The Best Safari Bags and Backpacks

Getting ready for an amazing safari in Africa? It’s worth it to invest in one of these amazing safari bags before your trip. You may already have the destination in mind, plane tickets booked, and a reservation at a dream-inspiring African lodge. The next step is to gather all the safari gear you will need to get you through this trip.

We have been on over 100 safaris and can’t recommend sturdy and quality gear enough. Why? If you go cheap on safari bags or safari clothes in Africa and something goes wrong there is no replacing them on short notice.

However, with so many options to choose from, it can be hard to pick a safari bag that matches your style and comfort. Don’t worry, though! We’ve got you covered with our favorites ranging in all shapes, sizes, prices, and even colors.


The Best Safari Bags

Best Safari BagsFeaturesAvg Price
Patagonia Black Hole 55L
Patagonia Black Hole Safari Bag and Duffel Bag For Travel
• Durable TPU Laminate
• Roomy
• Weatherproof
$139
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Filson Twill Duffel Bag
Filson Medium Duffel Safari Bag
• Gorgeous Canvas
• Classic Style
$395
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Texbo Cowhide Leather Duffel
Best Safari Bags
• Leather Bag
• Decent Value
• Plenty of Pockets
$160
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Saddleback Leather Safari Backpack
• Leather Backpack
• Gorgeous
• Lifetime Guarantee
$598
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Buffalo Jackson Denver Bag
Buffalo Jackson Waxed Canvas Denver Safari Bag
• Waxed Canvas Bag
• Leather Accents
•Style
$319
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Polare Weekender Safari Duffel
best safari bags
• Leather Bag
• Plenty of Pockets
• Decent Value
$159
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North Face Base Camp 50L
The North Face Duffel Bag Safari
•Classic Adventure Bag
• Durable
• Weatherproof
$139
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S-ZONE Canvas Weekend Bag 
•Cheap
• Canvas
$49
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Herschel Novel Duffle Bag
Herschel Supply Co. Novel Duffle Safari Bag
•Value
• High Quality
• Stylish Canvas
$85
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Aidonger Duffel Bag
Best Safari Bags
•Pockets
• Canvas
• Affordable
$55
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Patagonia Black Hole 55L ($139)

Patagonia Black Hole Safari Bag and Duffel Bag For Travel

Hop on any bush flight, and you’re bound to see this safari bag under the plane or its rear. Patagonia’s Black Hole bags have taken over adventure travel and outdoor sports. It’s a slam dunk safari tote for us as the bag is waterproof, soft, and can swallow a ton of clothes/gear.

Patagonia’s unique TPU film laminate polyester ripstop has a slick look that’s equally durable. In recent years they’ve also made the material 100% recyclable an awesome eco-friendly step. While it’s unlikely your bag will face too much water on safari, but the weatherproofing does translate well to dust protection for rides in the back of a safari truck.

The bag can pack down small when empty so it’s great to stick in your bag. It was also plenty easy to stuff and organize, thanks to the large U-shaped zipper and two mesh pockets on the top flap. It’s also super lightweight an important aspect we look for in our safari bags. You have the option of four sizes, but we recommend the 55L as it’s a large size without being too cumbersome. This is the best safari daypack bag on this list.

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Filson Medium Rugged Twill Duffel Bag ($395)

Filson Medium Duffel Safari Bag

Filson delivers some beautiful products that have clear attention to detail that make for a gorgeous safari bag. Its unparalleled build quality gives us assurance the bag should last a lifetime or at the very least a decade.

The twill is very robust and durable able to resist stains and abrasion. Its 43L is enough for a savvy packer, or you can opt for the large version at 73L. Our only complaint would be for a better internal organization.

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Texbo Cowhide Leather Duffel ($160)

Best Safari Bags

This leather safari bag is thick, durable, maintains a vintage look despite being brand new. The bag has two side zipper pockets on the outside, an interior pocket, a front zippered pocket, and one main compartment large enough to fit all you need for a week-long safari in it.

It’s also sturdy enough to protect electronics like a laptop or a safari camera. The bag itself weighs 1.8kg. It’s not a well-known brand name, but for a decent price you end up with a good looking leather safari bag.

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Saddleback Leather Safari Backpack ($598)

Saddleback makes some of the best quality backpacks – hands down. Their leather backpacks are the best safari backpacks on the market and we don’t travel anywhere without them. They aren’t cheap by any means, but they are quality. Saddleback Leather ensures its products with a 100-year warranty. 

They only use sturdy materials on their bags including full-grain leather, pigskin lining, and marine-grade polyester thread. The lower back section is padded with Neoprene and the shoulder straps are completely adjustable. No, this bag won’t hold all of your safari luggage but is perfect for an overnight bag or as a carry-on addition to your main safari travel bag. This bag weighs 3.9 Pounds

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Buffalo Jackson Denver Waxed Canvas Bag ($319)

Buffalo Jackson Waxed Canvas Denver Safari Bag

We love this canvas bag from Buffalo Jackson for another stylish canvas bag. It has a classic style and makes for a great weekend bag of small safari bags for short jaunts or bush flights. The waxed canvas is paired nicely with full-grain leather for a great look.

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Polare Genuine Leather Weekender Safari Duffel ($159)

best safari bags

If you’re looking for one of those traditional Italian-designed leather bags then the Polare is your answer. This 23″ bag is stylish, strong, and made of all-natural cowhide.

If you think it looks great in the photos, just wait until the product ages a bit! This bag is beautiful for both men and women on safari and at less than $200 the price is great too!

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North Face Base Camp 50L ($139)

The North Face Duffel Bag Safari

The North Face Base Camp is likely the adventure bags that work well for as a safari bag. This bag has been a staple of the duffel market and for a long time left competitors attempting to keep up.

I love that the shoulder straps are plush and allow for the bag to be carried like a backpack. It’s made with a durable material that is both rugged and weather resistant. It’s everything I look for in a great duffel bag for travel. North Face also makes a version with wheels called the North Face Rolling Thunder.

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S-ZONE Oversized Canvas Weekend Bag ($49)

A canvas safari bag is a great option if you are trying to steer away from all leather products. The S-Zone Canvas bag is fashionable for both men and women and comes in Gray/Khaki/Black/Blue/Army Green/Coffee colors.

This safari duffle bag is roomy and good for those not traveling with much while on safari. It can be used as a carry-on flight bag. Note that this bag still uses leather for the straps and handles and weighs about 4.5 lbs.

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Herschel Supply Co. Novel Duffle Bag ($85)

Herschel Supply Co. Novel Duffle Safari Bag

You really can’t go wrong with any Herschel product. This is a great piece of soft-sided luggage for safari. At only 2lb this bag is also a great lightweight safari luggage option.

The Herschel Duffle bag is 100% polyester and features their signature shoe compartment for easy and organized travel while keeping to a classic and simple style. What I like about this bag is that it’s not only a great option for a safari, but also for just everyday life back at home. Take it to the gym, to work, or overnight somewhere and it doesn’t look out of the ordinary.

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Aidonger Unisex Canvas Travel Duffel Bag

Best Safari Bags

The Aidonger Canvas Travel bag is the cheapest bag on this list. If you are looking for something quick and easy to buy without spending a lot of money, this is your bag. It’s made in China, but hey it’s $55!

The Aidonger is 25 centimeters wide and made from canvas. It’s more of a bag to carry your necessities rather than your main piece of luggage.  It has a lot of pockets – eight to be exact. I like that this bag is hand washable in case you get it dirty while on safari!

There are five colors available – black, coffee, dark blue, gray, and khaki, and plenty of other affordable options on the Aidonger Amazon page!

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What Makes a Great Safari Bag?

Ants Hill

Size

You’ll want to make sure that your safari bag or safari backpack adheres to the size restrictions enforced on the small bush and charter flights. Many African lodges are remote so chances are you may need to hop on a bush flight to start your safari.

Most bush flights allow a maximum of 30 kg on the plane. If taking a chartered plane, you will most likely be flying on a Cessna 206, Cessna 210, Cessna Caravans, or Twin Otters, and these planes get full and cramped fast!


Shape

Linyanti Concession - Botswana

Speaking of airline restrictions, many small aircraft carriers only allow you to have soft-sided bags as your luggage. As mentioned, these planes are small, so they have to maneuver and maybe even squash your bag onto the plane. That’s why they impose harsh safari luggage restrictions. This simply isn’t doable with a hard shell piece of luggage and is why you will need a soft travel bag for safari.


Quality

Linyanti-Expeditions-Walking-Safari-Botswana

You’ll want to make sure you have a safari travel bag that can take all that bush can throw at it. A good rugged bag is essential while dealing with the dirt, dust, elephants (not really), and every other African element. Having rock-solid construction while still being soft and bendable to adhere to the strict African planes is essential.


Comfort

safari outfit

Good safari luggage means comfort. Everything from the main compartment, straps, handles, and zippers should be built to keep you traveling comfortably. If it’s hard to carry


Style

At the end of the day, you want your luggage for a safari to look great. All of these safari bags on this list are beautifully designed inside and out.


Plan Your Trip to Africa

  • Travel Insurance: We don’t travel without travel insurance and neither should you. You never know what can happen while traveling so it’s best to be prepared. World Nomads provides good short term coverage
  • Travel Waterbottle: When we’re uncertain about the water supply we use our Grayl Purifier. It’s come in exceptionally handy around Africa.
  • Camera Gear: Chances are you’ll want a camera for your trip to Africa. We love the Sony RX100V for a pocket-size camera and the Fujifilm XT-3 for a professional camera. Check out our favorite cameras for Africa.
  • Safari Clothes: Lightweight, beige, and moisture-wicking clothing are great for traveling Africa. See our favorite safari clothing here.
  • Safari Hat: A good hat is both stylish and functional.
  • Safari Bag: A durable bag is ideal for traveling around Africa.
  • Safari Pants: We recommend neutral-colored pants as they’re great at hiding dirt and can match most shirt colors.
  • Safari Shirt: Shirts like these are lightweight and keep the bugs away!
  • Boots: While you don’t need to wear sturdy shoes everyday, at least one pair of safari boots will make your trip nicer!
  • Travel Adapter: You’ll need a special travel adapter for traveling Africa. Get one before you get there so you don’t pay a premium on the ground.
About Natasha

Natasha is the co-founder of The World Pursuit. She is an expert in travel, budgeting, and finding unique experiences. She loves to be outside, hiking in the mountains, playing in the snow on her snowboard, and biking. She has been traveling for over 10 years experiencing unique cultures, new food, and meeting fantastic people. She strives to make travel planning and traveling easier for all. Her advice about international travel, outdoor sports, and African safari has been featured on Lonely Planet, Business Insider, and Reader’s Digest.

Learn more about Natasha Alden on The World Pursuit About Us Page.

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