20 September 2021

Houseboat hacks for first timers!

Submitted by Steven J Brown
Houseboat hacks for first timers!

If it is your first time heading off for a stay on a houseboat, you might just need to think about what is needed for such a trip. 

First of all, the Shayamanzi Houseboats are just the most relaxing experience that you could ask for and offer a whole lot of fun. 

Here are some tips that can help prepare you for your upcoming chilled “floating” adventure: 

The Admin - The first thing that you need to do when heading to this awesome destination is to confirm your group if you booking out the entire Shayamanzi Houseboat. Alternatively, check which of our two wonderful houseboats you’ll be exploring during your vacation. 

Shayamanzi 1 - is 25 metres in length and 8 metres in width and has 6 luxury air conditioned cabins, each sleeping 2 passengers. Rooms are en-suite with shower, basin and toilet. These cabins are 3.6m x 3.5m and airy with large sliding window doors as your boundary to the water. For bigger groups, the Shayamanzi 1 can accommodate up to 12 passengers. This houseboat has 2 tender boats and an 8 seater Jacuzzi. 

Shayamanzi 11 - is a double pontoon houseboat and a dream cruiser which is 30 metres long and 8.6 metres wide. It sleeps 20 and has a crew of 6. There are 6 comfortable luxury air-conditioned cabins, each sleeping 2 passengers, which are en-suite with shower, basin and toilet. The cabins are large and airy with large sliding window doors as your boundary to the water. There are another 4 smaller pontoon en-suite cabins on the lowest deck with two port hole viewing windows. These cabins also have a small seating area which is convertible for additional bedding for young children. There are 3 tender boats, a 12 seater Jacuzzi. 

Packing - This is one of those wonderful times when less is more. Chances are you’ll spend most of your time relaxing on your houseboat or taking a dip in the Jacuzzi, so costumes, sarongs and shorts are the way to go. Bear in mind that the weather is usually mild, so its summer wear all the way. The sun in Zululand can be very harsh, so don’t forget to pack plenty of good suntan lotion and hats – and some after sun lotion just in case you over indulge! For those that choose to go bass fishing, all equipment is supplied – unless you are a champion bass fisherman, of course, and have your own equipment that you cannot fish without. 

Arrive - On arrival, you will be escorted to your designated parking areas and members of the crew will take your belongings to the tender boats to save you the trouble of lugging heavy baggage - so be sure to take advantage of that. The awesome thing about the Shayamanzi Houseboats is your captain, crew and on board chef. They will have you covered and you will be well taken care of from the day of your arrival to disembarking. The crew will brief you on all safety issues and show you were to find anything you might need – and if something is not covered, simply ask. Pack binoculars and cameras if you plan to capture the wildlife along the shores. 

Chillax - The most important thing is to simply have fun – after all, that is the whole point of going. All preparation, operation and navigation are ticked off, so all you have to do is enjoy the cruise and just sit back on the soft comfy couches aboard without doing anything at all. While you laze around, you could always choose to sit down with one of your favourite books or to simply close your eyes and reflect on your thoughts. If you are a dedicated journaler, then now’s the time to sharpen your pencil. 

There is so much wildlife to spot from on board whilst cruising Lake Jozini – from hippos lazing in the shallows to ellies taking a sip and dip. You can also enjoy an array of beautiful water boats either from the deck of your houseboat or from one of the tender boats which will enable the crew to get you a whole lot closer. While aboard, you will certainly enjoy the fantastic meals that are whipped up by the chef as well as limitless cups of tea and coffee. There’s an onboard cash bar as well. 

The best thing of all is just knowing that there will be no dishes, no housework needing to be done ... now that’s the life!

If you don’t book out the entire boat, there’s also the opportunity to meet other “first timers” and make friends for life.

The crew will be also feel like family by the time that you disembark. After this experience, there’s a strong chance that you’ll never remain a “first timer”.

In fact, you’ll probably end up becoming a “two timer” in the best possible way! 

Go to www.shayamanzi.co.za to see what else you can get up to whilst on board!