Hunt by Train
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Hunt by Train

In 1985, Rohan and Anthea Vos decided to bring the splendor of Victorian age train travel by refurbishing century old rail cars back to their original form. The train takes tourists through Africa and also offers both scheduled and chartered trips for outdoorsmen and women interested in bird and plains game in South Africa. Space has been made available to accommodate both hunters and non-hunters in 23 individual suites.

 

This panoramic eight-day sojourn commences in Pretoria South Africa and winds its way to the western reaches of South Africa and includes a hunting and non-hunting itinerary. Upon arrival on day two in Mareetsane – an area of the North West Province characterized by dense, uncultivated bushveld – the game birds and plains game guns set off for a full day of shooting. The historian entertains the other guests with tales of the Siege of Mafeking and Baden-Powell (founder of the scouting movement) with lunch and optional spa treatments available at Mmabatho Palms.

 

The train then continues in a southwesterly direction towards Kameel in the Vryburg area where the guns enjoy a full day of shooting. The non-hunters venture into the countryside and learn of the past and the present with visits to the Tierkloof Missionary Station and the Old Prison Wall and Museum where bushmen engravings, recording life thousands of years ago, can be seen. Lunch is enjoyed in the field with the guns.

The train then travels south to the predominantly agricultural town of Warrenton where hunters revel in another full day out while the other guests explore Anglo Boer War sites followed by lunch at The Estate Hotel.

 

Enjoy an afternoon game drive in the Timkulu Reserve or a visit to the William Humphreys Art Gallery, an important cultural oasis that houses a collection of traditional South African works including San rock art as well as the works of 16th- and 17th-century Flemish and Dutch Old Masters and English and French Masters.

 

Continuing in a southerley direction, the train arrives in Kimberley for a two-day stay. The city is the centre of one of the world’s most famous diamond rushes where there is an opportunity for all the guests to visit the Big Hole and savor the 1870s atmosphere of the Mine Museum and its surrounding village. After lunch at the Kimberley Club, guests can visit the fascinating McGregor Museum where there are displays on natural history, the environment and the origins of humankind and, later, a stop at the Sol Plaatje House where the library for African literature will bring to life the role of this journalist/politician’s involvement in the Anglo Boer War. A traditional barbeque dinner is enjoyed by all at a local estate.

 

On day six, the hunters set off for a full day in the field while the other guests learn of the Battle of Magersfontein where in 1899 the British forces, sent to relieve the Siege of Kimberley, were held back by the Boers led by General de la Rey. After lunch guests can enjoy a game drive in the Wintershoek Reserve, which is 50 kilometers south of Kimberley.

 

The train then continues south to Bloemfontein, popularly known as the City of Roses. Day seven has the hunters busy in the Kloofeind area located in the middle of Motheo, a region of the Free State Province. The other guests take a tour of the city visiting the Anglo Boer War Museum and battlefields, the Fourth Raadsaal and the Women’s Monument followed by lunch at the Emoya Hotel and Spa. Guests can visit the world-renowned cheetah breeding facility, indulge in an optional spa treatment or explore one of the youngest museums in the country in one of the most magnificent gardens in the city, the Oliewenhuis Art Museum.

 

After a memorable week in the bush enjoying all the opportunities the area has to offer, the train departs for journey’s end at Rovos Rail Station in Pretoria.