The second day of our journey from Pretoria to Cape Town found us enjoying a leisurely breakfast on board this genteel old lady called Rovos.
Gazing out over the dry hinterland of South Africa while the scenery slowly slips by….. This is what Rovos Rail is all about. Going back to a time when people were not so rushed.
The staff produce gourmet food from this small kitchen.
After breakfast we joined fellow passengers on the observation deck at the end of the train.
We have met people from Denmark, Finland, Germany, Yorkshire, Portugal, Japan as well as a few South Africans.
We passed several small towns on our way to Kimberley, the city in the Northern Cape that is famous for its diamonds.
Just before Kimberley we passed tens of thousands of flamingoes.
We stopped at Kimberley station and disembarked for a tour of the Big Hole.
Frank our tour guide was very informative.
Kimberley has lots of restored buildings and is preserving its Colonial past.
After a short drive we were taken into the village museum and the Big Hole.
All the kimberlite (rock that contains diamonds) was removed by the miners. The granite ring, that is now full of water, is the remains of the volcano that created the diamonds and spewed them out of the earth. Many of these diamonds were washed as far as the shores of Namibia by the Orange River.
The building with the green roof is still the head office of the De Beers Mining Company and the AGM is held there each year for sentimental reasons.
This gear was manufactured in Glasgow and brought by boat to Cape Town and then taken across the vast interior by ox wagon to Kimberley.
We went inside a replica of a mine.
We explored the village museum.
We were greeted by the staff of the Rovos Rail.
We boarded the Pride of Africa.
We were served a world class meal. Each course was accompanied by a South African wine or port.
All the staff on the Rovos Rail are well trained and make sure you are cosseted and made to feel at home.
After watching a beautiful Karoo sunset we went to the 1939 dining car for a four course dinner.
We went to sleep knowing that we were in good hands.