A trip to Durban by train can be one of the best ways to see what South Africa has to offer. Most travelers who travel to Durban by train catch either the train from Johannesburg or Pretoria (14hours). If you're up for more adventure you can also catch the train from Cape Town, it'll take 30 hours to get to Durban. ( The Cape Town- Durban train is currently not functional)
Shosholoza Meyl has trains between Johannesburg on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.
Tickets have to be booked in advance. The ticket cost is R170 for economy class tickets and R360 for tourist carriage tickets. Tourist carriages have more amenities including washrooms in every coach and a four-berth compartment with bunk beds. Carry your meals, drinks, and bedding. They used to provide these on board but that has now stopped during this COVID period.
Shosholoza Meyl departs from Park Station in Johannesburg.
Durban railway station is located just north of the CBD. This is the Shosholoza Meyl's last stop along this route. You can catch local commuter trains from here.
Rovis rail is one of the most luxurious trains in the world. Their trips are designed as tours with several stops at major attractions along the way. Durban safari starts from Rovos rail station in Capital Park Pretoria. The trip to Durban takes 3 days inclusive of the time spent on various excursions along the way. See itinerary here.
Most trips along this route are in summer and have to be prebooked. There are 3 packages to choose from:
Pullman- R 24,250.
Tours are inclusive of all meals and beverages, accommodation, room service, and entrance fees.