WATCH 24 hours on board luxury Shayamanzi Houseboats. Is it worth it?
Share this article:
Clinton Moodley spent a night on board the Shayamanzi Houseboats in Jozini, KwaZulu-Natal. He shares his views on the experience.
Set on the majestic Lake Jozini, guests can sail on one of two houseboats, Shayamanzi l and the Shayamanzi II. While on the houseboat, you can marvel at the Lebombo Mountains and wildlife sightings.
Plus, it's one of the most stunning locations to watch the sunrise or sunset in South Africa.
Shayamanzi is among the country's top houseboat experiences. I felt like a kid in a candy store when we sailed towards it, eager to explore what it has to offer.
Who visits here
There's a mix of international and domestic clientele, groups of friends or couples and those who want to celebrate a milestone.
A helpful staff member fetched our luggage from the vehicle and escorted us to the boat. The captain greeted us with welcome drinks and shared the safety procedures and other information we needed to know for the trip. No temperature checks were taken.
We had four cabin crew during our night stay-all who were accommodating and friendly.
Shayamanzi I, the houseboat we stayed at, offers 6 deluxe, air-conditioned, en-suite cabins. The oak-panelled cabins come kitted with twin or queen-size beds, shower, basin and toilet.
They have plug points, hairdryers and fans. There is no TV, but you can stream on your devices via their free wi-fi.
All cabins offer stunning views of the lake with large windows that merge outside and inside living effortlessly.
While comfortable, I do feel that it didn't exude the extravagance we were expecting. The houseboat needs some tweaks to its room design.
Carry some bug spray as there's plenty of insects flying into the cabin if your window is opened.
Before I arrived, I filled out a form with my dietary requirements. I must say that the staff ensured that my dietary needs were met. The meals were satisfying and filling.
Shayamanzi definitely delivers on the experience. During our stay, we went on a two-hour tiger fishing excursion.
The guide offered some interesting insights into the sport. We all took turns trying but failed dismally.
Game viewing can also be arranged. Lake Jozini is surrounded by the Pongola Game Reserve and Pongolo Nature Reserve, with fantastic animal and birdlife sightings.
Unfortunately, we didn't see any animals during our stay. The captain will arrange the experience according to guests taste.
Facilities include a jacuzzi, wet bar, wi-fi and entertainment system in the main area.
Book here for an experience of a lifetime. It's ideal for those who want to put their feet up and get away from their hectic lifestyle.
Staying on a houseboat makes the perfect social distance spot (I'd recommend hiring it out as a group rather than booking per person). There's nothing better than setting foot on the boat and having all your needs taken care of.
Price and contact
Rates start from R2 360 per person a night. Visit www.shayamanzi.co.za/