Flight Booking & Luggage Arrangements for South African Hunting Safaris


I use Custom Travel for all our bookings. You do not have to get your flights through Custom Travel and can do these on your own. However, the advantage of using Custom Travel is that I can follow up with any problems and take all the work out of flights for you. I do not make a commission on this as it is part of the service I provide. You will also (once booked and paid for) get a big package with a lot of helpful information about your safari to Africa from Custom Travel. If you book your flights on your own I cannot assist you with any problems you may have and can't guarantee anything. Custom Travel has proven to me to be very good over the past few years and I recommend using them.



President and Owner, Custom Travel
Debbie Trinidad 
9415 W Forest Home Ave, Suite 201
Hales Corners, WI 53130, USA
Melinda Kuglitsch
President and Owner South Africa Specialist


or see Custom Travel website:  www.customtravelafrica.com

Budget $1600 - 2,000.00 per person for airfare for most time. June and July, and the very first part of August airfare is usually at its highest. This would be from the USA to PE ( Port Elizabeth - the pick up and return point of your safari )

We must assure that you have flights and waiting till the last minute for these (paying) will result in your party having NO SEATS and/or higher rates. Here is an example of what Custom Travel does- In Feb of 2010 my first clients were scheduled to leave home (Missouri) fly to Wash/Dulles and depart on Saturday. A big snow storm was coming (predicted up to 30 inches) to Washington and flights were being cancelled before the storm even hit. Debbie at Custom Travel called my hunters and asked if they could leave a day early. They did leave on Friday and departed Washington before the storm hit. The storm closed Washington down for days and had the hunters departed on their original schedule to Washington they would have been stranded there - Custom travel was a life saver !


Airlines may have their own additional requirements on the carriage of firearms and the amount of ammunition that you may have in your checked baggage. Therefore, travelers should also contact the airline regarding its firearm and ammunition carriage policies, and luggage policies.

Do not put any ammo nor gun parts (eg. your Rifle Bolt ) in your carry on bag nor in any checked bag!!!

A hard gun case is a must. If there are 2 hunters and you are each only taking 1 gun, use 1 case that both guns can be fitted in. Lock with your own lock.

Till September 2012 You are allowed 2 pieces of 50 pounds each person on SA Air and United. Overweight bags are charged for. If you are flying Delta, you will have to pay for the 2nd bag. The overweight bag is about $150.00 up to 70lbs. It is not accepted as a checked in bag if it does weigh over 70lbs. A third bag checked in is $250.00. They are starting to weigh the carry ons now, so you should keep those 18lbs or less and has to fit over the seat or under.

Weigh your bags!

South African Airways (SAA) is introducing a new check-in baggage policy in response to your customer’s varying requirements in each of its markets.

From 5 September 2012, SAA will move to a checked baggage policy that restricts the number of pieces of baggage a passenger may check in, rather than the total weight of the passenger’s checked baggage. Each of these pieces will be subject to weight and size restrictions. The new policy describes the number of baggage pieces a passenger may check-in, as well as the weight restrictions for each piece, according to route and class of travel.

Excess baggage, i.e. additional items, or where the baggage exceeds the weight and or size allowance, will be charged at a flat rate per piece of luggage. This is a change from the current policy where excess baggage is charged per kilogram.

In addition and to comply with airport loading equipment limits, SAA cannot accept any check-in items weighing more than 32kg.   Any items exceeding this limit will either have to be repacked into separate bags or checked in at the SAA Cargo counter and flown at cargo rates.

The new standard will apply to all SAA services worldwide and is in is in line with that of many other airlines around the world.

The new policy, which contains simple explanations and identifies routes where variations are applicable, may be viewed online at http://www.flysaa.com.  It also forms an important part of the Terms & Conditions of all SAA tickets, including flights purchased online.

Passengers travelling on multi-sector/multi-carrier tickets and SAA code-share partner flights, i.e. tickets purchased from SAA for a flight with an SA flight number, but operated by another airline, should check with the other airlines to see which baggage policy is applicable.

The policy will apply on tickets for all flights operated by SAA, i.e. flown using an SAA aircraft and crew. For tickets involving joint international transport services (code share) provided by SAA and foreign airlines the free baggage and excess baggage charge policy have been adjusted and will be based on the policies of the predominant carrier for the trip.

The excess baggage will be charged at a flat rate per rule broken, per piece. This means that if a piece of baggage is both overweight and oversize, two excess baggage charges will apply. Weight/size restrictions apply to all baggage pieces, including additional pieces over and above the baggage allowance.

An excess baggage charge will apply for each Economy Class bag weighing over 23 kg, but less than 32 kg. The one exception is for travel to/from South America, where an Economy Class passenger is permitted to take two pieces of baggage that each weighs no more than 32 kg. SAA cannot check in any bag weighing more than 32 kg, for both Economy and Business Class passengers. This is due to baggage handling restrictions at airports, and as such is beyond our control. Any piece of baggage weighing more than 32 kg will either have to be repacked (in order to weigh 32 kg or less) or will have to be taken to the SAA Cargo counter and checked in as cargo. Cargo rates will apply.

Excess baggage rule – size

An excess baggage charge will apply for each piece of baggage that exceeds the maximum dimensions as stipulated in SAA’s baggage policy. The maximum dimensions are 80 cm x 60 cm x 18 cm = 158 cm (62").

For detail on baggage allowances for each market under the new piece concept baggage policy please refer to the table below

Travel Between: Business Class / Economy Class

Domestic (within South Africa)
 1 piece at a maximum of 32kg (70lb)
 1 piece at a maximum of 23kg (50lb)

Worldwide – USA / Canada
 2 pieces at a maximum of 32kg (70lb) each
 2 pieces at a maximum of 23kg (50lb) each

Africa and South America
 2 pieces at a maximum of 32kg (70lb) each
 2 pieces at a maximum of 32kg (50lb) each

Africa and Europe / UK
 2 pieces at a maximum of 32kg (70lb) each
 1 piece at a maximum of 23kg (50lb)


Africa and Asia / Japan
 2 pieces at a maximum of 32kg (70lb) each
 2 pieces at a maximum of 23kg (50lb) each

Africa and Australia / New Zealand
 2 pieces at a maximum of 32kg (70lb) each
 1 piece at a maximum of 23kg (50lb)

South America and Australia / New Zealand
 2 pieces at a maximum of 32kg (70lb) each
 2 pieces at a maximum of 23kg (50lb) each

South America and Asia / Africa
 2 pieces at a maximum of 32kg (70lb) each
 2 pieces at a maximum of 23kg (50lb) each



  • 1 Large Rolling Duffel Bag
  • 1 hard gun case or share one with a hunting partner. TUFF PAK makes a very nice plastic case and it looks like a golf case so those anti hunting baggage handlers don’t know its guns. Mark all your bags-laminating a name tag and securing it with tie strap. Put an extra tag inside in case the outside tags are torn off.
  • Carry a small backpack as a carry on, with an extra set of clothes, book and all documents - this frees you to pull the duffel and gun case.

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