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Trains in South Africa


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Thorn Tree Refugee
Posts: 9
Joined: January 26th, 2009

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Tags: south africa, train travel
  • Added on: February 25th, 2009
What is everyone's opinions of city to city overland trains in SA? I've read mixed reports, some fine some not?


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Thorn Tree Refugee
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Joined: February 6th, 2009

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  • Added on: February 27th, 2009
They're not particularly comprehensive and certain routes are not considered safe. It all depends on where you're travelling and who with. Once there's a couple of you, car hire is def the way to go. Otherwise the Baz Bus goes to the standard backpacker places in the WEstern and Eastern Capes and KZN, though it's pricey...


Guidebook Dependent
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Joined: July 20th, 2008

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  • Added on: February 27th, 2009
the shosholoza meyl tourist class (see are fine. no safety probs! - Southern African online travel guide, tours, flights & more!


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Squat Toilet Professional
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Joined: April 21st, 2006
Location: Zurich, Switzerland

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  • Added on: May 4th, 2009
tc_seb wrote:the shosholoza meyl tourist class (see are fine. no safety probs!

use this link rather... the one above is the freight train link. Also, because of 2010 coming up, the train network in SA is getting an upgrade with new stations and better secruity... so i think you should be fine :)
"When making your choice in life, do not neglect to live." -- Dr Samuel Johnson


Thorn Tree Refugee
Posts: 9
Joined: July 25th, 2006
Location: Cape Town, South Africa

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  • Added on: July 9th, 2009
All those links are out of date. Rather use

There is a good explanation of the various classes of trains in SA on WikiTravel Cape Town (see "Get in") or WikiTravel South Africa (see "Get around"). The SA page also has an up-to-date route map.

For a list of virtually every train in SA (public, private and tourist) check out the SA Rail page.

The best explanation of how to travel around SA by train can be found at The Man in Seat 61, a fantastic site.

Regarding safety : long-distance trains in SA are perfectly safe, even for single women travellers. They are way more comfortable than any long-distance bus. Many long-distances buses in SA are themselves prone to (often fatal) accidents. (travelogues & photos from 1987)

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