Rich Tourists Now Staying in Luxury ‘Slums’ So They Can Pretend to Be Poor

The Emoya Luxury Hotel and Spa near Bloemfontein, South Africa offers Shanty Town, a dozen shacks made from scrap wood and corrugated metal that it thinks is the perfect setting for your next corporate retreat or wedding anniversary. The resort has gone to great lengths to recreate the joys of slum living without the nuisances of crime, disease, or poor sanitation: “Now you can experience staying in a Shanty within the safe environment of a private game reserve. This is the only Shanty Town in the world equipped with under-floor heating and wireless internet access!”

so picture the ‘Ghetto’ tours in New York but just a little more absurdly racist


Shanty Town at Emoya Estates - Bloemfontein, South Africa

Theme hotels all over the world provide guests with experiences ranging from ruling in medieval times to sleeping under the sea, but the Shanty Town at Emoya Estates may be the first hotel to offer the chance to live like the desperately poor.

Emoya Estates is a South African luxury hotel and spa that offers visitors all the finest amenities money can buy, located in the middle of a lush game reserve featuring rhinos, lions, and giraffe. However for guests looking to get away from all the trappings of luxury travel (but not too far away), Emoya also offers the Shanty Town lodgings. Consisting of a small circle of sheet metal shacks meant to evoke the crime-ridden slums seen throughout urban South Africa, the themed rooms are billed as a unique experience (despite the tens of millions of impoverished citizens living in similar conditions).

Cobbled together from artfully mismatched pieces of corrugated steel, the small “informal settlement” on the game reserve provides outdoor metal stoves for each shack, as well as an authentic outdoor bathroom. However the lodgings are far from uncomfortable. Each reinforced shanty features fully-furnished interiors and the website is proud to proclaim, “This is the only Shanty Town in the world equipped with under-floor heating and wireless internet access!” A poverty theme park of sorts.

Unlike the atmosphere of struggle and danger that exists for the millions of people living in real South African shanty towns, Emoya’s Shanty Town attempts to foster a warm vibe of back-to-basics community which, again according to the website is “ideal for team building, braais” and “fancy theme parties.” Shanty Town at Emoya Estates may be the nadir of class tourism, a place where people can pay more to pretend to have less.

Shanty Town at Emoya Estates on Atlas Obscura

New Post has been published on 2Tout2Rien

New Post has been published on

Shanty Town - un bidonville hôtel de luxe

On touche un peu le fond du fait-tout avec Shanty Town, une réalisation de la chaîne hôtelière Emoya, un bidonville hôtel de luxe.

Un faux bidonville bien sûr, adapté pour de belles fortunes en quête de sensations de pauvreté.

Des cabanes en tôles (parfaitement étanches, faut pas déconner non plus) avec chauffage par le sol et Wi-Fi.

Des bazéros sont distribués de ci de là, de manière à renforcer l’image bidonville et assurer un éclairage extérieur.

Les toilettes sont toutefois à l’extérieur des cabanes.

Le village peut accueillir 52 personnes et est parfaitement sécurisé pour les enfants, au coeur d’une réserve de chasse.

La nuit dans ce bidonville hôtel de luxe coûte 60 euros.
60 euros pour jouer le sud-africain pauvre en toute sécurité, ce qui n’a pas manqué de susciter la polémique dans le pays.

Shanty Town, video

Dans la catégorie hôtel de luxe, un concept beaucoup plus sympathique avec cette chambre sous la mer.


Another example of Africa on exhibit

Shanty Town for Accommodation in Bloemfontein

Shanty Town offers alternative accommodation in Bloemfontein. Named after traditional housing in South Africa, shacks or shanties, Shanty Town offers you the chance to experience living in an informal settlement with modern day luxuries.

A traditional shanty is built from old corrugated iron sheets and any other waterproof material they can find to construct a small house. An outside toilet (also called a long drop) and a drum for cooking purposes forms part of this lifestyle.

You can stay in a shanty without worrying about crime or your safety, as it is situated in the heart of Emoya Game Reserve. All units are self-catering with the luxury of electricity, under floor heating and a shower in the bathroom.

The Shanty Town is ideal for team-building, a birthday braai, fancy theme parties or small functions. We can accommodate up to 52 guests and ensure an experience they will never forget!