Flying safari - The ultimate guide to your luggage weight Image courtesy of Out of Africa Collection
07 September 2013 Written by 

Flying safari - The ultimate guide to your luggage weight

One great way to enjoy a safari in Kenya is by air travel. It is arguably the most comfortable means and definitely the fastest to get around. Many tourists prefer air travel when covering relatively long distances where vehicles would take hours on the road, albeit the beautiful scenery of Kenya. This is a guide on your airline luggage weight when you're on your flying safari.

What is the maximum luggage weight?

When travelling within Kenya, the maximum luggage allowance is 15 kilos. This is inclusive of all hand luggage and cameras.

Will excess baggage be charged?

Yes.

How is excess luggage charged?

Excess luggage will be charged as per the prevailing rate per kilogram. It is currently between 3-5 US dollars per kilogram, depending on the airline.

Can I pay for excess luggage when I check in?

Yes.

How can I be sure my excess luggage will be accepted into the plane?

There is no guarantee that excess baggage will be taken into the plane. It is to the sole discretion of the airline company and is dependent on the number of passengers and the amount of luggage that is already in the plane a few minutes to the departure time. Terms and conditions apply.

What if I anticipate having excess baggage?

If you anticipate having excess luggage, call the air travel company and let them know. You will be required to book a freight seat at a child's fare rate. Airlines on average permit extra baggage weight of up to 75kg.

What kind of freight is NOT acceptable?

If the passengers' baggage includes anything that could me legally or morally unacceptable e.g. elephant tusks, it will be denied. Also if the weight potentially compromises the safety of the plane e.g. gun powder, it will be denied. If the weight affects the condition of the plane and the comfort of the passengers e.g. wet fish, it will be denied.

What kinds of bags are accepted into the plane?

Ordinarily there are no major restrictions. However, a call will save you potential trouble because some airlines only accept soft bags such as duffel bags. Some do NOT accept bags with wheels.

Can I sit with my hand luggage in the plane?

The planes are very small. There are no overhead bins for that. There are no extra seats, rear plane space, or compartments under the chairs either. Flights are short, so having your hand luggage with the rest of the baggage isn't a bad idea.

Is there a restriction on a passenger's weight?

The seats in planes are usually restrictive in size. Men well above the average weight of 85 kg and women well above the weight of 65 kg may find them restrictive. Large persons who may not fit in one seat will be required to book an extra seat at a child's fare rate.

What about pets?

Some airlines accept tourists to take pets on board. However, they will be required to pay an additional fee of roughly 30 US dollars (fee is likely to differ with different airline companies). Some of the airlines will require that the pet be carried in an airline-approved container. If you have a pet, it is always best to call the company and find out if it is acceptable. This is because some airline companies in Kenya do NOT allow pets on board even if they are in an airline-approved container.

Will animals be treated as freight?

Yes, all pets and animals will be treated as freight.

It is important to note that this guide applies to adult passengers. Any person aged 12 and below will not be allowed into a plane without accompaniment of an adult. Infants under age 2 are carried free of charge provided they do not occupy a seat/ are carried by the passenger.



Ernest Wamboye Wakhusama

Ernest Wamboye is a writer and editor working in Nairobi, Kenya. He is also a volunteer Brand Ambassador at AfricaTalentbank.com and an origami artist and storyteller at Arts & OAK, a company that he founded. Ernest is married to Waturi and they both live in Nairobi, Kenya.
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