Important Travel Advice

Light Aircraft Luggage Guide

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There are luggage restrictions in place on any itinerary, but this is especially the case with light aircraft transfers. There are strict luggage restrictions in this case for the following reasons:

  • Light aircraft are designed with a maximum bodyweight and luggage weight allowance in mind.
  • Light aircraft have physical space restrictions that have to be taken into account.
  • Most airfields are over 3000 ft above sea level and located in the tropics. These conditions limit the carrying capacities of the aircraft operating in these regions.
  • Luggage limitations for light aircraft also apply to helicopter and scenic flights.

Please keep in mind that the following luggage guide is for regional (chartered) flights (and helicopter flights) in light aircraft in each country. Regularly scheduled flights in larger aircraft do not have the same luggage and weight restrictions as these lighter aircraft.

Important

It is really important to keep these restrictions in mind! Otherwise, you could be refused boarding your flight transfer between camps, or have little choice but to leave valuable luggage and equipment behind/pay fees to have them freight shipped. Avoid any upset, and read on for specific details on these light aircraft luggage restrictions (note minor variations between countries).

South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique

  • Luggage weight is restricted to a maximum of 20 kg (44 lb) per person for travel to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique.
  • Only soft (duffel) bags will be accepted. The rule of thumb for this is a bag soft enough for you to easily manipulate its shape. Hard suitcases cannot be accepted, as it is not possible to physically fit them into the aircraft. This includes camera equipment and hand luggage. All luggage must be able to fit into the belly pods of the aircraft.
  • The dimensions of all bags are firmly restricted to the following: 25 cm (10 inches) wide x 30 cm (12 inches) high x 62 cm (24 inches) long.
  • Passengers weighing more than 100 kg (220 lb) need to advise us in advance, as an additional seat fee will have to be charged. This is for safety purposes. Please inform us of this during the booking process.
  • For those who absolutely need to bring more than the maximum allowance of luggage, an extra seat may be purchased in advance. However, the bag must still be a soft bag. Be sure to pre-arrange any extra seats with us at the time of booking!
  • A collapsible-wheeled luggage frame/trolley (separate to the soft bag) is allowed, as long as basic dimensions are similar to that of the separate bag. Suitcases and luggage with rigid frames already attached do not fit into the belly pods of light aircraft and, as a result, cause unnecessary delays.
  • These limitations are applicable to guests travelling on a seat-rate basis, and so may differ if guests have booked on a sole use or private charter option. In these cases, luggage limitations depend on the type of aircraft and number of passengers booked.
  • Additionally, please be advised that these weight restrictions also apply to helicopter transfers and scenic flights. Allowances are dependent on itinerary and routing criteria, and so this information would be required in advance.

Zambia

We book our regional flights with the two main charter operators in Zambia: Wilderness Air and Proflight. Luggage policies do vary between the airlines, as we outline below:

Wilderness Air

  • Luggage weight is restricted to a maximum of 20 kg (44 lb), per person.
  • Only soft (duffel) bags will be accepted. The rule of thumb for this is a bag soft enough for you to easily manipulate its shape. Hard suitcases cannot be accepted, as it is not possible to physically fit them into the aircraft. This includes camera equipment and hand luggage. All luggage must be able to fit into the belly pods of the aircraft.
  • The dimensions of all bags are firmly restricted to the following: 25 cm (10 inches) wide x 30 cm (12 inches) high x 62 cm (24 inches) long.
  • Passengers weighing more than 100 kg (220 lb) need to advise us in advance, as an additional seat fee will have to be charged. This is for safety purposes. Please inform us of this during the booking process.
  • For those who absolutely need to bring more than the maximum allowance of luggage, an extra seat may be purchased in advance. However, the bag must still be a soft bag. Be sure to pre-arrange any extra seats with us at the time of booking!
  • A collapsible-wheeled luggage frame/trolley (separate to the soft bag) is allowed, as long as basic dimensions are similar to that of the separate bag. Suitcases and luggage with rigid frames already attached do not fit into the belly pods of light aircraft and, as a result, cause unnecessary delays.
  • These limitations are applicable to guests travelling on a seat-rate basis, and so may differ if guests have booked on a sole use or private charter option. In these cases, luggage limitations depend on the type of aircraft and number of passengers booked.
  • Additionally, please be advised that these weight restrictions also apply to helicopter transfers and scenic flights. Allowances are dependent on itinerary and routing criteria, and so this information would be required in advance.

– Proflight Zambia –

Special Note

Proflight Zambia have a free checked-baggage allowance. This is for one piece of luggage. On all Lusaka-Ndola and Lusaka-Livingstone flights, the weight allowance for the single free piece of luggage is for a maximum of 23 kg (50 lb). On all other light aircraft routes, the allowance is for a maximum of 15 kg (33 lb). Total dimensions for the bag cannot add up to more than 157 cm (61 inches): adding the width, height and length of the bag. For instance: 57cm (wide) x 25 cm (high) x 75 cm (long).

  • Any single bag weighing over 32 kgs (70 lb) will not be accepted. These will have to be shipped separately as a freight or cargo load using Zega, as is the case with unaccompanied baggage or cargo.
  • There is no baggage allowance for infants.
  • Hand luggage is strictly limited to one bag that weighs a maximum of 5 kg (11 lb) on all flights. This allowance includes ladies handbags, laptop bags, etc.
  • Valuable items such as cameras, laptops, phones, iPAD’s e-book readers, cash, documents, etc. are not fully covered by airline insurance and therefore must not be placed in checked-in baggage.
  • Passengers connecting to/from other airlines will be subject to Proflight Zambia’s baggage allowances on domestic flights, unless they are using an interline ticket.
  • Extra pieces of luggage, or bags in excess of the luggage allowance, will be subject to excess and/or additional baggage charges. These bags will also only be accepted onto the aircraft on a space-available (‘standby’) basis.
  • Unlike on most charter airlines, luggage does not need to be packed in soft ‘duffel’ bags, so long as they fall within the bag dimension allowance.
  • Extremely fragile or perishable items will not be accepted as baggage.
  • Bags taken on a ‘standby’ basis will be accepted with the understanding that Proflight Zambia is not liable for delays in the transportation of the luggage to its destination, or costs incurred by passengers for the collection of ‘standby’ baggage.
  • A small camera bag or similar can be taken on board not exceeding 5kg but space is limited as there are no overhead lockers so any bags taken on board will have to fit under the seat in front.
  • Proflight Zambia advise that you please check your confirmed tickets prior to packing for exact details of weight allowance on your booked sectors.

Zimbabwe

e book our regional flights with the two main charter operators in Zimbabwe: Wilderness Air and Safari Logistics. Luggage policies do vary between the airlines, as we outline below:

– Wilderness Air –

  • Luggage weight is restricted to a maximum of 20 kg (44 lb), per person.
  • Only soft (duffel) bags will be accepted. The rule of thumb for this is a bag soft enough for you to easily manipulate its shape. Hard suitcases cannot be accepted, as it is not possible to physically fit them into the aircraft. This includes camera equipment and hand luggage. All luggage must be able to fit into the belly pods of the aircraft.
  • The dimensions of all bags are firmly restricted to the following: 25 cm (10 inches) wide x 30 cm (12 inches) high x 62 cm (24 inches) long.
  • Passengers weighing more than 100 kg (220 lb) need to advise us in advance, as an additional seat fee will have to be charged. This is for safety purposes. Please inform us of this during the booking process.
  • For those who absolutely need to bring more than the maximum allowance of luggage, an extra seat may be purchased in advance. However, the bag must still be a soft bag. Be sure to pre-arrange any extra seats with us at the time of booking!
  • A collapsible-wheeled luggage frame/trolley (separate to the soft bag) is allowed, as long as basic dimensions are similar to that of the separate bag. Suitcases and luggage with rigid frames already attached do not fit into the belly pods of light aircraft and, as a result, cause unnecessary delays.
  • These limitations are applicable to guests travelling on a seat-rate basis, and so may differ if guests have booked on a sole use or private charter option. In these cases, luggage limitations depend on the type of aircraft and number of passengers booked.
  • Additionally, please be advised that these weight restrictions also apply to helicopter transfers and scenic flights. Allowances are dependent on itinerary and routing criteria: you will need this information in advance.

Safari Logistics

Special Note

Safari Logistics usually use Cessna 206’s for their charter flights. These planes seat up to 4 passengers and have a particular set of requirements, as follows:

  • Luggage weight is restricted to a maximum of 20 kg (44 lb), per person. Scheduled airlines in Zimbabwe have a luggage restriction of a maximum of 20 kg (44 lb), per person.
  • The dimensions of all bags are firmly restricted to the following: 25 cm (10 inches) wide x 30 cm (12 inches) high.
  • Only soft (duffel) bags will be accepted. The rule of thumb for this is a bag soft enough for you to easily manipulate its shape. Hard suitcases cannot be accepted, as it is not possible to physically fit them into the aircraft. This includes camera equipment and hand luggage. All luggage must be able to fit into the belly pods of the aircraft.
  • No rigid structures, frames or wheels are allowed on or alongside luggage.
  • Passengers weighing more than 120 kg (264 lb) need to advise us in advance, as an additional seat fee will have to be charged. This is for safety purposes. Please inform us of this during the booking process.
  • The pilot reserves the right to include extra passengers or deny passengers and/or luggage on the flight if he believes that safety could be compromised due to weight.

Malawi

  • The maximum permitted passenger weight includes all baggage, hand luggage, cameras and any other items is 100 kg (220 lb) per person, of which a maximum of 15 kg (33 lb) is allowed to be luggage. This is unless prior arrangements have been made and paid for.
  • Bags must be packed in a soft bag, with no wheels or frame, and able to pass through an opening of 28cm x 48cm.
  • Bags may weigh no more than 15 kg (33 lb) each. Passenger weight must be stated with the booking.

These baggage allowances can sound a little low, but please 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.

As no formal clothes are needed throughout most of Southern Africa, we recommend that you limit your luggage to the basics where possible. 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!

Notes on Overweight and Additional Baggage

Should you wish to bring luggage in excess of the stipulated allowance, you usually have the option of buying an extra seat on applicable charter flights with an advance booking. This “seat in plane” option allows for a maximum of 70kg (154 lb) of excess weight, on the provision that the bag(s) conform to the dimensions 40 cm x 40 cm x 80 cm (16 inches x 16 inches x 31 inches). The bag(s) may have no wheels, frames or rigid structures, be able to physically fit onto a light aircraft seat, and also be able to be physically secured with a seatbelt. This is so the (bags) do not impact the comfort of other guests on the flight.

The additional cost incurred here depends on the flight schedule and routing, so please contact your Sikeleli consultant for further details. Alternatively, excess luggage may be stored in areas with available facilities, occasionally at additional cost. We do not anticipate any problems with stored luggage being damaged or stolen, but guests must ensure that they are in possession of full travel insurance including luggage cover. Neither Sikeleli Travel & Expeditions, nor any person, agent acting for, through or on behalf of any charter flight company will be liable for any loss or damage to luggage arising from any cause whatsoever.

Questions?

Get in touch with your personal safari consultant at bookings@sikelelitravel.com.

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