December 2017


Planning a trip with your dad (Paul) and then your wife (Mehri) potentially means vastly different priorities.  My dad likes railways and my wife doesn't want anything to do with them.  But as I too had my own ideas, I had to get really creative and eventually I came up with this amazing plan that spans two continents on a single trip in December 2017 that involves a small selection of Indian Hill Railways, Victoria Falls and Cape Town


Update: Saturday September 30th 2017


This adventure seemed to go from a wacky idea in my head to pretty much booked and confirmed within 24 hours.


International Flights:


ETIHAD AIRWAYS:  London Heathrow 14:05 to New Delhi 07:55 (+1) via Abu Dhabi.  £313.37 for my "one-way" ticket and £473.87 for Paul's "multi city" ticket (see below). 


ETIHAD AIRWAYS:  Mumbai 04:15 to Manchester 15:05. 


RWAND AIR:  Mumbai 01:45 to Harare 13:40 via Kigali.  £162.77 for my "one-way" ticket. 


THOMAS COOK AIRLINES:  Cape Town 19:20 to London Gatwick 05:20 (+1).  £199.99 for Mehri's and my "one-way" tickets each. 


* International flights left to book include Mehri's "one-way" flight from London to Victoria Falls, and both Mehri's and my flight from Victoria Falls to Cape Town. 


Domestic Flights:


INDIGO:  New Delhi 06:35 to Coimbatore 09:30.  Rs. 13932 or £0.00 each. 


JET AIRWAYS:  Coimbatore 12:30 to Mumbai 14:20.  Rs. 7994 or £0.00 each. 


Train Tickets:


New Delhi 13:55 to Chandigarh 18:20, train No. 22685 (Sampark Kranti Train).  Rs. 1551.64 or £0.00 for two people in 2nd class. 


Kalka 17:45 to New Delhi 21:55, train No. 12012 (Shatabdi Express).  Rs. 2904.90 or £0.00 for two people in EC class. 


Mettupalayam 07:10 to Coonoor 10:30, train No. 56136 (Hill Train).  Rs. 52.05 or £0.00 for two people in 2nd class. 


Coonoor 15:15 to Mettupalayam 17:35, train No. 56137 (Hill Train).  Rs.  385.23 or £0.00 for two people in 1st class. 


* Domestic train tickets left to book include the Kalka to Shimla Mountain Railway return journey - booking window for this journey opens 30 days in advance.  


Accommodation (one night each): 


The Terrace Resort, Parwanoo, Kalka - £119.55 (paid) - booked through ???

Clarkes Hotel, Shimla - (approx £110.00) to be paid on arrival - booked through ???

Ibis, Delhi Airport - £71.64 (paid) - booked through 

Black Thunder Resort, Mettupalayam - £50.09 (paid) - booked through

Fairy Glen, Coonoor - £101.10 (paid) - booked through

Black Thunder Resort, Mettupalayam - £50.09 (paid) - booked through


* Hotels left to book include Victoria Falls and Cape Town.


(My) Rough Plan: 



Day 1: Depart London at 14:05 (with Paul)

Day 2: Arrive Delhi, visit the Railway Museum and catch a train to Kalka

Day 3: Kalka-Shimla Mountain Railway

Day 4: Kalka-Shimla Mountain Railway, and a train back to Delhi

Day 5: Flight to Coimbatore, and a train to Mettupalayam 

Day 6: Niligiri Mountain Railway 

Day 7: Niligiri Mountain Railway

Day 8: Flight to Mumbai, Mumbai city and flight to Harare (Paul flies to Manchester)



Day 9: Arrive Harare and overnight train to Bulawayo 

Day 10: Arrive Bulawayo and overnight train to Victoria Falls

Day 11: Arrive Victoria Falls (and meet Mehri)

Day 12: Victoria Falls

Day 13: Victoria Falls


South Africa...

Day 14: Flight to Cape Town

Day 15: Cape Town

Day 16: Cape Town

Day 17: Cape Town

Day 18: Cape Town

Day 19: Cape Town

Day 20: Cape Town and flight to London (with Mehri)

Day 21: Arrive London 






Please reload