Welcome Aboard Africa

Thank you for choosing AMAWATERWAYS! Your itinerary has been carefully selected to ensure that you have a most memorable vacation to Africa. We hope you will enjoy your special journey as much as we enjoyed putting it together. Our team in Africa are experienced professionals committed to delivering outstanding service and providing you with a magnificent experience in Africa.

Passports & Visas

A valid passport is required for all AmaWaterways related travel, and it must be valid for at least 6 months after your return. All passengers are required to have at least 6 to 8 (depending on itinerary) empty pages in their passport for travel to Africa, enough to accommodate several stamps and any required visas. Additionally, certain countries require at least 2 empty pages upon entry. It is your responsibility to ensure that your passport is valid and contains any necessary visas.

In the event you lose your documents while traveling, we recommend that you photocopy the first pages of your passport, airline tickets, driver’s license and/or birth certificate to expedite the replacement process. Keep the originals separate from the photocopies. Another option is to scan your passport, airline tickets and credit card numbers and email them to yourself as attachments. Please remember to fill out the “Emergency next of kin” section in your passport (in pencil).

Note: For guests purchasing visas upon entry, please make sure to bring adequate cash (US dollars). Prices listed below are in USD and were correct at the time of printing and are subject to change. Passport holders other than the countries below should contact their nearest embassies and consulates for entry and passport requirements.


  • South Africa: No visa required for US/Canadian/UK citizens. Passport requires 2 empty visa pages.
  • Bostwana: No visa required for US/Canadian/UK citizens. Passport requires 2 empty visa pages. (Passports are stamped upon entry/exit between Namibia and Botswana during the Zambezi Queen cruise.)
  • Namibia: No visa required for US/Canadian/UK citizens. (Passports are stamped upon entry/exit between Namibia and Botswana during the Zambezi Queen cruise.)
  • Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls): Single Entry visa required for US/Canadian/UK citizens. Visas are obtained upon entry. Passport requires 2 empty visa pages. Below rates apply to visas purchased at entry.
      Single Entry (US): $30
      Single Entry (Canada): $75
      Single Entry (UK): $30
    NOTE: Guests will fly into Kasane, Botswana on Embarkation Day, transfer to Kasane Immigration and board the Zambezi Queen. On Disembarkation Day (5 days later), guests will be transferred to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe for a 2-night stay


  • South Africa: No visa required for US/Canadian/UK citizens. Passport requires 2 empty visa pages.
  • Bostwana: No visa required for US/Canadian/UK citizens. Passport requires 2 empty visa pages. (Passports are stamped upon entry/exit between Namibia and Botswana during the Zambezi Queen cruise.)
  • Namibia: No visa required for US/Canadian/UK citizens. (Passports are stamped upon entry/exit between Namibia and Botswana during the Zambezi Queen cruise.)
  • Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls): Single Entry visa required for US/Canadian/UK citizens. Visas are obtained upon entry. Passport requires 2 empty visa pages. Below rates apply to visas purchased at entry.
      Single Entry (US): $30
      Single Entry (Canada): $75
      Single Entry (UK): $30
    NOTE: Guests will fly into Kasane, Botswana on Embarkation Day, transfer to Kasane Immigration and board the Zambezi Queen. On Disembarkation Day (5 days later), guests will be transferred to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe for a 2-night stay
  • Tanzania: Visa is required for US/Canadian/UK citizens. Passport requires two empty visa pages. Visas can be obtained upon entry or in your home country prior to departure.
      Single Entry (US): $100
      Single Entry (Canada): $50
      Single Entry (UK): $50

Luggage Restrictions


Standard airline luggage restrictions of 20 kg/44 lbs. for checked luggage and 8 kg/17 lbs. for carry-on bags.

EXCEPTION: If traveling on the Golden Trails of East Africa, small bush planes are used to travel to certain remote safari locations in Tanzania. Guests must travel with soft-sided luggage (e.g. rolling duffel bag) for these Intra-Tanzania flights, as there are strict size and weight limitations on luggage (15 kg/33 lbs.). Any excess luggage can be stored at the Arusha Coffee Lodge at no charge.


Standard airline luggage restrictions of 23 kg/50 lbs. for checked luggage and 8 kg/17 lbs. for carry-on bags.

EXCEPTION: If traveling on the Golden Trails of East Africa with Cape Town, small bush planes are used to travel to certain remote safari locations in Tanzania. Guests must travel with soft-sided luggage (e.g. rolling duffel bag) for these Intra-Tanzania flights, as there are strict size and weight limitations on luggage (15 kg/33 lbs.). Any excess luggage can be stored at the Arusha Coffee Lodge at no charge.

Laundry Services

Laundry services are available at all lodges free of charge. Hotel laundry services are also available for a small fee at hotels and on the Zambezi Queen.

Vaccinations & Health

IMPORTANT: Please check with your doctor and local consulates for any applicable vaccination requirements based upon your itinerary destinations and past travel history. Ultimately, vaccination requirements rest with the traveler.

All Itineraries
Passengers going on safari are STRONGLY urged to get a prescription for malaria pills. Depending on your health history, your physician may also recommend certain booster shots such as tetanus and/or Hepatitis A and B. Be sure to bring a sufficient supply of any medications you may require during your trip, as you will have limited access to pharmacies. Please note that in some locations local doctors often expect payment in cash at the time of service.

Travel Protection
If you have not yet taken out travel protection/insurance, please contact your travel agent, independent Insurance broker or AmaWaterways in advance of your trip. Foreign medical care is often paid for in cash prior to treatment and medical evacuation can be very expensive. Travel protection/insurance is STRONGLY recommended for all trips to Africa.

Travel Essentials

What to Pack
When traveling through Africa, it is always advisable to travel light. On some itineraries baggage size and weight are strictly limited (see “Luggage Restrictions” section). The best advice is “if in doubt, leave it out.”

A safari calls for casual, easy-care clothing that includes some long-sleeved items for protection from mosquitoes and sun. If you plan on dining at a fine restaurant in a city such as Cape Town or Johannesburg, “smart casual” is the norm – no ties for men or evening dresses for women are necessary. For those traveling to South Africa during the winter months (April - September), it is wise to bring some warm clothes for chilly early morning and late night temperatures. Dressing in layers is also recommended, as temperatures rise quickly during the day. Please note plastic bags are banned in Botswana and may not be brought in to the country. However, Ziploc plastic bags are acceptable for carrying toiletries and medication.

Some recommended items to pack:

  • Shorts, jeans and/or long cotton pants (preferably beige or other light color)
  • T-shirts and long-sleeved cotton shirts
  • Sweater, sweatshirt or warm wrap
  • Cotton/wool socks
  • Sturdy tennis shoes/walking shoes
  • Bathing suit, cover-up and flip flops (for use at lodge/hotel)
  • Small flashlight and binoculars
  • Camera equipment and extra batteries/accessories
  • Converter and electrical adapter (220v) with a 3 prong plug
  • Travel-sized deodorant, toothpaste, disinfectant wipes and razors
  • Prescription medications in original containers
  • Non-prescription products: aspirin, eye drops, antibacterial cream, etc.
  • Feminine products and cosmetics
  • Sun protection: hat with brim and neck strap, lip balm, sunscreen (SPF 40+)
  • Insect repellent, especially for mosquitoes
  • Money belt or other secure place to keep passport and cash
  • Backpack or ‘fanny pack’ large enough to hold camera, binoculars, etc.
  • Photocopies of your passport, credit cards, and important documents

Security Regulations
Current security regulations require that all liquid items in your carry-on luggage must be no larger than 3 oz. and contained in a clear quart-sized plastic bag. Pack a sufficient supply of any medications you may need and copies of your prescriptions, along with the telephone number of your physician. Some countries require that prescription drugs be kept in their original containers with the prescription label intact.

Learn About Your Destination
It may be helpful to do some research on the places you plan to visit in Africa and the amazing animals that live there. You might wish to learn a few key words and phrases, especially if you wish to explore a bit on your own. Be careful when venturing alone into unfamiliar areas and avoid excessive displays of jewelry and/ or money. All of us who travel abroad should be goodwill ambassadors.

Average Temperatures


Rainfall measurements are in inches.

To get the current weather conditions, log on to www.weather.com or www.accuweather.com .

Time Zone
South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe – UTC* + 2 hours.
East Africa: Tanzania – UTC + 3 hours.

*UTC = Coordinated Universal Time

Health & Well-Being

Physical Limitations
AmaWaterways itineraries are as active as you want them to be. While your days on the river give ample opportunity to relax on board, land programs and excursions to places such as Cape Town, Victoria Falls and Johannesburg require a moderate amount of walking. Facilities and services for passengers with disabilities differ depending on the destination and, in some cases, may be limited or non-existent. Passengers requiring special assistance must be accompanied by someone who is physically able to provide such support. In fairness to other guests, transfers and shore excursions adhere to a set schedule and cannot be delayed to accommodate those with physical limitations. AmaWaterways and its affiliates are not responsible for any denial of services by airline carriers, cruise vessels, hotels, lodges, coaches, local guides or operators, or any other independent suppliers.

Special Diets
If you have any special dietary requirements, please advise AmaWaterways prior to your departure. We will make every effort to accommodate your requests, although local supplies and seasonality may sometimes limit our ability to do so.

Handicapped Facilities
The Zambezi Queen and lodges are not equipped with handicapped facilities such as ramps or elevators, and hallways and doors may not be wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs or scooters. Motor coaches, minibuses, small charter planes, private tender boats and vehicles used for transfers, game drives and shore excursions may also lack handicapped access.

Please consult your physician prior to travel if you have a medical condition that might pose limitations during your AmaWaterways safari and cruise vacation. Any condition requiring special attention must be reported to AmaWaterways at the time of booking.

Health Precautions
We recommend that passengers drink only bottled water, which will be readily available the duration of your trip. Applying insect repellent is also strongly advised.

Spending Money

Currency per Country

  • South Africa: Rand (ZAR)
  • Bostwana: Pula
  • Tanzania: Tanzanian Shilling
  • Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls): US Dollar*

*Zimbabwe recently adopted the US dollar as its national currency, yet most establishments only accept bills printed after 2001 (due to counterfeiting issues).

Tipping Currency

  • South Africa:Rand (US dollars may be used but most locals prefer Rand)
  • Bostwana: US Dollar, Rand, British Pound Sterling and Euro are equally acceptable
  • Tanzania: Tanzanian Shilling, US Dollar
  • Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls): US Dollar

ATM Machines
Throughout South Africa, ATM machines are available in all major cities and towns, at airports, and often in shopping malls and hotel lobbies. In Botswana, ATMs are not widely available, even in urban areas. In Tanzania, ATMs are only available at branches of major banks, so passengers should bring sufficient US currency for incidentals and gratuities. In Zimbabwe, there are ATM machines within a short distance of the Victoria Falls Hotel and all cash withdrawals are made in US dollars. However, ATMs are notorious for running out of cash or limiting the amount of withdrawal to $50 or less.

Credit Cards
Throughout South Africa, credit cards are generally accepted at all lodges, hotels, restaurants and shops on our itineraries. In Zimbabwe, credit cards are gradually being accepted at major hotels, restaurants and shops. The hotels and lodges used in Tanzania also accept all major credit cards. No matter your destination, we recommend using MasterCard or Visa to ensure no complications.

Travel Arrangements

Airport Security and Check-in
It is important to arrive at least three hours before international flights, and no later than two hours before domestic flights. This will allow ample time to check-in and get through Customs.

In-Flight Comfort
Some tips to make air travel more comfortable:

  • Wear loose-fitting clothing and comfortable shoes.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and carbonated drinks.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and eat lightly.
  • Ease pressure in ears by chewing gum, yawning, swallowing or blowing your nose.
  • Walk up and down the aisle to stretch your limbs and get blood circulating.
  • Do a few isometric exercises while seated.
  • If your flight is due to arrive in the morning, try to sleep en route so you can adjust to the local time more quickly.
  • Avoid wearing contact lenses, as re-circulated cabin air tends to dry them out. Bring a neck pillow and noise canceling headphones.


If you have transfer service provided by AmaWaterways, please collect your luggage upon arrival and proceed through Customs. Head immediately to the Arrivals Hall where you will be met by an AmaWaterways representative holding a clearly marked sign. You will then be transported to your hotel.

Cape Town International Airport (CPT), South Africa
Upon arrival at Cape Town International Airport, passengers will proceed towards the exit and complete Customs formalities. An AmaWaterways representative will meet you at the Arrivals Hall with a sign with your name and AmaWaterways logo and will transfer you to the hotel. The airport is approximately 14 miles (23km) from your hotel in the V & A Waterfront; an approximate 25-30 minute drive.

Johannesburg International Airport (JNB), South Africa
After completing Customs formalities at Johannesburg International Airport, you will exit towards the Arrivals Hall area where you will be met by an AmaWaterways representative and be transferred to your hotel. The airport is approximately 16 miles (25km) from your hotel in the Sandton neighborhood; an approximate 35-40 minute drive.

Guests With Their Own Transfer Arrangements
If you have arranged for your own airport transfer, please proceed to the appropriate hotel set forth in your detailed itinerary and check-in.

International Airport Transfers (Departures)
Guests with AmaWaterways arranged departure transfers will be informed of their pick up times prior to departing. Guests without a pre-arranged transfer can contact the hotel concierge to schedule a ride to the airport by taxi or other local transport. However all itineraries except for Rivers and Rails of Africa and Golden Trails of East Africa will conclude with an Intra-Africa air flight unless extra nights are purchased.

Late of Missed Flights
In the unfortunate event that you miss your flight to South Africa, immediately notify an airline representative that you are bound for a specific location/date/ time to embark on a cruise or check-in to a pre or post-cruise hotel. Airlines typically will do everything in their power to get you on the next available flight.

Lost Baggage
Luggage can sometimes be delayed during air transport, so be sure to have a change of clothing in your carry-on bag or in your traveling companion’s bag. Placing a copy of your itinerary and contact info inside each piece of checked luggage will help the airline return any lost bags to you while you are traveling. Reimbursement claims for delayed luggage should be submitted directly to the airline. To expedite this process, fill out a claim form at the appropriate airline desk before you leave the airport and head to your hotel.


Hoedspruit Airport (HDS), Near Kruger National Park
This quaint and compact airport seldom has more than two-dozen passengers and crew present at any given time. You will easily spot your uniformed Safari Lodge driver holding an AmaWaterways sign as you enter the Arrivals Hall. After three nights at your lodge, you will be transferred back to the airport for your return flight to Johannesburg. From here you will connect to your return flight home.


Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), Tanzania
After your morning departure from Johannesburg (JNB), you will fly via Nairobi (NBO) for your connecting flight to Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO). Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro (JRO), you should proceed through Immigration, Baggage Claim and Customs where an AmaWaterways representative will be holding a sign with your name.

Hotel Information

Hotel Arrival & Departure Information
The official hotel check-in time for the Cape Grace Hotel & Fairlawns Boutique Hotel is 2:00 PM local time. If your flight arrives in the morning, luggage can be dropped off at the hotel before check-in and delivered to your room later.

Check-out times vary, but are typically between 10:00 am and 12:00 noon. This mainly applies to guests who have booked extra nights with AmaWaterways. If you have a late afternoon or evening flight, you can ask your hotel to store your bags in their luggage room until you depart for the airport.

Cape Grace Hotel
West Quay Road
Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
Cape Town, South Africa
Tel: +27 21 410 7100

Victoria Falls Hotel
1 Mallet Drive
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Tel: +263 13 44751

Fairlawns Boutique Hotel
1 Alma Road Morningside Manor
Sandton 2004, South Africa
Tel: +27 11 804 2540

Arusha Coffee Lodge
Dodoma Road
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 758 306 252

Tintswalo Safari Lodge
Kruger Park, 1350
South Africa
Tel: +27 15 793 9013

Makanyi Private Game Lodge
PO Box 883
Hoedspruit, 1380
South Africa
Tel: +27 15 793 2663

Cruise Embarkation / Disembarkation

Along with your fellow travelers and Tour Director, you will be met at Kasane Immigration in Botswana after being transferred there from Kasane Airport. From here you will join our boat guides on private tender boats to board the Zambezi Queen. You will check-in upon arrival.

Disembarkation time is at approximately 10:00 am. You will be transferred via private tender boat back to Kasane Immigration. After going through Immigration, a driver will transfer you to Zimbabwe Immigration. Here, you will be met by another AmaWaterways driver on the Zimbabwean side who will then drive you to your hotel in Victoria Falls.

On Board the Zambezi Queen

The onboard language is English. All staff, crew and local guides are completely fluent.

There are no fixed reception hours on board; however the ship’s Cruise Manager will be available to guests throughout their stay.

Smoking is not permitted anywhere inside the ship. Smoking is only permitted outside on the Entertainment Deck (upper deck).

Ship Schedule
There is no fixed sailing schedule on the Chobe River. During your river safari days you will explore 13.5 miles/22 kilometers of remote river under wide, open skies. Each day explore the surrounding area via smaller boats or go on fishing excursions or safari game drives. The Zambezi Queen cruises at certain hours of the day to offer the best wildlife viewing and scenery; guests can enjoy unobstructed views from the upper deck as well as their private suites. The captain will use his discretion in regards to current weather conditions when cruising along the Chobe. Due to local laws the ship does not cruise after 6:00 pm.

For your convenience, gratuities for transfer drivers, porters, hotel staff as well as local guides throughout your trip have been covered by AmaWaterways. Below you will find the list of those people who gratuities have not been included. If your AmaWaterways Tour Director, Cruise Manager and Zambezi Queen staff leave a great impression on you, then in turn we hope you will embrace this with the gratuity you see fit. For this reason, it’s important that each guest has realistic expectations and guidelines for tipping.

  • Zambezi Queen Onboard Staff: To be divided evenly among all crew members US$15-20 per guest per day
  • AmaWaterways Tour Guide: From Cape Town to Johannesburg US$5-10 per guest per day

Safari Lodge Stay
As a general rule, you should tip all game lodge and camp personnel on the last day of your stay. The lodge should provide a tipping box in the lobby for gratuities. If not, you can hand the tip to the lodge manager.

  • Safari Ranger/Guide: US$10-20 per person per day
  • Game Tracker (South Africa only): US$5 person per day
  • Butler/Waiter at Lodges: US$5 person per day
  • General Lodge Staff: US$10-20 person per day

Stateroom Information

While staterooms are not equipped with telephones, there is an onboard phone that can be used in case of emergency.

Climate Control
Staterooms have circulating fans and air-conditioners. The large open balconies have screens designed to let cool breezes in and keep bugs out.

Electricity on board is 220v. Adapters are available.

Stateroom Amenities
Each stateroom provides bathrobes, slippers, a hair dryer, soap, body wash and conditioning shampoo.

In-room Safe
All staterooms have a safe for your personal use. We recommend placing your passport and valuables in the safe whenever you are away from your room.

Onboard Facilities & Amenities

Medical Facilities
Doctors and nurses are not employed on board the Zambezi Queen. In the event medical assistance is needed, the closest hospital will be contacted (either in Kasane or Victoria Falls). Passengers are strongly urged to secure adequate travel insurance for medical emergencies.

Gift Shop
The gift shop stocks African curios, sunglasses, clothing, hats and other basic necessities.

If you require laundry services, simply notify our crew. Items will be taken ashore for service and returned within 24 hours. Please inquire about the prices on board.

Your Leisure Time
The Zambezi Queen has a small collection of books, board games and binoculars for viewing scenery and wildlife

Due to the private setting and schedule of early morning activities, the onboard bar closes at 10:00 PM every night. At this time the lights on the top deck will shut off. Beer, wine, spirits, soda and bottled water are complimentary. Premium brands have an additional charge.

Entertainment Deck
The third-floor Entertainment Deck has a dining room, lounge, bar and a sunbathing area with a small pool for a cool, refreshing dip.

Eco-Friendly Pool
The Sun Deck has a small environmentally-friendly pool for your enjoyment. This pool is filled with filtered water from the Chobe River and is drained and refilled each day. No harmful chemicals are ever added to the water in order to protect the wildlife living in and along the river.

Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship. Please note that because of the ship’s isolated position, access can be sporadic.

Meals & Dining

All meals on board the Zambezi Queen are included in your tour price and are served in the dining area on the top deck. Open seating allows you to sit at different tables for each meal if you wish to meet fellow guests.

Breakfast is served buffet style, along with a variety of cooked to order options such as eggs and omelettes. Lunches and dinners are a mix of order from a menu and buffet-style meals in the dining area. An African themed dinner will be served on one of the evenings.

Complimentary soft drinks, bottled water, beer, spirits and wine are included. Coffee is available at the bar or can be ordered from the wait staff. Premium brand alcohol is available at an additional charge.

Onboard Staff

The staff consists of approximately 20 English-speaking Namibian crew members, most of whom do not stay overnight on the boat. Key personnel include the Captain, Cruise Manager and boat guides.

Excursions & Game Drives

Daily Activities
The ship’s printed Program features updated information about daily activities. Different onshore activities and excursions are offered to passengers each day, such as game drives, private boat cruises, village walking tours, and fishing excursions. During inclement weather, including high winds, the Zambezi Queen may need to stay put in one place for longer than usual. Never fear – the boat will be tendered in an area with scenic views and weather should not adversely impact most planned activities. Alternative activities may be offered.

Vehicle and Boat Safety
To avoid serious injury, passengers must remain seated whenever their game drive vehicle, minibus or private boat is in motion. Game drives offer an exhilarating opportunity to observe many different wild animals from a very close distance. These animals are accustomed to game viewing vehicles; even so, do not exit the vehicle unless directed to do so by your guide. Be sure not to leave any valuable items in any transfer vehicle, game vehicle or private boat; watch your step if you are being transferred in a motor coach with stairs; take time to note any available emergency exits; and always check for traffic when exiting any vehicle.

Other Game Drive Guidelines
Another reason to remain seated in your game vehicle is that it is important not to “break the shape” of the vehicle; animals view the vehicle as a single object. Upon standing up they will realize you are separate and may decide to flee! Your guides will be happy to explain this in greater detail. Feel free to ask your guides any questions you may have, as they are experts of the area and can provide well informed answers.

In respect of your surroundings, do not smoke or litter on any game drive. We are grateful stewards of the wild and wish to maintain Africa’s unspoiled natural beauty

Contact Information

Our representatives are available to help with any needs that may arise during your vacation. If for any reason you require assistance, please use the appropriate contact information below.

Tel: +27 21 713 0296
Emergency: +27 72 798 3265

Tel: + 27 21 715 2412
Mobile: + 27 83 431 7399

24-Hour Emergency Contact:
Tel: +255 75 478 6409 or +255 75 478 6405

AmaWaterways - US/Canada*
1-800-626-0126 or 1-818-428-6198
Monday-Friday: 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM PST
Saturday: 7:00 AM - 1:00 PM PST
After hours number (for extreme emergencies only): 1-818-398-1921

AmaWaterways - UK*
44 (0) 333 305 3909
Monday-Friday: 09h00-17h30
Saturday: 09h00 -17h00
After hours number (for extreme emergencies only): 44 (0) 333 305 3930

*For all guests
Urgent email messages should be sent to emergency@amawaterways.com
Please indicate “Emergency” in the subject line to ensure immediate attention.

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