July 26 2015 departure - Tanzania: Grand Family Safari - Luggage

I am bringing my family, 4 adults and my 6 yr. old granddaughter. They are seriously excited. When I read the luggage requirements I am a little confused. It is under the "Before You Leave" tab. It reads:

Special Luggage Restrictions for this Tour:
To help in your packing, we will provide each guest with a duffel bag. The duffel bag has been specially designed to provide more than adequate space for essential items needed while on safari. Please pack light and bring ONLY the Tauck-issued duffel bag with you on safari.

Question: When do we get this duffel bag? If at Arumeru River Lodge what happens to our luggage (and stuff that will not fit into this duffel bag) we just flew in with while we are on safari.? Does it stay at Arumeru until we return at the end of safari.? OR is this duffel bag mailed to us prior to our departure date and we just travel entire trip with this duffel bag?

Hopefully someone has this answer.


  • edited May 2015
    Hi Geer, I do not blame you for being confused, Tauck have not done a good job passing on information on this when I read the Before You Go section. I have been on three Tauck safaris, two of which begin in Tanzania. and I have been on about 6 Tauck trips that required the famous duffel bags. Only one of those times were the bags given to us when we got to our destination, the other times they were mailed to us once we made our final payment. It does say the children's ruck sacks will be mailed, but I think you must call Tauck to clarify exactly when you get your bags, because on at least one occasion I remember some people not being sent their bag when they should have ( problems always appear when customers have booked through a travel agent and not Tauck directly I notice)
    Next, be assured these bags are really roomy and you will have no trouble getting everything you need into them and them staying under weight for the safaris. Your big suitcases will be stored and sent to location where you are supposed to be re-united with them and they will be safely kept.
    The part about taking only your safari bags is written really confusingly, but if you notice in the general rules about luggage, you can bring a bigger and heavier amount of suitcase to the start of the vacation, then when you start the safari travel your duffel comes in to play. The duffels are very nice, roomy and come in a very small pack which will take little room up in your suitcase. A few people elect to just take the duffel on the entire vacation, we do not do that because we prefer our suitcases to have wheels for when we are not in the Tauck bubble and have to deal with transporting them ourselves. More tips later, I am off on a trip this evening and may have time to see the forum at the airport!
  • edited May 2015
    Geer, here would be my suggestions for clothing. Avoid white because it is really dusty, even your face will get covered in a fine dirt layer. Avoid black and blue because if you come across tsetse flies they are attracted to these colors and they will bite right through that color of clothing, and it hurts. Last year I had a pair of socks with a black border and I got bitten right through those. It's a good idea to wear long pants and long t shirts to avoid insect bites including mosquitoes, and to reduce the need for sunscreen in the intense sun. You will also reduce the need to put so much Deet mosquito repellent on your skin since you do not need or it is certainly not advised to apply it where you will already have clothes covering you. This is especially important on young children, Deet is very toxic. Avoid bites by covering up at dusk. There is no need to take any resort attire, quite often you will go straight to dinner after an evening safari and at most places you need to be escorted back and forth to your rooms once it gets dark, another excuse not to bother to go and change. Take something like a 'buff' with you, a kind of trendy circular neck piece, head piece or whatever you want to do with it. If you have never heard of one of these look them up, they first became popular on the Survivor T V show and come in all sorts of patterns. Take a hat with a wide brim and chin strap so it does not fly off your head and land on a lion. Shoes- you stand on the seats in the safari vehicles when you are viewing and filming wildlife, you have to take your shoes off, so good to always wear socks too. Again avoid any color near the white spectrum and I think it is better to always wear shoes than are not open toe style. Some of the camps may have sandy dirt paths that lead to the rooms or tents, your shoes will get dirty. That's all for now!
  • Thank you so much British.! I forwarded your suggestions onto my kids. Everyone is very excited and I think this will truly be a great time.
  • We just returned from this tour. It was absolutely fabulous! The guides, and the Tauck tour director (Nancy Davis) were special people and our family of 8 loved them all.
    As to questions on the duffels - We received them before we left home, kept them packed in the satchels they arrived in inside our suitcases, and only used them for the second half of the trip (As the luggage van can't go with you to the Serengeti on the unpaved roads). You pack the duffle after the Crater, and the safari vehicles take them for the rest of the trip. The bags are spacious, and will hold everything you might need for 4 nights...not a problem. The suitcases go back to Arumeru Lodge and are there waiting for you in your day room so you can repack, shower and ready for the trip home.
    Enjoy your safari - the memories will last a lifetime....
  • edited July 2015
    I don't know if this is correct or if it still applies and to whom, but I read on a forum or in the Tauck literature that the duffels are only mailed to US (and Canadian?) travelers and are distributed to others upon arrival.

    My wife and I took both of our duffels on our recent K&T Safari, but only used one of them on duffel days. As British and Travelgirl said, they are roomy enough for the clothes you'll need for the 3-4 days or so you'll be without your suitcase. Some travelers fit everything in their duffels and don't take suitcases, but we like the added protection and the wheels provided by our regular luggage, plus we don't like to schlepp carry-on's except for the small hand bag and man-purse that we use to carry magazines, camera, tablet and an emergency set of clothes.
  • Thank you so much for reply's. Yes, we did receive our duffels in the mail and are all set.! Everyone is so very excited. I have read many reviews on the accommodation and they all look wonderful too. I know with Tauck, everything will be wonderful!!!
  • Hi
    I am so afraid of flying What kind of plane or airline they flying on this local flight?
    Thank you so much!
  • StTropez wrote:
    I am so afraid of flying What kind of plane or airline they flying on this local flight?
    Thank you so much!

    It could be anyone of these short-haul turbo-prop commuter aircraft:

    Cessna Caravan


    Dehavilland Twin Otter


    Dehavilland Dash-7

  • Thank you very much. Have you been on any of these planes? How long is that flight from Serengeti to Arusha?
  • StTropez wrote:
    Thank you very much. Have you been on any of these planes? How long is that flight from Serengeti to Arusha?

    We had four on-tour flights, and had the opportunity to fly in all three types! Depends on the aircraft, but flight times from the Serengeti (Seronera afld) to Arusha (ARK) range from 1:15 to 2:05.
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