It does us all good in these often uncertain and gloomy times to dream of an adventure – and perhaps to plan it.
Our Explore Angola team had the privilege of boarding the very first passenger train that made a crossing from East to West Africa.
Trail of Two Oceans is a luxury train experience, beautifully crafted by Rovos Rail, that makes a unique crossing of Africa east to west, from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic.
The trip begins in the port city and former Tanzanian capital of Dar Es Salaam, a location Rovos Rail has strong connections with, having run its trip to Cape Town from there since 1993. Trail of Two Oceans eventually ends its glorious 15-day journey in the Angolan coastal city of Lobito
On board these dazzling carriages, some of which date back to the 1940s, tourists from Europe, South Africa and the United States experienced five-star service and were treated like rock stars.
A colourful and enthusiastic welcome greeted Trail of Two Oceans as it arrived in AngolaEuronews
For the train company’s CEO and namesake, Rohan Vos, this experience will be forever remembered.
A genuine enthusiast, Rohan made the entire journey with his customers.
And when it was time to take stock, new ideas inevitably came to him:
“I look forward to Namibia being connected by rail to Angola. There’s obviously a good reason why it should be or could be. And then of course, we would like to see this line connected to Luanda somehow.
“When we eventually got into Lobito, If I looked happy, I can tell you that I was happy, because I never count my chickens until they’ve hatched!
“We’ve been on a few journeys where we would get to the 99th kilometre and then something would go wrong on the last kilometre! So I can’t get excited until the train pulls in.”
Rohan Vos, CEO – and namesake – of Rovos RailEuronews
The journey and Euronews’ report was actually filmed in July 2019. A second trip was planned for the summer just gone, but had to cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But Rohan is optimistic and enthusiastic about reservations for next summer:
“Yes ! We had full house for all those journeys. So for us, it was a very sad situation this year that we had to cancel. Very sad indeed.
“And I am sure those passengers that were booked with us were very disappointed. But there is always next year! June-July next year.”
“When we eventually got into Lobito, If I looked happy, I can tell you that I was happy, because I never count my chickens until they have hatched!” – Rohan VosEURONEWS
Sandra Archibald was an English tourist who was on the trip who gave her reaction when arriving in Lobito:
“It’s been amazing. We didn’t expect all this to be happening and the people to be so welcoming.
And you can see, there is a lot of (tourism) potential here. So I’m looking forward to the future.”
David Allen, from the US, was similarly enthusiastic:
“It’s been an incredible adventure. I think we’re honoured to be part of it. It was amazing and I just can’t imagine the hurdles they had to overcome to make this work.”
And for many of these tourists, this trip was just the beginning; before they discovered the other wonders of Angola.
For many on Trail of Two Oceans, their arrival in Lobito was just the beginning; before they discovered the other wonders of Angola.EURONEWS