Shongololo – The Southern Cross

Johannesburg, Pretoria, Soweto, Swaziland, Maputo, Mpumalanga, Zimbabwe, Livingstone, & Victoria Falls      17 Days from $--

Overview

Tour Style

Classic Tours

Tour Length

17 Days/16 Nights

Departs

Land Only - contact us for an air quote.

Starts

North bound: Johannesburg | South bound: Victoria Falls

Finishes

North bound: Victoria Falls | South bound: Johannesburg

Highlights

This 16-day journey encompasses six countries on a route that is carefully crafted to deliver stunning experiences each and every day. The train travels between Johannesburg and Victoria Falls, stopping at carefully selected locations in South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana. As the tracks unfurl a rare insight is offered into the cultural and geographical cocktail that makes Southern Africa so vibrant and exciting.

Included Features

• 16 Nights accommodation on board Shongololo Train.
• Service of a professional English-speaking guide and driver.
• Sightseeing and excursions as detailed in the itinerary, including entrance fees.
• Meals as per itinerary.
• All transfers as per itinerary.

Additional Information

No Information

Itinerary at a glance

Day 1 – Johannesburg
Day 2 – Pretoria or Johannesburg / Soweto
Day 3 – Swaziland
Day 4 – Maputo (Mozambique)
Day 5 – Maputo (Mozambique)
Day 6 – Kruger National Park
Day 7 – Mpumalanga
Day 8 – Panorama Route
Day 9 – Mpumalanga
Day 10 – Zimbabwe
Day 11 – Antelope Park
Day 12 – Matobo National Park
Day 13 – Hwange National Park
Day 14 – Livingstone (Zambia)
Day 15 – Chobe National Park
Day 16 – Victoria Falls
Day 17 – Victoria Falls / En Route

Itinerary

Northbound Itinerary –

Note: Southbound itinerary (tour reversal) available on select dates.

Day 1 – Johannesburg

Upon arrival at Johannesburg airport, you will be met by our representatives and transferred to the train. (D)

Available tour add-ons (on supplement):

1. The Cradle of Humankind: Maropeng and Sterkfontein Caves
2. Lesedi Cultural Village
3. Gold Reef City, Apartheid museum & The World of Beer
4. East Rand Mall or Emperors Palace

Day 2 – Pretoria or Johannesburg / Soweto

Today, you will choose between 3 sightseeing tours. (BD)
Option 1 – Pretoria / Soweto: Visit the Union Buildings and the Voortrekker Monument. Continue to Soweto to visit the Hector Petersen Memorial. (Distance travelled: ± 200 km).
Option 2 – Johannesburg / Soweto: Visit Constitution Hill in Braamfontein. Head onto the Newtown precinct to visit Museum Africa. Travel to Soweto to visit the Hector Petersen Memorial. (Distance travelled: ± 150 km).

Day 3 – Swaziland

The tiny Kingdom of Swaziland covers only 17 000 square kilometres, making it the second smallest country in Africa. This tour in Swaziland will introduce you to everyday life in Africa\'s smallest kingdom. The drive will present amazing view of the Ezulwini Valley and the Komati River. The Swazi Market is a hive of activity and displays a wide variety of skillfully crafted woodcarvings, colourful textiles and superb basketwork for which Swazi\'s are renowned. Return to the train. (BD)
(distance traveled: ± 400 km).

Day 4 – Maputo (Mozambique)

Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, offers an exciting mix of culture and buildings reminiscent of trends set by African, Portuguese and early Colonial traditions. Today, you will choose between two beach locations where you can relax along the shores. In the evening. You will enjoy a seafood dinner at a local restaurant. (BD)

Day 5 – Maputo (Mozambique)

After breakfast, visit the municipal market followed by a stop at the old Fortaleza, which dates back to 1769. Other interesting city sites include the Catholic Cathedral, the Civic Centre, Louis Trichardt Trek Memorial, Samora Machel Statue, the Jardim Tunduru (Botanical Gardens) and the Iron House (Casa do Ferro). The Polana Hotel, built in the 1920s, with its striking white exterior and stunning decor, is the best-known landmark in the city. Next we visit an art gallery where furniture and sculptures are made out of old AK47 weapons. Continue to the coastal towns to enjoy some time of leisure. Return to the train for high tea. (BD)
(distance traveled: ± 60 km).

Day 6 – Kruger National Park

After breakfast, enjoy game drives through Kruger National Park, offering a wildlife experience second to none. The park is home to an impressive number of species including 336 species of trees, 49 species of fish, 34 species of amphibians, 114 species of reptiles, 507 species of birds and 147 species of mammals. Return to the train. (BD)
(Distance travelled: ± 220 km)
 
Available tour add-ons (on supplement):
1.    Open Vehicle Safari
2.    Protea Kruger Gate Lodge
3.    Private Game Reserve
4.    Local Pub in Town

Day 7 – Mpumalanga

Mpumalanga means “Land of the Rising Sun”. It is a province of extraordinary natural beauty. Choose between 2 sightseeing tours. (BD)
Option 1 – Kruger National Park: revisit the Kruger National Park. (distance traveled: ± 220 km).
Option 2 – Nelspruit: With its sub-tropical climate and abundant sunshine the town forms an ideal base from where to explore. In the afternoon you will head to the nearby Sudwala Caves and Dinosaur Park. (distance traveled: ± 130 km).

Day 8 – Panorama Route

After breakfast, visit the village of Pilgrim’s Rest, a living museum and declared National Monument. Further along the escarpment we find the great Blyde River Canyon, a gorge of 26 km long and 800 m deep, carved from the face of the escarpment. From the vantage point of God’s Window we gaze across sweeps of the Lowveld, where subtle fragrances of the lower region rise to merge with the crisp winds of the Highveld. (distance traveled: ± 280 km).
 
Available tour add-ons (on supplement):
1.    Sunrise Balloon Experience

Day 9 – Train

Enjoy some time of leisure on the train en route to Zimbabwe. Talks will be held throughout the day. (BD)

Day 10 – Zimbabwe

Travel from Rutenga through attractive granite hill country to Great Zimbabwe. Situated on the south-eastern edge of the central plateau, Great Zimbabwe is an impressive monument. It is the largest pre-colonial monument south of the Egyptian pyramids - a most celebrated achievement of the African people indeed. One can stroll amongst the ruins of an ancient city built by the Rozwi people and discover how they lived and how they mined gold and silver, which were ultimately taken out of Africa by Arabic and Portuguese traders. (BD)
(distance traveled: ± 300 km).

Day 11 – Antelope Park

In the morning, take the opportunity to walk with Lions in Antelope Park. This activity takes approximately one and a half hours and offers an amazing photo opportunity. Back to the camp, you will also have the opportunity for about 20 min to view and interact with lion cubs. Those interested in military and aviation hardware will drive to the town of Gweru to visit the Military Museum. Continue to Somabhula Primary School. Return to the train. (BD)
(distance traveled: ± 50 km).
 
Available tour add-ons (on supplement):

1. Overnight at Antelope Park & Night Encounter with Lions
2. Canoe Hire
3. Game Drives
4. Horseback Game Viewing
5. Elephant Riding
6. Lion Breeding Project
7. Bird watching Boat Cruise

Day 12 – Matobo National Park

Matobo means “bald headed ones” and aptly describes the dramatic hills and granite rocks of this area. Highlights include a visit to the burial place of Cecil John Rhodes, and an inspection of a Bushman cave. Visit the Natural History Museum. Drive through the city and visit an Art Gallery or the Railway Museum. (BD)
(distance traveled: ± 150 km).

Available tour add-ons (on supplement):

1. Chipangali
2. Rhino Tracking in Matobo National Park

Day 13 – Hwange National Park

Zimbabwe’s premier National Park is known for its Lion population. Situated in the north-west corner of Zimbabwe, Hwange National Park is the nation’s largest wildlife area and contains a variety of animals and bird species. An early morning game drive in the park is followed by breakfast at the Sable Valley Lodge. There will be an opportunity to relax at the pool for a while before we resume our game viewing later in the afternoon. Return to the train. (BD)
(distance traveled: ± 120 km).
 
Available tour add-ons (on supplement):

1.    Over night at Sikumi Tree Lodge
2.    The train departs for Victoria Falls in the evening.
 

Day 14 – Livingstone (Zambia)

Our first stop is on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls before continuing to the town of Livingstone, named after David Livingstone, the Scottish visionary, who had an insatiable appetite for exploration and a desire to open Africa to the world. The existence of the Falls had of course been known to local tribes people. Livingstone, upon hearing stories about “Mosi oa Tunya” (the smoke that thunders), arranged to be taken there by dugout canoe. Visit the Livingstone Museum and continue to the Fifth Gorge for a spectacular view of the Zambezi River. Return to the train. (BD)
(distance traveled: ± 70 km).
 
Available tour add-ons (on supplement):
1. Lunchtime Boat Cruise

Day 15 – Chobe National Park

A 70-kilometre ride brings us to the Botswana border, where we cross into the famous Chobe National Park. There is a great array of wildlife and the Chobe Elephants are well respected, as are the Hippos in the river. Highlights include a game drive in 4x4 vehicles and a river cruise on the Chobe River. Return to the train. (BD)
(distance traveled: ± 200 km).

Day 16 – Victoria Falls

The Falls form the largest single “curtain” of falling water on earth measuring 1708 m wide. On average the curtain is 92 m deep. The forest is an attraction on its own and many of the trees are marked to help identification. The bird life is also prolific and species that may be seen include the colourful Sunbird and large Trumpeter Hornbill. Craft and curio shops abound with enough variety for everyone to find something to take home as a souvenir. Return to the train. (BD)
(distance traveled: ± 15 km).

Available tour add-ons (on supplement):
1. Flight of Angels – Helicopter Tour
2. White Water River Rafting
3. Elephant Riding
4. Bungee Jumping from Livingstone Bridge

Day 17 – Victoria Falls / En Route

Transfer to the airport for your flight. Additional optional tours may be experience depending on time. (B)

Available tour add-ons (on supplement):
1. Flight of Angels – Helicopter Tour
2. White Water River Rafting
3. Elephant Riding
4. Bungee Jumping from Livingstone Bridge

Prices

Please contact your travel agent for quotes.

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Testimonials 


The trip to Morocco was great. I was impressed with the hotels that were part of the tour. We did tons of shopping and tons a lot of pics. Safety wasn't a concern while on the tour however, off the tour I can see the need to keep alert of your surroundings and valuables. The markets are bustling, the sites were amazing, and the tour operators were great. Overall it was a fantastic trip. Thank you once again for all your help in making this trip so special.


K. R. (Morocco)

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