Steam train trip to Vredenheim

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsI don’t know about you but I have a list a mile long of all the things I want to do and the experiences I want my children to have. I managed to check one of those things off the list yesterday and we took the steam train to Vredenheim as a family. Once we got there the children also managed to see zebras, ostriches up close and lions for the first time but more about that later.

Steam train trip to Vredenheim

Someone tweeted something about this trip about 6 weeks ago and my interest was piqued. I immediately went to find out some more and boy, was I glad I did! I had no idea that Atlantic Rail  runs 2 steam train trips every month mainly going from Cape Town to Simonstown but every now and then they include a Winelands trip as well. To be honest I sort of knew about” Jenny” the steam train going to Simonstown since I’d seen pictures of the train going along the beach but I didn’t know about “Katie” and her wine route.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs  cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsThis was the first time that Vredenheim made up a package where the return journey by steam train included lunch in their restaurant and a tour of their lion park and I hope it won’t be the last. What I lovely day out. We had beautiful weather and I’m glad we chose to have lunch at the earliest session of 11:30am. I chose this because I wanted to explore the grounds at my leisure afterwards and not have to rush through anything to get to back to the train in time for departure at 3:15pm.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsWait, let me backtrack a little. We took the MyCiti bus into town at about 7:30am (just in case there were any delays on that service) and got to Cape Town CBD just after 8am. This made us WAAAAAYYY too early for the departure of the steam train at 9:35am but I hate being late for anything. It was a lovely walk to The Train Lodge just behind Jaguar on the Foreshore and it was nice to see that part of the city while it was still cool and quiet.

Getting their so early meant we had time to see “Katie” pull into the station and then had time to take loads of pictures before everyone else arrived. It was a full train with coaches 1 and 3 being reserved for those disembarking at Spier and coaches 4 and 5 for those of us going to Vredenheim with coach 2 being the “restaurant coach” for snacks and drinks.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsMy daughter quickly made friends with the family seated across the aisle from us as they also had a little girl of around the same age and this gave the kids the benefit of swapping between the windows on either side of the train as they followed the activity of the rails on both sides.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsAfter about 90 minutes on the train we were getting excited for what we would see at the wine farm and lunch couldn’t come fast enough. After disembarking at Vlottenburg station we were led across the tracks and down a path for a walk through the reserve.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggscape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsAfter admiring the views for a while we were just starting to get a bit tired and then we saw an ostrich. We wondered why she was giving us the beady eye until we saw the pile of eggs she was guarding. After taking a few pictures we moved along swiftly as it looked like she might make a run for the fence at any moment. Across the path we were met by the curious sight of a dazzle of zebra (or is it a zeal of zebra?) …which included an ostrich…and a donkey.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsWe were glad to see to parking area of the wine farm up ahead as we were all gasping for a comfort break and some water. Once we had refreshed ourselves we headed out to the patio where tables had been allocated for each family or group. We had a choice of bobotie and rice with sambals or chicken schnitzel with basil mayo and fries.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggscape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggscape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsThe kids could choose between pizza, calamari, chicken strips or schnitzel and chips with a dessert choice of Italian kisses or ice cream and chocolate sauce. Once we had placed our orders the kids ran off to climb trees or explore the garden. We were offered wines to taste while we were waiting for our food and the kids could “taste” grape juice. I love it when a venue includes children in the experience rather than expecting them to be seen and not heard. A major plus in my book!

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs

Once we had finished a leisurely lunch it was time to go see the big cats. So much awe and so many aaawwws. The majesty of the lion, the lionesses lounging in the shade, the Bengal tigers drinking from their pool and the leopard purring and growling at the same time. Have you heard a cheetah “talk” before? Seriously! The cutest thing ever!

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs

You have to experience this for yourself so book the next available wine route trip on the 2nd of November. Vredenheim  is planning to put together another package for the day and it is well worth going.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggscape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsIf you don’t want a package deal but just need the basic info, tickets for the train are R250 for adults and R150 for kids with entrance to the lion park at Vredenheim  costing R50 per adult.cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsThe package is only slightly more than that and includes a 2 course lunch (from a set menu), wine/grape juice tasting and entrance to the lion park so I would recommend that you keep an eye on Vredenheim’s timeline  for more details.

9 Comments

  1. Cindy

    September 2, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Oh my word this looks awesome! Definitely on my hit list now too! Do they have snack and things that you can buy on the train or would we have to pack and bring that?

    1. rumtumtiggs

      September 3, 2014 at 10:11 am

      It is Cindy! Your babies would love it. Everyone is super child friendly so it’s an ideal trip to take as a family. You can pack snacks but there is a “food coach” where you can by drinks and snacks but we packed snack boxes and water to save on costs. If you go on a hot day like we did freeze a few bottles of water the night before and use them as ice packs that you can drink on the way back. :) xx

  2. Tandy | Lavender and Lime

    September 3, 2014 at 9:15 am

    I sometimes wish we lived on the ‘other side’ so that I could do the steam train! A visit to Vredenheim is on my list :)

    1. rumtumtiggs

      September 3, 2014 at 10:09 am

      It’s well worth the visit Tandy! The Big Cats are amazing :) xx

  3. Jeanne @ Cooksister

    September 5, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Oh my word, that reminds me SO much of when we used to go on the Apple Express narrow-gauge railway from PE to Loerie when I was about your kids’ age… There was nothing as exciting as lions and cheetahs on the other end though – just a picnic spot – but I used to love it. Sadly I think it has stopped running owing to lack of funding :( Looks like a fab day out!

    1. rumtumtiggs

      September 8, 2014 at 9:39 am

      I remember the Apple Express! I was so disappointed when it stopped running. The kids had a blast. It was a great first experience on a steam train. 😉 xx

  4. Baglady

    September 9, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Ooh I am off to book a trip for us now. It looks fabulous.

    1. rumtumtiggs

      September 10, 2014 at 5:40 pm

      You guys will enjoy it. Let me know what you think after you go! 😉 xx

Leave a Reply