Small Group Travel
In the Footsteps of Winston Churchill
Henrietta Loyd, Founder and Director of cazenove+loyd, has hand-designed a one-off journey with Rovos Rail, which, for the very first time, will take one of the world’s most luxurious trains deep into the heartlands of the Boer War.
This unique journey will trace Winston Churchill’s footsteps during the war, from his dramatic capture by the Boers and subsequent escape via freight train. Joining you on this journey will be Winston Churchill’s grandson, Sir Nicholas Soames MP: a fantastic storyteller, who will regale you with tales from his grandfather and bring the Boer battlefields to life.
This once-in-a-lifetime trip promises to be fascinating, entertaining and full of learning, with the luxury of returning to one of the world’s most stunning trains each evening.
“I feel very strongly that much of my grandfather’s life was shaped by his time in South Africa, in particular when he was captured by the Boers, and subsequently made his escape. So much of who he was and who he was to become came through at this moment of great danger and personal desperation. It will be a privilege to lead this trip next September, travelling by train to visit many of the most important battlefields of the Boer War (And we will also take in the main battlefields of the Zulu Wars). I believe that much of Churchill’s audacity and courage (and his drive and ambition) comes to light in his experiences as a young man in Africa. These characteristics are what made him into the national hero which he later became.” – Sir Nicholas Soames MP
WHY GO ON THIS TRIP
This journey will provide a brand-new insight into the fascinating Boer War, taking in unexplored corners of battlefields, which will be put into exhilarating context by Sir Nicholas Soames and Rovos Rail’s historical consultant, Nicholas Schofield.
Step back in time on board the glamorous Rovos Rail train – exclusively chartered for guests of cazenove+loyd. Enjoy elegant décor and exquisite on-board dining whilst journeying through the rolling hills.
"It will be a privilege to lead this trip next September, travelling by train to visit many of the most important battlefields of the Boer War. I believe that much of my grandfather's audacity and courage comes to light in his experiences as a young man in Africa.
Begin your incredible journey through South Africa.
Day 1: 21st September 2018
Upon arrival in Johannesburg, you will be met and driven to your hotel for one night, the Southern Sun Hyde Park. We have arranged for an early check-in so that you can relax before an exciting afternoon. This afternoon’s visit provides you with an opportunity to take an in-depth look at South Africa’s turbulent past with one of our top guides.First, travel to the south of the city to visit the Apartheid Museum. Here you will embark on a historical voyage of discovery, a personal exploration of the past that examines the story of apartheid right up to the first democratic elections held in 1994. Your guide will have intimate knowledge of the pain and brutality of Apartheid and will give you an incredible insight into the country’s history.Then travel to Soweto (South Western Township), the largest black residential area in South Africa. This sprawling “city within a city” is home to approximately 2-million people. You will explore many of Soweto’s most famous sites such as Freedom Square -where the seminal Freedom Charter was drawn up – and Nelson Mandela’s former home. You will also visit the Hector Pieterson Memorial, which became a symbol of apartheid after a 12-year-old was killed during the Soweto Uprising in 1976.
Where you will be staying for one night.
Situated in the heart of Sandton, one of Johannesburg’s most exclusive suburbs, the Southern Sun Hyde Park hotel is one of our top choices in Johannesburg. The hotel’s proximity to nearby shops, restaurants, and other amenities make it the ideal base to explore the city, while its spacious and elegant rooms are perfect for relaxing after a busy day sightseeing.
Day 2: 22nd September 2018
Visit the Department of Education building and Library in Skinner Street, in Pretoria. After an early breakfast, you will visit the Department of Education building and the Library in Pretoria. The Library is significant to Sir Nicholas Soames as his grandfather Winston Churchill, was held captive here until his escape about a month later. The building had become a prison following the outbreak of the Boer War. Following this visit, you will be driven to the private colonial-style Rovos Rail station to board your train and begin your journey. Train from Pretoria to Dundee Upon arrival at the station, you will board the train, check into your luxurious cabin and depart for Dundee. The gong will sound for the first time as a sumptuous three-course lunch is served in the dining carriage as you leave Pretoria. As the afternoon continues, enjoy the stunning views of the rolling hills from the comfort of your cabin, or the elegant lounge car. Enjoy a real sense of ceremony with dinner this evening, complete with crystal glasses, fine white linen and silverware. Dinners on board are designed to be luxuriated over and can go on long into the evening, if guests so wish.
Where you will be staying for four nights.
Step back in time on board Rovos Rail’s glamorous carriages, exclusively chartered for guests of cazenove+loyd. Enjoy elegant décor and exquisite on-board dining whilst journeying on this luxurious train. Our longstanding relationship with Rovos Rail and the nature of this extraordinary trip mean that we are able to access this routing exclusively, allowing passengers to discover the history of the Boer War in total luxury. Without exception, the cabins on board are beautifully appointed. The Deluxe Suite offers either twin or double beds, and the opulent Royal Suites span half a carriage each. All have a private lounge area and a full bathroom. A highly-skilled team of chefs is responsible for overseeing the very important task of ensuring guests’ every taste is catered for. In the evenings, come together for cocktails, dinner and discussions about the day’s events.
Day 3: 23rd September 2018
Visit the Site of Murder of the Prince Imperial Following breakfast, you will disembark the train for a morning with guide Nicholas Schofield, a peerless storyteller, who will lead you to the site of the murder of the Prince Imperial, the last Napoleon, (and only son of Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie) during the Anglo-Zulu wars. Although the emphasis of this trip is on the Anglo-Boer War and Winston Churchill, the Anglo-Zulu wars are equally pertinent. The Prince’s murder is a fascinating snapshot of the time: with him died the final hope of his supporters for the eventual return of the Empire to France. Lunch will be a delicious picnic-style meal at the site. Visit the site of the first battle of the Anglo-Boer War After lunch, you can re-join historian Nicholas Schofield for an afternoon visit to the site of The Battle of Talana – the first major clash of the Anglo-Boer War. During this battle, the British suffered heavy casualties but occupied the coal-mining town of Dundee, which proved crucial to the British war effort. Through his incredible charisma and depth of knowledge, Nicholas Schofield will bring the battle to life. After this gripping afternoon, you will re-embark the train at Dundee. In the early evening, Nicholas Soames will deliver a lecture entitled ‘The Importance of Being Winston’, all about his grandfather’s early life. You will then be served a delicious dinner on the train.
Day 4: 24th September 2018
Following breakfast, you will disembark the train for a full day’s visit to Rorke’s Drift and Isandlwana with the Rattray Family, who are close friends of Henrietta Loyd. Lunch will be served at the Rattray’s amazing family home – Fugitives’ Drift Lodge and will be hosted by the family themselves. Started by the renowned Zulu historian David Rattray and continued since his death by his wife Nicky and sons, Andrew, Douglas and Peter, the spectacular Fugitives’ Drift property, a 5000-acre National Heritage Site, overlooks both Rorke’s Drift and Isandlwana – the sites of two major battles of the Anglo-Zulu Wars. The Rattrays will personally guide you to where Lieutenants Melvill and Coghill lost their lives attempting to save the Queen’s Colour of their regiment, the 24th Regiment of Foot. Extremely thought-provoking and emotionally charged, their talks will leave you with a new insight into the Anglo-Zulu wars and South African history as a whole. After an in-depth private visit, you will return to the train, which will then depart towards Ladysmith. The gong will sound once again for dinner, which can be followed by drinks long into the evening.
Train in Ladysmith Station This morning after breakfast, you will drive to the Ladysmith Siege Museum. Known as one of the best Anglo-Boer War museums in South Africa, it was built in 1884 as a market house and served as a ration post for civilians during the siege. Now, it houses an extremely comprehensive collection of artefacts from the Boer War. Nicholas Schofield really comes into his own describing this dramatic time of the Anglo-Boer War. You will then travel to Mt Alice. Upon arrival at Mt Alice, renowned Boer War Raconteur Raymond Heron will give an account of the Spionkop Battle from Mt Alice. Lunch will then be taken at Spionkop Lodge. This afternoon you will visit the actual site of the Spionkop Battle and drive to the top of the hill where the fighting took place. Nicholas Schofield will give a fascinating tour and describe in detail Winston Churchill’s role in the battle – he acted as a courier between Spionkop and General Buller’s Headquarters – before you are taken back to the train at Ladysmith Station. In the early evening, Nicholas Soames will deliver a lecture on Winston Churchill’s experiences in South Africa from December 1899 to June 1900, including his time as a journalist, his capture and miraculous escape from the Boers, and his rejoining of the army. He will draw on Winston’s private diaries and papers to add great colour to the lecture. Dinner will be served following the lecture, before the train leaves Ladysmith for Pietermaritzburg.
Day 6: 26th September 2018
After breakfast, you will be driven along the coast road via Umhlanga and on to Durban’s King Shaka International Airport from where you will take your onward flight.
Sir Nicholas Soames
Sir Arthur Nicholas Winston Soames is a British Conservative Party politician and the grandson of Sir Winston Churchill. He has represented Mid Sussex since 1997, previously serving as MP for Crawley. Sir Nicholas has an incredible energy and passion for his grandfather, which is infectious. To this one-off trip, he brings personal anecdotes as he knew him late into his teenage years, as well as access to previously unpublished materials from the Churchill archive.
Born on a grape farm in the Cape, Nicholas has a life’s passion for African history and, in particular, the Anglo-Boer War. Upon completion of his studies, he became a lecturer in history at Vista University, Mamelodi, the Black township of Pretoria. After ten years and restless for a change, in 1993 he formed “The Expeditionary Force”, a company which specialises in African journeys, based on historical and cultural themes. Schofield is now the historical consultant for Rovos Rail and has been for the past twenty-two years. He is described by Rohan Vos, Founder of Rovos Rail, as ‘our story-teller extraordinaire’.
Christopher Wilmot-Sitwell is one of the owners of cazenove+loyd and has been travelling frequently to Southern Africa since his first visit to Natal as a schoolboy in the early 1970’s. Having worked in South Africa in the 1980’s and travelled to most countries in sub-Saharan Africa, it is a region with an enduring fascination. Christopher has recently led a number of small group trips for cazenove+loyd; most recently a private boat charter on the Irrawaddy and another private boat journey along the Mekong from Vietnam to Cambodia.
+ Royal Suite: £5499 / $7369 per person based on two sharing
+ Deluxe Suite: £3999 / $5359 per person based on two sharing
+ Four nights in a Rovos Rail suite
+ One night at The Southern Sun Hotel Hyde Park including breakfast
+ All food and drink while on the train
+ Luggage handling
+ All private guiding
+ All experiences as per itinerary
+ Return airport transfers
+ Travel Insurance
+ Tips Any other extras
+ International Flights - Please speak to one of our experts who can help you arrange your international flights.
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