Shongololo Express – Victoria Falls Trip
For many people Africa climbing aboard the Shongololo Express for the Victoria Falls train trip is the vacation destination of a lifetime. It brings to mind safaris and other animal adventures, amazing scenery, and rich culture. The Shongololo Express allows you to experience all of these things without the inconvenience of packing and unpacking as you travel. The Doctor Livingstone Tour is the perfect choice for anyone interested in Animal viewing train trips. You not only get to view the wildlife from the comfort of the train, but can take advantage of the many different activities available during stops to explore things more thoroughly. The trips itself is 12 days and 11 nights of sheer African adventure.
Day one brings you 70 miles to the border of Botswana and across into Chobe National Park. Here you can view the vast array of wildlife which includes a well-respected population of elephants as well as hippos which can be seen lounging in the river. The highlights of this day will include a cruise on the Chobe River and a game drive using 4×4 vehicles. Lunch can be taken at the waterfront lodge where they can also swim in the pool. The train will remain at the Victoria Falls Station for the night. There are many extra activities that can be taken advantage of during your layover.
Day two sees the train crossing the Zambezi River by route of the railroad bridge. The train will stop at Victoria Falls on the Zambian side before it continues on to Livingstone. The town is named after David Livingstone, a Scottish visionary and explorer who dreamt of opening the Dark Continent to the world. Passengers will eat an early lunch on the Zimbabwe side and then depart for the Zambian side of the falls. After the day tour, passengers return to the train in Livingstone and depart in the late evening for Lusaka.
Day three is spent traveling through the southern part of Zambia toward Lusaka. Spend a relaxing day watching rural Africa pass by and make the most of the opportunity for pictures. Lunch is served on board during this day of travel. Once arriving in Lusaka the train will remain overnight.
Days four and five will be spent in Lusaka City and Chaminuka Lodge. While visiting the city you will gain an insight into life in a typical African city that is rich with history. Chaminuka Lodge has many activities to entertain you during your visit. There are safari drives in open top vehicles, an art exhibit where you can meet the artists with special arrangement, as well as walks in the bush with qualified guides who are knowledgeable about the flora and fauna. You can also fish in the stocked lakes either from shore or from a floating pontoon. The train will depart during the night for Serenje.
After arriving in Serenje the journey continues along the path of Dr. Livingstone to the Livingstone Memorial and Kundalila Falls. After breakfast you will take a pleasant drive past Kasanka National Park to the Livingstone Memorial. The memorial is simply a plaque placed at the sight of the mupundu tree where the Dr.’s heart was buried before his body was transported back to England. On the return trip to the train there is a visit to Kundalila Falls. The name means “crying dove”. The train will depart for Kasama in the evening hours.
Day seven is a full day on the train with the highlight being an amazing drop off the escarpment during daylight hours. Lunch will be served on board the train as you travel.
On the eighth day of your journey you will cross the border into Tanzania and arrive at Makambako. From there you will take a side trip to the stone- age site of Isimila near Iringa. The Eastern part of Africa has long been important in the study of human evolution and there are many sites in the area. Lunch will be taken in one of the wonderful restaurants in Iringa and afterwards guests can visit the busy market where fruits, vegetables, rice, and other fresh foods can usually be found. In adjacent stalls there are baskets, brushes, and other locally made items. In the evening the train will depart for Kisaki Station which is close to Selous Game Reserve. This beautiful reserve is what animal viewing train trips are meant to be.
After arriving at Kisaki station guests will depart for Selous game Reserve on the morning of day nine where they will experience one of the all-time great animal adventures, a full day game drive. The reserve covers around 50,000 km and is home to elephants, hippos, lions, leopards, hyenas, and many other species of both predator and prey. There are also 350 different species of birds and reptiles. The day will offer vast opportunities for photos. The train will remain at Kisaki Station so that passengers may spend the night in the game reserve if they wish. For those who remain, there are numerous evening activities as well.
On day number ten of the journey guests will take a tour of the communal lands and experience the life of the Masia tribe who are the indigenous people of the region. The tour will take up half a day and guests will return to lunch aboard the train and have an afternoon of relaxation. During the night the train will leave for the final destination of Dar es Salaam.
Day eleven in Dar es Salaam, meaning Haven of Peace, is a bustling seaport and a wonderful mixture of Swahili, Asian, British, and German architecture. Travelers spend a wonderful day exploring historical sites and visiting the many shops and markets. Many people find it fascinating that the traditional dhows will go about their business seemingly unaware of the huge cargo ships and cruise liners around them. The train remains in Dar es Salaam all night.
Day twelve is your transfer day. You can opt to remain in the city for an extended stay or the railroad staff can help you arrange a specific activity if you choose. Many prefer to simply stay on the train and relax until their departure time. Whichever you choose, the Dr. Livingstone Tour aboard the Shongololo Express is sure to be one of the most memorable animal viewing train trips of your lifetime.