Kraalbaai Luxury Houseboats are moored perfectly in the middle of Langebaan lagoon inside West Coast National Park, just over an hour drive from Cape Town – They are a great West Coast gem for a weekend away from the city buzz. Kraalbaai Luxury Houseboats consist of four (currently building the 5th one) houseboats and can comfortably accommodate 4 – 24 guests. Eve Houseboat can accommodate up to eight guests, Larus (the one we slept in) and Serenity Houseboats can accommodate up to six guests each, while Nirvana Houseboat can accommodate up to twenty-four guests – perfect for hosting functions or large group of people. Each houseboat is unique, and has its own character and feel. Lounges lead out onto the large, wind-free foredeck, equipped with tables, chairs, and braai stands making this the ideal spot for dining outside or braaing (BBQ) with a view or even relaxing over a glass of your favourite beverage.
As you might have seen on my Instagram page, Kraalbaai in West Coast National Park is one of my favourite spots on the West Coast. Every time I went there I was fascinated by these houseboats moored in the middle of Langebaan lagoon. I always wondered what it’s like sleeping in one of them – do they move at night? Do they rock?, would I get seasickness? are they safe? and what would happen if the storm came?. I have always added a few questions to my list of worries every time I went to West Coast National Park.
There is no much information on the internet about these houseboats except few reviews from booking platforms. Sometimes you wonder if the reviews are genuine or were written by some people who had high expectations that were never met or even social media influencers who were paid to give great reviews about these houseboats. I don’t easily believe everything that the internet feeds me these days because my fellow travellers rely on my honest reviews and recommendations. I always receive questions from my social media followers asking me if I have slept inside the houseboats at Kraalbaai or if those houseboats are worth trying. If you have been following my work for a while you would know that I will never recommend a place or activity without experiencing it first because I prefer to give advice or recommendation based on the first-hand experience. So, I had to make a plan to go and sleep there to experience the houseboat living that everybody is excited about before I could provide any feedback. Two months ago I took a friend to Kraalbaai for the first time and she couldn’t believe that she has never been to Kraalbaai or even inside the West Coast National Park or seen the Langebaan lagoon before. It was a sunny day, we just had a swim, ate our home-packed meals and snacks, and we were relaxing next to the popular Preekstoel rock and we started talking about the houseboats moored in the middle of the lagoon.
I remember her saying to me “Tebogo, imagine what it would be like waking up in one of those houseboats or having a party there with friends”. I looked at her and said, “Let’s book for two nights!”. That was the end of our conversation and we didn’t talk about it on our way home, so I thought she was just daydreaming. A few days later she sent me a message telling me that she has made some inquiries and she has a quote and availability for a six-sleeper houseboat. We found four other people who were interested in exploring this adventure with us to make the trip affordable and we immediately booked for two nights. We wanted to book the Serenity Houseboat because it looked more modern on the inside but it was fully booked on our dates and we had to settle for the Larus Houseboat – Anyway it didn’t matter which one we booked, as long as we slept there and experienced houseboat living. The thought of sleeping in a houseboat moored in the middle of the lagoon was already exciting enough for us. We arrived at Kraalbaai inside the West Coast National Park around 14:00 on a sunny Monday and we were welcomed by the friendly Kraalbaai Luxury Houseboats Crew (Skippers) who were already waiting for us. They carried our bags from our car to their leisure boat, the only mode of transportation used to transport you from the wooden walkway or shore to the houseboats depending on the tide.
Our Larus Houseboat was the least pretty out of all four houseboats but functional and clean, and we loved it because we knew we would be spending most of our time outside the houseboat enjoying outdoor activities and relaxing on the swimming deck. Activities include sunbathing, swimming, kayaking, SUPing, snorkelling, hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, braaing, site seeing, leisure boat trips up to Club Mykonos, and fishing.
The Larus Houseboat (our houseboat) accommodates a maximum of 6 guests in 3 cabins – but I would recommend this houseboat for a small family that consists of parents (Mom and Dad), and a child or two. The main cabin has a queen-size bed, the second cabin has a bunk bed (2 sleepers), and the third cabin has removable mattresses which are used at night to sleep two people – yes, you sleep on the floor in this cabin. This setup might cause some disagreements and tension between the guests when it comes to cabin (room) selection. I would highly recommend discussing cabin selections before you arrive to avoid awkwardness and unnecessary tension if you plan to book the same houseboat.
The Larus Houseboat consists of a small but functional open plan kitchen fitted with a gas stove, double door fridge, microwave, plates, glasses, and utensils, it has a lounge, outside covered dining area, swimming deck with a braai stand, and one bathroom fitted with a toilet, basin, and single shower which can be frustrating sometimes because it has to be shared between six people – or you can be like me! just swim and put lotion on. Please note that there is no TV or Wi-Fi and cellphone reception can be problematic too but there is always that one spot that gives you a perfect connection – the only trick is to find that spot and it changes every time the houseboat turns too so, you end up playing “hide and seek with the network”. Two ladies had some work to do and Zoom meetings to attend but did not miss a single meeting because they had their own portable Wi-Fi devices with them – I would highly recommend bringing your own portable Wi-Fi device if you plan to work between the fun.
The Larus Houseboat is more of a budget and cabin living accommodation than a luxury so it’s not fancy or modern like the other three houseboats but it’s still functional and gives you the same houseboat living experience. Expect to pay between R350 – R550 person (depending on the season) including return leisure boat transfers from the shore to your houseboat if you share the costs between six guests, and you will still enjoy the full houseboat living experience which is better than if you would have booked a cottage in someone’s backyard. Ladies kicked off their houseboat living experience by changing into their bikinis to shoot content for themselves and for different brands they work with followed by a few drinks and braai dinner and ending our day with some sundowners under the amazing West Coast sunset and lagoon views. The following morning we experienced the low tide, which was an amazing thing to experience. Our morning started with a fruit and yoghurt breakfast before heading off to the Preekstoel which was also a spectacle to see without a drop of water around it. This was around 10:00 and the high tide came around 14:00, yes! We waited for four hours for the lagoon water to rise so that we could swim and take pictures next to the Preekstoel. Kayaks and SUP boards were all rented out so we had to be creative to keep ourselves entertained. We walked around the Preekstoel and picnic area, we had a little picnic, I climbed rocks and walked around the empty lagoon trying to see what marine wildlife I could see, but I could only see few small dead crabs. I highly recommend bringing your own pool inflatables to keep yourself entertained during both low and high tides.
Around 14:00 water was high enough for us to start swimming, few people on their boats and inflatable tubes also joined the fun. Later on, we went back to our houseboat for more sundowners and dinner before calling it a night. The following morning we asked the Kraalbaai Luxury Houseboats Crew (Skippers) to transport us to the shore before low tide otherwise we would have walked in the water while carrying our heavy bags. I would recommend doing this too on your check-out day unless if you don’t mind walking in water with your belongings.
Click here to watch the full video on my YouTube channel to see how magical this experience is.
OTHER KRAALBAAI HOUSEBOATS
Below are three other Kraalbaai houseboats that you can explore too. Their interior look prettier than our Larus Houseboat but they are priced higher and are always fully booked months in advance.
1. THE EVE HOUSEBOAT
The Eve Houseboat, named after the oldest modern human footprint found in Kraalbaai, is a modern two-bedroom houseboat and it includes two bedrooms, a lounge fitted with two double sleeper couches, a fully equipped kitchen and a bathroom with a shower. It has a patio and braai facility, and the upper sun deck is perfect for relaxing with a sundowner while enjoying the breath-taking sunset views and the lagoon. This houseboat is ideal for four adults or a family.
2. THE SERENITY HOUSEBOAT
The Serenity Houseboat can accommodate up to six guests. It consists of two bedrooms each with a double bed. There is a double sleeper couch in the lounge next to the fireplace. Also fitted with kitchen and bathroom with double shower.
3. THE NIRVANA HOUSEBOAT
The Nirvana Houseboat is a beast! This modern houseboat can accommodate up to 24 guests and has an upper and lower deck making it ideal for hosting functions, corporate groups, year-end functions, big family holidays, parties, and special occasions.
FUNCTIONS AND EVENTS
If you are a family, friends, or couple(s) looking for a real houseboat living experience with breath-taking turquoise lagoon views, amazing sunrises and sunsets, nature, small game, and marine wildlife right on your doorstep this is where you should be heading to, and you will feel like you are living on your own private Island. This is a self-catering accommodation however, Kraalbaai Luxury Houseboats can arrange catering on request. We brought along our own charcoal, meat, fruits, snacks, buns and beverages.
How it’s like sleeping in a houseboat?
It’s perfectly safe and fun to sleep in a houseboat! You don’t really feel it when it rocks or turns unless if you are really focusing on it. I like the fact that you sleep and wake up facing in a different direction, and sometimes with a different neighbour which is a fun thing to experience.
Would I go back?
Most definitely! I would love to experience them all but I think that would have to wait for next summer because I already have road trips planned for the upcoming winter season.
I hope the information I shared here and on my YouTube channel will help you decide if you should book your next Shot’Left at Kraalbaai Luxury Houseboats or not. Click here to read about other exciting things you can do and see in West Coast National Park. For bookings, prices and to check availability click here.
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