Charter Flight Luggage Restrictions for Travelers to Africa

by Sandy Salle on January 2, 2012

When packing for your trip to Africa, it is extremely important to note that there are strict weight luggage restrictions enforced on light aircraft transfers between countries. This is to ensure the safety of aircraft passengers. Please read through this document thoroughly to ensure that your luggage is compatible with aircraft luggage restrictions.

These restrictions are enforced for the following reasons:

  • Light aircrafts are designed with a maximum body weight and luggage weight allowance.
  • Most airfields are over 3,000 feet above sea level and are located in the tropics, and therefore the permissible aircraft carrying capacity is reduced.
  • The aircrafts have physical space restrictions.

 

 

Depending on where in Africa you will be traveling to and from, the luggage weight restrictions will vary. However, there are some luggage restrictions that apply to ALL light aircraft transfers in Africa, which include:

  • On ALL light aircrafts, only soft bags will be accepted—no hard suitcases, as they physically cannot fit into the aircraft. Duffel bags without wheels are preferred. This includes camera equipment and hand luggage. There may be a fee per bag.
  • The maximum dimensions of the soft bags are as follows: 25 cm / 9.8 inches wide x 30 cm / 11.8 inches high and 62 cm long / 24.4 inches long (the size of the door of the 206 pod).  Please keep in mind that the baggage compartments on the light aircraft are only 25 cm 9.8 inches high, so the pilots must be able to manipulate the bag into the compartment.  Luggage with wheels also adds to your total weight.  So the rule of thumb for your luggage is: soft, non-rigid bags with no wheels, following the dimensions above.
  • Passengers weighing 100kg / 220lbs or more must advise us in advance so an extra seat for the additional weight can be tallied into the package cost for safety purposes.  Please remember that these restrictions are to ensure the safety of our guests.

 

Below is an image that depicts the proper bag size:

 

These luggage restrictions may sound very limiting, but bear in mind the following:

 

  • Most safari camps / lodges and hotels provide basic toilet amenities
  • Laundry can be done on a daily basis (and many camps provide this service free of charge but hotels do charge a nominal fee)
  • Mainly casual clothing is required

 

In addition to the restrictions above, there are also SPECIFIC luggage WEIGHT restrictions that apply in each country and region of Africa. All of these regulations are strictly enforced. See below for each country’s guidelines and restrictions:

 

Zimbabwe: The two primary charter flights that fly Zimbabwe are Wilderness Air and Solenta. Both companies have their own weight restrictions. Please see below for details on each:

  • Wilderness Air: Luggage, including camera equipment and hand luggage, is restricted to 20 kg / 44 lbs per person.
  • Solenta: Luggage, including camera equipment and hand luggage, is restricted to 15 kg / 33 lbs per person.

Malawi: Luggage, including camera equipment and hang luggage, is restricted to 15 kg / 33 lbs per person.

Zambia: The two primary charter flights that fly Zambia are Proflight and Wilderness Air. Both companies have their own weight restrictions. Please see below for details on each: 

  • Wilderness Air: Each passenger is allowed one bag weighing up to 20 kg / 44 lbs.
  • Proflight: Lusaka-Ndola and Lusaka-Livingstone allows each passenger one piece of luggage weighing up to 23 kg / 50 lbs. All other small aircraft operated routes will allow each passenger to bring one piece of luggage, weighing no more than 15 kg / 33 lbs. Each passenger is allowed 1 carry on item (such as a laptop or purse), weighing up to 5 kg / 11 lbs. Single bags weighing over 32 kg / 70 lbs. will not be flown and must be shipped separately. Additional bags in excess of the allowance mentioned above will cost an additional fee and will be accepted only on a standby basis, based on available space on the aircraft.

Botswana: Luggage, including camera equipment and hand luggage, is restricted to 20 kg / 44 lbs per person.

South Africa: Luggage, including camera equipment and hand luggage, is restricted on Regional Air Services charter flights to 20 kg / 44 lbs per person.

Namibia (including the Skeleton Coast Fly-In safari but excluding the Best of Namibia Wing Safaris and Namibia Explorations): Luggage, including camera equipment and hand luggage, is restricted to 20 kg / 44 lbs per person. For Best of Namibia Wing Safaris and Namibia Explorations the luggage, including camera equipment and hand luggage, is restricted to 12 kg / 26 lbs per person.

Kenya: Luggage, including camera equipment and hand luggage, is restricted on Regional Air Services charter flights to 15 kg / 33 lbs per person.

Tanzania:
Luggage, including camera equipment and hand luggage, is restricted on Regional Air Services charter flights to 15 kg / 33 lbs per person.

Mozambique: Luggage, including camera equipment and hand luggage, is restricted to 20 kg / 44 lbs per person.

Uganda and Rwanda: Luggage requirements vary greatly between fly-in carriers in Central Africa. It is important that you check with your airline carrier as to any luggage size and weight restrictions. Small aircraft transfers within Uganda and Rwanda may have strict luggage weight and size allowances.

 

For Excess Baggage:

 

If you wish to bring additional luggage with you that exceeds the allotted weight restrictions for one person, you may choose to purchase another seat.

 

Additional Packing Tips & Notes:

 

As no formal clothes are needed throughout most of Africa, we recommend that you limit your luggage to the basics.  More formal attire is usually required only when staying in the more prestigious city hotel establishments or on any of the luxury trains. On a game safari, casual clothing is the order of the day. We will include a suggested packing list in your final documents.

If you will be traveling to multiple destinations, please defer to the lightest weight restrictions for your checked luggage.  Should you need to make arrangements to store or ship excess luggage, we are glad help with making those arrangements.  Please note, there may be additional charges for storing or shipping luggage.

**NOTE: Always check with a Hills of Africa representative prior to departing for your trip to make certain that you have packed within weight restrictions for your booked flights.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Next post: