Maybe you pride yourself on packing light…or perhaps you prefer to bring the kitchen sink along with you when you travel? Either way, putting some thought into what you pack when you travel goes a long way to adding to the enjoyment you’ll get out of your trip. When it comes to a stay on one of our ZQ Collection houseboats, we recommend you start preparing for your trip well before you leave – especially for things like travel documents and vaccinations. If you’ve booked a trip on board the Zambezi Queen or Chobe Princesses, here’s our list of top travel tips:
Less is more.
Ask any seasoned traveller and they’ll tell you that you won’t use half the equipment and/or clothing you think you’ll need. With a little bit of pre-planning such as reading up on the climate and thinking about what activities you’ll do each day, you can actually pack far less than you think you need. Besides having to carry less luggage around with you – especially if you’re coming from overseas – there’s something freeing about travelling with just the bare essentials.
Use soft bags where possible.
For a trip on board one of our luxury houseboats, we recommend you bring soft bags rather than hard suitcases. Although you won’t be picking these up yourself as our staff are always on hand to help, soft bags are easier to move around and store on our houseboats where storage space can be tight.
Pack your valuables and essentials in your hand luggage.
These include things like electronics, jewellery, essential toiletries including medication, a change of clothes and a change of underwear. Keeping these with you means there’s less of a risk of them being lost or stolen as you can keep an eye on them. And, if your cabin bags happen to get lost in transit and there’s a delay in getting them back to you, at least you’ll have a back up change of clothes in the meantime.
Organise your travel documents well in advance.
When travelling to our ZQ Collection luxury houseboats on the Chobe River, you’ll need to pass through immigration in both Namibia and Botswana. Check that your passport is up to date, and whether or not you’ll need a visa for entry into either country. If you’re from the US, the EU or Australia, you won’t need a visa to enter either country for less than 90 days. For other countries, these resources are a useful guide:
Get the necessary vaccinations.
For a trip on board the Zambezi Queen or Chobe Princesses, we recommend that you get Hepatitis A and typhoid injections in addition to your routine vaccinations such as tetanus and MMR. View more information here. Although there is no risk of yellow fever, the government of Botswana and Namibia will need you to show proof of yellow fever vaccination if you’re arriving from a country with a risk of yellow fever. Check this list to be sure.
Take malaria precautions.
The Chobe River is in a malaria area, so it’s worth considering taking prescription medications to avoid contracting the disease (check with your doctor if you’re pregnant or travelling with small children). The best approach to avoiding malaria is to prevent being bitten by mosquitos as much as possible, by wearing mosquito repellant and long-sleeved clothing that covers your legs and arms. As a guest of the ZQ Collection, we’ll provide you with mosquito repellant on all our houseboats.
Travelling with children?
If you’re flying into South Africa before your onward trip to Botswana and Namibia, South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs has introduced a new set of rules about travelling with children into the country. Although these are currently in flux, for now you’ll need to bring an original unabridged birth certificate for each child you travel with. If you’re travelling with your children but without your spouse, you’ll need additional documents. For more information, use Drive South Africa’s easy checklist to see what’s applicable to you.
- Sun hat
- Swimming costume (we supply bath and swimming towels)
- Comfortable shoes
- Flip flops
- Two pronged plugs
- Notebook: two write down memories or special sightings
- Good book/s: For all that leisure time on the boat
- Chargers (camera and mobile)
- Loose comfortable clothing: Our dress code is casual, so formal attire isn’t necessary for evening dinner. We recommend light and comfortable clothing in summer, and in winter, you’ll need a pullover for early mornings and evenings.
- Toiletries: Remember to bring sunblock, toothpaste and headache tablets. We supply insect repellent and basic toiletries like soap, shampoo, shower gel and body lotion. Hairdryers are supplied on board the Zambezi Queen, and are available on request on the Chobe Princesses.