Old Willow No7 Houseboats, kids ultimate fun times

At the end of last year we spent a weekend on an Old Willow houseboat on the Vaal river.  On seeing the houseboat the children exclaimed their joy with adjectives including “amazing” and “awesome”.  Being a boring grown up I noticed a few practical downfalls, still great family fun was had by all.

The children couldn’t wait to try fishing.  Fjord hooked fish twice at bird island but didn’t land one.  I haven’t fished since childhood holidays at Lake Kariba and the Okavango swamps but some basics came back to me.  After bird island once stocked with more hooks and sinkers we never had another bite. 

On the first night we docked at bird island.  A sunset braai on the back of the boat was idyllic, marred only by yobs playing loud music nearby.  Despite being on water and seeing hoards of mozzies we were hardly bitten.  Unfortunately the on 2nd night anchored in Taaibosspruit we were eaten alive and I really would have appreciated a can of mosquito spray on board.

A houseboat is a sort of water caravan. I did not like showering in a toilet. Could not have lasted more than 2 nights
Cliff paid extra to hire a tube, excellent decision. Almost all the time we were in motion the children took turns on it

As the trip was a last minute plan (not unusual for this family), I was not very well prepared with meals.  We had a late lunch / early supper at Emerald resort & casino, the pizza at Breeze restaurant was very good but the resort was very crowded and we would have preferred to eat somewhere looking over the Vaal river.   On Sunday after leaving the houseboat we had lunch at Stonehaven which we thoroughly enjoyed.

Stonehaven looks over the Vaal river but the dome tents cluttering the lawn rather detract from the view

Things to take along if going on an Old Willow no7 houseboat

  • mozzie spray
  • fishing equipment
  • sunscreen
  • hats
  • drinking water



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One comment

  1. I have always wanted to go on a houseboat and have never until now thought of the logistics of daily ablutions – have to agree with you – no thanks.
    We caravanned years ago and I never ever used the shower. I wouldn’t use a caravan toilet either.
    Stonehaven is beautiful isn’t it but can also get very crowded or perhaps we only went during peak times

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