Your African Explorer Private Train
Your Comfortable Home During an Unforgettable Journey 

The African Explorer, as a rolling hotel, offers sleeping compartments in two categories, two air-conditioned restaurant cars, a bar car and a lounge car with panorama windows and an open platform at the end. The tempting three-course dinners are served in one sitting. The bar car open around the clock is ideal for relaxing over a beer or a glass of South African wine. It is also a popular spot for reading .

There is no formal dress code on your private train and smart evening dress is not required. A laundry service is available during the entire trip. Large pieces of luggage can be stowed beneath the berths or on the upper luggage racks. However, since on-board space is limited, we do recommend taking soft bags rather suitcases.  For your comfort and safety, a doctor is on board throughout the journey.

The Elephant and Leopard sleeping compartments offer a private shower and toilet, individually adjustable air-conditioning, 220/230 V sockets, a small safe, towels, a compact wardrobe with clothes hangers, small bedside cabinets, hair dryer and small toiletries. The windows (equipped with blind and sunshades) can be opened as needed.

The Elephant sleeping compartments (approx. 7m²/75 ft²) are equipped with two single berths next to each other or a double berth. There is a total of five cars in the Elephant category with five compartments each. While, The Leopard sleeping compartments (approx. 10m²/107 ft²) are equipped with two single berths or a double berth. There is a total of five cars in the Leopard category with three sleeper suites each.

  • Day 01: Arrival in Cape Town

    Arrival in Cape Town and transfer to your hotel. Stroll along the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront or take the cableway to the top of the famous Table Mountain (on request). In the early afternoon city tour through Cape Town. As the sun sets, enjoy the panoramic views across the city from the vantage point of Signal Hill – a truly magnificent sight! The evening ends with a special welcome dinner. 

    Overnight: The Commodore. Meals included: dinner (D). 

  • Day 02: Departure on the African Explorer

    Your train departs in the early morning. You pass the tunnels of the Hex-River Mountains and later on the mountains of the Big Karoo. Arrival in Matjiesfontein and time to discover this small Victorian city with its famous Lord Milner Hotel where Cecil Rhodes and Edgar Wallace used to stay. Enjoy your first evening on board. 

    Overnight on board. Meals included: breakfast (B), lunch (L) and dinner (D). 

  • Day 03: A day on board

    You will travel the whole day through South Africa’s diverse landscapes and listen to informative lectures on board.

    Overnight on board. Meals included: breakfast (B), lunch (L) and dinner (D). 

  • Day 04: Augrabies National Park

    In the afternoon you arrive in Upington and go on an excursion to Augrabies National Park with its famous water falls.  In the early evening, you will get back to the train and continue northbound.

    Overnight on board. Meals included: breakfast (B), lunch (L) and dinner (D). 

  • Day 05: Fish River Canyon

    Arrival in Holoog in the morning. The Fish River Canyon, today’s highlight, is the second largest canyon in the world! Climb aboard one of the air-conditioned buses and enjoy the stunning views. There is also a chance to take a short walk along the canyon’s edge. In the afternoon, your train journey continues and you have the chance to attend a Biltong (traditional beef jerky) tasting session.

    Overnight on board. Meals included: breakfast (B), lunch (L) and dinner (D). 

  • Day 06: Ghost Town

    Morning arrival in Aus station. Your day’s programme begins with a bus ride through the Sperrgebiet (the “Restricted Diamond Area”) to the harbour town of Lüderitz. After crossing the historical Lüderitz peninsula, you reach the next highlight of the day – Diaz Point, set against the backdrop of the dramatic Atlantic waves. On the way back to your train, you stop at the ghost town of Kolmanskop, where the first diamonds were found in Namibia in 1908. Back on board at Aus station, your private train continues on its journey south. 

    Overnight on board. Meals included: breakfast (B) and dinner (D). 

  • Day 07: Namib Naukluft National Park

    In the morning, arrival in Mariental, where buses will transfer you to your lodges in the Namib Naukluft National Park (approx. 4 hours' drive on mainly untarred roads).

    Overnight: Namib Desert Lodge. On request,you can book a round flight over this fascinating landscape. Meals included: breakfast (B) and dinner (D). 

  • Day 08: The Highest Sand Dunes in the World

    Early morning is the best time to see the giant dunes of the Namib. Climbing a dune may be quite tough, but the panoramic view from the top over a sea of apricot-coloured sand is reward enough! Open-top vehicles take you the last few kilometres along an unpaved sandy track to the Vlei, a salt-clay sink surrounded by sand dunes. On the way, you may well be fortunate enough to see oryx antelopes and springboks. As the sun sets, enjoy a romantic journey through the stunning desert landscape. 

    Overnight: Namib Desert Lodge. Meals included: breakfast (B) and dinner (D). 

  • Day 09: Walvis Bay and Swakopmund

    After breakfast, your air-conditioned buses are waiting to take you to Walvis Bay, you can see flocks of flamingos and pelicans. The tour through the Namib Naukluft National Park by buses takes about 5 hours. In Swakopmund, your train awaits you. 

    Overnight on board. Meals included: breakfast (B) and dinner (D). 

  • Day 10: Spitzkoppe

    In the early morning, your train leaves Swakopmund. It will stop at Usakos for an excursion to the granite peaks known as the “Spitzkoppe”. A visit to a local school (except in the school holidays) provides an insight into the everyday life of children from the Damara people. Back on board, your train continues towards Otjiwarongo. 

    Overnight on board. Meals included: breakfast (B), lunch (L) and dinner (D)

  • Day 11: Etosha National Park

    Explore the wonders of the Etosha National Park. Your air-conditioned buses cross the entire park (130 km) – a chance to see elephants, gnus and other wild animals close up on the journey. The Etosha Pan, an extremely flat salt pan, lies at the heart of the National Park. This shimmering “great white place”, as its name says, is the largest salt pan in Africa – and with herds of wild animals passing through, an unforgettable experience! This exciting day ends with an overnight stay in a comfortable lodge nearby. 

    Overnight: Mokuti Lodge. Meals included: breakfast (B) and dinner (D). 

  • Day 12: On Safari

    In the morning, enjoy an extensive safari drive before carrying on to Otjiwarongo where your private train is waiting for you. Your journey continues to Windhoek. In the evening you enjoy an African Braai (BBQ) at the tracks under a marvellous starry sky. 

    Overnight on board. Meals included: breakfast (B) and dinner (D). 

  • Day 13: Windhoek

    With that proverbial little bit of luck, your journey will be a train safari. This unique route passes through various private game farms where giraffes, antelopes and ostriches are often visible right from the train window! After arrival in Windhoek you will go on a city tour including the neo-Gothic Christ Church and the Tintenpalast, literally the “Ink Palace”, which houses the Namibian parliament. After that, you will visit the township Katutura and a local market. You will be transferred to your hotel before a farewell dinner will be served in a special restaurant. 

    Overnight: AVANI Windhoek Hotel & Casino. Meals included: breakfast (B), lunch (L) and dinner (D). 

  • Day 14: Goodbye Namibia

    According to your flights, transfer to the airport for your flight back home.

    Meals included: breakfast (B). 

    Your journey adventure may be over, but we know you will enjoy the memories you have made for years to come. 


Enquire about this itinerary

Route details:

Cape Town, Matjiesfontein, Upington, Fish River Canyon, Lüderitz, Namib Naukluft National Park, Swakopmund, Etosha National Park, Windhoek. 

Travel dates (Cape Town to Windhoek):

  • 18 February, 2019  - 03 March, 2019
  • 21 October, 2019 - 03 November, 2019
  • 11 November, 2019 - 24 November, 2019

Journey Highlights:

  • 3.600 km of rail track on the African Explorer private train
  • Cape Town – one of the world’s most beautiful cities
  • Fish River Canyon – the second largest canyon in the world
  • The Namib Desert – UNESCO World Heritage sites: Sossusvlei with the world’s highest dune
  • Bizarre rock formations and lunar landscape in Namib Naukluft National Park
  • Safari tour of Etosha National Park
  • Lüderitz – the first German colonial settlement in the South West Africa
  • Gone with the sand – the Kolmanskop ghost town
  • The high plateau of the Aus Mountains
  • Swakopmund – Imperial German architecture in an African setting
  • Windhoek – Modern city and German roots
  • Namibian specialties and select South African wines

Hotels planned:

  • Cape Town - 1 night at The Commodore
  • Namib Desert - 2 nights at Namib Desert Lodge
  • Etosha - 1 night at Mokuti Lodge
  • Windhoek - 1 night at AVANI Windhoek Hotel & Casino


  • 8 nights on board the African Explorer private train according to the category booked
  • 1 night in a Windhoek city hotel
  • 1 night in a generously spaced safari lodge at the entrance to Etosha National Park
  • 2 nights in a stylish lodge in the Namib desert
  • 1 night in a premium class hotel in Cape Town
  • Multi-lingual tour director from Windhoek to Cape Town throughout
  • English-speaking tour guide for max. 25 guests from Cape Town  to Windhoek
  • Doctor on board
  • All meals as specified in the itinerary
  • All excursions and sightseeing including admission fees
  • Excursions and transfers in air-conditioned buses
  • All Airport transfers on day 1 and 14
  • Fascinating series of lectures on sights, history, daily life and culture
  • Extensive information materials

Travel documents & vaccinations:

  • Passport and visas required
  • No vaccinations are prescribed

Not included:

  • Visa fees
  • Gratuities
  • International flights

Payment conditions:

  • Non-refundable deposit of 15% is due after the reservation
  • Final payment is due 60 days prior to departure

Cancellation conditions:

  • Up to 92 days prior to departure: 15% of total price
  • Between 91 and 42 days prior to departure: 45% of total price
  • Between 41 and 11 days prior to departure: 80% of total price
  • 10 and less days prior to departure/no-show: 90% of total price


  • Due to the intricate logistics of this tour, itinerary changes are sometimes unavoidable. 
  • Minimum number of tour particpants: 50
  • Maximum number of tour participants: 64

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