Packing - I'm confused!

Old Jan 30th, 2008, 05:42 AM
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Packing - I'm confused!

We leave for So. Africa mid-March and have been reading postings about what people pack and the more I read, the more confused I get! It was my understanding that we are allowed 44 lbs. of baggage on internal flights between Cape Town (where we will spend 5 nights) and our lodges in Kruger (Inyati 3 nights, Mala Mala 2 nights). We are being transferred overland between the parks. We are then returning to Jo'Burg on SAA from Mala Mala and will spend a few nights visiting friends who live there who we met on our travels elsewhere. Some of the posts mention baggage limits of either 13 lbs. or 22 lbs. Why are we being allowed 44 lbs? My concern is getting there and finding out we have been given the wrong information and are drastically overweight. Where are all these different figures coming from anyway? Have seen some wonderful suggested packing lists posted here, which are so full of good tips - really appreciate all of you who take the time and effort to share this information. We are so excited..... can't wait to get there!
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 08:32 AM
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Have you asked your tour operator? I just returned from a wonderful 8 day trip to Tanzania and my duffle only weight in at 20 pounds. Had more than enough clothing and supplies and the best part is if you stay in one place 2 nights they have enough time to provide laundry services. Have a wonderful time. I for one can't wait to return.
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 08:33 AM
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I think the confusion comes from mixing pounds and kilograms. The "13" and "22" weight limits cited are in kilos. 1 kilo = 2.2 pounds. 20 kilos = 44 pounds.
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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 05:59 PM
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The 13 and 22 lb limits you've seen are probably for the very small charter planes (some are so small they only hold 4 people including the pilot). The flights you are on between Cape Town, Johannesburg and MalaMala are larger planes and don't have the severe luggage weight limits.

Have a great trip!

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Old Jan 30th, 2008, 07:08 PM
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I was on the JNB-MM flight recently, and saw travellers with HUGE suitcases .... looked the same as the stuff people carry on a 747
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Old Jan 31st, 2008, 10:21 AM
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Hari I saw the same thing when we landed at Mala Mala...our guide was surprised that we did not have a huge roller bag. And we each had one bag.

We carried 2 Patagonia MLC bags and survived just fine for 8 days plus 2 days in Paris.

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Old Jan 31st, 2008, 10:39 AM
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Even on the very small charters (4 seats, inclusive of the pilot) which I was on this past summer in Bots have I believe a 13 kg limit not a 13 lb limit. That's almost 29 lbs, and should be plenty.

Arielle-your pre-trip paperwork should give exact weight and size restrictions for your particular trip. After you make yourself a packing list, make an "unpacking list" and follow it. If you do have a 44 lb. allowance you won't have any trouble.

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Old Jan 31st, 2008, 10:53 AM
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Pack light, even if you're going to Cape Town. Laundry is done at all the camps and hotels. You don't need anywhere near 44 lbs!
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Old Jan 31st, 2008, 01:09 PM
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Let me echo those who say to pack light. When we went to Mala Mala in July (our first trip) we also had a week of business in Jo'burg first then 3 days in London after. We were one of those idiots who flew into Mala Mala with large rolling luggage (we had to pay for excess) and we ended up used half of what we took (that included the time in Jo'burg and London)! Use the laundry service at the camps and remember that they are not fussy or dressy places.

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Old Apr 28th, 2008, 11:01 AM
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I too am facing the 44 lb limit. I understand that is supposed to be the total checked bag plus carryon. I was intending to buy the duffles from LL bean. I think the large size will be what we need. Anyone use these?
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Old Apr 28th, 2008, 11:33 AM
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I've used the large LL Bean duffle for every trip to Africa. It's a little large for one person but the medium is too small (for me). It's a very sturdy bag. I stuffed it to the brim with school supplies for one trip and even with some sharp edges and being checked luggage there aren't any worn places or tears. I chose the gold (it's really an orange) and it sure is easy to find my bag on the carousel. I didn't buy the rolling duffle but I sure have been thinking about buying one. LL Bean has a $10 online gift card on their website that's good until 5/27.
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 03:54 AM
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Here is a "novel" suggestion on packing. Wear all your underwear, t-shirts,etc on the plane as done in Poisonwood Bible. Surprised its not been mentioned yet anywhere!(giggle,giggle) Seriously, on another thread I suggested buying clothes from the Salvation Army and leaving them behind as you travel. By the time you may need to be lightweight you may have given away some items and are within allowed weight restriction. Have a wonderful trip. I'm not leaving till Oct. and am already playing around with packing.
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 04:50 AM
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I agree on the "pack light" theory. We stressed so much packing for our last trip and admit to coming home with several things never worn. Ended up really alternating between two things for safari days, and as previously mentioned, laundry was provided. Also, light-weight fabrics are very easy to rinse out and dry overnight yourself. Heavy cotton, not so much! Believe me, everyone will be paying attention to the wilderness, not what you are wearing so don't sweat it. ;-) I think packing this fall is going to be a whole lot easier after the first experience-even though we are combining city with safari.

Leaving clothes behind is a great idea. Also, for toiletries, if you need to take a lot of conditioner or shampoo, pack it in several smaller bottles as you can also leave those behind as you empty them.

I found the clothes the easy part-it is all the camera equip, chargers, binos etc that is heavier to lug on your back! I am still in search of the perfect camera bag...

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