This Is the Only Bag You'll Need to Pack for a Safari

Photo: Getty Images

The world's best safari spots aren't located just outside of city centers or major airports. They take some effort — and usually a bush plane — to get to.

Unfortunately, your beautiful Away carry-on and large roll aboard suitcases won't be welcome onboard. The small chartered flights that typically ferry guests to safari hotspots across Africa have strict weight requirements and space limitations.

CroisiEurope, an international river cruise company, warns African safari customers in all-caps and red exclamation points that operators may refuse to transport noncompliant luggage. They also instruct passengers to keep carry-ons under 6.6 pounds — less than the weight of an empty Away carryon — and to keep checked luggage at 44 pounds.

Of course, that 44 pounds needs to fit inside a package that's no more than 23.6 inches long, 15.7 inches tall and 11.8 inches wide, just larger than the average American Airline's domestic carryon limit. Suitcases also must be soft-sided and have no more than two wheels, a rarity in this age of spinner wheels.

Needless to say, getting everything you need for the trip of a lifetime into such a small package can be a challenge.

Mark Lakin, a frequent Africa traveler and the co-founder of the bespoke travel agency Epic Road, meets that challenge by starting with the right bag: a lightweight Eagle Creek rolling duffel packed with just two sets of clothes.

Eagle Creek duffel
Courtesy of eBags

"Every day one [set of clothes] is being washed and one is being worn," he said. "That leaves room to bring the extra stuff." For Lakin, those extra essentials include a daypack, hiking boots, sun protection, camera gear, and a favorite Alpaca wool poncho for lounging at the safari lodge.

And bringing back one-of-a-kind finds from the trip of a lifetime becomes a whole lot easier with a soft, flexible bag that can expand along the journey.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles