Located on the picturesque Andora Bay in Kariba, the Umbozha house boat is set to fill a void in the tourism market and add flavour to the cruises on the lake.
BY NQOBILE NKIWANE
Umbozha is the sixth addition to the Dunhu Ramambo franchise; the first company to offer house boat services commercially by opening new avenues of entertainment as well as revenue from the domestic and international market.
The spectacular, comfortable and tastefully decorated vessel was first launched in October 2013 with the aim of spicing up the entertainment and luxury on Lake Kariba.
Standardlife&style spoke to the boat captain Mainie Kloppers last week and he said a cruise on the Umbozha house boat gave one an opportunity to relax due to its steady voyage.
“The main purpose of our latest addition to the fleet is for luxury and not for speed,” he said.
The construction of Umbozha began late 2012 with a team of 12 constructers developing it from an old boat at the harbour.
Its first trip on the lake was on October 9 and it has been on three commercial trips ever since.
“It has been used mainly on day trips because it is still new,” said the group general manager, Chris Chiparaushe.
The magnificent flagship has nine spacious en suite bedrooms, well air-conditioned and luxuriously furnished.
Umbozha house boat comfortably accommodates 34 people, but can reach a maximum of 40 on holidays.
Captain Kloppers described the rooms as suitable for couples with their children or any other travellers.
“Our rooms are big enough to accommodate families because we also have family suites with bunk beds for children,” he said.
A bar and dining area also add to the luxury of the boat with a professional chef on board too.
Adding further to the uniqueness of the boat, Captain Kloppers said Umbozha has a very competent crew.
“We have well-trained staff that will always make a cruise on our boat worthwhile,” he said.
On board, voyagers can also enjoy swimming on the boat’s large shaded pool deck on the front of the boat.
Kloppers said voyagers make the decision on what they want to do or where they want to go, which then helps the crew determine the island that they visit.
“Our travellers decide whether they want to do wildlife viewing or go fishing on our tender boats,” he said.
A day cruise on Umbozha from 8am to 6pm costs US$900 dollars while a day and night costs US$2 450.
Chiparaushe said their dream was to offer tourists and holiday makers an opportunity to travel on the boat.
“Families can come and jointly pay for a cruise so that it becomes less expensive,” he said.
“We also want to develop other boats to the level of Umbozha house boat”.
Dunhu Ramambo has other schemes under way, including a big five project at Chengeta Lodge and a falconry and adventure centre at Pamuzinda Safari lodge.