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