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Recent video of dining in Shosholoza Meyl restaurant car. Sleeping compartments have both a normal lock and a security lock which cannot be opened from the outside, and the train manager and his assistants do a good job looking after their passengers.
The food is not expensive, even by South African standards. Fine for daytime journeys, and safe with travelling security staff on board, but not generally recommended for visitors on overnight trips unless you can't get a sleeper and are prepared to rough it.* Pretoria: Shosholoza Meyl & Premier Classe trains no longer run through to/from Pretoria, since May 2006 they start/finish their journey at Johannesburg. Cape Town to Johannesburg is 1,530 Km or 956 miles. They call at Pietermaritzburg (PMB), the station where Mahatma Ghandi was thrown off a train in 1893. Sleeping-cars: The sleeping-cars have 4-berth rooms called 'compartments' and smaller 2-berth rooms known as 'coups'. Each compartment has basic leatherette bench seats which convert to bunks at night, and a washbasin with hot and cold water.Remember that Johannesburg city centre isn't safe for visitors, but Johannesburg Park Station itself has security and is well-patrolled & secure. It's recommended that you either use the safe new Gautrain network to travel between Jo'burg Park Station, Sandton and Pretoria, or that you pre-book a car or taxi to pick you up at Jo'burg station when you arrive, and when leaving again, take a taxi or car to the station entrance. ** = Premier Classes train is retimed to departure from Jo'burg as from 7 July 2016. Bedding is provided for a small extra charge (60 Rand, about 4, ) and expertly made up for you in the evening by the train attendant.In Tourist class, the sleepers even have hot showers at the end of the corridor!Cape Town - Johannesburg Johannesburg - Durban Johannesburg - Bloemfontein - Port Elizabeth Johannesburg - East London Johannesburg & Pretoria - Louis Trichardt - Messina Johannesburg & Pretoria - Nelspruit (for Kruger Park) - Komatipoort Johannesburg - Mafikeng - Kimberley Cape Town - East London How much does it cost?
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The Shosholoza Meyl long-distance passenger trains are perhaps South Africa's best-kept travel secret and an unbelievable bargain.