We are asked almost daily about luggage restrictions and thought it time to provide an outline of why soft and squashy luggage is essential for Africa travel. Read more here.
Are you travelling to Africa and wondering what luggage you can take?
There are strict luggage limitations on dimensions, weight and materials in some countries of Africa including Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, and Kenya when you are flying on light aircraft to access remote wildlife areas, camps and lodges.
Why so strict? Well, a number of reasons really.
The light aircraft flights in between national park areas and camps are tiny and therefore have a limit to how much weight they can take. The pilot is only allowed to fly if it is under the maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) and this is set for each different type of aircraft. Simply put, if your bag is not the correct weight or soft sided, the pilot has every right to leave it behind, or ask you to charter a second aircraft to carry your luggage which is of great expense to you.
MATERIAL & DIMENSIONS
The hold for luggage is small and cramped and therefore luggage with hard sides, frames or wheels will not fit in. Only soft sided bags can really be manoeuvred into the small hold, under seats and in the wing. Dimensions is also crucial as oversized bags simply will not fit and mean that other guests won’t have the allocated space. Thus it would be your bag left behind if it’s not soft sided and too large in dimensions.
We provide our guests with an in-depth Pre-Departure Guide that outlines the luggage restrictions in each country and on the various airlines. It also provides photographs of luggage that will be accepted so you know what to look out for. We’ll soon be providing the option for guests to buy a bag through Encompass Africa to ensure you meet the requirements in terms of material & dimensions. Weight comes down to you and how much you pack. Remember most of our preferred camps provide laundry services, so you won’t need half the amount of clothing you lay out on the bed before you travel!