Train travel may not be the revolutionary mode of transport that it used to be, but it offers tourists a unique way of traveling not experienced by those who rent a car or book a plane ticket.
Popular in Europe and the United States, Africa does not yet have the infrastructure to support the construction and maintenance of a wide-ranging train system like those found overseas. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to jump on a train and enjoy the some of the best examples of unspoilt beauty on the continent.
Here are five benefits of exploring Africa, or indeed any region by train:
Though it may take a bit longer to reach your destination, train travel is often far more affordable than buying an international plane ticket. Furthermore, hopping aboard a luxury train journey has its own set of advantages.
Staying on the train allows travelers to combine their transportation and accommodation costs; furthermore most trains have dining cars, meaning you save on food as well if your trip is part of a package deal.
With spacious cabins and attentive staff, train travel offers travelers the chance to unwind. This is in stark contrast to a long and grueling overseas flight or road trip, squeezed into a tight seat for hours on end.
Passengers are also able to move around freely during the journey, without having to wait for the seatbelt sign to turn off or pull over to stretch their legs.
Trains often travel between two main destinations but stop at towns and landmarks along the way, meaning passengers can hop off in a particular place and have the freedom to return to the train whenever they want, depending on their ticket.
This allows backpackers and those with no particular itinerary to travel in a convenient and reliable way through foreign countries.
Railways give passengers an excellent opportunity to view the landscape of the particular region they are traveling through, and with stops and landmarks along the way, they will have ample opportunity to see any noteworthy sights in the area.
This isn’t possible when flying at 40,000 feet or in a car where drivers have to focus on the road in front of them.
Train travel is considerably gentler on the environment in comparison to cars, making it a no brainer for those eco-friendly passengers.
Traveling by train also eases congestion on highways and those who choose the railway will also lower carbon dioxide emissions by not being on the roads.