When the indigenous people of southern Africa first saw the locomotive, one of their most immediate impressions was the similarity between the train’s motion and a millipede’s movement. That’s where the term Shongololo Express comes from – Shongololo means ‘millipede’ in a number of dialects in the region. The Shongololo Express is a unique offering of adventure train rides that traverse several southern Africa countries.
The train itself is effectively a full service mobile hotel that includes a wide range of accommodation alternatives, meals, sightseeing and recreational activities throughout the trip. Part of the train’s cargo is a number of tour vans that are used at stopovers so guests can have a real feel of the places they pass through.
There are 5 different route packages – the Good Hope Adventure, the Southern Cross Adventure, the Dune Adventure, On the Traces of Dr Livingstone and the Garden Route Bus Tour.
The Good Hope Adventure is a 13-day trip that is largely confined within South Africa only crossing through Swaziland. But despite covering just two countries, it goes through beautiful South African terrain from Johannesburg en route to Cape Town.
The Dune Express is also a two-country trip that starts in Johannesburg, South Africa and moves on to Namibia where the desolate desert landscapes extend as far as the eye can see.
The Southern Cross Adventure tour is the vintage cross-country train safari. The 16-day trip traverses 6 countries – starting in Johannesburg, South Africa it goes on to Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana. The Victoria Falls are just one of the many standout stopovers throughout the ride.
The ‘On the Traces of Dr Livingstone’ trip travels through some of southern Africa’s finest and most historically significant destinations tracing some of the routes followed by the great English explorer, Dr. David Livingstone.