South Africa's Mantis Lodge invites guests to stay in its vintage rail car

Mantis, a leading conservation-focused hospitality group, has opened the restored Founders Railway Carriage at Mantis Founders Lodge in the Eastern Cape in South Africa.

Originally built in the 1970s, the carriage is permanently stationed at the top of a hill within Mantis’ private concession. Ideal for families or small travel bubbles, the carriage accommodates a total of five guests. It comprises three cabins, consisting of a main compartment and two smaller two-berth and one-berth cabins as well as a restored bathroom. This piece of living history provides an incredible guest experience and is now available for exclusive use.

“My love for train travel began in the early 1960s when, as a student, I traveled from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, to Cape Town University. It has long been my dream to bring the carriage to Mantis Founders Lodge on its very own station,” Mantis Group chairman Adrian Gardiner said. “Now other families can enjoy it and create their very own personalized holiday adventures for generations to come while experiencing the excitement of sleeping onboard a railway carriage.”

A private pool

To enhance the unique experience, the railway carriage features both indoor and outdoor dining, lounge areas and an expansive deck with a private swimming pool. There is also a boma area and a “Ticket Office,” which is actually an outdoor bathroom facility with spectacular views of the surroundings. Guests staying at the Founders Railway Carriage will have a dedicated personal team to set the pace of their vacation, whether that’s early morning nature walks, Big Five game drives, leisurely picnic brunches, lounging by the pool or late nights around the boma fire.

Paul Gardiner, CEO, Mantis Collection commented: “We are delighted to offer guests at Mantis Founders Lodge an intimate, exclusive experience onboard the railway carriage. This is something very special, steeped in our family history and beautifully restored to welcome other families for their very own personalized holiday adventures.”

To learn more about the Founders Railway Carraige, visit:

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