How to explore Zambia via The Royal Livingstone Express Train

Ride on the Royal Livingstone Express

How to explore Zambia via The Royal Livingstone Express Train
Image Credit: Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spa

Zambia in the southern part of Africa is full of nature and so vast that an adventurer ought to experience. The wild in this place is absolutely intriguing and the natural environment around is proof of the richness of mother earth. Experience all this in the most extraordinary way in Zambia...a ride on the Royal Livingstone Express!

What is the Royal Livingstone Express?

This is very obviously a train, but what's special about it is that the entire steam engine seems to have chugged its way along right out of history and into the present. What does this mean? The Royal Livingstone Express is not your typical modern-day train but a steam engine that came from 1924. The best part is that it certainly lives up to the name of "royal" with both the exteriors and the interiors.

Starting with the exteriors of the train, the outside of it is an ebony black and has 10 carriages that are being pulled by a 10th class No. 156 locomotive or sometimes the 12th class No. 204 steam engine. The carriages include airconditioned carriages, dining carriages, the observation deck, lounge car and kitchen.

Moving to the interiors, the floors of the carriages are carpeted and arranged with comfortable leather seats designed to look like those centuries ago. The wooden panels are well lacquered and are a reddish-brown which makes passengers feel as though they've stepped into a whole new era.

A bit of history

Built by the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company, the dining carriage called The Wembley was an exhibit at the British Empire Exhibition that took place in 1923. It was brought down to the Union of South Africa in 1925 and began it's first to run in 1925.

The train now chugs down the Mulobezi Line, which was once the largest railway line, to be owned privately in the world.

The route

The train begins its journey from the Dambwa suburb and makes its way along the lines to Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park which is parallel to the Zambezi River. This is where you have to keep your eyes wide open for magnificent African elephants and rare white rhinos and a whole bunch of other animals like bushbucks, baboons, impalas and much more. that you'll probably see just on this train ride! The train does a slow chug out of the national park to arrive near the Sinde River which is about 17 kilometres away from Livingstone.

The highlight of the journey is The Gorge where water from Victoria Falls trickles in or rather looks as though it is a trickle from high above on the rail tracks where the train comes to a halt. The sun begins it's decent colouring the skies in fiery orange and gold with its rays peeking out to say goodbye for the day. The sprays of Vitoria Falls is pretty much what you see from this point, it isn't the actual falls. Nonetheless, it is simply incredible and worth the entire cost for the experience.

Next up is dinner! This is a six-course meal and is delicious. The food is prepared and served nice and hot from the kitchen carriage close to the dining carriage. Not only is the food delicious, but you have the opportunity to taste a few refined local wines as well which are divine. It's a truly luxurious experience to look forward to when in Livingstone. Once all is done you are back at the station, head back to your hotel and dream of it all once again. If you are interested in the ride, inquire about it with hotels in Livingstone Zambia, properties such as those belonging to Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spa will be able to arrange it for you.

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