Spending a weekend on a houseboat has always been on our bucket list (quite high up). We accidentally found out that Vygeboom Dam offers exactly that and since we were in the area it was simply a no-brainer. It’s pricey but we loved every minute and would do it again in a heartbeat.
We were there to fish obviously but in late May we didn’t really expect to catch lots of fish and unfortunately, this turned out to be true. We cruised all the spots along the dam for bass and got a few bites but in the end we didn’t catch many. Here’s Martin with the best of the lot caught on a spinnerbait.
We also tried for carp and barbel but we blanked badly. We put in a lot of effort, making a feeding spot etc. but we didn’t get a single bite. Every afternoon we would moor the boat in the reeds using the anchor and some rope, get the rods out and tried our best. But nada.
The spot we tried (Kliprif) was suggested to us and it seemed like a good spot too. It was right around the corner from where we started and right where the river flows into the dam. And to be fair we saw fish movement all over the place but they were simply not interested in what we were offering. Great sunsets though!
And the mornings were spectacular too. Just waking up on the water was really special and starting the day by cruising along the bank was fantastic. All of this while you have breakfast on the stove inside felt kinda surreal.
Here’s some shots of our morning routine…
So zero carp or barbel in the end but everything else made up for it two-fold.
The boat itself was really comfy for the two of us and would be great for a small family. It has a back area where all the controls (and braai) are with lots of seating and the roof which doubles as a tanning \ lookout station. Inside the lounge area has a small table with seating for 4 and a fully equipped kitchen.
The bathroom consists of a porta-potty and a shower and basin. And the front of the boat has a decent-sized bed with a smaller one on the other side. The view out the front of the boat from your bed as you cruise along is really fun.
Here are a few photos but please have a look at our video which gives a comprehensive walkthrough.
The houseboats can be hired from Oppidam. And they are situated in the western corner of the dam. They offer a lot more though including camping facilities and one self-catering chalet. They also have a very well-stocked shop that sells anything from ice to cleaning supplies. And they also sell all the fishing gear you could possibly need, from lures for bass to feed for carp.
They also boast a very interesting pub which was built out of a huge barge which had been retired. You sit high up and listen to live music while enjoying a panoramic view of the dam.
And finally here’s a map of all the locations mentioned in this post.
Vygeboom Dam didn’t treat us well in terms of fishing but it wasn’t a great time of year, we’ll return during summer when the fishing should be much better. But the houseboat itself was an awesome, unique experience, one we’ll always cherish and hopefully repeat in future. And as a venue, Oppidam has lots to offer, definitely worth another visit soon.