There is no scheduled service for this route. Only charter service operates on this route.
The Blue Train traverses along the historic 'Eastern Delagoa Bay Railway Line' as it was known towards the latter-part of the last century. Leaving Pretoria the train covers the vastness of Mpumalanga Province via the colliery town of Witbank, atop South Africa's major coal deposits through Middleburg and Machadodorp.
Waterval-Boven 'above the waterfall' is where the highveld of Mpumalanga comes to a spectacular and abrupt end. Here the line drops 228 metres at a gradient of up to 1 in 20 to Waterval-Onder 'below the waterfall', into the valley of the Elands River and on to Nelspruit, situated in the fertile Crocodile River valley.
At Kaapmuiden the train leaves the Maputo line and proceeds along the western border of the Kruger National Park on to its final destination of Hoedspruit - coined the Valley of the Olifants. This is part of the world renowned safari land of South Africa.
The Kruger National Park offers superb big game viewing including the Big Five. Apart from superb game viewing, this region offers other attractions such as the Drakensberg escarpment, Blyde River Canyon, several championship golf courses, excellent fly fishing, historical, cultural and archeological sites.
The region displays a considerable variety of eco-zones each with its own distinct combination of geology, land-shape and rainfall giving rise to different patterns of vegetation and wildlife, with life-giving rivers like the Olifants, Letaba and further south the Sabie proceeding ever-eastward. The Lowveld has a greater variety of wildlife than Kenya and so diverse are its habitats that one has an excellent chance of observing the Big Five - Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, Lion and Leopard.
In this region you will meet different tribes, majority of whom are Tsongas (commonly known as Shangaans). Their beliefs and customs add richness to the experience, and their story is a colourful one. They are descendants of the abeNguni clans who, in the 15th century, migrated southward from Central Africa's Great lakes.
Their language is close to that of the Zulu's with whom they shared a common past until 1819. The Blue Train guests might like to master the following Zulu words: 'Sawubona' meaning hello; 'Kunjani', how are you?; 'Ngiyabonga' - thank you and 'Sala kahle' - good bye.
Geographically and ecologically linked to the adjoining Kruger National Park, is the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, which MalaMala Ranch is part of. A private association of nearly fifty neighbouring land owners lies to the west of the Kruger's central and southern region. This streches from north where one finds Manyeleti and Timbavati, in which Tanda Tula Bush Camp is situated.
From western extreme is Kapama, where you find Kapama Private Game Reserve and Thornybush Private Game Reserve. Part of the western flank is Klaserie Private Nature Reserve and Umbabat, in which Motswari Private Game Reserve is situated. Collectively, these private game reserves are bigger than California's Yosemite National Park and represent the largest aggregation of privately-owned wildlife reserves in the world.
This is the shortest Blue Train route offering a descerning tourist an identical experience on both legs.