Drink a toast to the Shayamanzi

Sundowner’s African style is one of those special experiences that you’ll never forget.

As one watches the sun set over the Jozini Lake, with the Lebombo Mountains behind you from the upper deck of the Shayamanzi, chances are you’ll hear the haunting cry of the fish eagle or the grunt of a lazy hippo.

It is at dusk when the frogs and cicadas add their voices to the night time chorus that the Houseboat Crew will encourage you to gather at the bar while they will mix up some exotic cocktails or sizzling sundowners.

As Winston Churchill once stated, the gin and tonic probably saved more British lives then all the doctors in the empire – simply because gin was mixed with quinine powder which was helpful when staving off malaria! This drink was apparently the origin of the sundowner which is now enjoyed in settings across the globe – and especially in Africa at the end of a warm, sunny day. On-board the Shayamanzi, you can swap stories of the day’s fishing or game sightings whilst toasting your beautiful surrounds.

Bongani Maseko, the Shayamnazi Food and Beverage Manager, has a variety of cocktails that he creates for on-board guests - here are recipes for which you can even enjoy at home reliving the amazing experiences of your great getaway.

Shayamanzi Sunrise Cocktail

The two-toned, sunrise-like appearance of this cocktail makes it as welcome on a cool day as it is on a hot day.

  • Prep: 5 mins

  • Servings: 1

  • Servings: 1 cocktail


  • 1 ½ cups ice

  • 2 caps tequila

  • 4 caps orange juice and lemonade

  • 1 cup ice

  • Half a cap grenadine syrup


  • Step 1 - Fill a highball glass with 1 1/2 cups ice and set aside.

  • Step 2 - Combine tequila and orange juice in a cocktail mixing glass. Add 1 cup ice, stir, and strain into the prepared highball glass. Slowly pour in grenadine and let settle.

  • Step 3 - Stir before drinking.

Mosquito Bay Bite

  • Also known as long island tea

  • Prep: 5 mins

  • Servings: 1


  • Gin, vodka, rum, coke, tequila and triple sec roses lime cordial or freshly squeezed lime juice .. mix together and see the mozzies scram.

  • Bloody Manzi (also known as a bloody Maria) featuring tequila, cap of tequila, 200ml tomato juice, dash of tobacco, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice .. Stir and enjoy.

Jozini Gin Fizz

  • Cap of gin, cap of roses lime juice, teaspoon of sugar and 200ml soda water and lots of ice is a sure winner.

Enjoying sundowners aboard the Shayamanzi is a given for guests who are spending a few days with us in our ultra-comfortable, en-suite, oak-panelled cabins or, better, still, spending time (sundowners in hand) in the large Jacuzzi on the sundeck at the back of the boat. For those, who are passing through but would still like to enjoy the Shayamanzi experience, we are also offering brunch, luncheon and sundowner cruises.

These experiences include transfers from Jozini Tiger Lodge to the houseboats, secure vehicle parking at Jozini Tiger Lodge, a welcome drink on arrival, brunch/ or lunch, tea and coffee and game viewing.

Our special rates until the end of April 2022 are R1000 per person for a brunch / lunch cruise or R650 for a sundowner cruise. These rates are based on a group of 10 guests. T&Cs apply.

For more information, contact Shayamanzi Houseboats on 032 5254076 or email shayamanzi@saol.com or visit www.shayamanzi.co.za.

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