Rovos Rail

Rovos Rail, Pretoria: Hours, Address, Rovos Rail Reviews: 4.5/5

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Monday
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
About
Since its establishment in 1989, Rovos Rail has earned an international reputation for its truly world-class travel experiences. With discreet and friendly service, gourmet cuisine and a selection of South Africa’s finest wines, Rovos Rail harks back to a simpler, more elegant era encompassing the timeless grace and romance of African exploration. In a series of journeys lasting from 48 hours to 15 days, Rovos Rail links some of the sub-continent’s greatest destinations.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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4.5
267 reviews
Excellent
204
Very good
41
Average
11
Poor
8
Terrible
3

Nicki M
Cape Town, South Africa5 contributions
Sep 2021 • Couples
A trip on the RR was always on the proverbial bucket list and it was worth the wait. It was nothing short of continual silver service from an incredibly well trained team, with the wonderful Daphne at the helm. The team’s attentiveness, attention to detail, thoroughness, warmth, friendliness and desire to strive for perfection truly earns the Rovos the title of most luxurious train in the world. It’s in the small things - like Mara and Gideon remembering what you like to drink and having it on your table when you arrived for meals, the incredible array of snacks and drinks continually available, the insanely delicious brownies at high tea, the beautiful gift and card placed on our bed to celebrate our honeymoon, the lovely toiletry bags gifted and the meticulous pressing service. A special thank you to our dedicated cabin hostess, Lebo, for meeting our every need and doing so with such grace and a smile on her face. A big thank you to Chante, Jegardie, Silverman and Innocentia for their amazing service. I loved dressing up in evening wear after two years of Covid life - it felt like such a grownup treat! What really struck me was what fantastic value for money the journey is and how transparent it is that the staff clearly love their job! An enormous adventure that I would repeat in a heartbeat! A big thank you to Carmen De Jongh at SA Rail for booking this magnificent trip for us. Dealing with her an absolute pleasure.
Written October 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear @ Travel26928768275 Thank you very much for taking the time to write your lovely review. After a challenging 20 months we so value your positive feedback and the fact that you loved to dress up! I will be sure to show Daphne, Mara, Lebo and the rest of the team your kind words. Thank you too for travelling with us. Sincerely, Brenda Vos Communications Manager Rovos Rail Tours
Written October 12, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

davagib
Carlisle, UK81 contributions
Mar 2020
This was an amazing 12 day trip from Pretoria to Victoria Falls on a lovingly restored antique train with great food and attentive staff. There were 5 game drives each one quite different in character and interesting excursions on every other day bar one full day of travelling.
As a sign that the gods were looking favourably on this trip, a leopard strode nonchalantly into view on our first game drive in the Kruger national park to complete a sighting of the big 5 before lunch!. There were many other dramatic encounters with animals including a close encounter with 3 Rhinos (exact spot censored for their security) in the company of a Ranger who had devoted his life to their survival.
As a light sleeper I had been somewhat apprehensive beforehand as to how I would manage. The general aim of the trip was to lay up in a siding about midnight until 6 the following morning. This was not always achieved, on one occasion we were unable to take on water at as siding because of the rolling power cuts in that area and had to find a remote alternative with the result that it was 4.10am before we arrived at Bulawayo. However I did sleep while the train was in motion and generally, perhaps aided by the fact that beers and wines were very reasonably priced making a double nightcap especially attractive.
Unlike the Orient Express or the special Trans-Siberian every compartment has at least a WC and a shower with good water pressure. My compartment was not large but comfortable and any reading and writing was done in either the bar or the saloon car.
The food was of a uniformly high standard with impeccable service despite the odd bumps from the track. Speaking to Chef Anton I discovered that he had trained in several well-known establishments in the UK and his capability and experience shone throughout. The wine waiters were knowledgeable and operated a retained bottle system so that I always had a white or a red on hand to choose as appropriate to each course.
Finally on the 12th day we arrived in Victoria Falls to find them in full majestic spate.
A truly memorable trip!
Written March 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear @davagib Many thanks for your kind review! We really appreciate your feedback. Thank you too for travelling with us. Sincerely, Brenda Vos Communications Manager Rovos Rail Tours
Written March 25, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Danie92
Johannesburg, South Africa270 contributions
May 2021
We did the Pretoria to Victoria Falls trip and it was pure magic. Not a single moment doubting their complete control of the trip. Being reliant on Transnet and Zimbabwean rail network is a recipe for disaster but amazingly they handled it to such an extent that it never diminished the comfort and enjoyment of the passengers. We were even delayed in Zimbabwe by a derailment in front of us. There will be delays over which they have no control but the train is a hotel so what difference does it make whether you move or don't. Units very comfortable, staff more than friendly and helpful and the food excellent. The only negative is the open coach at the back that gets hit by stone throwers between Pretoria and Bela Bela. It was also frequented by the smokers and heavy drinkers. Overall an experience that we will never forget and would dearly love to repeat.
Written September 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear @ Danie92 Thank you so much for taking the time to leave your review. We really appreciate your positive feedback and your understanding of the delays we can experience due to the national railway infrastructure. We will ensure that the team from your train read your kind comments. Thanks again and we hope to welcome you on board one day again soon! Regards, Brenda Vos Communications Manager Rovos Rail Tours
Written October 4, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Clive S
Sunset Beach, South Africa31 contributions
Nov 2021 • Couples
Let’s start with , stunning train, friendly staff , service and good food.

We did a cpt pta trip , to start we were bussed to Worcester as train arrived late , then missed first excursion, then arrived late in Bloemfontein, missed that excursion, spent 8 hours parked waiting for driver , departing we were told we will not make Pretoria. That we will be bused from Germiston , then sorry we only Meyerton, eventually we were disembarked onto the tracks in Sasolburg at 930pm, bussed to Jhb arrived at hotel circa 11pm.

We never got off the train once , spent most day three changing travel plans and disembarked feeling disappointed and frustrated.

There was a complete lack of accountability and compassion from the train manager , throwing the blame at others , when surely Rovos rail could be more proactive.

It should have been an experience to enjoy , but sadly the frustration created makes it very difficult to justify this trip.
Written November 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear @ CliveS504 Thank you for taking the time to leave a review albeit a disappointing read. We sincerely apologise for your disappointment and frustration. We tracked your journey with our navigation system and performed logistical somersaults to get the train moving but with little success. I can assure you that our train managers are deeply compassionate and upset if there are delays so perhaps the operational challenges held their focus leaving room for little else. We are sorry if you felt there was a lack of empathy but we can guarantee that was not the intention. We are doing our very best to navigate our way through South Africa's challenging railway infrastructure. Thank you for the kind words about the train, food and service. They are most appreciated. Thank you too for travelling with us. Sincerely, Brenda Vos Communications Manager Rovos Rail Tours (Pty) Ltd
Written November 16, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Keith70
Worksop, UK654 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
We had looked forward to our trip from Pretoria to Cape Town for months and what should and could have been a 5* experience was ruined by continual delays.
All started well in Pretoria with a wonderful welcome from staff at their beautifully renovated station and a tour of the workshops.
We had not reached the main line before we encountered our first delay which lasted for at least 30 minutes while we waited for the points to be switched.
The coaches have all been splendidly renovated, we only had a Pullman suite but we were only in it to sleep and change for meals so as far as we were concerned it was adequate although it was small. The food, drinks and service were all 5* and all the staff were courteous and worked hard to ensure they gave a faultless service.
The delays were bad but during the first night the continual stopping and starting, screeching of breaks meant sleep was virtually impossible. The delays got worse and our first planned stop at Kimberley mine meant we had to be bused from Warrenton, we arrived just before dusk, seeing was difficult, the museum was closed we saw virtually nothing. We then had to wait in a pub in the dark ( Kimberley was suffering a power cut) until the train arrived in Kimberley over an hour later
The next day our trip to Matjiesfontein was limited to 30 minutes so the train could make up lost time, totally insufficient for such a lovely village. We were due in Cape Town at 6.30pm, but had to be bused from Worcester which got us into Cape Town at 8.45pm. We were told the train was unlikely to arrive before 11.00pm so the bus was the best option.
Without such horrendous delays this would have been a really special trip, but as it turned out it was not worth the cost for all the inconvenience.
Written March 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear @Keith70 Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We appreciate your feedback and apologise for the delays experienced on your journey due to the current infrastructure upgrades being implemented by Siemens and Transnet (national railway authority). Thank for you the kind words you did have to say about the staff and train, they are much appreciated. Kind regards Brenda Vos Communications Manager Rovos Rail Tours
Written March 20, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Gill Fraser
8 contributions
Sep 2021 • Couples
Rovos Rail is truly a pocket of excellence, and are unfortunately reliant on Transnet for the rail infrastructure and other elements of rail service. However they go above and beyond to keep guests informed of situations, as they arise (and there are many challenges to overcome), and they go above and beyond to ensure guests are well taken care of aboard the train. We had the exact opposite experience on the Blue Train who dropped us off after 11pm in Johannesburg after they too had challenges. We were not from the area and were totally terrified, particularly as it was after curfew. Quite a different approach to customer service and safety. I would choose Rovos Rail any day! On board the staff were totally customer focused, they worked as a team, and nothing was too much trouble. The wine pairing was a lovely touch and made meals most interesting, while the food portions were tasty and well sized. They were happy to oblige personal preference and offer more if you requested it. Meals had a full course vegetarian alternative much appreciated. Roan Vos is very hands on, and we enjoyed the tour of the yards in Pretoria. We are looking forward to doing another trip with Rovos Rail, the question is which? Thank you for a great experience.
Written September 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear @ Travelpassi Thank you very much for taking the time to leave your review. We value your kind feedback and so appreciate your understanding of the challenges we face utilizing the South African railway infrastructure. We look forward to welcoming you on board again one day! Thank you too for travelling with us. Kind regards, Brenda Vos Communications Manager Rovos Rail Tours
Written September 29, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

MiaEJ2013
Frillesas, Sweden340 contributions
Jan 2020
We decided to treat ourselves to Rovos Rail’s trip from Pretoria to Cape Town to celebrate my husband’s birthday. From the start, we were treated like royalty, extremely service-minded and friendly staff who actually seemed happy to go out of their way to make our journey comfortable and enjoyable. Mr Vos treated us to a guided tour of the premises and told us about how the company had evolved. He was very passionate about his work and seemed to be involved in everything. We had booked a Pullman cabin which was lovely, but a bit cramped. We didn’t spend much time there so it served it’s purpose. Excellent food and drink, lovely atmosphere. My husband was presented with a cake and singing on his birthday which was a nice touch! We did have problems sleeping the first night due to the moving and noise of the train, but no problem. Although the train was delayed due to railroad work and signals failing, we thoroughly enjoyed it.
Written January 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear @ MiaEJ2013 Thank you for taking the time to leave your review and for your kind feedback. Thank you too for your understanding and refreshing attitude about the delays which were beyond our control! It is our hope that Siemens and Transnet (national railway authority) will be finished with their upgrade projects by mid-2020 after which our schedule can return to normal. We appreciate you travelling with us and hope to welcome you on board one day again soon. Sincerely, Brenda Vos Communications Manager Rovos Rail Tours
Written January 31, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

deeeeMidlands
midlands265 contributions
Jan 2020
It was a trip we were so looking forward to and the experience started off very well from Pretoria, where the welcome lounge was extremely pleasant with good service of beverages and snacks. Mr.Vos himself showed the group of travelers around the train workshop etc which really was very interesting giving details of how he started and where everything has reached now. Which Infact heightened our excitement and made us look forward to it even more. Unfortunately, there were so many delays which means you are just in the train which is standing still for hours . We accepted that bit of it as it meant having 3 good meals a day with decent wines on offer and decent service ,and meeting some interesting people. Although having said that the second dining car people had to wait for their mains for over an hour at times. I think our experience turned really bad once the train started moving as it was the roughest train journey ever and we got off at Victoria falls after 3 dreadfully uncomfortable and sleepless nights aching everywhere.
The safari experience in Zimbabwe was good .
Being a very special train trip it is pretty expensive and the age group travelling is definitely not young hence a lot of people felt annoyed ,dissatisfied & disappointed with the travel part being extremely uncomfortable.
Written February 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear @ deeeeMidlands Thank you for taking the time to leave your review. We are sorry that you found the journey to be uncomfortable and for your disappointment. Thank you for the kind words you did have about the food, wine and service on board. They are much appreciated. Thank you too for travelling with us. Sincerely, Brenda Vos Communications Manager Rovos Rail Tours
Written February 24, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

BlackberryMan
Surrey15 contributions
Feb 2020
We'd booked this well in advance as part of a comprehensive three weeks holiday to South Africa. We boarded the RovosRail train at Pretoria and firstly enjoyed an excellent and thoughtful presentation from the company owner, Rohan Vos who added a personal touch to the whole experience with a tour of the train yards and a glass of bubbly or soft drink in the quaint and tasteful station waiting room. when it came time to board, passengers names were called out by Mr. Vos and we were passed to the manager of our specified carriage area and escorted to our excellent accommodation where our luggage awaited us, having been brought aboard by white gloved, liveried porters. All the staff were amazing, always helpful and smiling and the whole ethos about service with a smile was ALWAYS to the fore. Our train journey to Cape Town took 2 days and 2 nights, food was served in the dining carriage with gentlemen expected to wear a tie for dinner. Dinner and lunch menus had a wine pairing menu, afternoon tea was served and breakfast was a great buffet with hot dishes to order. the food at every sitting was superb and it was so leisurely to dine as we drifted down through the South African Karoo, stopping at Kimberley to see the "big hole" and now defunct famous diamond mine. we also stopped at Matjisfontein, a well preserved Victorian village that was once a refreshment stop for travellers. Our progress on the journey was constantly updated by our very efficient and highly personable train manager, who was obviously battling a lot of challenges on our route through a myriad of different train track combinations, and rail track repairs, resulting in us eventually reaching Cape Town a few hours behind schedule, but RovosRail covered that circumstance with aplomb, laid on an extra meal and all drinks continued to flow freely as part of their 'full board' package. To cap it all when we alighted the train, there greeting everyone with a personal handshake and a few warm words was the ineffable and charming Mr. Vos who had travelled independently to be there and both welcome us personally to Cape Town together with thanking us for travelling with RovosRail. This was truly an experience of a lifetime, an absolute pleasure and will always be a treasured memory. I should add that each traveller received a 'guest list' of all other travellers, who were from a variety of countries and some were traelling with RovosRail for the even their 3rd or 4th experience.
Written March 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear @BlackberryMan Many thanks for your kind review! We really appreciate your feedback. Thank you too for travelling with us. Sincerely, Brenda Vos Communications Manager Rovos Rail Tours
Written March 20, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

DrillerBurlington
Burlington, Canada440 contributions
Feb 2020
We took Rovos Rail from Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe to Pretoria. It was a kind of "step back in time" trip in beautifully refurbished rail cars with cozy cabins, an elegant dining car and an observation/ bar car at the back. The experience was great. The food was exceptional for dishes put together in the kitchen car. The scenery was great. The rail staff were attentive and friendly. When we finished the trip at the Rovos Rail station/ headquarters we were treated with a guided tour of the restoration facilities by Mr. Vos himself. All very impressive.
Written April 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear @DrillerBurlington Many thanks for your kind review! We really appreciate your feedback. Thank you too for travelling with us. Sincerely, Brenda Vos Communications Manager Rovos Rail Tours
Written April 6, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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