All Aboard the Blue Train: Pretoria to Cape Town

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This is no ordinary cross-country journey. As the most lavish and luxurious way to travel through South Africa, the blue train has left passengers marvelling over this “must experience in a lifetime” journey which sees them travel from Pretoria to Cape Town (or vice versa).

blue train

As I woke the morning of departure in a tuscan villa in the residential rolling hills of Pretoria, I couldn’t help but express my excitement for the journey that lay ahead. I had spent the previous evening in the luxurious Castello Di Monte, a popular choice for travellers boarding the train in Pretoria. Bed and breakfasts are Pretoria’s answer to luxury hotels and this is the crème de la crème of the bunch.


On the morning of departure I was collected at precisely 7:00am by the Castello’s chauffeur service and taken to the train station ready for departure. Once inside the station I was in the hands of the staff of the reputable Blue Train – known to passengers as the ‘only’ way to travel cross-country in South Africa.

Watching the sun rise from Castello Di Monte

Watching the sun rise from Castello Di Monte

If there’s one journey you don’t want to miss in your lifetime, it’s this one. Once on-board guests make their way to their carriage – a moving home away from home that will take you from one end of South Africa to the other.


Stepping on board the Blue Train feels a bit like a time warp into the Edwardian era – there’s crystal galore, impeccable furnishings, and extreme opulence. Shortly after departure guests are prompted to make their way to the dining cart for a three-course silver service brunch. But this isn’t just about sampling the fine South African food, no, it’s all in the experience. The waiters are quick to bring your menus, take drink orders, return to take your food orders, all the while offering to cater to your every need.

blue train south africa

Entree – butternut soup

blue train south africa

Main – Vegetarian specialty (so yummmm!)

blue train south africa

Dessert – Berry Soup with Berries and Vanilla Ice Cream


After brunch there is time to return to your suite on wheels to enjoy the scenery and some relaxation in plush sofas inside your room or continue the journey in the lounge cart.


Before you know if high tea is being served in the afternoon and we are informed that the day excursion off the train in the Kimberly will proceed. While it isn’t always guaranteed (weather and time permitting), most of the time the excursion takes place – and it’s not one to be missed.


Once off the train we are kindly escorted to a nearby coach which transports passengers to ‘the big hole’ to view and learn the history of the diamond rush in South Africa.





The Big Hole

The Big Hole


Back on board, it’s just a half hour until dinner service begins – a lavish three-course affair with matching wines.


After a full day of indulgence, it was time to return to my made up suite, complete with evening treats and lush linens for a comfortable night of rest. The next morning I decided to opt for an in-suite breakfast of yoghurt, granola and fresh berries. Before long we were arriving into Cape Town after the luxurious, lavish, and absolutely lovely overnight journey from Pretoria to Cape Town on the Blue Train.

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Book the blue train from $1400 pp twin share.


World of Wanderlust was a guest on the Blue Train, however my opinion is, as always, my own.

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    April 14, 2015 at 6:04 am

    I so love your posts, I started reading them when my son showed them to me a while back. I teach French as a second language and I have decided to get my students to combine their learning with the idea of your blog. I am going to get them to do sample blog entries in French as if your job posting section was looking for a French employee. I am sure they will do well and have fun trying. Keep up the awesome posts and travels!

    January 14, 2015 at 11:20 am

    This sounds incredible! I saw it on your Instagram a while back and did some research on it then. I just noticed this post now and love the extra details explaining what it actually entails. I have added it to my bucket list and am very excited to see it for myself one day.

    October 27, 2014 at 6:04 am

    This sounds so amazing! Great experience which I want to live to see on my own one day!
    Saw your blue train vlog on YouTube and liked it so much <3
    Lots of love,

    July 22, 2014 at 6:30 am

    I have always wanted to do a luxury train journey! This sounds like a dream. Any other recommendations?

    Elizabeth Butler
    June 24, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Loved reading this post, reminded me of when I went on The Blue Train a couple of years back, it certainly is wonderful! Love reading your blog.

    June 22, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Now this is one journey on my list and after your great post it has moved up. Glad I found this blog.

    June 19, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    What an amazing trip!

    June 19, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    This looks amazing! There are so many awesome train journeys you can do to see the world, and this definitely looks like one to add to the list x

    June 19, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    It’s always been a dream of mine to travel on the Trans-Siberian Railway. Seeing these beautiful pictures, the Blue Train journey just went on my bucket list as well. Besides, I love South Africa and just found another reason to visit it again.