Posted by: Alex MacGregor | February 11, 2010

To Joburg by Rail

After a fabulous week in Cape Town, filled with adventures in wine country, crazy wind at the Cape of Good Hope, delicious curry, and arduous mountainclimbing, it was time to move on to Johannesburg. We decided to pick the cheapest and most scenic way to make the journey to South Africa’s largest city: by train. Shosholoza Meyl, the government-run rail company, still makes the journey all the way across the country–a gruelling 26 hours–for just $50 in a sleeper compartment.

After a frantic trip to the Shoprite to gather supplies, Caroline settles in for the midday departure.

The first stretch of rail from Cape Town is beautiful. It’s the perfect time to head to the dining car and watch the scenery go by.

After getting the best rest we could for the evening, we found ourselves in the diamond-producing city of Kimberley. Lots of the stations along the route looked like they might have well been in England.

Finally, at midafternoon the next day, we arrived in central Joburg. Thankfully, I was meeting some long-lost family who so kindly were able to meet us at the station and give us a ride and a place to stay.

Thank you so much Karen, Gretchen, and Paula!


  1. […] back to Havana is the train. We’ve had train adventures in places ranging from Mozambique and South Africa to France and Switzerland. Why not add Cuba to the list? After all, it’s one of only a few […]

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