The Abangane is the most reasonably priced houseboat (that is worth going on) you will find in Binga, on the western end of lake Kariba. There are no frills and spills that one gets with the luxury houseboats (like aircon and luxury cabins), but this boat is clean and practical and has all the amenities that one needs for a few days on the Lake. It gets you out there at the right price and you won't be uncomfortable.
The Abangane houseboat has kept two decent sized cabins each with a couple of bunk beds (in case someone does want some privacy) and plenty of storage place for your clothes. With the extra space created they have made larger shower rooms and toilets. Clean bathrooms are important to me which is why I like this boat so much!
So most people sleep on stretchers on the open upper deck - good thick mattresses, linen and mosquito nets are provided. There are drop down blinds all round (upper and lower deck) to shelter you in the event of heavy winds or rain.
This accommodation on Kariba offers a relaxing holiday on an 18-metre twin-hulled houseboat powered by two 85-HP Cummins diesel engines. It is moored at Kulizwe Lodge harbour in Binga, Zimbabwe on the south-western shore of Lake Kariba. The Abangane is able to accommodate 12 visitors comfortably although is registered to take 15. As the boat is “block” booked, cheap holidays per head result from larger parties.
Boarding the Abangane at the harbour should be from 12.00 noon on the day you arrive and disembarkation before 09.00 am on the day you leave. The outstanding crew take care of the Abangane and all the guests’ requirements from serving sundowners, providing meals, linking you up with an iPod dock, directing you to the best fishing spots, or accompanying you into the rivers where bird and game viewing can be spectacular. Obert is the Captain of the Abangane, Frank is the Chef and Jossam is the Deck Hand. They are qualified, friendly, hardworking and particularly good with children.
Although they are not babysitters, they are extremely patient and eager to instruct and help children with their fishing. After an exquisite sunset, there will be little to see but much to hear when the Abangane houseboat anchors close to the shore. Hippos grunt as they leave the water to graze through the night. Tiger fish flap against the steel hulls while the songs of night birds such as owls, nightjars, and water dikkop are distant enough to lull you to sleep. Our normal practice is to sail north-east visiting the Senkwe River, Chete Safari area, and the Ruzi. On the return trip, we stop often at Elephant Bay, only a few kilometres from Binga. This gives guests great opportunities to experience the magic of the Zimbabwean shore of Kariba, the fishing, the sunsets across the Lake and the bird and animal life.
Approximately 75% of the spacious upper deck of the Abangane houseboat is under cover and contains a bar with bottle cooler and ice making machine and the counter doubles as a cosy meal table. Most passengers sleep under mosquito nets (provided) on the upper deck. Two freezers are situated on the deck and a large gas braai (barbeque) unit complements the cooking facilities and provides sociable meal preparation.
Consist of crews quarters, storerooms, 2 cabins/changing rooms with 4 bunks, 2 shower rooms, 2 separate toilets and a fully equipped kitchen, which include electrical appliances, a gas stove,2 fridges and 3 deep freezers. A shower is situated on the Bermuda deck.
Generators provide 220 Volt electrical power to operate fridges, freezers, a hot water geyser, a washing machine, fans and plug points and charges the batteries to service the 12 Volt lighting system. An inverter ensures that the iPod dock (supplied) and fans work when the generators are switched off.
Two twin hulled tender boats powered by 25HP Mariner outboard motors are towed by the boat to allow access to shallow waters for fishing, and game and bird viewing. Please treat them with care. Passengers may bring their own tender boats, but only 3 boats may be towed by the Abangane houseboat.
The Crew A captain, cook and one or two crew members will attend to all your needs. Please advise them of your daily routine, ensure that they get a rest period during the day and are not kept up too late at night.
Laundry There is no laundry service on the boat, but the crew will assist should it become necessary.
Drinking water is filtered, but not chlorinated. You may wish to boil the water, bring chlorine tablets, or buy bottled water. Drinking ice (chlorinated filters) is made at the bar, once the boat has exited the harbor and water can be drawn from the open lake.
Ice blocks for keeping drinks cold in insulated boxes on the rafts can be purchased through Taylors Kwikspar, or Gecko Charter Supplies and Services. (see catering below).
Gratuities are entirely at your discretion and should be related to good service which we are confident you will get on the Abangane houseboat.
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We travelled with Falcon Safaris in Zimbabwe and Botswana for 16 days. Falcon designed a wonderful trip with private guide to the most interesting sites in both countries. The organization of the whole trip was excellent, flights within the country, accommodation and activites. The guides were very knowledgable and told us a lot about the countries, their history, people, economy and much more. Wevisited the Great Zimbabwe Ruins, the Victoria Falls and a number of national parks in both countries.
Rhino tracking was a real adventure! We had tremendous further game drives and saw very many animals - we did the Big Five. We had much more activities than planned and enjoyed very much.We strongly recommend Falcon Safaris to everyone planning a trip to Southern Africa and East Africa.
Our Consultant Vimbai was very helpful and accommodating. We stayed at the Elephant hills hotel which was nothing short of amazing.Our activities included a helicopter flight, dinner cruise as well as a morning game drive. All the activities were absolutely amazing.
We worked with Gertrude to schedule and organize everything and she did an excellent job. I asked a lot of questions via e-mail and she answered everyone in a timely helpful manner. Our guide at Victoria Falls was also great. He met us at the airport, provided a thoughtful tour of the Falls and got us to our next guide in Botswana. Our lodgings at River View Lodge were just as described- very comfortable and excellent food. All the staff were so pleasant and helpful. If I had to do it again I would arrange a morning boat ride as well. We only did the sunset boat rides and they were the high point of our entire trip- we saw so many animals and our guide was very knowledgeable. Just a great experience. Our lodgings at Oddball's Enclave was rustic and we loved it. So great to disconnect from the world for a bit. Leo, our guide, was the best - got us out and about, saw fantastic wildlife and got back to camp safely each time. Doc manages the camp so well. This whole trip was planned and organized by Falcon Safaris and we could not have been happier.
Falcon safaris have given my the correct advice with excellent service. The only suggestion will be to work closer with the lodges to confirm bookings as soon as possible. We have booked and pay our deposit a year in advance. We have only receive our final convermation from Chobe Safari lodge a week before departure. I do realize its not within your controle but with limit alternatives and a group of 14 people it becomes an issue to find alternative accomodation if the booking was cancelled.
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