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Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I stay at Tongabezi and Sindabezi?

93% of our guest questionnaires recommend a minimum 3 night stay. We would like to tell you this is purely due to our ridiculously gorgeous interiors and fabulously prepared organic culinary feasts but there is more to this fact than meets the eye (or satisfies the tummy!) Tongabezi has a large menu of inclusive activities, add this to the fact that Victoria Falls is one of the world’s leading adventure activity hubs and you find a very large number of dream excursions and only so many hours in a day. A 3 night stay will easily allow for 6 adventures. Explore Livingstone Island, take a Chobe day trip and you have only one night left to indulge your inner Robinson Crusoe on romantic Sindabezi Island.

How much luggage can I bring?

Your luggage allowance will most likely be determined by the smallest carrier on your route. Please be aware that many charter flights (small planes) will only allow 12 kg per person. Luggage allowance on International flights (from Johannesburg for instance) will be anything between 20 and 30 kg on Economy tickets.

What are the temperatures like?

The highs fluctuate between 25 and 35°C throughout the year and the lows between 2° and 5°C.
During summer: The months from August - April are warm (high 20°C's) with temperatures reaching their upper limit for the area during October (around 35°C).
The rainy season: Victoria Falls is prone to short, spectacular thunderstorms (usually late in the afternoon) and our rainy season generally starts towards the end of November / December and continues until around mid - March, but this does vary from year to year. Temperatures are still warm.
An African winter: May - July and into August. Winter is typically cool at night and in the mornings although you can expect it to be lovely and warm during the day. In winter months it is advised that you do bring warm clothes especially for the mornings and evenings.

How does the electricity supply work and what kind of plugs are there?

220 V supply with square 3 pin and 2 pin plugs

What can I bring for the school?

Tujatane has a wish list online which you can find at: http://www.tujatane.com/wish_list.htm alternatively contact either Vanessa at vanessa@tongabezi.com or Beth at manager@tujatane.com for further information.

Is there internet connection?

The Lookout has a desktop with internet connection. Wi-Fi connection is also possible from the Lookout or right outside reception.

Can I book private dinners?

Absolutely! ALL meals can be booked exclusively. Tongabezi has a number of decks as well as The Lookout and the Sampan and guests can also choose to enjoy meals in the privacy of their rooms.

Should I be taking a malaria preventative?

This is a Malaria area and Tongabezi takes every precaution to ensure guests are not bitten by mosquitoes. We employ regularly maintained, amply sized and custom made mosquito nets, fans and supply repellent. Our guests are advised to cover their arms and legs as much as possible and certainly early in the mornings and late in the afternoons.
Please consult your health care professional regarding prophylactics for malaria at least 6 weeks before your trip or as early as possible.

Is there any other medical treatment I need before coming to Zambia?

It is advisable to ensure that your Tetanus vaccination is up to date and Yellow Fever vaccinations are required for travellers arriving from endemic areas.

Where can I see / download High Res images of Tongabezi / Sindabezi / Tangala / Livingstone Island?

Click on this link to download pics on the gallery page. Or have a look at the video gallery.

What should we pack?

  • Good quality sunglasses - preferably polarised
  • Sun hat
  • Long sleeved tops and trousers for the evenings & mornings
  • Good walking shoes
  • Sandals / rafting type shoes - Walks at the Falls and on Livingstone islands can be very wet (rain Macs are provided) and waterproof shoes with a good grip are essential.
  • Swimming costume
  • Warm jumper for cooler evenings
  • Warm anorak or parka and scarf / gloves for the colder winter months (May to September)
  • Light rain gear for summer months (November - April)
  • Socks are recommended for the evenings
  • Camera equipment and plenty of film/ and or batteries as well as an adaptor should you wish to charge equipment
  • If you wear contact lenses we recommend you bring a pair of glasses in case dust irritates your eyes
  • Binoculars
  • Personal prescribed medicines
  • Sun tan lotion - high factors are recommended as the sun is very strong even on darker skin
  • Moisturiser and lip salve
  • Strong Insect repellent (high Deet factor)
  • Basic medical kit - aspirins, plasters, Imodium, antiseptic cream and anti-histamine cream and tablets as well as sting relief cream / spray
  • Tissues / Wet wipes
  • Visas / tickets / money / passports
  • Waterproof / dustproof bags - covers for your cameras
  • A small torch is recommended
  • Gifts for children at Tujatane School - www.tujatane.com

Can we bring our children?

Tongabezi Houses & Cottages: We are happy to take children of seven and over. Children under 14 pay 50% unless they are in their own room. Roll away beds and extra mosquito nets are available for children sharing with parents.
Tongabezi Garden House: Specially designed specifically for families or slightly larger groups travelling together the Garden House has a private enclosed garden, an exclusive plunge pool and two en suite double bedrooms. Children under 14 pay 25% accompanying adults in the Garden House.
Sindabezi: We are happy to take children of 14 and over, charged adult rates. If the island is taken privately we are happy to take children of seven and older. In this case children under 14 pay 50% unless they are in their own room.
Tangala: Children of any age are accepted at Tangala and two of the staff members are experienced nannies. Please note that there is an unfenced swimming pool. We can arrange a safety fence on request for non-swimmers. Children under 14 are charged 50% of the full board rate

What is included?

Included Activities available on normal rates:

  • Sunrise and sunset boat trip on the Zambezi
  • Guided canoeing excursion depending on water levels and hippo activity
  • Lunch on local Island with guided walk
  • Fishing (equipment provided)
  • Visit to the Victoria Falls on the Zambian Side (Falls entrance fees are extra)
  • Game drive in the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National park (Park fees are extra)
  • Walk in the gorge below the Falls
  • Cultural visit to the museum (Museum entrance is extra and subject to change)
  • Local village visit
  • Mountain bike trail to local village
  • Shopping trip on the Zambian side of the Falls

Park fees are charged at ZWK25.00 per person per visit (subject to change) and Falls Entrance Fees are ZWK100.00 per person per visit (subject to change)

What if we need to cancel?

At Tongabezi we are not keen on billing people for not staying with us. We will therefore never charge 100% cancellation fees! Unfortunately cancellation costs to the lodge are as much a reality as taking out travel insurance will be to our visitors.

When it happens that you have to cancel your booking we would therefore like to advise you of the following policies that are in place:
a) If you are holding a confirmed booking and you then inform us that you will not travel.
b) 60 days or more before arrival we will charge 25% of RACK rate.
c) Between 30 and 60 days before arrival we will charge 50% of RACK rate.
d) We accept that cancellations done 30 days or less before arrival are due to unfortunate and unavoidable circumstances for our clients.

So for late cancellations we have changed the rules a bit:
The cancellation charge remains 50% of RACK rate and if the guest decides to rebook at any time during the subsequent 12 months (for bookings made in the same season as the original booking) we will only charge 50% of RACK for the new booking!

What about our laundry?

Laundry is complementary and done daily weather permitting.

Can we reconfirm our flights?

You are welcome to ask reception to reconfirm flights from the lodge or reconfirm them by using our internet - please do note that international calls will be billed to your account.

Can I drink the water?

It is always advisable to drink bottled water, although the tap water in Zambia is generally considered safe. Should you develop any stomach upset, be sure to contact a physician, especially if you are running a fever, in order to rule out malaria or a communicable disease. Bottled water is available in all the rooms, at the bar and on all activities. Water in the taps have been filtered but not sterilized.

What is the local Currency?

The local currency is Zambian Kwacha. The local currency is Zambian Kwacha and is the only currency accepted for services or goods paid for within the country (excepting visas which can be bought with Dollars). Kwacha can be drawn from ATM's at the airport. At Tongabezi we accept all major credit cards for payment of activities and gifts from our shop. There is a charge of 3.5% on credit cards.
For up to date exchange rates: www.xe.com/ucc

What about tipping / Gratuties?

Tipping is by no means compulsory and is completely at the guest’s discretion. If, however, you do want to tip for good service received during your stay then this would be hugely appreciated by staff, the following can act as a guideline to assist you.
Guides: We recommend K25.00 per couple per day.
Valets: If you are happy with the service the valets have offered throughout your stay we recommend we recommend K50.00 per couple per day.
General Lodge staff: We recommend K25.00 per.

Will we have a private vehicle?

If you require a private vehicle and guide, this can be arranged for you at an extra cost and is subject to availability. Should you decide not to take this option you may be travelling on activities with other guests.

Do I need a Visa?

Visas are required for most passports. Most visas can be purchased at the airport or border - please confirm with your embassy whether it is advisable for you to apply for a visa before departure - you can also consult http://www.zambiaimmigration.gov.zm/zims/default.aspx but please note that information posted can change without notice.

What kind of wildlife can I expect?

The lodge is frequently visited by monkeys. We urge all guests to refrain from feeding any animals around the lodge. From time to time we also have hippos and elephants but your valet will be on hand to ensure a safe return to and from your room. The Mosi-Oa-Tunya Park can offer exceptional rhino, buffalo and elephant sightings - should you wish to see cats it is advisable to book a Chobe day trip to increase your chances. The lodge also has over 300 bird species.

What if we get sick?

All our staff members are 1st Aid trained. Please ensure your medical insurance is up to date - should serious medical attention be required Speciality Emergency Services will attend to guests.

Which other African properties do you recommend?

We have our favourite camps who we support:
- Kawa Mawa on Lake Malawi
- Ker and Downey in Botswana
- Norman Carr Safaris in Zambia's Luangwa Valley
- Robin Pope Safaris in Zambia and Malawi
- Steenberg Hotel in Cape Town.

Click on the links above to view their websites.