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Thinking of visiting the Kruger now that travel is allowed? You'll be thrilled to see what's new there

Mid-year has always been a popular time for South Africans to travel to and to enjoy what the Kruger National Park has to offer. So, it's been frustrating for many people that, with lockdown, travel to the park - and indeed elsewhere too - hasn't been possible. In fact, until just recently, we were not able to move much further than our own cities. Now that restrictions have been eased, however, there's bound to be lots of excitement about the prospect of heading to one of Africa's largest game reserves, and a favourite among South Africans.
Thinking of visiting the Kruger now that travel is allowed? You'll be thrilled to see what's new there

But all the months of waiting may have been worthwhile when visitors to the park see what’s new there.

A new luxury offering opening soon

Kruger Shalati Train on a Bridge is moving full steam ahead (pun very much intended) with plans to open this highly anticipated luxury hotel in December this year.

Construction of this iconic and unique hospitality offering continues at its site in the heart of the Kruger National Park in the ever-popular Skukuza area. The hotel is being developed by Kruger Shalati Concession, who will bring a truly unique new travel product to the market: a luxury hotel housed inside a restored and reimagined train, to be stationed on the bridge crossing the Sabie River, the Selati Bridge.

This exciting new hotel includes train-based-rooms located on the Selati Bridge, as well as lounge and dining areas and a pool dangling from the bridge and overlooking the Sabie River - a favourite watering hole for troops of animals in the park. Being so unique and different, the hotel has already made international headlines and has been described by the Robb Report as an ‘insane new boutique hotel’.

“It’s extremely exciting for us to be able to get this project off the ground,” says Judiet Barnes, concession general manager for Kruger Shalati. “Forget five-star accommodation - this is six-star and perfect for those wanting a luxurious escape to the Kruger Park.”

If you think this might be out of your reach in terms of budget, you’ll be happy to hear that there are a number of amazing pocket-friendly specials happening at the moment. Prices start at R3,750 per person sharing, depending on the offer you choose.

A new watering hole for guests of the park

Bringing a trendy deli, cool cafe and a bespoke designed and crafted space, a welcome addition to the Kruger National Park, the Kruger Station precinct opened in the park early in August. First to open were the En Route Grab ‘N Go Deli and the Departing Soon Coffee and Ice-cream Cafe, where guests are able to either enjoy the delectable foods while sitting in the open seating area or where they can quickly stop for a takeaway while, well, en route to their next adventure. The Round in 9 (bar and casual dining) is also now officially open under the new regulations, while the Li’l Gricers play area will be opening within the next week. The casual-fine dining 3638 sit-down family restaurant is opening on Heritage Day weekend, and the 360° cinema for some amazing visual entertainment is expected around early October 2020.

For now, however, the deli will have you covered with exquisite foods suited for the whole family.

Wipe away all expectations of typical takeaway foods and imagine instead gourmet foods prepared by world-renowned Chef Andrew Atkinson. The menu at En Route serves up mouth-watering sandwiches such as one that is layered with succulent pork sausages, mounds of crispy bacon, caramelised onions, wild herbs and a grain mustard dressing; a delicious smoky flame-grilled beef patty on a fresh baked ciabatta bun with shredded lettuce, tangy mayonnaise, fire-roasted tomato relish, beer-battered thick cut onion rings and hard-to-resist legendary triple fried crispy fries; indulgent takeaway pizzas; and sweet treats that will have you cheating on your diet in no time at all. All popular choices for a light meal - but so different from the usual takeaway fare!

Find the Kruger Station in Skukuza rest camp - enter from the day visitor’s area through the entrance container or once in camp turn right at the T-junction circle and simply follow the road until you reach the station.

So, even though 2020 has been a tough year for everyone, it’s great to know that there’s something to look forward to when you head out on your Kruger Park adventure.

17 Sep 2020 12:34

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