Kruger Shalati: The Train on the Bridge, which sits suspended over the Sabie River in the Kruger National Park, recently opened its doors. The hotel is a must-visit destination for several reasons.
It offers unparalleled views of the river below
With its high vantage point, the views that guests can get when visiting Shalati are unbeatable. This incredible accommodation is housed inside a restored and reimagined train permanently located on top of the historical Selati Bridge, giving guests a view of the majestic Sabie River below, along with any animals that choose to mingle on the banks of the river. There is also a spectacular bespoke lounge carriage with an opulent bar and deck offering a stunning pool for relaxing and game viewing opportunities from the vista above the river.
The sunsets and sunrises are magnificent
There is nothing like an Africa sunset or sunrise and guests of The Train on the Bridge can take in incredible views from their rooms, or even the deck. Sip on some of the delicious cocktails available and give sundowners a whole new meaning in your book, or have your morning coffee while watching the daybreak. It truly is a stunning sight to see.
It’s a wonderful place for birders
Guests of the hotel are noticing that some rarely sighted birds are being spotted in and around the Shalati area. This includes a crowned eagle that one guest managed to see from his room. Other birds often seen in the area are dark capped bulbuls, tawny flanked Prinia, blue waxbills and the gorgeous bush shrike, which can often be heard before they are seen. These birds can sometimes be spotted from the hotel and also while guests are out on game drives around the hotel.
The rooms are so stunning that you would never want to leave
Guests can make themselves at home in their train carriage rooms that feature all the creature comforts you would want from a world-class hotel destination. Remember those views we mentioned earlier? These views can also be taken in from the comfort of the carriage rooms - it’s the only place in the world that you can do this! And even from the bath. Now, who wouldn’t want to do that? Post bath, guests can get comfortable in the stunning silk robes available to all who stay at Shalati.
It’s the perfect destination to social distance from others
Can one get more isolated than when in the middle of the bush? Plus, the hotel is elevated and guests don’t even have to leave their rooms to spot some animals as the animals come to them at the river below. But if you do want to go out on a game drive, only a small group of people is allowed to go out at a time with strict Covid-19 prevention measures in place at all times in the vehicle and around the hotel itself.
The food and drinks are incredible
The team at Shalati rotate various menus all the time so, if you are a recurring guest, you probably won’t ever have to try the same thing twice. With celebrity chef Andrew Atkinson as the consultant for the team, the menu consists of dishes such as venison wellington, chickpea mushroom croquet, prawn potato gnocchi, mielie meal malva pudding, local trout fish cakes and so much more! Then there are the cocktails. With world-class bar staff and only the best ingredients, guests at Kruger Shalati will experience cocktails that are delectable and out of this world.
The pool is one of the most unique pools in Africa
Where else can you swim in a pool above the Kruger National Park or anywhere with a view comparable to what Shalati offers? You’d be hard-pressed to answer that. Guests can view the animals below while enjoying a swim in the pool, have cocktails pool-side, swim while taking in an African sunset and just enjoy the beauty of the surroundings all while in a pool suspended over the Sabie River.
© Chris Kane-Berman
Game viewing is something special
Guests who have visited Shalati have remarked on how amazing the game drives have been because they have managed to spot some lesser-seen animals up close. Recent sightings include a pack of wild dogs, lions relaxing in the road and hyenas walking up to the vehicle (guests are kept safe at all times). The Shalati game rangers are some of the best and will always go above and beyond for guests.
A unique walkway across the bridge
As you have read by now, there are several different ways to view the animals that visit the Shalati and Sabie River area, but one of the most unique ways is the walk across the bridge on the walkway. This walkway provides guests with a really special and unique experience that can’t be found anywhere else in the Park.
There are some local specials running
To experience this incredible hotel isn’t as out of reach as you may think. Currently, amazing specials are going for local travellers that includes accommodation, all meals, house beverages and a game drive with drinks stop or guests could opt for a bed and breakfast rate, which comes in a little cheaper and includes accommodation and breakfast.