Posts Tagged ‘Houseboat’

Houseboat Tips

The last 4days I was on a houseboat with my mom and her boyfriend and a few other people I love spending time with, which is why I figured I’d share some tips and thoughts for any of you considering it at some point in the future.

The most important thing to remember is that whatever you don’t use, you can always bring back so it is a case of ‘better to take more than run out in the middle of a huge lake’. Secondly it is vital that you go with people you like! Don’t tempt yourself with the prospect of throwing them over board and feeding them to the crocodiles. If you have these two things under control, there’s nothing else you can’t fix any way.

Toilet paper and fresh water is pretty important; it’s also something most people tend to forget. Silly things like dish washing liquid and hand soap are also things usually left off the list. Plus spices and the basics like coffee and sugar have a way of slipping under the radar too. Try too plan everything food-related with as much detail as you can. Include snacks and the possibility of fish you caught yourself because you need to remember that there are no shops around the corner when you’re on a boat in the middle of nowhere.

If you’re food is all sorted, you can focus on the drinks. Personally asking me what I will want to drink or even eat in 3 days time is completely pointless as I’ll probably end up craving something else anyway. But generally if you take a variety of drinks and anticipate that you will want to give your taste buds something interesting every few hours, it’ll turn out great. In our case we had dietary requirements that needed to be looked after and other medical things we needed to plan for. As it turns out, our planning went down really well.

We did actually catch a lot fish and even had left over worms who kept trying to escape [and I can’t blame them] so we ended up with extra food we left for the captain and the cook as a courtesy to them. We also took a lot of vegetables because obviously we are all prone to eating high carb foods and way too many snacks when we are on holiday, leaving us quite sluggish but counteracting it with vegetables, water and fruit helped us maintain our energy and excitement throughout. If you’re going to a place like Kariba and you know the sun is on a mission to destroy you, best take vegetables like carrots that will increase your Vitamin A intake. Eating fish [high source of Omega 3] is also a great way to chemically perk things up and for our 4 day trip it was perfect for our 3rd dinner. We were already starting to think in terms of packing up and saddened by the end of our trip as well as starting to get slightly annoyed with the personality clashes accompanied by the confined area of the boat. After eating fish however, we were right back in the party mood.

With food and drink is out of the way, we can get to the serious packing! Basically, cameras are the only electronic device you will really be using. There is no signal on Kariba or at least very little and most of it is from the Zambia side so our roaming charges would have been sky high for extremely bad reception. As much as I love my laptop, a boat is really not the place for it and besides, you have nature and people around you which should take up all of your time. We did use a stereo but that was mainly to scare the baboons away and most houseboats have their own anyway. Mini torches and a spot light came in handy, since used them for wildlife watching and midnight bathroom trips that allowed us to go undetected by the many, many insects of the lake. Speaking of bugs: any anti-mosquito or insect repellent you might require, you’re going to have to take with you, just be sure to use eco friendly ones that won’t destroy the natural habitat. We used citronella oil based wrist bands and they worked really well. However we still slept under mosquito nets to keep the bigger moths away. Sunscreen cannot be emphasized enough! Remember that it is not the direct light from the sun that gets to you, it’s the reflection from the water that really burns you, so please take precautions and be safe.

Check with the owner of the boat about their cooler bags and fridge facilities as you need to keep in mind that you will be going out on the little speed boats too and may want smaller quantities of drinks to be taken with you. The great thing about taking drinks and food in cooler boxes is that you will have a place to put the fish you caught during your trip. You will also need to take your own fishing rods and nets, ext if the boat does not have any. Taking an umbrella for the smaller boat is a good idea but again it is wise to communicate with your captain ahead of time as they may have suitable ones available.

We also used the books available on the boat along with normal notebooks during our ‘alone time’ just too fully appreciate the great nature that surrounded us. We took an extra set of towels to use as our swimming towels and a few extra hats in case the original ones got wet or flew over board, a bit paranoid I agree but better safe than sorry. We each had one warm jacket and the rest of our clothes consisted mainly of T-Shirts and shorts as we spent more time in our bathing suits than anything else anyway. We each took a pair of boots or closed toe shoes so that we could go for walks on the islands and flip-flops to wear on deck but again, we hardly used it as we were mainly barefoot. They washed our clothes on the boat so we came back with clean laundry in our suitcases and could easily have stayed there much longer.

With all nature trips like these it really is about timing. There were other boats there that followed 3 hours behind us and didn’t see any of the animals we did, they even got caught in a storm. So if you want to make the most out of this trip, ask your captain for advice regularly, since he is constant communication with other boats and trust his experience. Make sure you know what each member of your party is expecting out of the trip and try your best to please [or even if you must: disappoint] them all equally. This will just avoid friction and decrease the chances of someone feeling like they got a raw deal. We saw animals and we went fishing and we got a tan, so everyone got what they wanted and even more than they expected.

Feel free to add any of your experiences or tips into the comments as I’m planning to go again shortly and probably missed a few things on this – my first trip.

Loving nature,



Kariba Tweets

Hallo, my name is Aneléne and I am a Twitter addict. I spent the last few days on a houseboat and obviously had no internet connection or even cell phone reception so like a true Twitter addict, I wrote down all the things I would have tweeted had I been connected. Instead of spamming my stream with 60 Kariba tweets, I’m doing it on here instead. Sorry if some of it is a bit dull but those were just the times I really missed my twitter friends.

z  We’re eye level with crocks

z  “That bush isn’t moving” – my mom in really concerned voice

z  Good to know when Push comes to Shove my mom will push me out of the way and shove me down the crocodiles mouth #thanksmom

z  “If the world ended and we all had to live on boats forever it wouldn’t be too bad” “If we could live on this one” #thingsmymomsboyfriendsaid

z  *A good fisherman knows it’s not how deep you go but how you wiggle your worm* #twitterafterdark

z  Cage Jacuzzi

z  *while jumping from second deck of houseboat into crocodile invested waters* Hope I remember how to swim

z  “You don’t need anchors, just a tree” – captain

z  $50 just on ice! Imagine what the drinks cost

z  “I hope that elephant storms that boat” – my mom’s subtle anger towards random tourists

z  Oh, ok… my accent isn’t African enough #fuckyou

z  Hanging like a monkey from a houseboat in the middle of one of the world’s largest dams to get the score of a soccer match #goodkid

z  “Where are we?” –me “Facing North” – my mom’s boyfriend #thanksfornothing

v  How would you feel if I put a hook up your butt?! #fishing

v  Fish foul!

v  Catching shark bait #snack

v  My mom caught an awesome Tiger Fish… till it bit of the line

v  Is it a fish? Is it a crocodile? No… it’s a bird #weirdnature

v  “Alan, wake up! There’s a wild animal on board” *wakes up and listens* then says: “No, that’s just the captain” #snoring

v  “Bird calls are not your forte” bhahaha!

v  See which colour the hair is in the elephants tail #weirdnature

v  “Look! He’s smiling at me” – my mom an elephant eating leafs

v  “The islands use to be hills” #statingtheobvious

v  “The fish is out of water” *panic* “Ok, so we’re having him for lunch”

v  “Attract the elephant with fruit” “Throwing apples at him will not have good results”

v  “Crocodile!” “Where?” *everyone rushes to that side of the boat*

v  “Look at the little elephant” – mom “Where?” –me “I meant elephant” *disappointed*

v  Low blood sugar + crazy good zoom = blurred photos #wildlifephotography

v  Coffee, fishing, brunch, nap, fishing, snacks, dinner, coffee, sleep… and repeat

v  Mosquito nets are awesome and so are the glow in the dark mozzie arm bands

v  Go to sleep facing the water, wake up facing the bar :/ think my subconscious is trying to tell me something

v  Comparing wobbles with my mommy #buttjokes

v  You can see I’ve been out of the photography trade too long: I’d rather miss out on a good shot than miss out on a good memory

v  #ThatAwkwardMoment when you’re on a houseboat and realize your mother potty-trained you with running water

v  Dear diary, today I caught my first Tiger Fish… then I ate it #TheEnd

v  “The Sun is as big as your butt” #ThanksMom

v  Ice cube fight!

v  Like London only has 8 days of summer a year, Kariba only has 8 days of winter a year

  • People keep asking me if my mother got married again, don’t they realize I’m the last person she’d tell?
  • “There’s a hippo” “What hippo? I’m not a hippo” lol
  • The worms who planned their escape last night succumb to bug spray
  • “We are being followed by an unmanned boat” “Marie Celeste… Ahhh!”
  • I’m tanned… when it’s dark… and I don’t stand close to anyone else :/
  • #ThatAwkwardMoment when you think you’ve gotten a tan and then you take off your sunglasses
  • “I thought it was a crocodile… then it fell out of a tree” bhahaha
  • Question of the day: How long can a hippopotamus hold its breath under water
  • #ThatAwkwardMoment your hair is all windblown but you don’t want to fix it because people will realize you looked in the mirror and will expect you to make a habit out of it
  • When you brush your tangled hair and sound like a mongoose
  • When you get tired of waiting for them to bring your coffee and plan your verbal assault just for them to come upstairs with your coffee in hand
  • Just been chased by a little buffalo #WhenISayLittleIDontMeanLittle
  • My monkey-nastics has been rewarded with peanuts
  • Island welcoming committee aka MALE baboons
  • Checklist: Hippo, water tortuous, baboon, buffalo, crocodile, likkewaan, kudu, elephant and sunsets
  • Watching a baboon trying to fish without getting wet #hilarious
  • These fish are only good for cleaning hooks
  • It seems we are boring the baboons #yawn
  • “Being the only two baboons on the island must suck… if they have a fight they have no one to complain to” #SillyThingsSaidToday
  • “Put away your stick” “He’s trying to make a fire” “Wrong stick” #TwitterAfterDark
  • #HowToScareAway baboons: start laughing
  • Dear tourist who were here before us: DON’T LITTER #kthanks
  • I’m the quickest at baiting a hook with worms but refuse to do so as it is cruel #irony
  • Then again these worm’s escape tactics have only lead to hundreds of casualties… #RIP
  • Considering drugging our captain and playing pirate with his houseboat
  • My monkey-nastics to retrieve the results of a soccer match *again* is truly astonishing
  • There is something very filling about catching your own food #fishing
  • A starless sky in the middle of a huge lake is not as scary as I would have thought it to be
  • #ThatAwkwardMoment when you start catching fish with popcorn
  • I’m always the first to start packing…
  • #YouKnowMyMother is bored when she starts reading a book… without her glasses
  • #YouKnowMyMother is excited when she uses all 4 my nicknames in 1 sentence
  • #YouKnowMyMother is annoyed when she has 2 glasses in hand and isn’t drinking from either
  • #YouKnowMyMother is drunk when she starts thinking all arguments can be resolved by her finger-snapping-dance
  • Woken up by the splish splash of jumping fish
  • #ThatAwkwardMoment you realize that even when you stand on your toes, you are STILL too short
  • Spending more time complaining about something rather than taking 5 seconds to fix it #PeopleIDontGet
  • Build a bridge and get over it!
  • The shock when someone says ‘No’ to chocolate before breakfast
  • My all inclusive breakfast sandwiches are the best #JustSaying
  • “A day of waiting and being chased away has been rewarded with an apple” #apeantics
  • People who still don’t know how to read a gas pump #ish
  • Why did the monkey cross the road? Because his butt was warm #dontask
  • Long drive home is being interrupted by tourist pit stops
  • You really can hackle the price for everything… even change
  • #ThataAwkwardMoment you don’t realize you’ve crossed the border between #Zambia and #Zimbabwe
  • Vanilla Twilight by Owlcity is trending! Oh, wait… I can actually tweet that one


Yes, I did actually write them with hashtags! If you ever doubt that I love my twitter family just remember that I was on a boat with some of the most important people in my life and I still thought of all of you.

Much love,