Tanzania Times
The Eastern Africa News Network

Five Countries, 15 Nights, 5530 Kilometers: Rovos Train Makes Dar-es-Salaam Port

After 15 nights, Five Countries and 5530 kilometers, the Rovos Train Screeches into Dar-es-salaam.

It whistled out of Cafe Town more than two weeks ago and brought to Tanzania 66 tourists.

But in between the iron serpent snakes into the Tanzania’s largest National Park, Nyerere, Virgin Game Reserves, astounding Mountain Ranges and the spell-binding Great East African Rift Valley.

People visiting game parks usually drive in tour vehicles to watch wildlife during the day and sleep in hotels or lodges at night.

As the Rovos Rail Train arrives in Dar-es-salaam (Top) Visitors (Below) receive a warm welcome in the city (All Photos by Sam Nsyuka of TTB)

But what if the same luxury hotel gets wheels and takes you around astounding sceneries in more than one National Parks?

That is what the Rovos Train does.

Rovos Rail is essentially a luxury hotel on wheels. The train looks beautiful and takes people to beautiful places.

For a fortnight and a day, the steel wheels take visitors to all the spectacular destinations found in five Southern African countries, with Tanzania being the climax of the tour.

The inland voyage starts in Cape-Town South-Africa.

After the whistle the epic train journey chugs through South Africa, crosses into Botswana, then Zimbabwe, all the way to Zambia and eventually Tanzania.

A Hotel on Wheels and tour vehicle rolled up into one

It is one of the most famous rail cruising adventures in the world.

Starting in Cape Town the iron snake crawls with guests in its luxurious belly to the historic village of Matjiesfontein, the diamond town of Kimberley and the capital city of Tshwane (Pretoria) for short tours.

That gets followed by two nights in the Madikwe Game Reserve.

Afterwards it is a journey through Botswana and into Zimbabwe.

Here the travellers become overnight guests at the Victoria Falls Hotel.

After crossing the mighty Zambezi River, the train links into the Tanzania-Zambia Railways (TAZARA) track in Zambia traveling to Chisimba Falls where guests get treated to a bush walk.

Rovos train later steeps onto the Tanzanian border before descending into the Great Rift Valley negotiating the tunnels, switchbacks and bridges (flyovers) of the spectacular escarpment.

Dreams are made of this (Map by Rovos)

Climbing again, it traverses the Nyerere National Park and parts of the Selous Game Reserve.

Nyerere is the biggest National Park in East Africa and when combined with the adjacent Selous Game Reserve both make the largest pristine conservation precinct on the continent.

Rovos also gives its Tanzanian bound passengers a taste of the Udzungwa National Park, whose major selling point being the Eastern Arc Mountains.

The climax for the trip is Dar es Salaam this is the hot and humid commercial city along the Indian Ocean Coastline of Tanzania, offering splendid Swahili Culture.

Tanzania, the climax of the Rovos Train Journey (Photo by Sam Nsyuka of TTB)

The Rovos Rail 2023 trip is simply known as “Dar-es-salaam.”

It was also facilitated by the Tanzania Zambia Railways, the Tanzania Railways Corporation and the Tanzania Tourists Board (TTB).

But having started the journey from Dar-es-salaam, travel experts here suggest that in future the adventure should be named “Between Cape Town and Cairo!”

That means, in future the visitors should also be taken aboard a special Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) train to Arusha.

Arusha happens to a city which is located at the Center Point between Cape-Town and Cairo.

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