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Indaba Day 3: Rovos Rail and Silver Cross Helicopter Safaris

May 11, 2009 By: Melissa Klurman


Melissa Klurman continues to update our readers on the news at Indaba, South Africa's top tourism tradeshow.

Rovos Rail

A Rovos Rail train by Victoria Falls

Day Three

Umshalosa is my favorite South African folk song; it’s about a train taking people home to see their families; but before today I had never actually experienced train travel in South Africa, a country known for their stellar rails. That all changed tonight when I took a dinner excursion on Rovos Rail, one of the country’s leading luxury overnight trains. Burnished wood, polished mahogany, and elegant linens, silver, and crystal fill the comfortable cars. Most amazingly, the suites evoked a feeling of an elegant British country home; the largest one even has an antique, claw-foot, free-standing bathtub. It was a romantic ride down South Africa’s coast, and as I stood enjoying the breeze in the open-air front car, it left me longing to try one of the longer sojourns, perhaps to Victoria Falls or even to Namibia.

Speaking of unusual African travel options, today’s Indaba show presented one of the most compelling travel opportunities I’ve seen to date: Silver Cross helicopter safaris. Noted safari guide Ralph Bousfield leads the trips that go into previously unvisited areas of northern Kenya and southern Uganda. The modern helicopters can take visitors from rolling undisturbed sand dunes straight up 10,000 feet to green, lush, nearly prehistoric jungle. The helicopters give nearly private access to not only waterfalls and wild game, but also to remote villages that otherwise would take three days riding a donkey to reach.  The cultural and wildlife opportunities are unsurpassed, and the trip has definitely moved to the top of my “bucket list”.  


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