World's Greatest Places 2021
The Kruger Shalati hotel—in which guests can stay in renovated train cars that are perched on a bridge—in Kruger National Park, South Africa.
Courtesy Kruger Shalati
July 20, 2021 6:33 AM EDT

The problem with train rides is that the scenery flashes by far too quickly. Not so with a newly opened South African hotel, Kruger Shalati Train on the Bridge, which, as the name suggests, is a revamped steam train parked on a bridge suspended over the Sabie River in the country’s biggest game reserve. After Kruger National Park was established as a conservation area nearly 100 years ago, the local train service was largely discontinued for fear of disturbing the wildlife. By the 1970s, only the 984-ft.-long steel bridge remained. But the old carriages have been brought back, reimagined as luxury cabins with floor-to-ceiling windows promising unparalleled views over watering holes teeming with hippos, crocodiles, elephants, antelope, and the leopards and lions that stalk them. Unlike most trains, on this one you get to stick around to see what happens next. —Aryn Baker

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