The Bulawayo to Victoria Falls train was going to be my first experience at night trains.
Boarding to train at departure was a chaotic affair , keeping your wits about you was essential. A number of our group including myself had quite pathetic bag snatches attempted. There are various internet posts had warning of the risk of theft at Bulawayo station, and there are even signs on the platforms warning you to keep a close eye on your belongings.
Bedding is meant to be provided in the price, it gets issued after departure before the attendant apologised profusely that there’s not enough to go around and locals get priority.
The trains have British-built coaches, some with wood-panelled interiors dating from , 1952 and 1958 (we weren’t quite so lucky) are now much the worse for wear 4 bunks per berth . We spent the initial hours playing cards , having some drinks as the train rattled along before retiring to our bunks grateful on having our camping gear with us. A storm broke and I spent a sleepless night listening to a mixture of heavy rain and the echoing of snoring as the train stopped and started.