Call us to book +263 (0) 772 296 150


 I would like to introduce myself. My name is  Maureen Edkins (everyone calls me Mo) and I manage Sengwa safaris I will be the one you will deal with on houseboat bookings and I look forward to helping you plan your holiday.

To give you a clearer picture of what is expected when chartering  a houseboat I have made some points below

Rate given will be for the hire of the main houseboat, Use of the tender boats and services of the crew.

It does not include any of the following

Fuel for both the main boat and the tender boats, Catering, Drinks, Transfers, Rods/Tackle Bait , ice and the Lake Usage and fishing fees (these are the government Levies and payable direct to the National Parks officers who are resident in all harbour) Rates listed on the website


  • all houseboats are chartered out per houseboat per night not per person so the rate given is for the use of the entire houseboat – to the max passengers allowed as per the specs. Should you exceed the number of passengers (unless you have requested and been given permission) the boat will not leave harbour – this is for safety reasons. In the event of this happening no refund will be given. Please note Boarding time is strictly 12pm and disembarking 10am unless cleared beforehand. Boats do not have night navigational equipment, so they are not permitted to sail in the dark -latest set off time is strictly 3pm in winter and 3.30 in summer. If you do not make it in time sleeping in harbour is not permitted so you would have to find alternate accommodation at your own expense. The full charter rate will still apply. All houseboats are equipped with linen cutlery & crockery. Only some boats provide cleaning materials and toilet paper so please check all details on the boat specs. If you are taking catering these items will be supplied. They all have mozzie nets
  • Please note Kariba a Malaria area so please see your doctor or Pharmacist beforehand.
  • Day Cruisers – Sengwa Safaris does not offer day cruisers. All houseboats are chartered for a minimum of 2 nights.
  • Staff – All houseboats have at least three crew – Captain, Deckhand and Cook.
  • Tender Boats – all houseboats are chartered inclusive of tender boats ( see relevant attached boat Specs for description of tender boats) These tender boats are for game viewing and fishing within the vicinity of the main boat – they cannot be used for covering long distances ie to be used as a transfer boat from the houseboat to the mainland or fishing far away from the main boat. All tender boats are strictly crew driven – fuel for clients account
  • Meals– You can either self-cater or we can cater for you – please view our menu choices. These are sample menus and can be adjusted to suit your needs – we cater for vegans, vegetarians and any clients with allergies or a medical condition. Please note when self catering you must provide all food stuffs- including condiments. All houseboats have a trained chef on board who will prepare your meals as per your instructions. Please note that you must arrange all your own groceries – the chefs do not advise as to what you must bring.
  • Also note that catering orders cannot be changed within 2 weeks of charter date as the supplier has to order in advance – catering has to be paid in advance
  • Drinks – You can either provide your own or we can send you the Drinks order form for our suppliers in Kariba – you will deal directly with the supplier. Please note only drinks in a resalable state will be refunded after your charter. There is a 15% handling fees for return. There is no refund on Ice or bait.
  • Drinks have to be paid for in advance


  • Ice – This is necessary to keep drinks and food cold when the generators are switched off and for taking in cooler boxes when out fishing or game viewing – recommend 4/5 blocks per day – the cost of ice can be found on the Drinks Order form (please note there is no refund on ice)
  • Rod Hire/Tackle Packs – Houseboats do not supply Rods/tackle/Landing net and keep nets – if you do not wish to bring your own we can arrange for the hire of the same – Cost of Rod and tackle hire is covered on the drinks order form (please note there is no refund on tackle)
  • Bait – Worms (approx 100 per tin) – used to catch Bream (please note there is no refund on worms)
  • Bait – Kapenta – (250gm packs) Used to catch Tiger fish  (please note there is no refund on Kapenta)
  • Bait – Fish Pellets and Game blocks – used to attract the fish (please note there is no refund on these)
  • Fuel – Unless otherwise stated all houseboats are chartered on DRY BOAT basis which means that at the end of your charter you have to settle the fuel usage directly . We give above, for your guidance, an estimate of fuel usage Cost of Fuel Diesel US$ 1.47 per litre –  Petrol US$ 1.57 per litre. All houseboats leave harbour with a full tank and enough fuel for the tender boats. At the end of your charter the boat will stop off at the Fuel jetty and  top up the fuel tanks and you will only pay for your fuel usage. I recommend that one person in your group takes charge of this aspect and deals directly with the Captain
  • Transfer – Please note currently there are no direct international/regional or local scheduled flights into Kariba – we can arrange transfers as detailed below:


  1. Road Transfer –from either Harare or Lusaka. For larger groups I will negotiate a better rate.
  • Lusaka – Kariba return US$150-00 per person return (min US$900.00) =1-6 passengers)
  • Harare – Kariba return US$150-00 per person return (min US$900-00) = 1-6 passengers)
  1. Air Transfer
  • Private air charter-At your request we can arrange from Harare or Victoria Falls
  • Scheduled flights into Kariba – currently not available but there is talk of an airline company starting up. Will advise once confirmed

Milibezi – the Ferry is operational again – please request details

  • Game Drives and Walks –
  • We can arrange for you to take in game drives/walks while on your houseboat charter, from either Changa camp or Spurwing Island, provided they have availability
  • There are National parks Officers in the Matusadonna area who will take clients for walks. Please note no children under 12 allowed on the walks. Your captain would radio ahead and confirm availability.
  • Professional Guide- We can arrange for you to have a professional guide accompany you or meet up with you at a designated place. Please note you are not allowed to disembark from the houseboat without a professional guide present. The boats moor on the shores of a wildlife sanctuary where wild animals roam freely. You do not need to take a professional guide unless you intend to disembark from the houseboat.


Swimming in the lake – Please note this is not permitted as the lake has a large population of Hippo and Crocodiles – Should you take it upon yourself to do so please note Sengwa safaris , the houseboat owners nor the crew can be held responsible of any untoward incident. Please also note when out fishing or game viewing keep your whole body inside the tender boats – do not dip your hands or feet into the lake.

Sailing Routes – the recommended sailing routes are on all spec sheets. Please note that all the boats on our website sail out of Kariba town except for the Southern Belle who moors and sails out of Siavonga in Zambia. The Zimbabwean boats are not allowed to cross over into Zambian waters – likewise The Southern belle is not permitted to cross over into Zimbabwe. There are boats that do sail out of Binga – these are specialized cruises and  covered under the Zambezi Cruise Safari tab. (will put link when up)

Generators – please note that the boats sail and moor within the Matusadonna wildlife sanctuary – many animals come down to the lake at night to drink – so lake rules are that generators are to be switched off at 10pm. We appreciate your understanding on this issue.

Student Bookings – Please note Sengwa safaris does not book houseboats for the O and A level students.

 Terms & Conditions –Please note  we are agents and  are bound by the Terms & Conditions of all the various owners. Please view the T & C  (stated on all the boat specs )of the houseboat you intend chartering before committing. In the case you have to cancel we will endeavour to re sell your dates.