You haven’t seen South Africa until you’ve seen it in blue.
Read Dirk and Paul’s experience
South Africa’s very own Blue Train is synonymous with luxury, travel bucket lists and an adventure reserved for foreign tourists – but with all the great specials on offer for locals, we soon found ourselves sipping mimosas in the Blue Train Lounge, waiting to board.
Our first impression upon boarding was the sheer brilliance of the suite. Even though the Blue Train experience celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1996, once you step inside, you are transported to another time with its pristine condition and timeless décor. From the smallest details to the mahogany and brass finishes, great care has been taken to ensure your experience in the suit is a memorable one. And, let’s not forget to mention, that every suite comes with its own en-suite bathroom – pending on the type of suit reserved, you get either a shower or a bath. We had the luxury suite which featured a double bed and fabulous bath!
Dining is, as they call it, ‘an elegant affair’. One is required to dress up and take your seat on the dining cars at the time allotted. With live entertainment, an evening of wining and dining at a leisurely pace is compulsory. One course after the next paired with the best our wine region has to offer and service unparalleled in this country by expert servers.
And it’s not just reserved for the evenings. During the days onboard, there is certainly no shortage of meals – from delicious morning breakfast to a full lunch and then let’s not forget two exquisite high teas, which you can enjoy in one of the lounges, or in your suite served by your butler (yes, that’s right, every suite on the Blue Train has a butler assigned to it at your beck and call for the course of your journey).
The only stop we made along the way was to visit The Big Hole in Kimberley. There, our tour operator gave us a fabulous history lesson on De Beers and their role in the development of the city. For the brave, there are diamond merchants who will take you through the process of diamond buying… and whilst the actual transaction is quick, there is a lot to learn along the way!
After your stop in Kimberley, it’s smooth travel until the end of the track, but only with the loaded notion that your trip is coming to an end. On the last evening, a relaxing natter on the spacious leather sofas in the cigar lounge is a must, even if you don’t smoke. Beautifully decked out, your host takes excellent care of you and a short liqueur goes down well. And if the mood takes you, you can even enjoy a Cuban cigar, on the house.
We arrived in Pretoria and to be honest, it was a sad farewell to a crew of 27 that had gone above and beyond to make our experience on board the Blue Train unmatched in South Africa – and, in our experience, beyond! They say South Africa has the best hospitality in the world – well, you haven’t seen the world until you’ve seen it in blue.