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There’s no better definition of luxury hunting than wingshooting Africa on a Rovos train tour.
Travel and sleep in Colonial-era comfort, indulge in fine cuisine and excellent wines, and bag the continent’s most challenging game birds. This is our top-of-the-line bird hunt.
Rovos trains are powered by authentic steam engines and assembled from the finest Colonial train cars, all of which were built during the glory days of South African rail and have been fully restored. These 20-carriage trains feature the most spacious suites of any train in the world. If you opt for one of the Deluxe Suites, you’ll have a private lounge, as well as a full bathroom with shower. The even grander Royal Suites feature a fine Victorian bath in addition to the other amenities. Passengers have a choice between twin or double beds.
Each train features an observation car with a panoramic view and a bar, where you can relax with a drink and watch the African countryside roll by, as well as dining and lounge cars. Edwardian design, old-fashioned furnishings and genuine wood paneling will transport you to a bygone era, while air conditioning and every other modern convenience will allow you to enjoy your trip in true comfort.
Most of these luxury hunting trips will begin in Pretoria, South Africa. The usual method of arrival is to fly to the international airport in Johannesburg, then take a domestic flight to Pretoria. Many clients arrive early to take a day of leisure in the city. On the day your trip is scheduled to begin, you’ll walk a red carpet to board your train between 9:00 AM and 10:00 AM at the Capital Park Station. The staff will help with your luggage and show you to your room. You’ll then get to taste your first sampling of the fine wines and excellent cooking with a four-course lunch. After everyone’s had a chance to settle in, the train will depart between noon and 1:00 PM. The entire trip will be conducted on these standards of elegance, service, and leisure.
Rovos Luxury Hunting TrainYour luxury hunting experience will begin with a journey through the Kalahari Desert to Mareetsane, then on through the Paradise Pass for a stop in the village of Kameel; from there, you’ll travel to your next stop in the savannah of the Warrenton region. On day five you’ll stop in Kimberley, a famous battlefield of the Boer War and a historic diamond mining location. Here you’ll tour the city, see the remarkable “Big Hole” (a potential World Heritage Site), visit the Diamond Mine Museum and lunch in the Kimberley Club. The afternoon will be yours. Finally, you’ll head on to the City of Roses: Bloernfontein. Once your stay is complete, you’ll return to Pretoria.
Most travel will be done by night, allowing you to travel from one location to the next without limiting your hunting time. You’ll often wake up to find the Rovos train already stopped on a rail siding in the wilderness. It’s just a matter of stepping outside and walking to your butt to begin wingshooting Africa’s finest locales.
The costs of all food and all beverages, including fine wines, are included in the price. Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner are all provided. While many excellent meals will be provided on the train, you will also dine in private hunting estates and lunch in several of the area’s premier dining establishments. In the field and at many of the hunting estates, you’ll frequently be served an authentic braaivleis-style barbecue.
This is one of the most incredible driven bird hunts in the world.
You’ll be one of no more than one dozen hunters shooting from an evenly-spaced gun line while a minimum of 150 beaters advances toward your line from nearly half a mile away, chanting, beating at the bush, and waving red flags. This will be repeated at least eight times every day. Assuming the weather is good, the hunters are reasonably skilled, and all slots are filled, it isn’t unreasonable to expect a day’s bag total to reach 300 birds.
Each hunter will be positioned at a butt on the shooting line, at distance of up to 130 feet away from the next shooter. You may have to walk a reasonable distance to reach your spot, but your assistants will carry your gun and chair, as well as your birds after the hunt is complete. Hunters in need of physical assistance can be driven to the butt if necessary. This luxury hunting experience never offers more than a moderate physical challenge, and the outfitter is happy to accommodate hunters with health problems.
The gun line will be carefully cleared of brush, and you’ll have a wide lane of fire. Dogs are not used on this hunt; instead, two assistants will be assigned to you with the job of marking down the locations of the birds you down, then retrieving and carrying them for you. Wingshooting Africa can present a remarkable challenge; you’ll have to pay careful attention, then aim swiftly and shoot well when an opportunity presents itself.
Some of the most exciting flighted shoots on this luxury hunting trip include hunting immense flighted flocks of rock pigeons and speckled pigeons. Many hunters consider this to be the most challenging wingshooting Africa has to offer, thanks to the birds’ swift and often unpredictable flying.
There are also flighted waterbird shoots, with some of the best shoots taking place at the Modder River and in the Warrenton area; species include yellow-billed and white-faced ducks, South African shelducks, Egyptian and spur-winged geese, and, on occasion, red-billed teal.
There is plenty of space on the Rovos train for non-hunting companions. Current itineraries list touring art galleries featuring masterpieces from famous Dutch, Flemish, French and English artists; visiting museums; seeing numerous points of interest, including battlefields of the Anglo-Boer War and the aforementioned diamond mining sites; and birdwatching and game-viewing. There is more than enough leeway in the schedule to allow for shopping and wandering the local communities, and in some locations, spa treatments are available.
This really is luxury hunting, so you’ll rarely need to walk exceptionally far, and the terrain is mostly flat, or, at the most, covered in gently rolling hills. However, the ground is sandy and dusty. Good walking boots or shoes are recommended. If you’d rather not wear walking shoes, be sure to pack thick socks. Bring along sunscreen, a hat, binoculars, and any other personal items you’ll need. The outfitter will provide a portable folding chair for your time in the field.
If you arrange for it beforehand, you can choose to walk alongside the beaters rather than waiting at the butt, providing you with a much different perspective on wingshooting Africa’s best locations. If you do this, you will be walking through thorny bushveld. Be sure to wear clothing that’s tough enough to resist the brush.
The following shotguns are allowed on this hunt:
The following shotguns are not allowed on this hunt:
The outfitter will provide all cartridges for 12, 20 and 28-bore shotguns. If you opt for a different gun, you will have to provide your own ammunition. They will also provide a padded gun sleeve, a leather cartridge bag, and gloves and/or a gun barrel guard for handling hot barrels.
Your primary gun will be loaded for you. If you desire, you may bring a second gun, but you will have to load it yourself; please keep in mind that your assistants are not allowed to touch your guns at any time unless you have already placed it in a padded sleeve, and then they may only carry them for you.
It’s best to dress in layers for these hunts, as mornings and evenings tend to be cold, while days can be much warmer. It is unlikely that you’ll encounter much precipitation on these hunts, but the hunt will go on in the event of rain or similar weather conditions. This is some of the best and most comfortable wingshooting Africa has to offer.
Hunters will be wingshooting Africa for five of the trip’s eight days at a price of $25,090; non-hunters are charged $11,725, with some variation. Every cost incurred, from the moment you board the Rovos train to the moment you disembark at the end of your luxury hunting experience, is included in the price. This includes all accommodations, food, beverages (including alcohol), excursions, lodge- and shoot-related tips and gratuities, 12-gauge, 20 and 28-gauge ammunition, shoots, beaters, field assistants, guides and tours, birds bagged, services, laundry, entrance fees for the Game Park, and all related costs. Unless stated otherwise in the outfitter’s itineraries, you will not have to pay extra for any staff services or scheduled activity.
Unless stated otherwise in the outfitter’s itineraries, the costs of traveling to and from the train, including passports, visas, air travel, taxies, hotels, transfers, and any other costs incurred by international or domestic travel before embarking on or after disembarking from the Rovos train are not included in the price. Neither Luxury Hunting Train are wire transfer fees, tips and gratuities for the train staff, charges for excess baggage or personal items.
Call today or fill out the form below and let us know what type of Rovos train luxury hunting experience you are looking for. We’ll send you information on opportunities that match your goals. Our experienced outfitters are second to none and we’re happy to share personal experiences with you.