The Sisonke Stimela “experience” is a magnificently restored luxury steam train that offers a choice of  trips through the unspoilt splendour of the southern KwaZulu Natal Midlands and Drakensberg. The journey passes through grasslands, mist belts, indigenous forests and nature reserves, with this magnificent scenery being interspersed with traditional Zulu villages, allowing the traveller glimpses of African Life.

Sisonke, after which the train is named, is one of the 11 district municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal, situated in the south of the province and includes the southern most part of the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg National Park, adjacent to Lesotho to the west and the Eastern Cape Province to the south.

The Sisonke region is home to over 18 amazing Trappist monasteries and cathedrals built at the turn of the nineteenth century. Centecow Mission in Creighton is one of the largest mission centres established by the Trappist brothers with other better known missions being Reichenau, Emmaus and Kavelear. Built in 1894 Emmaus Mission was the very last major achievement of Abbot Francis and currently an art gallery is being built to feature the work of Gerald Bhengu, an internationally recognized artist with his artwork featured in public and private collections both locally and abroad.

There is choice of a 1 night or 2 night journey. With 21 luxury, air-conditioned suites, which were previously fitted by Rovos, and a 42-seater dining carriage, this could definitely be a great incentive option.

The train is based at Creighton Station, approximately 2.5 hours drive from Durban.

Highlights of the 2 night programme include:

  • Off-train experience is based on story telling, local community entertainment and star gazing
  • Dinner, weather permitting, is held off the train in true “Out Of Africa” style or if inclement weather prevails, it will be on the train in the dining car
  • Visit to Sani Pass with lunch enjoyed on the “Roof of Lesotho” on the summit of Sani Pass

Highlights of the 1 night programme include:

  • Off-train experience is based on story telling, local community entertainment and star gazing
  • Dinner, weather permitting, is held off the train in true “Out Of Africa” style or if inclement weather prevails, it will be on the train in the dining car