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Rovos Rail operates four trains of these superbly restored and converted coaches, which accommodate up to 72 passengers in style and comfort. Each train has a lounge car, a unique glass-ended, open-balcony observation car, a smoking club lounge and one or two dining cars – either a 1920s period piece with romantic teak pillars or a more modern 1930s example with large, traditional windows offering guests a panoramic view of the passing landscape. A remarkable achievement in 2013 was the construction of three pillared dining cars using the shells of steel second-class sleepers.
The sleeper coaches are the last word in luxury. Each suite accommodates two people with the option of twin or double beds and a lounge area. They all have en-suite bathrooms in which original fittings are combined with the modern technology of hot showers, hair dryers and shaver plugs. Spacious and elegant, the Royal Suites measure 16m2 and even come with a Victorian claw-foot bathtub, which makes bath-time a memorable occasion. The Deluxe Suites measure approximately 10m2 and the Pullman Suites, which are 7m2 in size, include the identical bathroom to that of the Deluxe.
All the suites are air conditioned, yet the windows can be opened allowing in the sights, sounds and scents of Africa; there are few, if any, luxury trains in the world with this special feature. This, coupled with opulence and personal service as well as a selection of Rovos Rail locos, makes this a truly unique opportunity to sample long-distance travel.