Now that Spring has finally sprung and the school holidays are within sight, what better way to enjoy things than with a good old s’timela ride? We’ve rounded up five of the best depending on your vibe,so take your pick and get on board for Spring! Woza Summer!
For the beach bum
Few things beat the Metrorail Simon’s Town to Cape Town train for getting you into that Summer feeling for hardly any money. This train ride skirts through the various Southern Suburbs en route to the coast. But the real ‘wow factor’ happens when you approach Muizenberg. From there, the train runs just metres from the shimmering blue ocean all the way to Simon’s Town and back. Make like GoMetro’s very own graphic designer Marnus who says that for a healthy and sunny, sandy day of fun he and his wife “drive down to Simon’s Town and get on the train at the little, quiet train station there. Then we travel up to Muizenberg beach per train and enjoy the walk back to Simon’s Town along the beach. We stop at market places along the way and when we’re tired we just get back on the train to Simon’s Town.”
Read more of our very own GoMetro tips for a great weekend in the Cape
For the history buff
Keen for another kind of rail ride with a bit more cultural enrichment? Then check out the Rovos Rail route from Pretoria to Durban. The journey takes three days and includes excursions to a Big Five reserve and KwaZulu Natal battlefields. The trip between the two cities takes in some remarkable scenery and details the region’s fascinating history, making this a unique South African rail journey.
For the hipster
For those who’d rather ride in a history lesson, check out the Cape Town to Ceres journey by the little train company that could, the oh-so-indie Ceres Rail Company. On this one, you will ride in an actual vintage locomotive that looks straight out of an Agatha Christie on a train track dating back to 1912 (yeah… just don’t think about it too much. No one we know of has, um, been Agatha Christie’d on this journey and it’s seriously fun.) With quirky details like all the trains having names like Jessica and Bailey (no, no Thomas) and also different events throughout the year to make your trip extra special like seasonal trips to view the wild flowers – what better way to welcome Spring?
For the beautiful scenery lover
Another journey that takes place on a vintage rail road is the Atlantic Rail ride from Stellenbosch to Cape Town. But despite using a 1929 locomotive, the real star of this show is the scenery. The views en route to the famous wine town of Stellenbosch offer stunning views of wine farms and the statuesque Hottentots Hollands mountains. It arrives close to Stellies’ town centre and allows enough time to explore before returning, perfect for a warm weather day.
For the budget guru
We’ve all heard of the Blue Train here in SA, but almost no one actually knows someone who’s ridden on it. That’s because the Blue Train is amazing but frikkin’ expensive. If you want some flash but not too much cash, try the Shosholoza Meyl Cape Town to Johannesburg trip. They take exactly the same route as the Blue Train for this journey, through the same scenery, for a fraction of the price. Shosholoza Meyl also offers the opportunity to bed down in comfortable sleeper carriages and, while it’s certainly no Blue Train, it can give real bang for your buck of you’re after sightseeing and not champagne.
What say you, GoMetropolitans? Keen for a train ride with us? Let us know what your favourite ways are to welcome Spring, and as always have a great week!