Luggage Limits When Travelling To Africa

15 August 2017

Firstly you need to check if you are taking any light aircraft flights – and if you are, check what the luggage allowance is. Airlines can be very strict on baggage limits, so it’s important to double-check your limit before you travel. 

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) in the 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

As demonstrated by our safari specialist, James whilst in Botswana.

BOTSWANA: Mack Air, Safari Air, Wilderness Air, Major Blue and Moremi Air – all have a weight allowance of 20 kg (44 lbs) 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. 

KENYA: Safarilink, Air Kenya, Mombasa Air, Tropic Air and Governors’ Aviation – all 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, 35cm (13in) high and 55cm (22in) long.

MALAWI: Ulendo Airlink - has 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. 

MOZAMBIQUE: Helicopter transfers - has 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. 

NAMIBIA: Wilderness Air and Scenic Air – both have a weight allowance of 20 kg (44 lbs) 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. 

RWANDA: 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, Fireblade Aviation, Odie Air (plus South African Airlink if flying into some safari airstrips – see your itinerary if a soft bag is needed) – all have a weight allowance of 20 kg (44 lbs) per person and must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag). Fireblade Aviation and Odie Air allowance include hand luggage, but Federal Air allows an additional 5kg per person hand luggage. Maximum dimensions 25cm (10in) wide, 30cm (12in) high and 62cm (24in) long. 

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, Air Excel, Auric Air – all 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, 35cm (13in) high and 55cm (22in) long. 

UGANDA: Aerolink has 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. 

ZAMBIA: Proflight has a weight allowance of 23kg/50lbs per person (plus 5kg/11lbs for hand luggage) in soft bags only (i.e. duffel bag). SkyTrail has 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. 

ZIMBABWE: Altair has a weight allowance of 15kg (33lbs) per person (plus 5kg/11lbs for hand luggage) must be in soft bags (i.e. duffel bag).  Wilderness Air has a weight allowance of 20 kg (44 lbs) 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.