Kruger Shalati: The Train on the Bridge is officially open

Posted on 14 December 2020

The Kruger Shalati Train on a Bridge is officially open to visitors. The hotel incurred various delays due to COVID-19 but is now ready to welcome guests.

Kruger Shalati: The Train on the Bridge is officially open

The Kruger Shalati pool deck and luxury train suites in the Kruger National Park.

The hotel is situated above the Sabie River, on the historic Selati Bridge, with panoramic views of the Kruger National Park. The train was restored and reimagined into the luxury hotel that it now is.

When staying here, visitors will have a vantage point from above the river – something no other known safari experience offers – providing unparalleled views of the Kruger National Park and the majestic Sabie River below.

Judiet Barnes, Sales, Marketing and Brand Executive for Kruger Shalati said: ‘We have been looking forward to this since the moment we were informed of being the successful bidder for the Selati concession in 2017. To see our ambitious dream of putting an elevated train hotel on a bridge inside the iconic Kruger National Park come to life after all the intense planning and hard work is a feeling of elation and pride. We are delighted to finally be able to welcome visitors to Kruger Shalati for a unique and memorable experience.’

The hotel consists of 24 train rooms stationed on the Selati Bridge, spanning the gorgeous Sabie River from bank to bank. There is also a bespoke lounge carriage with an opulent bar and deck offering a stunning pool for relaxing and game viewing opportunities from the vista atop the river.

At a later stage, seven land-based rooms will be available in what will be known as Bridge House which is positioned next to the bridge, also overlooking the river and the Train on the Bridge.

Spearheading this project is Kruger Shalati Pty Ltd – a company that manages the Kruger Shalati Train on the Bridge, as well as the Kruger Station.

This company was established by the respected South African tourism firm Thebe Tourism Group as the main shareholder in the business. They aare committed to developing iconic and unique tourism products, which enhance the lives of communities and, in this instance, there was an opportunity to develop a truly unique and luxurious African travel experience.

Jerry Mabena, CEO of the Thebe Tourism Group said: ‘We are thrilled to have been chosen to develop this hotel and area of the Kruger National Park.

‘Unique and interesting tourism offerings is what we do best and we are delighted to be able to show South Africans and the rest of the world how innovative and creative African design comes to life in a train on a bridge in one of the world’s best-known wildlife areas. All while providing the communities surrounding the park an opportunity to earn, supply and incubate their business ideas within Kruger Shalati.’

Kruger Shalati Pty Ltd also developed the exciting Kruger Station precinct. The original Kruger Station – then known as Selati – was built in the 80s to house the heritage train currently parked in Skukuza, Kruger National Park (KNP).

The Kruger Station precinct is the rebirth and modernisation of the platform, about which many Kruger visitors hold nostalgic memories of dining at the old Selati Train Restaurant.

The Station precinct brings a new dimension and elegance to the refreshments available in the Park and dining options go beyond the usual bacon-and-egg breakfasts or the usual home-packed sandwich lunches eaten at various stops within the Park. This new precinct is a far more pleasurable and exciting way to spend an hour or two before guests resume their search for the Big Five.

At the station, guests can find the Enroute Grab ‘N Go Deli and the Departing Soon coffee and ice cream cafe, where visitors are able to either enjoy the delicious foods while sitting in the open seating area or where they can quickly stop for a takeaway en route to their next adventure.

The Round in 9 (bar and casual dining) and 3638 sit-down family restaurant are perfect for families wanting a longer, more leisurely stop, while the Li’l Gricers play zone and the 360-degree cinema will keep the whole family entertained.

Picture: Supplied

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