Luxury, splendour, exoticism - these three words perfectly describe what people can expect from travels by Rovos Rail. It feels like stepping back into the Victorian era almost literary as to keep the spirit of these times the train is not equipped with radios or TVs and the use of cellphones and laptops is strictly confined to guest’s suites. Adding diverse variety of views from scenic splendours of Mpumalanga to the lush cane fields of KwaZulu-Natal and the magnificent Garden Route along the Cape south coast is undeniably the attraction that cannot remain unnoticed. If you prefer to admire wild nature and exploring the vast lands of south Africa as well as get to know the history of the continent, far away from the crowds besieging the biggest European cities, this place will definitely come to your expectations.
Welcome to Orient Express
To fully understand the phenomenon of Rovos Rail we have to go back to 4 October 1883. This is the time when Express d’Orient – briefly speaking one of the first luxurious train in the world- started its journey from Gare de l’Est in Paris in Istanbul direction. The passengers of the train were travelling through Strasbourg, Munich, Vienna, Budapest and Bucharest. Express d’Orient is the first name of the splendid train which in 1891 was renamed to Orient Express.
Train created by Georges Nagelmackers was including sleeping car and restaurant car. Menu was full of sophisticated dishes such as oysters or chaud froid. Not only the flavours and smells were impressive but also the interior. The coaches were full of wooden furnitures, leather upholstery and fabrics such as silk and wool. It is said that it was travelled by the Bulgarian ruler Ferdinand I Coburg or the King of Belgium – Leopold II
Unfortunately First World War stopped the journeys of Orient Express but on the 11 November 1972 in couch number 2419 the German officers signed the act of capitulation. Second World War also stopped the Orient Express and the postwar world’s new order changed its route and the luxurious couches started to be mixed with the standard ones. The range of the train was slowly limited and in the 60’s its name was changed to Arlberg Express. On 12 December 2009 the last train, which had the historical connection with Orient Express, had its journey.
History Likes to Repeat
The stylish fleet of cars was not allowed to be forgotten. In the 70’s part of Orient Express was bought on the auction by American millionaire James Sherwood. Thanks to his efforts the train started to function again. Today the journey from London to Venice costs about £2,000 for one person and passengers can count on the support of private steward, luxurious meals or the piano sounds.
The couches are not equipped with showers and additionally the dress code is required. You are not allowed to entry the train if you are wearing jeans.
The interior of the Orient Express is impressive. It was used in the elegant commercials and movies. One of the examples is the commercial of Chanel no 5 which perfectly shows the splendour and anaesthetist of indoors.
Rovos Rail: Alternative or New Quality?
We should return to ‘pearl of Africa’. Today Rovos Rail, which enables the journey through the vast land of Africa, is introducing entirely new quality. The option of travelling by Rovos Rail is for everyone who values quality and comfort, including excellent care of the stuff, who appreciates being in the well maintained, vintage, magnificent interiors of couches in Victorian style. Long journeys in the vintage coaches can be a challenge for some people but the comfort and attractions provided by Rovos Rail will definitely recompense it. Wild fauna and flora can be difficult for some people but Rovos Rail is unreal. It is kind of a time machine running on the rail tracks of southern Africa. The astonishing is fact of perfect organization and care of the quests as well as unique heritage of the train. These railways since the begging have not changed the owner and it still belongs and is managed by Vos family.
The Costs of Luxury
About the exclusiveness of the train says also the price of the journey. The costs shape between £1,030 for three day journey to £34,450 for 28 days of unforgettable memories. Rovos owns the biggest private collections of vintage coaches in the world. Most passengers are under the impression that they are originally built this way. It is a tribute to the quality of the workmanship that these old coaches could be remodelled so extensively without affecting the character and atmosphere of the original design. The interior design is an art form of itself. Each site accommodates two people with the option of twin or double beds and lounge area. They all have en-suite bathrooms in which original fittings are combined with the modern technology of hot showers, hair dryers etc. All the suites are air conditioned.
Titanic of 21st Century
Taking into consideration the interior design, the etiquette and solemn atmosphere it can be said that Rovos Rail is a Titanic on the rail tracks. With one exception that Rovos has in offer additional journeys and visits to the most recognizable tourist attractions such as Victoria Falls, couple of safaris and journey to Cape Town. You can also hire the train for the events.
Everything in Rovos rail is maintained with great precision and so is the working staff. It consists of dedicated team which work on the underbelly of each coach. Electricians, plumbers, carpenters, painters, welders, air-conditioning specialist and general handymen maintain the machine so that the trains are kept in good working order. The rooming staff scrub suites until they sparkle, the dining car staff polish the silverware and ensure that every knife, fork, plate and condiment is loaded on board in order to deliver sliver service. Laundry ladies wash, press and iron all that is used and tend to each blouse, pair of slack or dress sent in by guests
Rovos Rail Cuisine
Another strong merit of the train is taking excellent care of the menu. It is hard not to taste the cuisine of Rovos Rail as each of the plates is made with incredible perfection and precision. You will find a lot of traditional dishes prepared from the fresh local ingredients. This is a journey on which you are suspend to weigh-watching as when a gong summons quests for a 7.30 pm five-course meal with a different South African wine for each course.
The class of the travel by Rovos is proved not only by the price you pay for the journey but the dress code which is obligatory on the board. During the day you can wear casual clothes but in the evenings the formal dress is required.
To the list of things to do in your life you can easily add the journey by Rovos Rail. Even though Africa can be travelled by thousand of ways nothing can guarantee us such journey to the past and such luxury conditions like Rovos Rail
From Poland to RPA thanks to Luxury Travel
The only one company which enables us such non-typical journey to RPA and travel by Rovos Rail is Luxury Travel. The CEO of the Luxy Travel, Diana Cater, knows that luxury travels are more than only the holiday adventure – it is the dream come true. The company is on the Polish market since 2003, improving their services and gaining the experience in organizing exclusive journey of their demanding clients. To get more details contact under the number: 22 393 60 15