Some of the best luxury train rides around the world were recently announced, and gracing the list is South Africa’s Blue Train.
Publication Time Out, based in the UK, is known for compiling some of the globe’s finest experiences – from food to adventures, creating a menu of epic travel experiences.
Last year, some of the Mother City’s best graced their lists. Our accolades included Chinchilla which perched delightfully as one of the best rooftop bars in the world and Main Road in Kalk Bay which was named one of the coolest streets worldwide.
This time, the celebration is aboard SA’s Blue Train.
Depicted by the publication as “one of the fanciest trains on the planet” it is praised as a window into the soul of Africa.
The original Blue Train initially encompassed a dream to travel from Cape Town to Cairo, back when much of South Africa’s land was still unchartered. It became a luxurious pursuit as early as the late 19th Century, although its royal blue coat only came past the 1920s, and with it, a refurbished notion of elegance dubbed a ‘Palace on Wheels. It was withdrawn in WWII, and saw yet another glamorous makeover in the 70s and 90s.
The new Blue Train emerged in 1997 where its familiar journey between Cape Town and Pretoria would now include the Victoria Falls. Another train would come into service too, adding more stops including the Kruger National Park and the eastern portion of the Garden Route.
The Blue Train offers some of the finest dining, elegant lounges and suites designed to envelop opulence. However, what sets our train apart from some of the others on the list (which saw steady competition from the likes of Venice’s Simplon-Orient-Express) are the epic views that the Blue Train beckons you to gaze upon along its different treks.
The Blue Train offers a route between Pretoria and Cape Town, earmarking 31 hours and 1600 kilometres, as well as trips to Limpopo where the Kruger National Park resides.
For more information, travel to bluetrain.co.za.