One of the most effective ways of hiving off stress is to be close to water – whether it is the sea, a waterfall or, better still, a peaceful stretch of water that is as still as a pane of glass.
While many choose luxury lodges positioned close to rivers and waterholes, we’ve chosen to help you explore the legendary Lake Jozini, one of South Africa’s oldest wildlife havens, from far closer - aboard luxury houseboats, the Shayamanzi 1 and the Shayamanzi 11.
The boats, which are similar in design to the houseboats of Lake Kariba and are captained by crew who have explored the world's largest man-made lake, help you discover this water wonderland in the heart of the Kingdom of the Zulu.
Surrounded by the luxury of the upstairs lounge and bar, bobbing in the large onboard Jacuzzi or languishing in a luxury cabin peeking out over the water’s edge, passengers might even spot a fish jumping, a family of elephants frolicking in the shallows or hear the throaty grunt of a wallowing hippo.
Shayamanzi I sleeps up to 12 and Shayamanzi II sleeps up to 24 in ultra-comfortable, en-suite, oak-paneled cabins, making this the perfect way to enjoy a family getaway or time out with special friends. From your private cabin, a full-length glass sliding door lets you gaze out just above water level, waking to a magnificent sunrise or falling asleep to the calls nocturnal creatures.
The houseboats cruise across the 16 000 ha expanse of open water at a gentle 9 knots, allowing you to enjoy the magnificent landscape from the deck. Smaller tender boats are used for early-morning and late-afternoon fishing and up close game-viewing and birding trips along the edge of the lake.
Whereas, once, the territory along the edges of the splendid Lake Jozini was home to commercial farmers, it is now the exclusive domain of Maputaland’s wildlife.
The Pongola River enters Lake Jozini to the north having made its way through the ruggedly beautiful Lebombo mountains.
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s Pongola Nature Reserve follows the shores to the north and south and the privately owned Pongola Game Reserve continues on to the west backed by the majestic Lebombo Mountains.
Apart from being a mecca for feisty tiger fisherman & fisher women, this is the perfect place for game enthusiasts, bird watchers and photographers to get a look at magnificent antelope, rhinos, crocodiles and an array of water birds from a whole new vantage point – the water.
Expect to dock in different parts of this incredibly diverse stretch of water and to raise your glasses to one of the most unforgettable sounds of Africa – the echoing call of the fish eagle – as you make some unforgettable memories during your time with us.
In addition to mid-week and weekend long sojourns on the peaceful waters of Lake Jozini, Shayamanzi also allows those who are passing through the rugged region to enjoy brunch, luncheon and sundowner cruisers.