enjoy a good read, or have stimulating conversation with fellow travelers.
Overnight: African Explorer  (B,L,D)

Day 11: Great Zimbabwe
The legacy of Great Zimbabwe lives on as one of the largest and most culturally important archaeological sites of its kind in Africa. Journey by bus to the stone ruins of an ancient city near modern day Masvingo.

Great Zimbabwe was part of a large and wealthy global trading network. The archaeological site consists of several sections: the Hill Complex, the Great Enclosure, and the Valley Ruins. Archaeologists have found pottery from China and Persia, as well as Arab coins in the ruins. These remnants were designated a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site in 1986.
Overnight: African Explorer (B,D)

Day 12: Matobo National Park | Bulawayo
At another UNESCO World Heritage Site—Matobo National Park—see some of the most majestic granite scenery in the world. This otherwordly landscape of balancing rocks known as kopjes is considered the spiritual home of Zimbabwe.

This area also includes the Grave of Cecil Rhodes—a British imperialist and politician who founded the territory of Rhodesia in today’s Zimbabwe. See the statue and gain an introduction into the fascinating study of southern African rock art ascribed to hunter-gatherer painters and engravers. Rock art of this region is studied for richness in terms of subject matter, as well as in the context of the archaeological record. It has much to tell us about the lives of the people who produced it.

Matobo National Park habitats the highest population of black eagles to be found anywhere in the world. In fact. about 400 of the 674 Zimbabwean bird species, of which 35 species are protected, occur in the Matobo Hills. Common birds to watch for are fish eagle, martial eagle, francolin, secretary bird, weavers, pied crow, and Egyptian geese.

Admire the charming colonial architecture of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second city, with a city tour. Visit either the Natural History Museum or the Railway Museum for fascinating insights into the history and resources of the nation.
Overnight: African Explorer (B,D)

Day 13: Hwange National Park
Among miles of desert sand, sparse woodland, grasslands, and granite outcrops, take a full day to discover Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe’s largest and most important game reserve. Watch for wildlife from game drives and platforms overlooking the water holes. Resident creatures include its renowned herds of elephants and Cape buffalo, plus giraffes, kudu, zebras, baboons, lions, leopards, and wildebeests. Bird lovers have an opportunity to add to their lists Kalahari birds, including red-billed spurlfowl, southern pied babbler, and crimson-breasted shrike.
Overnight: African Explorer (B,L,D)

Day 14: Victoria Falls, Zambia
On the last full day of this adventure, revel in time at leisure with Victoria Falls, known locally as “the Smoke that Thunders.” The Falls, which are more than 300 feet high, are one of the world’s seven natural wonders and were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1989. Upon seeing Victoria Falls for the first time Dr. David Livingstone proclaimed, “Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.”

After taking in the stunning views of the Zambezi River pouring into the canyon below, embark upon a scenic boat safari. Watch for wildlife such as elephants, hippos, and crocodiles set among the lush vegetation.

Conclude with a traditional South African barbeque, or braai, around the glow of a campfire. An essential part of South African culture, the word braai is thought to originate from the Dutch word “braden,” which means “to roast.” Celebrate your time in South Africa by feasting and reminiscing in the company of new friends.
Overnight: Victoria Safari Lodge (B,D)

Day 15: Victoria Falls | Depart for U.S.
Depart Victoria Falls for flights home. (B)

Day 16: Arrive in U.S.

B = Breakfast, L =  Lunch, D = Dinner

(Itinerary subject to change.)


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