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Shongololo Golf Train: Good Hope (Pretoria to Cape)


9YW18J
18 NIGHTS
FROM £4,998
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
Journey from Pretoria in luxury aboard the South African Golf Train - the Shongololo Express - which wends its way to Cape Town, travelling via Leopard Creek, Kruger, Swaziland, Hluhluwe, Durban, Ladysmith, Bloemfontein, Kimberley, Fancourt on the Garden Route & Hermanus. All off-train excursions included (supplement payable for green fees). 2 departures per year in each direction. Gold/Emerald.
South African Golf Train Shongololo Cape Town Leopard Creek Durban Fancourt
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South African Golf Train, Shongololo
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Nelspruit, Panorama Route
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Leopard Creek, Kruger
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Swaziland
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Hluhuwe Game Reserve
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Durban
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Drakensberg Mountains
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Kimberley
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Fancourt, Garden Route
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Cape Town
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South African Golf Train, Shongololo
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Nelspruit, Panorama Route
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Leopard Creek, Kruger
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Swaziland
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Hluhuwe Game Reserve
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Durban
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Drakensberg Mountains
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Kimberley
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Fancourt, Garden Route
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Cape Town
Day 1
You will be met at Johannesburg Airport and transferred 1-hour to Pretoria (now called Tshwane).
 
This city is the administrative capital of South Africa and is renowned for its jacaranda trees that flower from September to November.
Day 2
This morning transfer to Capital Park Station in Pretoria for 08.00 check in at the Shongololo Express.
 
Relax and enjoy the elegance of train travel of a bygone age, as you settle in to your wood-panelled coach. This spectacular 15-day train journey starts in Pretoria and travels the length of South Africa, as the train wends its way through the Drakensberg Mountains and past the Kruger National Park, continuing via the kingdom of Swaziland, Durban and Bloemfontein to Knysna on the scenic Garden Route, before arriving at journey's end in beautiful Cape Town.
 
After checking in, we leave the train and enjoy a morning tour of Soweto. With a population of over one-million people, this township was made famous by the apartheid laws. We pass the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital (the largest hospital in the southern hemisphere) and drive past the only street in Africa that once housed two Nobel Peace laureates - Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. We then visit the Hector Petersen Memorial, named after one of the first students to be killed in the 1976 student uprising against the apartheid government.
 
We spend the afternoon in Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa, where we visit the Union Buildings. Designed by the famous English colonial architect, Sir Herbert Baker, and completed in 1913, the Union Buildings house the offices of the president and his ministers. Before leaving the capital behind, we visit the Voortrekker Monument that commemorates the ‘Great Trek’ undertaken by the Boer farmers in the 1830s.
 
In the afternoon we return to Capital Park Station and board the train for Nelspruit for our overnight stop.
 
Note: All meals on the train are included, but alcohol and all lunches off the train are for your own account. A relaxed atmosphere prevails on board, so comfortable clothing is recommended with good walking shoes for off-train excursions. Bring  warm clothes for early mornings and evenings, especially if you are travelling during the winter months (June to August). If you are playing golf, please note that green fees are NOT included and will need to be paid in advance. Golf dress code will also need to be adhered to.
Day 3
This morning golfers disembark at Nelspruit in the province of Mpumalanga (meaning 'land of the rising sun') and transfer to play golf at either Nelspruit or White River Country Club.
 
Afterwards rejoin the train in the late afternoon, as we depart towards Malelane for overnight.
 
Non-golfers:
Full day tour of the beautful Drakensberg Panorama Route, including Pilgrim's Rest, Bourke's Luck Pot Holes and God's Window.
 
Note: If golfers would like to join the game viewing in the Kruger National Park tomorrow, they can ask to play at Leopard Creek today.
Day 4
This morning golfers disembark at Malelane to play at the famous Leopard Creek Country Club, one of South Africa's most prestigious golf courses where membership is by invitation only.
 
Re-join the train in the late afternoon as we depart towards Swaziland, with customs formalities and overnight at Mpaka.
 
Non-golfers:
Full day of game viewing in the world famous Kruger National Park.
 
Note: If the Leopard Creek golf course is unavailable, you will play at either Nelspruit or White River. Please note the dress code, which is strictly enforced (traditional golf shirt, white socks; golf shoes with soft spikes, tailored trousers or shorts and belt).
Day 5
This morning golfers disembark at Mpaka and transfer 1-hour to play at Nkonyeni Golf Estate.
 
We rejoin the train in the late afternoon and again complete customs formalities, as we re-enter South Africa and head for Hluhluwe.
 
Non-golfers:
Full day tour of the small mountainous Kingdom of Swaziland, including a visit to Swazi Candles,  a local Swazi market and Ngwenya Glass Complex.
 
Day 6
This morning we rise early for a morning game drive in Hluhluwe National Park, which saved the rhino from extinction.
 
Once the royal hunting ground of King Shaka, Hluhluwe is the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa, consists 960 km² (96 000 ha) of hilly topography in central Zululand. It is known for its rich wildlife and is the only state-run park in KwaZulu Natal where all the Big Five occur. Due to its conservation efforts, the park now has the largest population of white rhino in the world. It is also one of the world’s top spots for viewing nyala antelope and is a prime birding destination, with over 340 different species.
 
In the afternoon enjoy another game drive in Hluhluwe National Park, before we re-board the train and head for Empangeni.
Day 7
Today disembark at Empangeni for a tour of the St Lucia iSimangaliso Wetlands.
 
iSimangaliso Wetland Park covers over 600,000 acres, from St Lucia in the south to the Mozambique border in the north and has spectacular wildife diversity. Declared a World Heritage site in 1999, the park covers a mosaic of landforms that have created a vast array of biomes to support a wide variety of animals, plants and birds. The park boasts the highest bird count in all of Africa, the southern-most breeding spots for turtles in Africa, Africa’s tallest forested dunes, the largest remaining sand forest and the biggest peat beds in the southern hemisphere. Here you can hope to see hippos, crocodiles and a large variety of water birds.
 
Afterwards we re-board the train and travel towards Durban.
 
Note: Golfers have the option of travelling 2-hours to play at Zimbali today.
Day 8
Golfers disembark at Durban today to play at the Durban Country Club, one of the top golf courses in the country.
 
In the afternoon we return to the train and head towards Ladysmith.
 
Non-golfers:
Durban City Tour, including a visit to PheZulu Safari Cultural Village and uShaka Marine World.
Day 9
Today golfers disembark at Ladysmith and transfer 1-hour to the Drakensberg Mountains to play at the beautiful Champagne Sports Resort.
 
After play we return to the train, before departing towards Bloemfontein.
 
Non-golfers:
South African War tour to the Ladysmith Siege Museum and Wagon Hill battlefield.
Day 10
This morning we arrive in Bloemfontein, which is the seat of the South African judicial system.
 
At the end of the 19th century it was also the capital of the old Boer Republic of the Orange Free State. We visit the Women’s Memorial at the Anglo Boer War Museum. This monument is a reminder of life in the concentration camps and commemorates the 27,000 women and children who died in these camps. The Museum itself is a graphic depiction of the hardship endured by all during the war and relates the history of South Africa from its first colonisation in 1652.
 
We then take an orientation drive through Bloemfontein, which is the capital of the Free State Province and also known as the 'Rose City'. Our lunch stop (own account) is at the Loch Logan Waterfront, next to the city’s stadium, which was one of the venues during the 2010 Football World Cup. In the afternoon we drive up to Naval Hill, which presents several beautiful panoramic views of the city. We end the day at the former State President’s residence “Olivenhuis”, which now houses an extensive collection of South African art. The gardens offer a relaxing atmosphere to round off the day, before we return to the train and depart for Kimberley.
Day 11
Today we disembark in Kimberley, the capital of the Northern Cape where diamonds were discovered in 1893.
 
After play we return to the train, as we head towards Graaff Reinet.
 
Non-golfers:
Kimberley City tour including a visit to the Big Hole Diamond Mine Museum.
Day 12
After lunch aboard the train, we disembark at Graaff Reinet for a walking tour of the town.
 
Tucked into the bend of the Sundays River, this Karoo town was established in 1786 and is the fourth oldest settlement in South Africa. It’s a stylish town with at least 200 historical buildings and restored pre-Victorian homes in almost every street. It has a collection of museums and galleries celebrating its past.
 
We then return to the train and head towards Oudtshoorn.
Day 13
This morning we disembark at Oudtshoorn, situated at the foot of the majestic Swartberg Mountains and surrounded by the natural beauty of this semi-desert region.
 
Golfers drive 30-minutes across the spectacular Outeniqua Pass to Fancourt Golf Estate in George, one of the premier golfing destinations in South Africa with three of the country's 'Top 10' golf courses.
 
After play enjoy an included dinner at Fancourt, before re-joining the train in George.
 
Non-golfers:
Visit the enormous Cango Caves and an Ostrich Farm in Oudtshoorn.
Day 14
This morning golfers leave the train at George and transfer to Ernie Els' Oubaai Golf Club, with a glorious setting overlooking the Indian Ocean.
 
After play, in the afternoon we return to the train and travel towards Ashton.
 
Non-golfers:
Tour along Garden Route to Knysna, with boat ride on the lagoon.
Day 15
We leave the train at Ashton and travel 2-hours by road today, taking the scenic route to the small town of Hermanus.
 
We travel over the Rooihoogte and Floorshoogte Passes, and through the Overberg towns of Villiersdorp and Botrivier to Hermanus - once a fish market and whaling station. The whale hunts were stopped by international treaty in 1935 and the WWF now includes Hermanus in its list of the 12 best whale-watching sites in the world - but it tops the list when it comes to land-based whale watching from the town’s natural cliffs and in season (normally between July and November) whales can be seen from as close as 5-metres away.
 
We re-join the train at Worcester for our farewell dinner and overnight.
 
Note: Golfers have the option of playing at the Arabella course today.
Day 16
This morning we arrive in the beautiful city of Cape Town.
 
After checking out of the train and storing your baggage in the Shongololo lounge, enjoy a tour of this magnificent city. Our tour commences with a walk through the Company Gardens, followed by a visit to the Bo-Kaap Museum. The first Malays arrived in the Cape as political refugees and slaves during the 17th century. Nearly two centuries after emancipation, these Islamic people moved into the area known today as the Bo-Kaap, building mosques with picturesque minarets and their own Georgian-style houses with Dutch influence. One of the oldest Cape Town buildings houses the museum, which is furnished as a 19th century muslim home the documents the history of the Cape Malays.
 
We then visit Diamond Works, where you can see diamond cutting, jewellery manufacturing & design, and a gemmological laboratory.
 
Our lunch stop (own account) will be at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, a development that has brought new life to the old harbour of the Dutch East India Company in Table Bay. The complex offers shops, craft markets, restaurants, taverns, cinemas, theatres as well as great views over the harbour.
 
In the afternoon we drive through District Six, named the Sixth Municipal District of Cape Town in 1867. Originally established as a mixed community of freed slaves, merchants, artisans, labourers and immigrants, District Six was a vibrant centre with close links to the city and the port. By the beginning of the 20th century, however, the process of removals and marginalisation had begun. The first to be forced out were black South Africans who were displaced from the District in 1901. As the more prosperous moved away to the suburbs, the area became a neglected ward of the city. On 11 February 1966 it was declared a white area under the Group Areas Act of 1950, and by 1982, the life of the community was over. More than 60,000 people were forcibly removed to barren outlying areas aptly known as the Cape Flats, and their houses in District Six were flattened by bulldozers. The District Six Museum, established in December 1994, works with the memories of the District Six experience and with that of forced removals more generally.
 
We end our city tour with a visit to the Castle of Good Hope, the oldest surviving building in South Africa. This pentagonal fortification replaced a small clay and timber fort built by Commander Jan van Riebeeck in 1652 as a maritime replenishment station for the ships of the Dutch East India Company. The stone walls between the bastions are 150m long and 12m high.
 
Afterwards return to Cape Town Station to retrieve your baggage, then transfer to your hotel. Check in and relax in your beautiful surroundings, within sight of Table Mountain.
Day 17
Today we recommend an optional full day shared tour to the beautiful Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, where you may see baboons, ostrich and perhaps even dolphins or whales in season (July/November).
  
Your tour travels through Hout Bay and along spectacular Chapman’s Peak Drive to the Cape Point peninsula, returning via Simons Town, Fish Hoek, Constantia and Kirstenbosch Gardens. This is a scenic tour of the whole Cape Peninsula, with the optional opportunity of visiting the penguin colony at Boulders Beach.
Day 18
Today we recommend an optional full day shared tour to the renowned Stellenbosch Winelands, travelling through the scenic Franschhoek Valley where a handful of French Huguenot refugees started South Africa’s now famous wine industry.
 
Explore the historic university town of Stellenbosch and several wine estates on this famous wine route, which stretched from Paarl through to Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. Enjoy a cellar tour and some wine tasting, before returning to Cape Town in the late afternoon.
Day 19
Transfer to Cape Town Airport for your flight home.
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