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The Blue Train: Crossing South Africa In Luxury


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Sena Kinney



Welcome to the fascinating world of luxury train travel in South Africa, where you can embark on a remarkable journey aboard the iconic Blue Train. With its rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and exceptional service, the Blue Train offers a truly unforgettable experience.


As one of the most prestigious and luxurious train services in the world, the Blue Train blends old-world charm with modern comforts. It takes passengers on a captivating voyage through the heart of South Africa, showcasing the country’s diverse landscapes, vibrant cultures, and remarkable wildlife.


The Blue Train has been synonymous with elegance and opulence since its inception in 1923, when it was originally launched as a mode of transport for British colonial officials and wealthy businessmen. Over the years, it has become an emblem of luxury, attracting discerning travelers from around the globe.


Embarking on a Blue Train journey is like stepping back in time to a bygone era of luxury travel. The train’s immaculately restored vintage carriages exude a sense of timeless glamour, with their polished wood finishes, plush furnishings, and exquisite detailing.


Whether you are a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor to South Africa, the Blue Train offers a unique way to explore the country’s diverse landscapes and cultural heritage. From the serene vineyards of the Cape Winelands to the breathtaking Garden Route and the magnificent Kruger National Park, the train takes you on a remarkable journey through some of South Africa’s most iconic destinations.


Indulge in the utmost comfort and style as you traverse the vast landscapes of South Africa. Experience the thrill of gazing out of your window at the mesmerizing views of rolling hills, rugged mountains, and expansive savannahs. Immerse yourself in the picturesque beauty of the countryside as it unfolds before your eyes during this unforgettable rail adventure.


Whether you are seeking a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a unique travel experience, the Blue Train offers an unparalleled blend of luxury, comfort, and adventure. From the moment you step on board, you will be treated to impeccable service, exquisite cuisine, and a host of amenities that will make your journey truly memorable.


Join us as we dive into the fascinating world of the Blue Train, unravelling its history, exploring its routes and destinations, and indulging in the sheer luxury that awaits you on this remarkable journey through South Africa.


History of The Blue Train

The Blue Train has a rich and storied history, dating back to its inception in the early 20th century. Originally introduced in 1923 as a means of luxury transportation for colonial officials and wealthy businessmen, the Blue Train quickly became synonymous with opulence and grandeur.


For decades, the Blue Train was the preferred mode of travel for the wealthy elite, who sought to experience South Africa’s breathtaking landscapes in unparalleled comfort. The train underwent various upgrades and renovations over the years, ensuring that it remained at the forefront of luxury train travel.


In the early years, the Blue Train relied on steam locomotives to power its carriages, creating a nostalgic and romantic atmosphere onboard. Passengers would delight in the billowing steam, the rhythmic sound of the wheels on the tracks, and the unforgettable vistas that unfolded before their eyes.


However, as technology advanced, the Blue Train transitioned to diesel locomotives, allowing for greater speed and efficiency. Despite these modern enhancements, the train has managed to retain its old-world charm and timeless elegance throughout the years.


Over time, the Blue Train expanded its routes to encompass more of South Africa’s breathtaking destinations. Today, it offers several itineraries, including the renowned Pretoria to Cape Town route, which takes passengers on a remarkable journey through the heart of the country.


The Blue Train has played host to numerous dignitaries, celebrities, and discerning travelers from around the world, cementing its status as one of the most revered luxury train services in existence. From heads of state to Hollywood stars, the train has welcomed esteemed guests who seek the epitome of luxury and sophistication.


Despite the passage of time, the Blue Train continues to be a symbol of prestige and elegance. Its commitment to providing unparalleled service and a truly immersive experience sets it apart from other luxury trains. Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, the Blue Train ensures that each passenger is treated like royalty from the moment they step on board.


Join us as we delve deeper into the history of the Blue Train, unveiling its fascinating past and exploring how it has evolved into the epitome of luxury train travel in South Africa.


Route and Destinations

The Blue Train offers a selection of iconic routes that showcase the diverse beauty of South Africa’s landscapes and culture. Whether you choose to embark on the classic Pretoria to Cape Town journey or explore the enchanting sights of Pretoria to Hoedspruit, each route promises an unforgettable experience.


The flagship journey, from Pretoria to Cape Town, covers approximately 1,600 kilometers (994 miles) of magnificent scenery. Passengers can expect to traverse the undulating landscapes of the Cape Winelands, gaze upon the majestic Hex River Valley, and witness the grandeur of Table Mountain as they approach their final destination, Cape Town.


Another popular route is the Pretoria to Victoria Falls journey, which takes passengers on an extraordinary adventure that combines the luxury of the Blue Train with the awe-inspiring wonder of the Victoria Falls. This route allows travelers to experience the vibrant cultures and wildlife of both South Africa and Zimbabwe.


For those seeking an immersive wildlife experience, the Pretoria to Hoedspruit route is the ideal choice. This journey takes you to the doorstep of the renowned Kruger National Park, where you can embark on thrilling game drives and encounter Africa’s Big Five in their natural habitat.


Each destination along the Blue Train routes offers its own unique charm and allure. From the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town, with its picturesque waterfront and iconic landmarks, to the wild and untamed beauty of the Victoria Falls, there’s something to captivate every traveler.


During each stop, passengers have the opportunity to embark on guided tours and excursions that showcase the highlights of the region. Discover the world-famous wine estates of the Cape Winelands, explore the historic battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal, or witness the breathtaking wildlife of the Kruger National Park.


No matter which route you choose, the Blue Train ensures that each destination is experienced with the utmost luxury and comfort. From the moment you step off the train, you will be greeted by knowledgeable guides who will unveil the hidden gems of each region and provide a deeper understanding of South Africa’s rich history and culture.


Join us as we set forth on a journey through the remarkable routes and breathtaking destinations of the Blue Train, immersing ourselves in the beauty and diversity that South Africa has to offer.


Train Accommodations

When traveling on the Blue Train, guests are immersed in a world of luxury and comfort from the moment they step on board. The train offers a range of elegant and spacious accommodation options to suit every traveler’s preferences and needs.


The Deluxe Suite is the standard option for passengers and provides a haven of relaxation and indulgence. Each suite is tastefully decorated with elegant furnishings, offering a comfortable seating area during the day and transforming into a plush bedroom at night. The suites are equipped with an en-suite bathroom that features a shower, basin, and toilet.


For those seeking even more space and opulence, the Luxury Suite is the ultimate choice. These suites offer a separate lounge area and bedroom, allowing guests to unwind in a lavish and private setting. The en-suite bathrooms are equipped with a bathtub, shower, basin, and toilet, providing a spa-like experience on board.


Both the Deluxe and Luxury Suites are furnished with modern amenities, including individually controlled air conditioning, television with a selection of channels and movies, and a telephone for contacting the dedicated butler service available 24/7.


Every detail in the train’s accommodations has been meticulously thought out to offer maximum comfort and convenience. From the luxurious bedding to the plush bathrobes and slippers, guests are treated to an experience akin to staying in a five-star hotel.


Additionally, the Blue Train features a wheelchair-accessible suite that caters to passengers with mobility needs. This suite is equipped with widened doors, handrails, and a specially designed bathroom to ensure a comfortable stay for all guests.


Regardless of the accommodation chosen, every passenger on the Blue Train is assigned a personal butler who is dedicated to providing exceptional service throughout the journey. The butlers are attentive to every need, from arranging meals and beverages to ensuring a pristine and comfortable environment.


Join us as we step into the luxurious accommodations of the Blue Train, where comfort, elegance, and personalized service combine to create an unforgettable experience.


Dining Experience

The Blue Train takes pride in offering an extraordinary dining experience that is on par with the world’s finest restaurants. From the tantalizing flavors of South African cuisine to the impeccable service and elegant atmosphere, dining on board the train is an unforgettable culinary journey.


Each meal on the Blue Train is a masterpiece, prepared by a team of highly skilled chefs who are dedicated to delivering a gastronomic delight. The menus showcase the best of South African cuisine, incorporating locally sourced ingredients and flavors that reflect the country’s rich culinary heritage.


Passengers have the opportunity to savor a range of exquisite dishes, from succulent meats and fresh seafood to flavorful vegetarian options. The culinary team caters to various dietary requirements and can accommodate specific requests with advance notice.


Meals on the Blue Train are served in the elegant dining carriages, which are adorned with sparkling crystal, fine china, and polished silverware. The luxurious ambiance provides the perfect backdrop for an exceptional dining experience.


Breakfast is a sumptuous affair, offering a variety of options to suit every palate. Guests can indulge in a continental buffet spread, complete with freshly baked pastries, fruits, cereals, and yogurts. For those craving a heartier meal, a selection of cooked-to-order hot dishes is also available.


Lunch is a truly indulgent affair, featuring a three-course extravaganza. Guests can choose from a delectable array of appetizers, followed by a main course that showcases the finest local and seasonal ingredients. The culinary journey culminates with a tempting selection of desserts that are as visually stunning as they are delicious.


Dinner on the Blue Train is a grand affair, centered around a five-course culinary masterpiece. Passengers can expect a symphony of flavors, combining traditional South African dishes with international influences. Each course is expertly paired with a selection of fine wines and beverages to complement the meal.


The Blue Train also offers a delightful afternoon tea, where passengers can relax and enjoy a selection of freshly brewed teas, coffee, and an assortment of delectable treats such as pastries and finger sandwiches. Afternoon tea on the train is a timeless tradition that allows guests to unwind and soak in the charm of their surroundings.


The attentive and professional waitstaff on the Blue Train ensures that every dining experience is impeccable. Their attention to detail, friendly demeanor, and extensive knowledge of the menu contribute to an exceptional dining journey.


Join us as we discover the culinary delights that await on the Blue Train, where each meal is a showcase of South African flavors and a testament to the train’s commitment to excellence.


On-board Amenities

The Blue Train goes above and beyond to provide passengers with a wealth of amenities that enhance their journey, ensuring maximum comfort and relaxation throughout their time on board.


One of the most notable amenities on the Blue Train is the personal butler service. Each passenger is assigned their own dedicated butler who is available 24/7 to attend to their needs and ensure their stay is nothing short of extraordinary. Whether it’s unpacking luggage, arranging meals, or providing information about the train’s facilities, the butler is there to make every moment seamless and enjoyable.


The train also offers a luxurious lounge car, where passengers can unwind and socialize in a refined and elegant setting. The lounge is the perfect place to enjoy pre-dinner drinks, engage in conversation with fellow travelers, or simply revel in the breathtaking scenery as it glides by.


In addition to the lounge, the Blue Train features a stylish bar car that offers a wide selection of beverages, including top-quality wines, spirits, and cocktails. Passengers can indulge in their favorite drink while mingling with fellow travelers or simply enjoying a moment of solitude in the atmospheric surroundings.


To further enhance the relaxation experience, the Blue Train offers an elegant boutique on board. Here, passengers can browse a curated selection of souvenirs, luxury goods, and exclusive Blue Train memorabilia. It’s the perfect place to find a unique memento to commemorate the journey or to pick up a gift for loved ones back home.


For those seeking ultimate rejuvenation, the Blue Train boasts a dedicated spa car. Passengers can indulge in a variety of wellness treatments and massages, tailored to their preferences and needs. The serene atmosphere of the spa car offers a tranquil escape, allowing guests to unwind and rejuvenate during their time on board.


Throughout the journey, passengers can also take advantage of complimentary Wi-Fi on the train, ensuring that they can stay connected with loved ones or catch up on some work if needed. The Wi-Fi signal is available in most areas of the train, allowing for seamless connectivity throughout the journey.


Join us as we explore the wealth of on-board amenities provided by the Blue Train, where every aspect of your comfort and enjoyment has been meticulously catered to. From the personalized butler service to the serene spa and everything in between, the train ensures that your experience is truly exceptional.


Sightseeing and Excursions

The Blue Train not only offers a luxurious journey on board, but it also provides opportunities for unforgettable sightseeing and excursions along its routes. Passengers have the chance to explore some of South Africa’s most iconic destinations and immerse themselves in the country’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.


During the journey, the train makes scheduled stops at various destinations where passengers can embark on guided tours and excursions. These guided experiences allow guests to delve deeper into the local culture, history, and natural wonders.


For example, on the Pretoria to Cape Town route, passengers have the opportunity to visit the famed Cape Winelands, home to picturesque vineyards and historic wine estates. Here, guests can indulge in wine tastings, learn about the winemaking process, and enjoy the stunning landscapes of this renowned wine-producing region.


Another highlight of the Blue Train journey is the stop at Kimberley, known for its rich diamond mining history. Passengers can visit the famous Big Hole, a massive open-pit mine, and take a glimpse into the diamond industry at the Kimberley Mine Museum.


On the Pretoria to Victoria Falls route, guests have the chance to visit the magnificent Victoria Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world. The guided tour of the falls provides breathtaking views and an opportunity to see the power and grandeur of this majestic waterfall up close.


For wildlife enthusiasts, the Pretoria to Hoedspruit route offers a visit to the iconic Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s premier safari destinations. Passengers can experience thrilling game drives, spot a diverse range of wildlife, and witness the untamed beauty of the African bush.


Whether it’s exploring historical landmarks, marveling at natural wonders, or encountering wildlife in their natural habitat, the sightseeing and excursions offered by the Blue Train provide a well-rounded and enriching experience.


These guided tours are led by knowledgeable local guides who share their expertise and insights, making the experiences even more engaging and informative. Guests can learn about the history, culture, and natural features of each destination, gaining a deeper appreciation for the diversity of South Africa.


Join us as we embark on the sightseeing and excursions provided by the Blue Train, allowing us to discover the hidden gems, iconic landmarks, and natural wonders of this extraordinary country.


Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about traveling on the Blue Train:

  1. How long is the Blue Train journey? The duration of the journey varies depending on the route you choose. The Pretoria to Cape Town route takes approximately 27 hours, while other routes have different durations. It’s best to check the specific itinerary for the route you are interested in.
  2. What is included in the ticket price? The ticket price for the Blue Train includes accommodation, all meals, selected alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and scheduled off-train excursions. It also covers the services of a personal butler and access to the train’s amenities.
  3. What is the dress code on board? While there is no strict dress code on the Blue Train, most passengers opt for smart-casual attire during the day and elegant or formal wear for dinner. Comfortable shoes are recommended for off-train excursions.
  4. Can dietary restrictions be accommodated? Yes, the Blue Train can cater to various dietary restrictions and preferences. It is recommended to inform the train staff of any dietary requirements when making your reservation, so they can ensure your meals are tailored to your needs.
  5. Is there Wi-Fi available on the train? Yes, the Blue Train offers complimentary Wi-Fi for passengers to stay connected during their journey. However, please note that the signal strength may vary in certain areas.
  6. Are children allowed on the Blue Train? Yes, children of all ages are welcome on the Blue Train. However, it’s important to note that the train is renowned for its tranquil and luxurious atmosphere, so parents should ensure that their children can comply with the conduct expected on board.
  7. Is smoking allowed on the train? No, smoking is strictly prohibited on the Blue Train. This policy is in place to ensure the comfort and safety of all passengers.

These are just a few of the frequently asked questions about the Blue Train. If you have any additional inquiries or require further information, do not hesitate to reach out to the train’s customer service team, who will be more than happy to assist you.



The Blue Train offers a captivating journey through South Africa, combining opulent luxury, breathtaking landscapes, and exceptional service. From the moment you step on board, you are transported to a world of elegance, where every aspect of your journey is thoughtfully considered and executed.


The rich history of the Blue Train, dating back to its origins in the 1920s, is a testament to its enduring appeal. It has evolved into a symbol of prestige and refinement, attracting discerning travelers from around the world who are seeking an extraordinary experience.


As you traverse the stunning routes and visit remarkable destinations, the Blue Train provides impeccable accommodation options that ensure your comfort and relaxation throughout the journey. From the Deluxe Suites to the luxurious Luxury Suites, each carriage is tastefully designed and appointed with modern amenities.


The dining experience on the Blue Train is nothing short of exceptional. The talented team of chefs creates culinary masterpieces using the finest local ingredients, offering a delightful fusion of flavors that showcase the best of South African cuisine. Every meal is accompanied by impeccable service and a meticulous attention to detail.


With a range of on-board amenities, including personal butler service, elegant lounge and bar cars, boutique, and spa, the Blue Train goes above and beyond to provide an unparalleled level of luxury and comfort. The train also offers opportunities for sightseeing and excursions, allowing passengers to explore the diverse landscapes and cultural heritage along the routes.


Whether you choose the classic Pretoria to Cape Town journey, the adventurous Pretoria to Victoria Falls route, or the captivating Pretoria to Hoedspruit experience, the Blue Train promises an unforgettable voyage through the beauty of South Africa.


Embark on a journey of a lifetime with the Blue Train, where luxury, comfort, and breathtaking landscapes combine to create a truly remarkable travel experience in South Africa.