Manta Founders Lodge transforms vintage wagon into luxury accommodation: Travel Weekly

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

Originally built in the 1970s, the cart is permanently parked atop a hill in Mantis’ private concession. Ideal for families or small travel bubbles, the carriage accommodates a total of five guests. It includes three cabins, composed of a main compartment and two smaller cabins with two and one berths as well as a restored bathroom. This piece of living history provides an amazing customer 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 the University of Cape Town. It has been a long-time dream of bringing the car to Mantis Founders Lodge in its own station.” said Mantis Group President Adrian Gardiner. “Now other families can enjoy it and create their own personalized vacation adventures for generations to come while experiencing the excitement of sleeping aboard a railroad car.”

A private swimming pool

To enhance the unique experience, the railroad car includes indoor and outdoor restaurants, lounges and an expansive terrace with a private swimming pool. There is also a boma area and a “Ticket Office”, which is actually an outdoor bathroom with spectacular views of the surroundings. Guests staying at Founders Railway Carriage will have a dedicated personal team to set the pace for their holiday, whether it’s early morning nature walks, Big Five game drives, leisurely picnic brunches, lazing around by the pool or late evenings around the boma fire.

Paul Gardiner, CEO of Mantis Collection, said, “We are delighted to offer guests of Mantis Founders Lodge an intimate and exclusive experience aboard the wagon. It is something very special, steeped in our family history and beautifully restored to welcome other families for their own personalized vacation adventures.”

To learn more about the Founders Railway Carraige, visit:

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