In the dead of night, Langebaan Lagoon is quiet. The water is still, the wind has died down, and all that can be heard while settled on the relaunched Kraalbaai Luxury Houseboats is the occasional sound of fish jumping.
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The moon reflects on the still water, lighting up the entire lagoon. In the early hours of the morning, the birds start to chatter. Swallows perch on the railing of the boat, while gulls swoop nearby. Waking up to the sun rising over the lagoon, it’s easy to forget that land is only a two-minute speedboat ride away.
After a hiatus from the tourism scene, the boats were reopened when old-hat in the tourism industry Martin Erasmus took over the concession for the boats.
What to look forward to
The houseboats offer one a unique experience of waking up in the heart of one of West Coast National Park’s most revered attractions.
For those looking to get close to nature, the houseboats take you right into the heart of the lagoon’s buzzing ecosystem. Spending a few minutes in silence on the deck, one will notice a variety of fish, seaweed and other water creatures moving about below the surface of the water. The birds that dine on what’s below provide hours of entertainment.
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Just a few metres from the idyllic lagoon-side village of Kraalbaai, the two boats – Nirvana and Larus – are permanently moored in the lagoon.
The Nirvana houseboat is perfect for a large gathering or occasion, with plenty of space for entertaining. As large as a mansion, this double-decker houseboat sleeps 20 guests in nine bedrooms comfortably but can take up to 24 people when using sleeper couches. The lower deck of the boat has a lovely kitchen, lounge, fireplace, three bathrooms, wrap-around deck, a deck for dining, and a floating platform for braaing. The upper deck is perfect for dinner parties, with an outside deck offering spectacular views, a second kitchen, bathroom and spacious lounge. Nirvana,
The Larus houseboat accommodates up to six people in the cabins and has a kitchen, dining area and braai facility. Two of the cabins offer cosy beds (a queen, and a set of bunk beds), while the third has mattresses that can be removed in favour of using the room as a second entertainment area.
Staff are available 24 hours a day, so if you need to leave the house boat at any time, or simply want to head out into the park for an early drive, you will be taken to land at a moment’s notice.
Be sure to take your swimming costume and binoculars along when spending a night on the boats.
Larus is available from R1 300 a night, Serenity from R1 550 a night and Nirvana from R6 350 a night.
Words and Photography Taryn Arnott
Originally published in SANParks Times