Duffle Bags for Safari

Jul 14th, 2004, 05:37 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 119
Duffle Bags for Safari

Thinking about buying some duffle bags for our safari. Our company (CCAfrica) restricts weight to 12kgs. Does anyone have any specific advice on brands of duffle bags/where to get them and how many/what size we'll need?
styleoracle is offline  
Jul 14th, 2004, 07:07 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 413
We used some large duffels (not extra large) from Land's End. Size is not such a big deal as weight. We've used these particular duffels on trips to Greece and to Italy as well. They've held up quite well.

One per person is all you need. With in-camp laundry service the weight limit is very easy to meet. Follow other advice here and resist packing so many things.

Our packed bags were well under the 12kg limit and we carried small back packs onto the plane (camera, binoculars, etc.). Our bags were weighed before only one of the several small plane flights. Our carry ons and our persons weren't ever weighed.

We were never weighed
Favor is offline  
Jul 14th, 2004, 10:42 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 65
We took 1 bag each. We brough an extra bag at the bottom of one for gifts (you'll be suprised!) Each lodge does laundry every day. They will say that the laundry has to be in by 10:00 am. Thats not true. We delivered ours at 6:00 and it was always back by 6:00am. Don't over pack.
katj232 is offline  
Jul 21st, 2004, 11:21 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 16
Small and Large are relative.
What was the size of the backpacks they allowed on the plane.
I carry purse that weighs more than 12 kg, but I have done some tight packing,too.
BAMonahan is offline  
Jul 21st, 2004, 11:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,213
No advice on brands but on design:

We have a bag with a U shaped zip which means when we've unzipped it we can flip most of the entire top of the bag up and see what's inside. Much easier than the bags with straight zips that just dissect the middle.

Make sure the zips are sturdy and that the zippers slot together with a hole suitable for a padlock to pass through. More secure than padlocking the ENDS of the zippers which can be pulled off more easily.

I also prefer ones with a couple of pockets at each end (preferably also suitable for padlocking) and on the side so I can shove toiletry bags separate from clothes and also use one for diaries and papers collected during the trip.
Kavey is offline  
Jul 21st, 2004, 02:05 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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We bought duffle bags from LLBean - very close to the recommended size, which was 32x14x11 inches. We had plenty of space left in them and were well under the 12/kilo/person limit - which allowed the pilots to really manipulate them into tight corners, and when we got back to J'burg there was plenty of room for the items we purchased there.

As for where to leave luggage - I understand there is a place at the J'burg Airport that is convenient and not too expensive, but we did not have to use it. We stayed at the same hotel in J'burg at the beginning and end of our trip; they were happy to store our excess non-safari luggage.
eenusa is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2004, 05:54 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 24
What safari are you doing with CC Africa? I am doing the Botswana Explorer in September.
stinky is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2004, 05:59 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 119
Thanks for all your great and very helpful posts on duffle bags. Stinky: we are doing a custom designed itinerary with CCAFrica, heading first to Bateleur Camp in the Masai Mara, followed by Klein's Camp in the Northern Serengeti, Grumeti River Camp in the Western Serengeti, Ngorogoro Crater Lodge, and ending up at Mnemba Island Lodge and the Zanzibar Serena. Will look forward to hearing about your Boswana Explorer trip!
styleoracle is offline  
Jul 24th, 2004, 09:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,657
We loved working with CCafrica. We arranged to leave our extra bag with the ccafrica representative in Maun (we did a Botswana safari this past May). It's really easy to keep it under 12kgs....especially with the laundry service in the camps. If you need something extra, you can probably pick it up during the trip. I don't recall anyone ever actually weighing our bags, but then we weren't traveling at a peak time and only once did any of the small planes carry more than 4 passengers (5). We carried our camera bags, binoculars, travel documents, passports, books, etc in backpacks which worked great as "daypacks" to take on game drives as well. (Those don't get included in your weight limit.)

It sounds as if you're going in the "summer" months, too (and you're closer to the equator) so I'd expect you won't need the extra scarves/gloves/sweatshirts that we carried to wear under our hooded windbreakers at for the night time and early morning cold...

You might put everything you're expecting to pack into a large plastic trash bag, weigh it, and then sort of measure the size of the package to determine what size duffle you want to take. We also like having a zippered compartment on one end that is lined in waterproof (to save anything in the main compartment) material. While we didn't ever really need it on safari (everything laundered was dry, we didn't have an mud or water emergencies) it DID come in handy when I spilled a beer all over myself on the plane from Maun to J'burg. (I changed in the loo and packed away my wet shirt and shorts in the in the waterproof compartment!)
uhoh_busted is offline  
Jul 24th, 2004, 05:32 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 32
Getting ready for my trip and facing the same duffle size/wieght thing, I
purchased 2 - 30" duffle bags (red in color ...I'll find 'em in the luggage pile) from www.campmor.com. Columbia brand gear which has been reliable in the past @ $29.95usd each. Enjoy your adventures
azrat is offline  
Jul 29th, 2004, 04:43 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 119
Well we bought our duffles! Thanks to all the posters who helped out by sharing their knowledge. We ended up getting no name brand u-zip duffles from ebags.com for about $25 each.
styleoracle is offline  

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