A whole new life in 15 kilos in Tanzania

15 kilos in Tanzania. Not 15 pieces of luggage…

“You should review your wardrobe for Tanzania,” the Travel Companion told me a few weeks ago, when he broke the bad news that we had a strict 15 kilo limit each for our domestic travel in Tanzania.

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We’re off to Tanzania in a few weeks for three amazing safaris and a stay on the beautiful island of Zanzibar — plus a shopping stop on the way home in Dar es Salaam.

And this particular never-ending Travelife involves eight rides on very small planes to get to those three amazing safaris and the magical island of Zanzibar.

“It’s worse than South Africa,” he said, as he’d done all the bookings for the safari charter flights for us, both in South Africa last year and in Tanzania coming up soon.

So he knows what he’s talking about.

I’m sure it will be.


We’d only done one safari in South Africa last year, and already this involved riding two small planes.

We took an eight-seater plane that landed right on the private air strip of our safari lodge, the Sabi Sabi Game Reserve.

And then we’d taken this back to Joburg after our safari.

The plane was very good, the pilots were great, and the hangar where we checked in for our flight was pretty plush.

The private hangar had great leather chairs, free WiFi, unlimited rooibos tea, and a great giftshop that sold safari clothes in case you felt like really getting into the safari theme.

So all in all, it was pretty painless, as far as flights on small airplanes go.


As for luggage, we had 40 kilos each on the international flight to South Africa from Asia. But on the charter flight to Sabi Sabi Game Reserve, we had a 20 kilo allocation per person.

This isn’t much, but I’d still managed to bring 15 dresses and my heavy circa 2011 Macbook Pro.


I don’t think I’m going to be so lucky this time around, for the Tanzania trip.

15 kilos includes hand luggage,” the Travel Companion stressed.

I replied: “15 kilos is my usual hand luggage.” My Macbook Pro alone is something like 2.5 kilos.

And just before I could even ask him to share some of his kilos with me, he beat me to the punch: “I’m not giving you any of my kilos, either. Even I can’t imagine what 15 kilos is like.

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Just to tease him, as he was being very serious about this weight issue, I asked: “Can we share your iPad then? I may have to leave my Macbook Pro at home. This way I can blog about you from your own iPad.”

That would be surreal. 

When we were in South Africa, he would sit next to me reading my blog on his iPad, while I wrote out a new entry about him and some new adventure on my Mac.

I can tell you it’s a strange feeling, writing a blog entry about someone who’s seated next to you, knowing he’s also reading about himself in your blog.

Anyway, he answered exactly as I expected: “There are too many things you can’t see on my iPad.

Of course I knew that.

I certainly wouldn’t want to share my Macbook Pro with him, either, if the tables were turned.

But just to tease him further, I said: “Shucks. I thought there were no secrets between us.


So I teased him endlessly about the weight issue for Tanzania.

But there’s really no way around it — especially with eight flights on eight very small airplanes, roundtrip, to four remote destinations.

So the very next day, there I was at a casual clothing store in Tokyo buying a whole new wardrobe of ultra-light, multi-purpose clothes in wrinkle-free fabric.

I’ve already ordered a couple of Tinsley dresses for the trip,  and these will take me easily from breakfast to dinner. They’re all in one style and I just got several prints — to make life easy.

But I still needed a very streamlined wardrobe for roughing it in the bush.

After that, I crossed the road to the Mac store, to pick up the lightest powerful computer I could find. I know I should bring an iPad — or force the Travel Companion to share his — but I just can’t work on an iPad, no matter how hard I try.

Thankfully, I found one that was powerful enough for two weeks of work. It’s the latest 11-inch top-of-the-line version of the Macbook Air. Lugging this is a walk in the park compared to the heavy-duty Mac I’ve been lugging all over the world for the last two years. But I’ve always resisted the Macbook Air because it’s just not fast enough for me, after having always used a Macbook Pro.

For those trying to decide between a Macbook Air and a Macbook Pro, if you’re in media and working on large files, it’s certainly better to get the Pro. But in terms of storage capability, the top-of-the-line Macbook Air is pretty fantastic. But speed-wise, it’ll never catch up with the Macbook Pro.

So if you’re as impatient as I am, then the speed is an issue.

For most people, however, weight is everything. And here, the Macbook Air is a clear winner.

It only weighed in at just one kilo — which means I have 14 kilos more to go for the rest of my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.