OAT’s (Overseas Adventure Travel’s) wonderfully helpful website is loaded with lots of hints from those that have gone before. Thanks to them, I have a good idea of what to pack, and equally important, what NOT to pack.
I need to be prepared for cold mornings and evenings, high mid-day temperatures, and a school visit. Then after the tour ends, Mike and I are on our own in Cape Town for several days.
Suggestions for what to bring for the school visit included uninflated soccer balls and flip-flops plus the usual books, crayons, paper, pens and pencils. I also like to bring along a few frivolous things, like small stuffed animals.
The camps do our laundry every night, so 3 changes of clothes will do the trick, but I also needed a warm jacket, a hat, gloves, plus shorts and tee shirts and a bathing suit. Dressing in layers is key. I also need to plan for our time in Cape Town when we will be without daily laundry service.
I found jumbo zip lock bags at the supermarket and am using them to organize my wardrobe. But will all this, plus toiletries, fit into the duffel bag?
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to. One traveler suggested putting the duffel inside a much bigger bag, then packing everything into that one large suitcase. I tried that, but I easily exceeded the 50 pound weight limit. THEN I decided to check out South African Air’s luggage rules and was very excited to learn that in addition to my carry on, I can have TWO checked bags!!! I’m so used to the United Airlines restrictions, it didn’t occur to me that another airline’s checked baggage policy could be more liberal.
Being able to bring that second bag meant another trip to the Dollar Store for toothbrushes, combs and LOTS more school supplies, plus any odds and ends that I thought might be useful. I packed it all in an old suitcase that I plan to leave in Africa.
So, now my duffel will only contain MY stuff–plus another small duffel that I will use to bring back any purchases I make–good news for sisters, hermana preferida, cousins and other loved ones!