Baggage Limit & Souvenirs???

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Jan 17th, 2004, 05:41 AM
  #1
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Baggage Limit & Souvenirs???

Just wondering how the low limit on baggage worked with buying souvenirs. We are flying into Johannesburg and will be there for a day and a half and then to Maun, Botswana where we will fly to various camps for game viewing. Last stop is Victoria Falls for two nights and then back to Johannesburg with only a couple of hours before our flight home. With the 26 pound limit how would you manage to have any room for souvenirs? We don't buy a lot as we aren't big shoppers but our kids have advised that they really would like something from this trip, especially as they and their spouses are looking after things back home.
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Jan 17th, 2004, 06:30 AM
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sandi
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There's not much to buy at camps in the Delta, but with two days in VFA, there is plenty of shopping you can do there. They have a small mall, and an open air market where you can get inexpensive items.

But bring your own plastic bags as this open air market doesn't have but newspaper to wrap items in. Whatever you buy here you can pack in a separate foldable bag you have in your 26-lb limit bag and take back into JNB. There won't be as low limit on flight from VFA/JNB.

Then at the JNB airport there are a few shops in the International departure terminal - Out of Africa is one and they'll pack your items for you. No probem.
 
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Jan 17th, 2004, 06:32 AM
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Bring an empty canvas bag and buy in Joberg airport. The shops are great but slightly expensive. Maun had some nice baskets. Victoria Falls also. Don't buy soapstone as it breaks so matter how you wrap it.
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Jan 24th, 2004, 08:36 AM
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I believe the 26 lb limit is ONLY for light aircraft transfers within Botswana. From your itinerary it looks like you are flying back directly from Vic Falls to Joburg...if that is the case, it will be on a big plane with regular baggage allowances. I think you have at least a 44 lb limit, but check with your airline or travel agent...it may be more! If you are flying Joburg to the US, I believe your limit is a hefty 2 bags at 70 lbs MAX per person. Southern Africa has bigger baggage allowances than any other place I've flown. So I say buy away in Vic Falls if you want! Just take an extra foldable bag (Or you can probably buy a nice one at one of the Vic Falls shops). If you can, fill it with a roll of bubble wrap--this could really come in handy if you buy sculpture or ceramics in Vic Falls. They have some really beautiful things there, but they will need some protection in checked baggage.
Note on changing money in Zimbabwe: NEVER use a credit card, or change money at your hotel or a bank. The "official" exchange rate is ridiculous. But NEVER change with the men who accost you on the street either--you will be ripped off. The safest places that give good rates are the small kiosks in the marketplace behind the post office. There the rates were 5 or six times the official rate (and that spread might be even bigger now!). You might ask a manager in one of the shops to help you choose a kiosk or accompany you when you are changing money, as long as you are buying something in their shop. The manager at one big shop (think it was called Soper's) helped me this way...he was really nice. When you get a good rate, the shopping in Vic Falls becomes really good, and you will be happy that you have that extra bag!
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Jan 24th, 2004, 09:04 AM
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Sprig, I will be traveling on safari in Botwana, May 23-June 3 (Little Vumbura, Chitabe and Macatoo Horseback Safari). I was curious as to your itinerary and how you picked your camps. Also, Macatoo offers to keep luggage at their Maun office, so that eliminates the problem with the 26 pound weight restriction. If your first camp does the same, you could leave your souvenirs in their office and pick them up before you fly Maun to Jo'burg. Just a thought!
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Jan 27th, 2004, 08:21 PM
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We are actually traveling thru Goway Travel a Canadian Tour Company and chose their Okavango Tour which includes Nxabega Okavago Camp,Khwai River Lodge, Savute Elephant Camp, Mowana Safari Lodge and finally Victoria Falls Hotel for two nights. We weren't sure how to travel to Africa and had some experience with Goway which was in our experience a a "Small Group" tour. We had the luxury of traveling around China with them with one other couple. We were accompanied by a driver and a guide but because we were only two couples we found a certain flexibility to our itinerary. It was a pretty neat trip. Therefore we booked Botswana with them. No-one else seems to recognize the lodges that they use. I am not really concerned because this could be a good thing. We are not luxury travelers but rather like the exclusivity of going to small places that aren't "well-traveled". We are however flying from Johannesburg to Maun to hook with our group and on the way back are ending our stay in Victoria Falls with one extra night and traveling to Johannesburg the following afternoon for our evening flight home. Perhaps we can make arrangements with Goway's local tour company in Johannesburg to hold any souvenirs that we might buy in our intial couple of nights in Johannesburg until we arrive back at the airport from Vic Falls for out trip home. If anyone else has tried Goway, doubtful, we would appreciate feedback. Our trip to China was great. Actually our young guide from Shanghai actually repaid us with a trip to Canada last summer to accompany us on our "Ritual Family Camp". It was a great pleasure to have him. (We won the most stars for someone coming from far away to camp with us in Canada...and he is a really great young man>)
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