Meet Gustav at Lake Jozini from the Shayamanzi Houseboat


Words: Steven J Brown

In the far north of KwaZulu-Natal, Shayamanzi’s two luxurious houseboats ply the placid waters of Lake Jozini, beneath which prowl toothy tiger fish as well as some big sized crocs.

Gustav – the resident big daddy of crocs on Lake Jozini – is the must see for all of Shayamanzi houseboat guests. He got his name from a seven metre croc in the Congo who terrorized people. This local lad is over five metres long and around 60 years old. Although Gustav junior is not as grumpy as his namesake, he certainly stands his ground, usually dozing in the sun on a warm winter’s day.

He is definitely not scared of boats and tends to come near to those in the lake, giving guests a great close up. As the guides will tell you, Gustav’s reputation precedes him. He has been known to destroy pontoons or rubber ducks after guests staying at Pongola Game Reserve left sardines aboard!

Apart from Gustav, the experience aboard the Shayamanzi Houseboats lets you enjoy the proximity of the Pongola Game Reserve which rings the water’s edge, back dropped on the western bank by the lovely Lebombo Mountains, with spectacular water birds and game galore. Factor in the sheer peace of floating on water as still as panes of glass and you have no choice but to relax.

For more information contact Shayamanzi Houseboats on 034 413 2299 or go to