Photo: Courtesy Of Emoya Hotel.
Have you ever wondered what it might be like to spend a night in a South African slum? That's what the owners of the Emoya Hotel must've thought could be the perfect tagline for the company's latest concept: Shanty Town. For about $82 per night, guests in Bloemfontein, South Africa can sleep in corrugated metal shacks, read by the light of paraffin lamps, and do a number two in the "long drop" outdoor toilets. Emoya breathlessly boasts that it is "the only Shanty Town in the world equipped with under-floor heating and wireless internet access."
Emoya claims that the Shanty Town is "ideal for team building, braais, fancy theme parties, and an experience of a lifetime." Unlike real slums, these accommodations "are completely safe and child friendly."
This isn't the first time better-off South Africans have opted to forego their creature comforts for the reality of poverty. One such family moved to the slums of Mamelodi for a month as an "experiment in radical empathy,” living in a one-room shack with no electricity or running water, and blogging about their experiences.
Nor is this first hotel to play with the concept of slumming it, for lack of a better term. Last year, a Swedish newspaper launched a series of hotels that allowed guests to viscerally experience homelessness, offering dirty mattresses and sleeping bags beneath piles of leaves and under bridges. But Faktum, the homeless-run nonprofit publication that organized the endeavor, intended to raise awareness about poverty, and revenues went back into supporting its publication and its staff.