There is nothing quite like the way that South Africa reveals her countryside to travellers that choose to journey by Luxury Rail. The scenery on offer is simply stunning and might never otherwise be included in one’s itinerary, not only because the areas covered are difficult to access by other modes of transport, but also because they are not typically well known.
The Hex River Valley is an example of this scenic magnificence and this part of the route showcases a glimpse of the countries second highest mountain range. You cannot believe the landscape that unravels before your eyes as the train rumbles gently through this beautiful pocket of the Western Cape.
Likewise, taking a step back in time to wander around the perfectly preserved Victorian village of Matjiesfontein in the Klein Karoo is not something that the average traveller gets to experience. This little historical wonderland is almost surreal as one ambles through the dusty streets with their original nineteenth century London lampposts and with a chance to enter into saloons and pharmacies where every element is displayed just as it was in the late eighteen hundreds.
The trains also stop at the largest man made excavation site in the world, where guests have a guided excursion of the Kimberly Hole in order to hear the fascinating story of how more than 2000 kilograms of diamonds were yielded by hand
All of these unusual attractions are padded with the ultimate luxury railway experience on board. From the moment you arrive at the departure lounge where bubbly, canapés and a string quartet welcome you, your personal butler and the team of staff aboard these trains ensure that your stay is a far cry from average.
The wood panelled cabins are mostly restored to their former glory offering plush percale linens, marble en suite bathrooms and mini-bars that are replenished every time you blink.
Dining is a serious affair and the dress codes are formal as fine dining is of course the order of the day. The chefs on-board ensure only the freshest local ingredients and most sublime dishes are served and always paired with world class wines at dinner time.
A delightfully lavish high tea spread is offered in the afternoons if you have space after lunch. Or you might prefer to snooze in the comfort of your cabin while the sun makes its way through the afternoon towards the horizon, spilling its warm beams over you and the magnificent landscape.
These luxury rail journeys do come at a cost, but seeing the world through the seductive and romantic ambience of a bygone era with every five star indulgence at your fingertips, is an experience that is worth every penny!
By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
Nicola Shepherd, founder and CEO of The Exploration Company, organises unusual trips for HNW and UHNW clients ranging from birthday parties at an Indian Maharajah's palace to reliving Sir Vivian Fuchs's 1950s expedition to the South Pole. Citywealth caught ...
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