Fancy Spending the Night in a Luxury Train Hotel? It’s a Real Thing in South Africa!

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Imagine staying in a train carriage perched atop a railway bridge in South Africa – that’s the deal with Kruger Shalati: The Train on the Bridge, a one-of-a-kind hotel in Kruger National Park.

Once upon a time, this railway line was bustling, but it’s been out of commission since the 1970s. Jerry Mabena, the bigwig at Motsamayi Tourism Group, had this bright idea back in 2016 to turn these old train carriages into a luxury hotel experience.

“We wanted to bring back that train vibe in a new way,” Mabena said. “So, when we got the chance to buy some old carriages from Transnet, the railway folks, we jumped on it,” he added, as told to CNN Travel. They spruced up the carriages with modern touches while keeping that vintage train feel.

Peek out from your window in the morning, and you might spot leopards, lions, elephants, and more roaming around Kruger National Park. Plus, you’ll find all the usual hotel stuff like lounges and pools. Kruger also offers self-drive safaris, but we recommend going with a guide for the best wildlife encounters.

Opened in December 2020, the hotel boasts 31 rooms – 24 Carriage Suites on the tracks and 7 Bridge House Suites near the bridge.

Rates start at 9,950 Rand per person per night for international guests sharing double or twin rooms. That’s roughly $483 per night, and they throw in meals, drinks, and airport transfers.

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