Canvas & Leather Safari Luggage
If you're heading to Africa on that once-in-a-lifetime safari, then you should make sure you have suitable luggage for your trip.
A hard suitcase is not recommended as you're likely to be using all manner of transport - from light aircraft to rugged safari vehicles - between destinations. In these circumstances, a better option is a soft, zip-up bag that you can access easily, fit into smaller spaces, and that makes you look less like a safari greenhorn.
Although there are numerous choices when it comes to choosing a softer bag to carry your gear, it's essential for travel in Africa that your bags are tough and durable.
Choice of color is also important. Earthy, neutral tones don't show dust; they also blend better with the colors of the African bush than do bright primary colors like red or blue.
If you see photos from yesteryear of the old Africa hands and hunters like Ernest Hemingway, they opted for durable canvas luggage on their forays into Africa. They obviously knew something, so it's a good idea to follow their example and find the modern equivalent - a tough, sturdy, yet good-looking canvas and leather safari bag (below).
There's a small, family-owned business in South Africa called Dirt Road Outfitters that manufactures a fine range of canvas luggage, hand-crafted from hard-wearing rip-stop canvas and finished in genuine leather and brass fittings.
Dirt Road is owned by the Findlay family, themselves experienced Africa hands who've travelled extensively by Land Rover, plane, and ferry throughout southern Africa, at the same time putting their products to the test (below).
I'm a wildlife photographer who's visited many of Africa's national parks, from South Africa to Tanzania. When travelling, all my attention is lavished on my camera gear and the other stuff must look after itself. In spite of this lack of care, my personal Dirt Road canvas bag is still serving me well.
Dirt Road Outfitters, in addition to luggage, also manufactures a range of safari clothing that's favored by many of southern Africa's leading safari companies, not only for their safari guides and field staff, but also for their management and front-of house staff.
To find out more and see the full range of canvas and leather luggage and the safari clothing, please see the Dirt Road website.
Pictures and text © Scotch Macaskill