Years ago, visitors of South Africa‘s world-renowned Kruger National Park would get there by train. It was a long journey that started in the South Africa-Mozambique border town of Komatipoort and ended at the town of Tzaneen just outside the park. Visitors would disembark at the railway bridge at Sabie river to enjoy the sights and sounds of the park, only to return and settle in for the night to their respective train carriages before continuing the journey.
Trains have ceased operations, but soon this nostalgic experience will be revived once again with a brilliant initiative by the Thebe Tourism Group. The Kruger Shalati is a planned boutique hotel that will fit 24 rooms within the parked classic train carriages on the very same railway bridge. Sporting 24 carriage rooms with the addition of 7 luxury bridge houses, it’s set to be a unique hotel experience that will bring nostalgia and a new sense of adventure for visitors.
The luxury hotel will be located on the bridge and suspended at heights of about 50 feet above the Kruger National Park, allowing guests to feel immersed in the exotic natural landscapes and ambient sounds of wildlife.
Nightly stays at the Kruger Shalati is expected to start from US$430 per adult. Currently, this project is still under development and was initially planned to open as early as December 2020. However, due to the current international health crisis and South Africa’s plans on closing until things stabilise, the Kruger Shalati may have to wait a while before it can finally begin operations. The boutique train hotel may likely open early next year and they are already taking advanced reservations for the year 2021.
Staying at such a unique piece of South African history at the heart of its most famous national park will surely be a chance of a lifetime.