Wherever you’re heading on your wildlife travels, picking the best luggage for safari is essential.
Most safari companies specify a number of rules your safari luggage should follow, regarding the weight, material and features, in order to help it squeeze into cramped places in luggage compartments and your tent.
But you also need to make sure it holds all your stuff… so what are we to do?!
Never fear! I’ve done the research on the best bags to take with you, that not only fit your entire packing list but also meet all the requirements of the airlines AND look stylish too!
And remember, if you buy anything after clicking on a link in this post, you’re supporting my blog to keep bringing you unbiased safari luggage reviews like this one!
Best safari holdalls and duffel bags
Most safari companies recommend a soft holdall case without wheels, as they’re easily squished into planes and onto the back of jeeps.
If that’s what you’re after, read all about my favourite safari duffel bags right here:
Rufiji Canvas Duffel Bag
A traditional canvas holdall, available in two colour ways and holding an impressive 72 litres of stuff.
Available exclusively from The Safari Store for £179. Use my code reallywildlife to get an awesome 5% off.
This is a really stylish holdall in traditional safari colours, and there’ll be no mistaking your bag for another once it appears on the luggage carousel.
It’s comfortable to carry (as long as you’ve kept within the weight limits!) using the short grab handles, as well as the longer over-the-shoulder strap.
The zipper opens up really wide, allowing you to see all your belongings quickly and easily.
These bags can be pricey once you’ve already shelled out for the safari itself, but if you go on safaris fairly often, it’s a great investment for the future.
There are no internal pockets at all, meaning everything is in the same main area when you open it. This isn’t necessarily a problem for everyone, but if you like to be organised and STAY organised, consider a few packing cubes to help.
Rab Kit Bag II 80L
One of the largest options on our list of the best safari luggage, this rugged bag has plenty of room for up to 80L of your stuff.
Find it online at Cotswold Outdoor (UK) from £80.
Despite the amount of stuff it can carry, the Rab kit bag is really easy to transport. Its detachable shoulder straps allow you to wear it like a backpack, while the 4 other handles give you the option of carrying it in many other ways too.
It’s made from a very hard-wearing and water-resistant fabric, making sure your belongings stay safe and dry no matter how they’re squeezed into luggage compartments or thrown around by luggage handlers!
It’s a matter of personal preference, but I don’t find this bag to be particularly stylish. It’s a bog-standard style only available in a couple of muted colourways, so it doesn’t spark joy as much for me as other brightly coloured choices!
North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag
This medium-sized duffel bag is an iconic choice, offering 71L of space and a classic design.
You can find this holdall in lots of other colourways and sizes at Cotswold Outdoor (UK) for £120.
The classic North Face holdall is hard-wearing and durable, while also being made from water-resistant, recycled materials. This makes it a sustainable and practical choice too.
The large interior with a mesh pocket offers plenty of space for your clothes, while a separate compartment on the end can be used to store shoes or dirty laundry while travelling.
It’s very easy to carry thanks to its flexible and adjustable straps, meaning you can wear it comfortably like a backpack or use the padded side handles to carry as a holdall.
It’s genuinely difficult to find a con for this one; there are plenty of reasons to choose it as your next safari holdall, which may make it difficult to spot yours on the luggage carousel amongst many lookalike bags. It’s a very popular choice!
Best wheelie cases for taking on safari
Though bags with wheels aren’t always recommended, they do make carrying your luggage a whole lot easier!
My favourite safari suitcases are right here:
Craghoppers 28” Wheelie Bag
A soft wheelie case, bursting with features and 70 litres of space for all your safari essentials.
Buy direct from Craghoppers, where two of the colours are currently on sale for £136.50.
This wheelie bag has tons of space in the main compartment, as well as a number of internal pockets to keep you organised when travelling. If you manage to fill the cavernous 70-litre interior, the wheels on this bag will make navigating through airports and the bush a breeze.
The soft fabric is made from 19 recycled plastic bottles, so it boasts eco-credentials too. But that doesn’t make it any less secure: it’s been designed to be slash-resistant for extra security!
Yes, I’ve already listed the fact this bag has wheels as a pro. However, not all safari companies or airlines recommend bags with wheels as they can be more difficult to fit into the hold on small aeroplanes. That said I have seen wheelie cases being used widely across Africa – just make sure you do your research first.
Osprey Sojourn 60 Travel Pack
The most suitcase-like bag on our list is packed with features and flexibility, from one of travel’s most widely recognised brands.
Choose between two different colourways from Cotswold Outdoor (UK) for £275.
This bag is incredibly flexible. Thanks to its wheeled chassis, walking through airports will be a breeze. And when you don’t have the option to use the wheels, pick the bag up and carry it like a backpack with its shoulder straps.
At 60L, it’s not the largest bag on our list, but various compartments and mesh pockets will keep your clothes, toiletries and accessories safe and secure. Even if you overpack, the compression straps help you maximise capacity and meet any limits on dimensions.
This bag is the most expensive bag reviewed so, naturally, the price will count against it. But if you’re after a well-made bag from a well-known brand, the Osprey Sojourn 60 is a great option.
Despite the bag’s soft material, it is one of the most structured bags, particularly due to the plastic high road chassis that holds the wheels. That means it won’t be as flexible or as easy to squeeze into luggage compartments and you may get some disapproving looks from the pilot when loading. But the bag’s manoeuvrability is a worthy trade-off if your airline will allow it.
Cabin-friendly safari bags
Many safari-goers swear by keeping their luggage small and going with hand luggage only. This makes travel incredibly efficient, so consider these bags for your next trip:
Craghoppers 40L Holdall
A small but mighty backpack that’s compact enough to fit in the cabin but large enough to fit in plenty of stuff for a short break.
Buy from the official Craghoppers site from £105.
The small size means you’ll struggle to go over the weight limits imposed by small aeroplanes. It’s also incredibly comfortable to wear with adjustable straps that can be worn as a backpack or across your shoulder.
Despite its size, the holdall boasts lots of compartments to keep your laptop and tablet secure, as well as smaller internal organiser pockets so you won’t lose your essentials.
The 40L interior won’t be big enough for long trips but is ideal if you’re committed to travelling with hand luggage only. Plus, many safari lodges offer laundry facilities so you can afford to take less with you.
Whatever you’re looking for in a safari bag, whether it’s space, security or style, our unbiased reviews are designed to help you find it!