Tourism: Iconic national park in South Africa to host boutique train carriage hotel on a bridge


The largest national park in South Africa, Kruger National Park is about to be the home of a boutique, luxury hotel situated inside a series of converted 1950s train carriages on top of a bridge.

According to a blog post, the company behind the unique accommodation offering, Thebe Tourism Group stated that the property pays tribute to a time when visitors to the park relied on trains for access as well as accommodation.

The location is also of historical significance, with the train carriages perched atop of the railway bridge at Skukuza Camp where the park’s first warden welcomed visitors almost 100 years ago.

“Looking to recreate the magic of these early visitor encounters, the project will see the restoration and upgrading of a train that will permanently rest on the original tracks running across the bridge, high above the waters of the Sabie River,” the group said in the blog post.

“The train, in its stationary position with an external walkway attached to the bridge structure, allows the Kruger Shalati rooms to be much larger than the expected traditional train compartment-style room – complete with floor-to-ceiling windows welcoming the unsurpassed views from atop the Sabie River into the room.

“To further enhance this unique product offering, the old block-house next to the bridge will be used as the base for an innovative pool deck designed with an overhanging pool metres above the river flowing below with unique viewpoints over the Big 5 roaming below.”

The train will feature 24 ensuite rooms with the ability to sleep 48 guests, plus an additional seven rooms in the Kruger Shalati Bridge House, which accommodates 14.

Judiet Barnes, concession general manager of Kruger Shalati, told Business Insider that the opening date for the hotel is up in the air due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the property has begun accepting reservations for 2021.


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