This Luxury Train Hotel Is Perched On A Bridge Over South Africa’s Kruger National Park

Alex Landon Alex Landon - Editor

Kruger Shalati

Kruger Shalati just needs to be on your bucket list.

In what amounts to a pretty bad year for everyone else, it’s been a good year for luxury hotels; first, we got word of Sweden’s floating spa hotel beneath the Northern Lights, and now, this jaw-dropping boutique hotel is set to open in South Africa by the end of 2020. Kruger Shalati would be pretty impressive if it were a hotel on a bridge, or a hotel created on board a luxury train – likewise, it would be pretty cool if you found it in the middle of one of Africa’s most impressive National Parks. Happily, Kruger Shalati is all three: a converted luxury train hotel, now sitting on a river bridge in the heart of Kruger National Park. [Featured image: Kruger Shalati]

Though construction on the hotel was delayed somewhat by the coronavirus pandemic (Kruger Shalati was originally set to open in March 2020), the finished product looks set to be an absolute treat. It’s a hotel mired in history, as it’ll sit on the Selati Bridge over the Sabie River, in the midst of South Africa’s largest and oldest National Park. When rail tours of the park were first allowed back in the 1920s, luxury trains would stop on the bridge overnight as part of a nine-day journey around Kruger National Park. A century later, Kruger Shalati will be parked permanently in the exact same spot.

Though the inspiration has come from the past, Kruger Shalati will be fixed firmly in the present. Sleek, glass-fronted rooms will overlook the river, and they’ll be kitted out with upmarket, Afrocentric furnishings and all the mod cons one could desire. Thirty-one rooms (spread across twenty-four old train carriages) will be available for booking, and there’s also a lounge carriage, a pool suspended above the Sabie River, and soaking tubs outside the rooms. You’d rather be swimming there than in the river, which is the playground of crocodiles, hippos, buffalos, and elephants…

In fact, Kruger National Park is home to some 147 species of animals, including the so-called Big Five (lions, buffalos, leopards, elephants and rhinos), so you’ll be seeing plenty of safari animals during your stay. An exact opening date for Kruger Shalati is still TBC, but we’ll aim to keep you updated – alternatively, you can sign up to their newsletter to be the first to know all the news. When it arrives, you can bet this South African sanctuary will offer the express route to relaxation, so get adding it to your bucket list!

For more incredible travel inspiration, gaze lovingly at these mountaintop Norwegian cabins, or plan your trip to Iceland’s oceanfront geothermal lagoon.

Also published on Medium.