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Moored in Kariba Breezes harbour, The Ponty Houseboat is a 16m monohull boat within an economic range
The Ponty Houseboat is a 16m monohull houseboat. Since January 2018, she is moored in a beautiful harbour in Binga in front of the owners, Wayne and Cheryls home. Binga is a little rural town on the shore of the Zambezi River at Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe.
The boat is powered by two 2.5litre Nissan Diesel engines. A generator provides 220Volts of electrical power to operate the fridge and 4freezers when the boat is out on the river.
The houseboat has two decks and accommodates 14 clients, but we have found 12 is a very comfortable number for the staff and for the clients to have a bed each in bedrooms. A lot of clients like to sleep on the top deck on mattresses under mosquito nets. Please let the staff know what you would like to do.
It is suggested you time your visit to arrive late morning to enable reaching your destination in time to fish or game view in the late afternoon. If the weather is a bit rough the boat will only leave the harbour when it is safe to do so.
The Ponty is one of the more affordable houseboats but with comfortable lodging and good facilities.
Accommodation on the Ponty Houseboat
• 5 bedrooms on bottom deck
• Boat powered by two 2.5litre Nissan Diesel engines
The bottom deck of the Ponty Houseboat consists of the 5 bedrooms, open plan kitchen, lounge and the back deck. Every bedroom has an overhead small fan. These are run off an inverter battery system. This system is charged in the day by the generator. All the hot water is provided by a gas geyser. Two of the double bedrooms share an inter-leading shower, loo and basin. The other double bedroom has a shower, loo and basin en suite. The twin and triple bedrooms use a communal shower, loo and basin. There is a linen cupboard, pantry cupboard and a linen room. All downstairs beds have tented mosquito nets. All bedrooms also have large windows to let in the lake breezes and beautiful views can be seen from every bedroom. Each bedroom is named after a tree found in Binga – Baobab, Marula, Teak, Ilala palm, Acacia and Mopane. The Large kitchen consists of a 5 plate gas stove, fridge and two freezers, and large working area. Hot and cold water. Adjoined to the kitchen is an open plan lounge area suitable to have meals if the weather is a bit cold or windy.
Upstairs there is a spacious deck which is 3/4 covered with a shade roof. The whole top area of The Ponty Houseboat is open on all 4 sides to make the most of the light, cool lake breezes and beautiful scenery. If the weather changes there are canvas drops on the sides. A dining table with 10 chairs and a serving table can be found on the top deck. A captains table and 8 bar stools are situated upstairs, this can be moved into the sun next to the plunge pool or kept under the shade port. A large gas braai is situated on the top deck near a lounge area where you can chill out and take in your surroundings. Two Zambezi chairs are an alternative if you don't want to be in the splash pool. There is a freezer upstairs where clients keep all their drinks cold. Most clients of the Ponty Houseboat like to sleep upstairs on mattresses which are provided with mosquito nets especially on those warm summer nights under the starry skies.
A generator provides 220Volts of electrical power to operate the fridge and 4freezers when the boat is out on the river. The generator will only be run for a couple of hours when clients are out fishing in the day.
A 12 Volt C. Tech Battery system runs the lighting and plugs on the boat.
Hot water is provided by use of a gas geyser.
The large kitchen consists of a 5 plate gas stove, fridge and freezer and large working area.Hot and cold water.
Adjoined to the kitchen is an open plan lounge area suitable to have meals if the weather is a bit cold.
Upstairs there is a spacious deck which is ¾ covered with a shade port.
We do provide water free on the boat but this is from the lake and is treated . It is fine to drink but has a different taste. We can purchase bottled water on request here in Binga. It is about $10 for a pack of 24, 500ml bottles. Ice is provided free of charge. We provide drinking ice and large blocks to keep your drinks cold.
The tender boat – Little Ponty 1 and Little Ponty 2 are twin hulled raft powered by a 40HP and 30HP Mariner outboard motor, towed by the Houseboat. They seat 5 to 6 people and allow clients to go fishing and game viewing in shallower waters. Only the licensed staff are allowed to drive the tender boats. The Little Ponty does have a sun roof which can be lifted on those hot days or dropped down.
The crew consists of a Captain, Chef and Deckhand who have their own quarters and ablution facilities. Please advise them of your daily routine and meal times. They will attend to all your needs. On arrival to The Ponty Houseboat the staff will be willing to show you all the switches etc and how everything works. Please ask for advice. Please ensure that the crew do get a rest period during the day and are not kept up too late at night. There is no laundry service on the boat but the crew will assist should it be necessary.
Ponty can cater to your catering needs, and your trips can either be Self catered or catered. The chef will prepare fish snacks or a full fish meal with the catch of the day. Please ask, the chef will cook whatever your heart desires. He can bake bread and rolls. Remember to bring plain flour, yeast and oil.
The Ponty crew and owners of the boat will meet and greet clients on arrival. The crew will transfer all luggage, food and drinks etc onto the Ponty. Free, shady, safe parking for clients vehicles at the owners home.
The Ponty can organise ice at a cost of $5 per bag. Worms at $5 a box. Fishing rods, bait, tackle and all your drinks can be ordered on request to the Ponty owners.
The Ponty Houseboat crew and owners of the boat will meet and greet you on arrival. Parking is free and secure at the owners' home. The crew will transfer all luggage, etc. onto the Ponty.
It is suggested you time your visit to arrive late morning to enable reaching your destination in time to fish or game view in the late afternoon. If the weather is a bit rough the boat will only leave the harbour when it is safe to do so. Unfortunately, we can not predict the weather.
We suggest a fleece or track suite which is useful in the winter months as the evenings can be chilly. Otherwise light clothing, sandals, sarongs, hats etc. We do provide bath towels and suggest you bring your own swimming towels. Please bring your own fishing rods, reels and tackle. If you need to we do rent out a basic rod and reel on request. Our charges are $5 a night. We will supply worms free of charge. Please let us know if you will need. If you are wanting frozen kapenta for Tiger fishing we can purchase 400g packs at $1.50 each. Don’t forget to bring camera, binoculars, sunscreen and insect repellent.
The Ponty Houseboat will provide all the staff with their meals. Drinks can be provided on request - Local beers, soft drinks and bottled water. We suggest the rest (hard tack) to be purchased by yourselves.
Ponty Houseboat Prices 2021
The Ponty charges are $563 per night - bare boat and self-catering. This price does not include the fuel for the boat (diesel), tenders and generator (petrol). Fuel is charged after your trip, which can be to one of the destinations below:
*These are approximate fuel consumptions to give you an idea of how much fuel each trip may use.
Catering can be provided US$60 per head for the Early Bird Menu per day (Fishermans Menu of Early morning rusks coffee and tea, large brunch, afternoon tea, bar snacks and dinner with dessert). Children under 10 year old pay US$40 per child per night for the same menu. Only local products are used.
A Deposit of 50% is required on day of booking. Balance to be paid on arrival or before.
Cleaning Materials such as dishwashing liquid, bin bags, toilet rolls, air-freshener, dish cloths, matches, insect repellent, etc., are not provided and are for the guests to please supply
The Zimbabwe National Parks fees are not included in the charter fees. The Parks fees are payable to a representative who will be at the boat prior to boarding the Ponty. Parks officials may board the boat at any stage to check the payments are accurate and have been properly receipted.
Residents of Zimbabwe will need to show proof of ID to get residents fees which are: $5 water fee + $5 fishing fee per head per day. Non residents pay $10 water fee + $10 fishing fee per head per day.
Zimbabwe National Parks Fees 2022
These are not included in the Charter fee and are payable to the Parks representatives at the boat prior to embarkation. Parks officials may board the boat at any stage to check that payments are accurate and have been properly receipted. You may wish to let us know in advance exactly who is coming, relevant ages, residential status and how many people will be fishing, which we will pass on via the boat captain to save time before you embark.