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24 February 2022

Luggage weight limits when travelling to Africa

Here, we answer your questions on luggage limits and bag sizes when travelling to Africa. Airlines can be very strict on baggage limits, so it’s important to double-check your limit before you travel.

When it comes to packing your bags for your safari, you need to consider the restrictions for any light aircraft flights before thinking about your international flights. The first step should be to check if you are taking any internal flights – and if you are, check what the luggage allowance is in our handy guide below.

International flights to Africa

Your international flights to Africa will typically be with a larger international carrier such as Virgin Atlantic, Emirates Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa, Qatar, Kenya Airways, South African Airways and British Airways. Most airlines will allow you to have one bag in the hold and one carry-on bag included within the ticket cost; however, the baggage allowances are usually individual to the carrier. There can be checked luggage restrictions or luggage weight limits. 

For example, the baggage allowance for British Airways is 1 x checked bag with a maximum 23kg, plus 1 x cabin bag for travellers in Economy. For additional checked bags, you’ll have to pay an additional fee, or if you are planning to travel in Business, an additional checked bag is included in the price, and two additional bags for First Class.

Qatar Airways on the other hand has different weight restrictions for different cabin classes and routes. For flights to/from Africa with Qatar, Economy Class is allowed 2 x 23kg checked bags, while Business and First Class is allowed 2 x 32kg checked bags.

Internal and small aircraft flights in Africa

If your itinerary states that soft bags are needed, this is because storage space on light aircraft flights is limited and therefore luggage should be soft (e.g. a duffel bag) so they can be squashed and manipulated into a small hold in the plane.

Your bag should have no spines, frames or a rigid structure, although one flat side is usually allowed. Also, bags should have very small wheels or preferably, none at all.

Your main bag will be placed in the hold, and you will be holding your carry-on bags (i.e. hand baggage) on your lap for the duration of the flight as the aircraft do not have under-seat storage or overhead lockers for stowing bags. 

A video guide on luggage limits when travelling in Africa

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Here we’ve listed the airlines by destination that you might have included in your Yellow Zebra itinerary. Please take a look before you start packing for your safari... Need help deciding what to pack for your African safari vacation? Read our packing list here!

Botswana

Mack Air - weight allowance of 20kg (44lbs) per person including hand luggage and must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag); note one flat/hard side is allowed but majority of the bag needs to be soft. Maximum dimensions 27.5 inches (70cm) x 12 inches (30cm) x 13 inches (33cm).

Major Blue - weight allowance of 20kg (44lbs) per person including hand luggage and must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag). Maximum dimensions 24 inches (60cm) x 12 inches (30cm) x 10 inches (25cm).

Moremi Air - weight allowance of 20kg (44lbs) per person including hand luggage and must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag). Maximum dimensions 24 inches (60cm) x 12 inches (30cm) x 10 inches (25cm).

Safari Air - weight allowance of 20kg (44lbs) per person including hand luggage and must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag). Maximum dimensions 24 inches (60cm) x 12 inches (30cm) x 10 inches (25cm).

Wilderness Air - weight allowance of 20kg (44lbs) per person including hand luggage and must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag); note one flat/hard side is allowed but majority of the bag needs to be soft. Maximum dimensions 27.5 inches (70cm) x 12 inches (30cm) x 13 inches (33cm).

Kenya

Safarilink - weight allowance of 15kg (33lbs) per person including hand luggage and must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag). Maximum dimensions 35 inches (90cm) x 25 inches (65cm) x 13 inches (35cm).

Air Kenya - weight allowance of 15kg (33lbs) per person including hand luggage and must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag). Maximum dimensions 24 inches (60cm) x 18 inches (45cm) x 13 inches (33cm).

Mombasa Air - weight allowance of 15kg (33lbs) per person including hand luggage and must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag). Maximum dimensions 24 inches (60cm) x 18 inches (45cm) x 13 inches (33cm).

Tropic Air – Charter flights have a weight allowance of 90kg in total (not per person), including hand luggage, in soft bags only. However, please note, other flights within your itinerary may have an allowance of 15kg per person only and therefore this should be adhered to. Maximum bag size is 35 inches (90cm) x 25 inches (65cm) x 13 inches (35cm).

Governors’ Aviation – weight allowance of 15kg (33lbs) per person including hand luggage and must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag). Maximum dimensions 24 inches (60cm) x 18 inches (45cm) x 13 inches (33cm).

Malawi

Ulendo Airlink - weight allowance of 15kg (33lbs) per person including hand luggage and must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag). Maximum dimensions 25cm (10in) wide, 30cm (12in) high and 60cm (24in) long.

Mozambique

Helicopter transfers - weight allowance of 15kg (33lbs) per person including hand luggage and must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag). Maximum dimensions 25cm (10in) wide, 30cm (12in) high and 60cm (24in) long. More details about helicopter transfers here.

Namibia

Wilderness Air – weight allowance of 20 kg (44 lbs) per person including hand luggage and must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag). Maximum dimensions 24 inches (60cm) x 12 inches (30cm) x 10 inches (25cm).

Scenic Air – weight allowance of 20 kg (44 lbs) per person including hand luggage and must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag). Maximum dimensions 24 inches (60cm) x 12 inches (30cm) x 10 inches (25cm).

Rwanda

Helicopter Transfers -  15kg pp including hand luggage. Soft bags only.

Seychelles

Flights to and from any private island have a weight allowance of 15kg (33lbs) per person including hand luggage and must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag). Maximum dimensions 25cm (10in) wide, 30cm (12in) high and 62cm (24in) long.

South Africa

Federal Air - weight allowance of 20 kg (44 lbs) per person plus 5kg (11lbs) per person additional hand luggage. All luggage must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag); note one flat/hard side is allowed but majority of the bag needs to be soft. Maximum dimensions 24 inches (60cm) x 12 inches (30cm) x 16 inches (40cm).

Fireblade Aviation - weight allowance of 20 kg (44 lbs) per person including hand luggage and must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag). Maximum dimensions 24 inches (60cm) x 12 inches (30cm) x 14 inches (35cm).

Odie Air - weight allowance of 20 kg (44 lbs) per person including hand luggage and must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag). Maximum dimensions 24 inches (60cm) x 12 inches (30cm) x 16 inches (40cm).

Angel Gabriel – weight allowance of 15 kgs (33lbs) per person plus 6kg (13lbs) per person hand luggage and must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag). Maximum dimensions 24 inches (60cm) x 12 inches (30cm) x 14 inches (35cm).

Airlink when flying between Nelspruit/Skukuza and Sabi Sands/Ngala/Phinda lodges - weight allowance of 20kg (44lbs) plus hand luggage of 7kg (15lbs) and must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag). Maximum dimensions 35 inches (90cm) x 28 inches (72cm) x 17 inches (45cm).

Johannesburg Airport baggage requirements - please note from 25 March 2019, Johannesburg Airport will not accept 'irregularly shaped bags with long hanging straps'. All bags must also have at least one flat surface. Soft-sided bags that have one flat surface are fine (e.g. typical canvas safari bags), but these should not have long hanging straps.

Tanzania

Coastal Aviation - weight allowance of 15kg (33lbs) per person including hand luggage and must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag). Maximum dimensions 27 inches (68cm) x 14.5 inches (36cm).

Air Excel - weight allowance of 15kg (33lbs) per person including hand luggage and must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag). Maximum dimensions 24 inches (60cm) x 12 inches (30cm) x 10 inches (25cm).

Safari Air Link - weight allowance of 15kg (33lbs) per person including hand luggage and must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag). Maximum dimensions 27 inches (68cm) x 10 inches (25cm).

Auric Air - weight allowance of 20kg (44lbs) per person including hand luggage and must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag). Maximum dimensions 24 inches (60cm) x 18 inches (45cm) x 13 inches (33cm).

Uganda

Aerolink - weight allowance of 15kg (33lbs) per person including hand luggage and must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag). Maximum dimensions 24 inches (60cm) x 18 inches (45cm) x 13 inches (33cm).

Zambia

Proflight - weight allowance of 23kg/50lbs per person (plus 5kg/11lbs for hand luggage) in soft bags only (i.e. duffel bag). Bag size must not exceed 61 inches (157 cms) - add the length, width and height of your luggage to obtain its total dimensions.

SkyTrail - weight allowance of 15kg (33lbs) per person (plus 5kg/11lbs for hand luggage) in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag). Maximum dimensions 25cm (10in) wide, 30cm (12in) high and 62cm (24in) long.

Zimbabwe

Altair - weight allowance of 15kg (33lbs) per person (plus 5kg/11lbs for hand luggage) and must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag).  Maximum dimensions 24 inches (60cm) x 12 inches (30cm) x 14 inches (35cm).

Safari Logistics - weight allowance of 20kg (44lbs) including hand luggage and must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag).  Maximum dimensions 31 inches (80cm) x 12 inches (30cm).

Wilderness Air - weight allowance of 20kg (44lbs) per person including hand luggage and must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag); note one flat/hard side is allowed but the majority of the bag needs to be soft. Maximum dimensions 27.5 inches (70cm) x 12 inches (30cm) x 13 inches (33cm).

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