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South Africa’s Kruger Shalati Shines Brightly Abroad

Kruger Shalati’s Train on the Bridge shares a global spotlight with American funny-man Eugene Levy in Apple TV Plus’ latest exclusive reality show.

The Apple TV Plus show ‘The Reluctant Traveler’ premiers in South Africa featuring Schitt’s Creek star and multi-Emmy Award-winning comedy actor, Eugene Levy, as the show’s somewhat-unwilling travel show host.

Comprising eight episodes dedicated to exciting destinations worldwide, Levy’s itinerary takes the prefer-to-stay-at-home comedian on an adventure that includes northern Sweden, Tokyo, Costa Rica, Utah, and South Africa.

Reaching an estimated 25 million Apple TV Plus subscribers – which excludes an estimated 50 million promotional users – The Reluctant Traveler skyrocketed in popularity, becoming Apple TV Plus’ second most-viewed show, just days after its premiere.

Considering the international recognition already enjoyed by Kruger Shalati – the Train on the Bridge, there’s little wonder that it landed on the Apple TV Plus producer’s shortlist.

The unique safari lodge has a plethora of accolades, including being featured in Times Magazine Top 100 Places (2021), Travel+Leisure’s It List (2021), Forbes’ 20 Best Places to Travel (2021), and Conde Nast Traveller India’s Six Most Beautiful Train Cabins in the World” (2023).

The Reluctant Traveler visits Kruger Shalati, South Africa

Filming for The Reluctant Traveler’s sixth episode, Levy and the Apple TV Plus crew were ushered into the heart of an African wilderness and hosted at Kruger Shalati – a luxury train on a bridge, suspended over a paradisiacal Big Five landscape.

As the only episode on African soil, viewers get an inside look at Levy’s experience of warm hospitality, breathtaking vistas, and his exhilarating, often-hilarious wildlife encounters.

His adventures also include visiting a local rhino sanctuary, and participating in a wild elephant health check – a hands-on encounter that he recounts fondly, saying, “Feeling its pulse through a giant vein in its ear is an experience I won’t soon forget.”

Levy also shares how his time at Kruger Shalati changed his perceptions: “My frame of mind went from ‘I don’t necessarily want to be here’ to ‘I don’t want to leave’ in just one week. It was kind of magical.”

Gavin Ferreira, General Manager of Kruger Shalati, comments, “It is a great pleasure to have been included in this production with a global entertainment brand such as Apple TV Plus. They literally had a world of options to choose from, and they chose South Africa – and Kruger Shalati. It’s a proud moment not only for us, but for all South Africans, to showcase a product that reflects true African craftsmanship and service in a way that will further put the destination and its people on the global destination map.”

Bonga, the Head guide at Kruger Shalati who was featured in the episode, also comments. “Seeing the final episode completed not only highlights the significance of Kruger National Park, but also the importance of conservation. This benefits all South Africans and warmly welcomes many more travellers, both reluctant and willing.”

Waving the flag – An iconic South African experience at Kruger Shalati

Located in the Skukuza Rest Camp within South Africa’s renowned Kruger National Park, Kruger Shalati’s Train on the Bridge provides five-star accommodation and elevated safaris to discerning travellers from around the world.

Guests enjoy unparalleled respite and resplendent views from 24 Carriage Suites and 7 Bridge House Suites, overlooking the Sabie River and passing wildlife below, a truly unique experience from the only lodge located on top of a river.

Ferreira encourages South Africans to celebrate this recognition of the country and share in the extraordinary moments that guests travelling to Southern Africa may typically experience.

“We’ve seen our past and current guests interact with the news about The Reluctant Traveler with great enthusiasm,” says Ferreira.

“The staff exchanges, the art and decor, the wilderness, the community, and the work we do as a nation to conserve our wildlife and landscape. This is not just about Kruger Shalati – all this is iconically South African and a reflection of our vibrant and hospitable nation. What a privilege to showcase our country to Apple TV Plus viewers worldwide.”

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