JB Train Tours invites you to join us on one of these two 7-day train tours in our beautiful neighbouring country Namibia. It is a country of contrast, endless horizons and soft natural colours. It is a big country with long distances to be covered.
We have revamped the contents of our very popular 7-day tour that has been hosted for the past five years in order to add a bit more variety as from 2017. We’ll be traveling with a different train in 2017 as well – the refurbished Shongololo Express operated by Rovos Rail!
On this 7-day tour you will see a smaller part of the country (only 415 km by rail) compared to our 5-day Namibia & Northern Cape train tour and you’ll travel less on the train compared to the 5-day tour (2230 km by rail). This 7-day train tour can be combined with the 5-day tour to make it a 12-day/11-night tour (2645 km by rail).
This well priced tour is the ideal opportunity for a quick break away for couples, friends, companies (group bookings are welcome), clubs or families.
There is so much to be seen, experienced and enjoyed on this tour. A summary of places to be visited will not give justice to the contents of the tour. A surprise or two awaits you at certain spots. However, places to be visited include the holiday town of Swakopmund and Dune 7, Walvis Bay, Hentie’s Bay, the Namib Dessert, the ‘moon landscape’ area, flamingo lake, Windhoek, Omaruru, a wine cellar, root carving factory and many more. Optional visits to Sossusvlei, Dolphin & Seal cruise (highly recommended), Skeleton Coast, Desert Experience and quad rides in the Namib Desert are available.
The tour starts in Windhoek or Walvis Bay and passengers can fly in from Johannesburg, Cape Town or abroad. We’ll collect you at the airport and transfer you to the train (included in the price).
We travel on the upmarket and recently (2016) revamped and refurbished Shongololo Express train – operated by world renowned Rovos Rail. This tour can accommodate 70 passengers at a time in 35 cabins with en suite bathrooms.
Note: For the past five years we’ve made use of the TransNamib owned Desert Express train. The latter will undergo refurbishment and upgrades in 2017. These 7-day tours were VERY popular and every year (7 to 9 tours per season) all the tours were sold out.
During 2017 we’ll only host 2 x 7-day tours. This is due to the fact that the Shongololo Express train was only available for a limited period during June & July 2017.
The pace we follow on tour is manageable by all. We don’t hurry. We had a 94-year old gentleman on one of our recent Namibian tours and he travelled very well. During 2012 we had an elderly couple in their late 80’s. They said they are going to return for more!
Are you tired of driving, looking for accommodation and worrying about the logistics? Travelling in a foreign country can be challenging. We’ll make it easier for you. When travelling by train, you don’t have to worry about increasing petrol prices, tollgate fees, heavy traffic, driving or getting lost and we show you the places you did not know exist! It is so much easier and VERY price competitive.
Any person who is interested in going to Namibia may join us! I.e. Family, friends & groups from anywhere! It is ideal for companies for incentives as well. No other rail tourism company hosts similar and such affordable upmarket train tours to/in Namibia.
Please make sure that your passport still has got two empty pages for customs’ stamps and it is still valid for another six months when exiting the country. No visa is needed for SA Citizens.
Please don’t punch holes in your passport to put it in a file! No yellow fever certificate is currently needed to enter the country. Remember when travelling by train you unpack only once.
When excursions are undertaken, we travel with a Namibian bus company’s luxury buses. None of these excursions are very long.
Note: We have hosted Namibian train tours for more than a decade departing from both South Africa and Namibia. During 2017 we’ll have a 5-day tour departing from Pretoria, linking to this tour.
Use your Voyager miles or other discounted miles to fly to/from Windhoek or to/from Walvis Bay
Important Notice: We are a Foreign Tour Operator registered under the Namibian Tourism Board Act, 2000 (Act No. 21 of 2000) Section 24 with Registration Number: FOR00125.
The original legal Certificate of Registration for Regulated Business (in Namibia) is on display at our offices (as requested by law).
Dit bly maar altyd lekker om deur ons buurland te reis. Die mense is vriendelik, die natuur asemrowend, die wild volop, die besoekpunte interessant en die stede en dorpe skoon. Om met ‘n treintoer deur Namibië te reis, gee aan u die geleentheid om al die veraf plekke te besoek, maar teen ‘n rustige tempo. U kom dus uitgerus by die huis aan. Hierdie toer is vir alle ouderdomme en kwale geskik! ‘n Mens moet net LUS wees om te toer – dan hoort jy op hierdie toer!
Ons ry met die opgegradeerde en luukse Shongololo Express trein. ‘n Verdere bonus is dat die toer in Windhoek of Walvisbaai begin en in Walvisbaai/Windhoek eindig en dat u vanaf/na Johannesburg of Kaapstad kan vlieg.
Daar word in 2017 ook twee x 5-dag treintoere in Namibië aangebied wat aangrensend aan hierdie 7-dag toere aangebied word. Mens kan dus beide toere agtereenvolgens doen. (Dit word hoog aanbeveel!) Dit word dan ‘n 12-dag toer. Die Suide van Namibië (Visrivierrafyn & Keetmanshoop) en Noord Kaap (Kimberley & Upington) is op hierdie 5-dag toer ingesluit. Kontak ons vir die volledige Inligtingsdokument.
Vorige jare se toere was almal vroeg reeds vol bespreek. Maak gebruik van hierdie geleentheid. Kom geniet die pragtige buurland saam met ons!
26 June – 2 July 2017 – Departs from Windhoek/Ends in Walvis Bay
3 – 9 July 2017 – Departs from Walvis Bay/Ends in Windhoek
Departure time in Windhoek/Walvis Bay: 16:00 – Day 1
Departure station: The train departs from Windhoek’s/Walvis Bay’s main station in Namibia
Gold Suite (Twin-Bed or Double bed) 7 sqm
Note: The normal rate is R21000 per person sharing. This special is available at R27000 per couple.
Emerald Suite (Twin-Bed or Double bed) 10 sqm
Children pay the same price.
|Note # 1:||It is still the most affordable way of travelling & lodging in Namibia.|
|Deposit:||A R5000 per person non-refundable deposit is needed when booking is done. The balance is to be paid by latest six weeks before departure date. If this is not done, you’ll forfeit your reservation and deposit. No cancellation within the last six weeks period. The R5000 deposit forms part of your tour price.
If you would like us to do your flight booking as well, an additional non-refundable deposit of R3500 per person is needed. If the flight is more expensive you’ll have to pay the outstanding balance to us.
Current flight costs (JHB to WHK/Walvis bay) are +-R3500 per person (international return flight). Remember to use your Voyager miles or Medical Fund discount on flights if you do qualify for it – book your flight yourself. When you book & pay yourself with your own credit card, you qualify for certain insurances as well.
|Insurance:||As a rule we highly recommend our passengers to arrange comprehensive travel insurance once booked for a tour to cover all possible losses, injuries, cancellations, etc.*|
|Indemnity:||* JB Train Tours shall not be held responsible for damage to, or loss or theft of personal luggage and belongings, nor can we be liable for personal injury, accident, illness or death. JB Train Tours will also not be responsible for instances where circumstances beyond its control lead to an interruption, earlier termination, or cancellation of any particular trip. Such circumstances shall include, but not be limited to instances of vis major/force majeure and/or casus fortuitus (acts of God such as floods and other natural disasters, fortuitous and unforeseen events, etc.). We strongly urge you to adequately cover for any eventualities with your insurance agent. We recommend that you also purchase a “trip cancellation” protection insurance to cover yourself in the unlikely event of a late cancellation or loss.|
|Passport:||YES, you do need a passport to enter the Namibia. Please send us a clear copy of your passport with your Booking Form.|
|Meals:||Two superb meals (breakfast & dinner) are served per day in the dining cars and are included in the price. No seats are reserved – one can sit every day at a different table with different people.
Breakfast is daily served from 06:00 to 08:00
Breakfast is a buffet type plus a hot meal service.
|Train route:||The train route goes from Windhoek via Karibib & Swakopmund to Walvis Bay. (415 km). Return route available as well.|
|Bus Transport & Excursions:||All the excursions by bus, as per the itinerary, as well as the entry fees, are included in the tour price. (Excluding optional extras).|
|Buses used:||We make use of a Namibian bus company’s luxury* buses with reclining seats, AirCon, PA system, curtains and big windows. Their drivers know the routes, road conditions and are well experienced. The company’s safety bona fides and record are very good. There is no toilet on board, but we stop regularly and the bus trips are not long.
* The Namibian luxury buses are NOT of the same standard as in Europe or South Africa. It is purpose-fully built for the local conditions. I.e.: No TV in any bus will last on the gravel roads. No toilets on board.
|Luggage:||You are limited to one suitcase, max 20 kg, a small overnight bag and one piece of hand luggage, max. 7 kg. (This is in accordance with your flight restrictions as well).|
|Dress:||We are in Africa. You don’t need to dress up for meals. Take casual clothing, a hat and comfortable walking shoes.|
|On the train:||Sleeper carriages, two dining cars, lounge car with bar facilities, observation car with bar, dedicated smoking area, friendly staff and good food.
Sorry, no Wi Fi or TV on the train.
|Suite on the train:||A suite or cabin (sleeping room) consists of two single beds (no bunker beds) or double bed; a small shower/toilet bathroom, AirCon, and a small safe. Hanging space for clothing is minimal & limited.
There is an electrical 3-point plug per suite with 220Volts. Hairdryers are provided.
Facial soap, shampoo, body lotion and towels are provided. However, we suggest you take your own toiletries as well.
|Emerald Class and Gold Class cabins:||The Emerald Class is the bigger (10 sqm) and more luxurious of the two types of cabins. It has a small private lounge with fridge, as well as an en suite bathroom. Double bed or Twin beds.
The Gold Class is the smaller (7 sqm) of the two types of cabins. It has no small private lounge with fridge, but has as an en suite bathroom. Double bed or Twin beds.
There are three Emerald Class cabins per carriage, whilst there are five Gold Class cabins per carriage.
There are more Gold Class cabins on the train compared to the number of Emerald Class cabins.
Please indicate on your Booking Form which cabin you’d like to book. Your choice of cabin or bed type can’t be guaranteed, but you’ll be informed accordingly.
You’ll be sleeping all six nights on the train.
|Dining Car:||Passengers will enjoy their meals in the two dining cars. All passengers dine at the same time.|
|Lounge car:||A bar facility and comfortable chairs and sofas are available in the lounge car. Smokers Lounge car available. The whole train is air conditioned.|
|Observation car:||A bar facility, comfortable chairs and sofas are available in the observation car at the back of the train. It has an open-air deck as well. This is the hub-of-activity on the train where people meet and mingle freely.|
|Laundry facilities:||There is limited laundry facilities on the train. However, there are facilities close by in Walvis Bay.|
|Note # 2:||The flight to/from Windhoek/Walvis Bay (before & after the train tour) from/to your home destination is NOT included in the tour price. We will gladly do your booking on your behalf.
Please ensure that you do not arrive later than 14:00 in Windhoek/Walvis Bay on day of departure or book on any flight departing from Windhoek/Walvis Bay before 12:00 (Namibian time) on the last day of the tour. The flight takes +- 2 hours from/to Jo’burg & Cape Town, whilst Namibian time differs one hour from SA’s time during winter months.
The majority of passengers normally fly in on the morning flights. We’ll still collect you at the airport, show you around and transfer you to the train – free of charge.
|Recommended Air carriers:||
There is safe car parking available (covered) at the OR Tambo Airport. The parking area on the Southern side of the airport (ex Griffiths Road on the R21) charges +-R60 per car per night! (This is highly recommendable). There is a free bus service from the airport to the parking area (after the return flight).
The same applies to parking at the Cape Town airport.
|Transport from Windhoek & Walvis Bay airports to the train and vice versa:||We provide this transport free of charge to passengers, but only on Days # 1 and # 7 of the tour AND if we know your flight arrival and departure details.
You are welcome to travel a day earlier or later than the official arrival and departure dates of the train. There is a suitable hotel close to the Windhoek Station: Protea Thuringerhof Hotel in Bahnhoff Street. Tel: 00264 61 226 031 E-mail: email@example.com as well as in Walvis Bay, close to the railway station: Protea Hotel Walvis Bay. Tel: +264-64-213700 or Web: Click here
|Other transport to Windhoek:||You can travel by overnight bus from Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Kimberley and Pretoria and Johannesburg. The Intercape Buses runs daily to Windhoek and it arrives on the morning of the train’s departure in Windhoek. It departs as well again late afternoon on the last day of the train tour. The bus tickets are substantially lower compared to flight costs.
The bus’s drop-off point in Windhoek is in Bahnhoff Street in Windhoek, right at the railway station.
Visit Intercape Buses website at http://www.intercape.co.za to get quotes or to do a booking.
|Note # 3:||We host a couple of 5-day train tours from Pretoria to Namibia as well, linking with this 7-day tour. (Highly recommended). The same train is used, but visiting the South of Namibia (Fish River Canyon, Keetmanshoop) & Northern Cape (Augrabies Falls, Upington & Kimberley). The complete Information Document on this 5-day tour is available from us.
If you would like to do the 7-day AND 5-day tours, please obtain the 12-day tour’s Info Doc from us. You’ll stay on the train for one night (between the two tours).
|Malaria:||Namibia, and the area we visit, is not malaria infected.
We urge passengers to drink lots of water regularly. Even during winter times. A face moisturiser for ladies is highly recommended.
|Currency:||In Namibia the Namibian Dollar (N$) is used. It is linked directly to the South African Rand. I.e.: 1 Rand = 1 Namibian Dollar. You can use South African notes in Namibia (not coins).
You may use your bank credit card as well. Please check with your bank, before departure, that your credit card is internationally ‘activated’.
|Purchases on the train:||All purchases made on the train (I.e.: Drinks at the bar, mineral water, memorabilia, certain excursions, etc.) can be paid at the end of the tour by credit card.|
|Last note:||With the huge increase in fuel costs (petrol & diesel) in recent times and the major increases in accommodation prices in Namibia over the past five years, this is by far the most affordable way of travelling through & lodging in Namibia.|
This is a tour NOT to be missed. The people of this country, the vastness, the sand, the wind, the contrast, the silence and the beauty will stick under your skin. Go once and you’ll come back for more.
We are looking forward to take you there. No one is too old or too young or too fragile! Just bring your smiles along and leave the ‘whining and pains’ at home! The weather is normally good. Somewhat cold during the night and comfortable warm during the day.
N.S. Ons doen ook graag sake in Afrikaans
P.S. We host various other scheduled train & bus tours like Holiday: Namaqualand Flowers, Cape Town, Durban, PE, Drakensberg, Eastern Free State, Sun City & Magaliesberg, KZN South Coast, Boland, Garden Route, Kruger National Park, Mozambique (by luxury bus), Swaziland, etc. Motorbike-on-Train tours to: The Western Cape and Boland, Namibia, Garden Route, ‘Stofpad in die Karoo’, Namaqualand Flowers, Africa Bike Week, Buffalo Rally, Route 62), Sport: Comrades- & Two Oceans Marathons, Rugby Tests, etc. Art & Music Festivals: KKNK (Oudtshoorn), Cape Town Jazz Festival, Cherry Festival at Ficksburg, etc.
|Start arriving at Windhoek’s Hosea Kutako International Airport and be transferred to the historical Windhoek Railway station on this day. Your tour guide will welcome you while you enjoy a cup of coffee or cold drink. The train will be at the station’s platform at 15:00 to depart at 16:00 via Okahandja for Karibib and during your settling-in time browse through your programme and get your first taste of the trip ahead.
If you arrive on the morning flight you’ll have some spare time available in Windhoek for last minute shopping or a walk about.
Visit Windhoek CBD & Taxidermy (Time permitting)
En route, after about 35 km from Windhoek, we ride with the train through a game reserve (Okapuka) where lots of antelope and rhinos roam next to the railway line. Time permitting, we’ll stop in Okahandja for some of the best biltong in the country. The shop is just across the street from the station.
Enjoy your first dinner on board after a visit to the observation & lounge cars.
We’ll arrive late in the evening in Karibib where the train remains stationery for two nights.
Distance travelled by train today: 180 km
|After breakfast we leave Karibib for Omaruru by bus: 60 km.
Called the ‘Artist Town’ of Namibia. Omaruru is a town and constituency in the Erongo Region of Namibia. Its official population is +-7000. The town is situated close to the Erongo Mountains, on the banks of the usually dry Omaruru River.
The town grew around a mission built in 1872 by Gottlieb Viehe, now a museum, and was attacked in 1904 during the Herero and Namaqua Genocide. Captain Franke’s Tower was built in this period to defend the settlement.
The town is known for its annual festival, its winery and for the dinosaur footprints at nearby Otjihaenamparero. We’ll visit a wine cellar – Kristal Kellerei Winery – one of only a few in the country! The white wine produced in this vineyard is unique and ‘the tales behind the story’ are interesting.
An unique feature in this town is the Tikoloshe root-carving factory on the outskirts of the town. Hardly any visitor leaves this place without a souvenir bought at this interesting venue.
After the visit to Omaruru we return to Karibib. Discover this small town.
Dinner is served on the train & it remains stationery in Karibib for the night.
Distance travelled by train today: Nil
|We depart by train from Karibib early morning towards the West of the country via the towns of Usakos and Swakopmund to Walvis Bay. En route the habitat will change from bushveld to Savanah to a rocky desert to a sand desert. You’ll have the unique experience of traveling ON a train IN the desert with dunes about 100 m high on the one side of the train.
The last part of the journey is a slow ride due to the fact that the railway line is often covered in sand and needs to be cleaned before the train can proceed.
Interesting military insignia can be seen on the sand next to the railway line on nine different places between Usakos and Swakopmund. See if you can spot it.
We arrive at noon in Walvis Bay before we depart by bus to the ‘famous’ Dune 7. The challenge is there for everyone to conquer the dune to be able to take a ‘selfie’ at the top.
We then turn around to Walvis Bay. It is a pretty South African style town with +30 000 inhabitants. Strategically located halfway down the coast of Namibia and with direct access to principal shipping routes it is a natural gateway for international trade.
We visit the Walvis Bay Lagoon, a great attraction in the Walvis Bay area. The tranquil stretch of water, its natural beauty accentuated by thousands of flamingos gathering at the rich feeding grounds, is over 3 000 years old. Because of its value as a wetlands area, it was declared a RAMSAR site in 1971.
Distance travelled by train today: 235 km
Dinner is served on the train & it remains stationery in Walvis Bay.
|The morning is spent at leisure in town. Shopping OR dolphin & seal cruise, etc.
SPECIALISED ACTIVITIES – OPTIONAL
SEAL AND DOLPHIN CRUISE (Highly recommended)
The cold Atlantic waters off the Namibia coast are home to a wealth of marine life, including two dolphin species and a large colony of Cape Fur seal resident at Pelican Point. The 1.3 m-long Heavisides’ dolphins are seen less often. The Walvis Bay-based skippers are highly successful in tracking down the dolphins and giving their guests close-up views of the Cape Fur seals.
On this trip see how wild birds are fed by hand – even some very large Pelicans. Experience the thrill of dolphins leaping from the water alongside the boat, seals fed by hand, fresh oysters and cold sparkling wine on the calm water of the Walvis Bay Lagoon. This morning-to-midday activity (+-4 hours) is an experience not to be missed. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Bookings are done only once on the train. +-R500 pp (Morning: weather dependent)
In the afternoon we’ll do an excursion into the Namib Desert, as well as Goanikontes and a stop at a lookout point over the valley known as the Moon Landscape. Soft overlaying levels of earth, deposited some 450 million years ago and eroded over millennia, created the eerie landscape.
The coffee shop at the oasis at Goanikontes serves some of the best cake and tarts in the region with tea, coffee or beer to be enjoyed in the garden. Experience the tranquility of this venue and take photos of the barren world.
The bus continues into the rocky desert en route to one of the military insignias next to the railway line where stories of suffering soldiers are told. Then off to a spectacular golf course outside the town of Swakopmund, where Springbuck roams freely on the fairways and greens.
The bus trip from Swakopmund to Walvis Bay, between the dunes on the one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other side, is magnificent.
Dinner is served on the train & it remains stationery in Walvis Bay.
Distance travelled by train today: Nil
We depart after breakfast for the jewel of the Atlantic coast: Swakopmund.
For those passengers who would like to enjoy the holiday town of Swakopmund, this is the day to do it. Visit some of the coffee shops with delicious apple tarts and other savories or go to the marble exhibition. Spend some time at the Light house, historical jetty or Tuck Boat Restaurant.
We’ll do a sight-seeing trip of Swakopmund by bus visiting & driving past tourist spots like Karakulia, a weaving factory, leather shop, aquarium, Kristal Galleria and Anton’s Café – famous for its ‘apfelstrude”.
Remember to take your walking shoes & camera for this day!
A half-day excursion into the remote parts of the Namib Desert with ‘Travel Time’ will give you the opportunity to discover that there is more than just sand in the desert. The hidden live under the sand and the variety of plants will amaze you. Bookings are done only once on the train. +-R600 pp (half day excursion)
An optional flight to Sossusvlei can be undertaken in the afternoon. Duration = 2 hrs & 15 minutes. Bookings can be made on the train.
Visit http://www.scenic-air.com/ for more info.
Quad-biking is undeniably a fun and exhilarating activity. The combination of flying sand, fresh coastal air and freedom of the Namib Desert provides a top desert experience. To explore the dunes, guests are equipped with fully automatic quad bikes and no prior experience is needed as this is a fully guided tour. Bookings are done only once on the train. +-R450 pp
(Early afternoon: duration: ± 1½ hours)
Dinner is served on the train
Distance travelled by train today: Nil
|We depart by bus to the small, thriving town of Henties Bay and to Cape Cross.
En route we’ll drive through Wlotzkasbaken (a tiny holiday town), view a ship wreck, experience the salt roads en route to Henties Bay (a town with 3000 permanent residents but filled to capacity with 35000 people during the December holiday period) and then off to Cape Cross where thousands of seals are breeding and soaking up the sun.
The late afternoon is at leisure in Walvis Bay.
The last dinner is served on the train.
Distance travelled by train today: Nil
|A last breakfast will be served on board the train.
If guests are transferring to a local hotel, this will be arranged for them in the morning. If guests are flying from Walvis Bay International Airport, their flights may only be from 11:00 onwards.
Flights: Walvis Bay to CP @ 11:10 (Direct) – Air Namibia
Suggestion: Passengers departing only at 16:45 are advised to do an excursion on this day. I.e.: Desert Experience, 4 x 4 trip to Sandwich Bay, Topnaar inhabitants in the desert, quads, etc.
Transfers to the airport is included in the tour package.
Distance travelled by train today: Nil
End of tour.
Total distance travelled by train: 415 km
Total distance travelled by bus: 819 km
|Walvis Bay & surrounding area|
|Dune 7 en route|
|Windhoek & Taxidermy (Time permitting)
NO flight departures from Windhoek airport before 14:00.
End of tour.
Note: After completion of the 7-day tour, passengers can join the 5-day train tour departing from Windhoek on Monday 10th July 2017 to arrive in Pretoria on Friday 14th July 2017, visiting the Keetmanshoop, the Quiver Tree Forest, the Fish River Canyon, Giants’ playground, Upington, Augrabies Falls, Big Hole in Kimberley en route.
You’ll sleep on the train for one extra night at no extra costs.
Contact JB Train Tours for the detailed Info Doc of the 5-day or 12-day tours.
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