At Rovos Rail, they pride themselves on giving passengers a break from reality with the trip of a lifetime in the lap of luxury. They redefine the meaning of epic adventures and safari and make them synonymous with traveling in style. Excitement, style, and elegance will provide a one-of-a-kind experience.


From magnificent suites to the top-notch services that Rovos Rail offers their guests, you can explore the planes of Africa and all of its beauty without sacrificing your comfort.


When designing these packages, Rovos Rail wanted their passengers to fully relax while recapturing the essence of past romantic eras through innovative and elegant styling throughout their train cars. To do this, Rovos Rail did a complete rehaul of all of their trains to ensure that they rebuilt each one to suit the needs of our passengers. As a result, Rovos Rail cars maintain all the modern comforts while giving consumers a glimpse of what it felt like to be in a different era.


As a result, Rovos Rail undertook the difficult task of redesigning and restructuring its suites and rail cars. As passengers will be spending a large majority of their time on board, it is essential that passengers can feel true luxury while still having the thrill of adventure. Therefore, Rovos Rail incorporated the Edwardian period into all the designs and stylistic options.

Incorporating the Edwardian era into our rail cars meant remodeling three lounge cars to include the main features of this period. Rovos Rail reworked their rail cars to include beautiful wooden paneling with sharp features. The dark wood was used to highlight the light wooden paneling and accentuate the more minor features such as light fixtures, lunge seats, and large open windows within the train cars.

Rovos Rail Cars

Rovos Rail trains have three main lounge cars or common areas in which passengers can engage with one another. The lounges consist of the following spaces:

  • A non-smoking lounge car that can accommodate up to 26 guests
  • A smoking lounge, known as the club car, which can accommodate up to 26 guests
  • An observation lounge that seats up to 32 guests comfortably 
  • A dining car that can host up to 42 guests at a time

The different rail cars can be summarized as follows:

The Lounge Car

Since passengers will be spending long hours aboard the train, all lounge areas also double up as service cars and are thus equipped with air conditioning to ensure customers feel calm and secure in the car. Fitted with long windows that open to let in the sounds, sights, and even scents of the scenery the train travels through. The lounge cars can accommodate ±26 passengers comfortably.

The lounge cars, also known as the non-smoking areas of the train, were created through the reworking and refurbishing of old coaches. The lounge areas are located in the middle of the train to ensure everyone can access the space easily. In addition, the coaches were stripped entirely and fitted with deep sofas and wingback chairs to ensure that guests can relax comfortably anywhere in the lounge car. 

The lounge cars now have a small gift shop built into them. Rovos Rail added the gift shops at the behest of prior passengers to allow passengers to buy memorabilia that will remind them of the journey Rovos Rail took them on. 

Even more exciting, the gift shops are a new addition and are currently only available on South African trains. The memorabilia inside the gift shop were all crafted by local designers and artisans, allowing passengers to support their own locally sourced talent by purchasing the enchanting memorabilia.

The Club Car

The club car is also known as the designated smoking area. The club car was created by remodeling and reworking an end suite containing a Deluxe carriage. The club car can easily host up to 26 passengers and neighbor the observation cars.

The club car is just as exciting as the rest and is fitted with a stunning glass wall! The glass wall allows passengers inside the club car to have an almost panoramic view of the sights around them, allowing them to take in the breathtaking sight before them from the comforts of deep-seated lounge and wingback chairs.

The Observation Car

The observation cars come with a fascinating history tied to them. These were initially A-28 dining cars built according to Mr. W Day’s drawings and specifications. However, once permission from the South African Railways was granted, observation cars were allowed to run at the back of trains!

The observation cars were renovated to incorporate more oversized big-picture windows and unique open-air balconies. In addition, Rovos Rail overhauled the entire structure of the observation cars to include comfy sofas, booths, and even a bar.

The observation car is a great space to mingle with other guests and find a spot to get some alone time. With the freedom to host relatively 32 passengers comfortably, the observation car is the perfect space for any passenger looking to unwind and take in the stunning sights around them.

Afternoon tea is usually served in the observation cars at around 4:30 pm, and the bar service is open to all passengers over 18.

The Dining Car 

Dining is the essential car as it is where passengers will enjoy most meals. Dining cars can hold a capacity of 42 passengers per sitting. Thus some trains will have an additional dining car depending on the number of passengers on the excursion.

Guests can choose seating arrangements made up of single seats, two-seaters, and even four-seaters giving guests a chance to decide if they want to sit alone or in groupings. Meals are usually served in one sitting, with mealtimes occurring during the following times:

  • Breakfast is from 7 am – 10 am
  • Lunch is held at 1 pm
  • A formal dinner takes place at 7:30 pm


Unless stated otherwise in the Rovos Rail itinerary, the meals will take place at these standard times. Hot breakfast meals are made according to the orders, whereas lunch and dinner will incorporate a four-course meal accompanied by a fantastic South African wine. So you can rest assured that your appetite for food and excitement will remain well-fed on Rovos Rail trips!

See the plains of Africa in a new light and discover the joys of travel with Rovos Rail excursions.