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Frequently Asked Questions

Question: When are peak season rates?
Peak season is the December / January year-end holiday period. During this travel period, fares and rates increase by approximately 9% for Tourist Class, Premier Classe and Car transport by rail.

Question: Why have you not answered my enquiry?
Answer: Most common cause is mis-spelled/missing Email address, followed by insufficient details provided, followed by highly sensitive firewalls of mail providers. Please ensure the correct spelling of your Email address, provide all details required on the booking form and check your junk mail box.

Question: Do you make use of a secure Internet payment facility?
Answer: Yes we do. Once you have confirmed the reservation, we mail an invoice to you, and at the same time authorise Setcom/Mygate to send a secure Internet Payment Gateway link for credit cards to your Email address. Please check your spam settings and/or junk mail folder if not received.

Question: Can I transport my car by train, although the engine does not run?
Answer: Only self propelled, driveable cars can be loaded.

Question: Do I have to remove my bycicle rack from the back of the car?
Answer: All bycicle, roof and boot racks need to be removed for car transportation by train.

Question: Why is my Getz, i10, i20, Picanto... called a SUV on the quotation?
Answer: We know that these cars are not SUVs. However, cars over 1.4m height are categorised on the quotation as "SUV transport" because they get transported in a single level (not double decker) car transport rail coach.

Question: Am I allowed to travel by train when pregnant?
Answer: You are only allowed to travel by train up to month five (5) of your pregnancy.

Question: Is the info on this site up-to-date?
Answer: This is the most up-to-date Tourist Class and Premier Classe info website on the Internet.

Question: When can I expect my enquiry to be answered?
Answer: In many instances immediately. We have a number of booking agents, whose single purpose duty it is, to answer your enquiry with a quotation. We aim to have all enquiries answered by the end of each day, Monday to Friday (office hours).

Question: When do seasonal rate increases apply?
Answer: Traditionally, seasonal rate increases are applied from the beginning of December to the middle of January every year. Implementation date last year was the 2nd of November.

Question: Hi, can we take our pet with us on the train?
Answer: Shosholoza Meyl Tourist Class and Premier Classe cannot accommodate pet travel.

Question: How do we get allocated compartments on Premier Classe?
Answer: Premier Classe offers family sleeper compartments for families with small kids (up to age 5), Two berth sleeper coupes and solo traveller sleeper coupes.

Question: What happens to my keys when transporting the car by train?
Answer: We need those keys to drive the car onto and off the train. They get issued back to you with the car at the destination.

Question: I have sent two enquiries, why don't you answer?
Answer: We can only quote when we have the details required as asked for on the booking form. In many instances, the Email address is mispelled and in some cases the firewall settings are set to "highly sensitive", whereby Emails with links can't get through.

Question: Can someone else deliver and/or collect the car for me?
Answer: Yes certainly. All that is needed is a letter of authorisation with copy of the owner's ID.

Question: Can I transport a car with trailer?
Answer: Yes you can. The trailer stays hooked to the vehicle and travels in the same coach.

Question: What is the difference between Tourist Class and Premier Classe?
Answer: Tourist Class is an economy sleeper train that stops in most of the cities between the destinations and Premier CLasse is a long distance deluxe sleeper train service with an all inclusive food and beverage package, luxury ammenties, linen and more .... (see website for more details)

Question: How much luggage is allowed on the train?
Answer: 25kg p/adult fare, excess to be booked in with the luggage compartment at +- R4 p/kg.

Question: Can I transport my car from Durban to Cape Town?
Answer: Not on a direct route. You would need to send the car from Durban to Johannesburg, sign it out in Johannesburg and then back onto the train from Johannesburg to Cape Town.

Question: Why was the Cape Town to Port Elizabeth route discontinued?
Answer: By our best knowledge, diesel engines had to be used for that route and the route simply wasn't busy enough to be profitable.

Question: What about the bad publicity on the Internet?
Answer: Please remember that we transport in excess of 70000 people by train per day on different category trains i.e. Metro, Economy, Tourist and Premier Classe trains. Kindly also read feedback from recent travellers on our testimonials page for Tourist and Premier Classe. reviews »

Question: Can we hire a car at the train station?
Answer: With your permission we will pass on your contact details to a preferred car rental supplier who will deal on a direct basis with you and deliver and collect a car at most of the train stations.

Question: Can one sleep on the train at the destination?
Answer: Only when offered in a special rail tour package deal such as the Cape Town Jazz Festival, Macufe Jazz Festival, Argus Cycle Race ...

Question: Can you assist with accommodation?
Answer: We certainly can, in most cities and destinations nationwide, at preferred rates.

Question: Can we stop in different cities on the way and carry on with the trip later?
Answer: Only the Tourist Class (economy sleeper) stops in most cities on the way and you would have to purchase multiple tickets.

Question: Does Premier Classe offer any discounts?
Answer: Competitively priced, Premier Classe is a deluxe sleeper train with amenities and an all inclusive meals package and does not offer senior citizen discounts nor group rate discounts.

 

Testimonials  more

Hello Bernice. I must say I have been pleasantly surprised by the ease and efficiency of your booking process and I will be sure to comment on the relevant trip advisor sites to that effect.
Kind Regards Beverley

 

My Mom travelled Premier Classe last week and was extremely happy. She said, great service, fantastic meals, and the timings were spot on. She told us that she met wonderful people on the train and will do the trip all over again, any time, in a hurry. She absolutely loved it. She also said: The showers were clean and big, she was given a night gown and amenities,... In fact she was so busy, she hardly had time to talk to us on the mobile phone inbetween breakfast service, midmorning tea, four course lunch, high tea and five course supper... Regards Karin

  

Hi Bernice, We are now back from our trip to Africa. The train was fantastic. A great way to see country we would have otherwise just flown over. Thank you for your part in our holiday. Andrew and Kirsty Biddle

 

Hi Bernice, Thanks for a very efficient and convenient service. All went well and received my 4x4 happily on Friday. Thanks for your patience and explanations. Regards Greg

 

Hi Bernice. I would just like to say how much I enjoyed the train trip and the service was wonderful. I will recommend it to anyone coming to South Africa. A wonderful way to start my time here. Thanks so much for all your help with this. Chris Sutton

 

Hi Rosemary, Thanks so much for the voucher received. It has always been a pleasure dealing with the folk at African Sun Travel, and this time again, what a pleasure. We are looking forward to our trip in February, and as you can see, it is a big family affair. Once again, thanks so much for the excellent service. Kindest regards, and our Lord's blessings on you all. Nigel Findlay

Hi Bernice,
We have just had the most wonderful experience travelling on the Shosholoza Meyl Premier Classe train from Cape Town to Johannesburg. Our accommodation, which included toiletries, slippers and the loan of white, fluffy gowns was superb. Tea, coffee and warm muffins were served in the Executive lounge on Cape Town station whilst our luggage and car were put onto the train. Lunch was a 3 course affair followed by mid-afternoon tea, coffee and cakes. Dinner, comprising of 5 courses was served with a choice of South Africa's top wines - what more could one wish for with the Karoo as your back-drop. Breakfast didn't disappoint either. The staff were most attentive and went out of their way to meet our every need. Upon arrival at Johannesburg (45 minutes before the scheduled time of arrival) our car was speedily off-loaded. We would certainly recommend travelling on the train both here and overseas - it brought back wonderful memories of train travel of a bye-gone era. R
osemary Kirchmann