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03-20-2021, 12:44 PM   #1
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Plastic bag ban in africa

Hi all,

Does anyone know whether or not the single-use plastic bag ban in Kenya and other African countries includes banning bubble wrap? A weird question, I know. I use bubble wrap to cushion my cameras and lenses while I'm traveling, and we will be going this summer (2021). I will be splitting my gear between two backpacks that my husband and I will carry with us at all times. But they are not padded camera bags. Thus the bubble wrap issue. If I think there is a chance that someone upon arrival in Kenya will take my bubble wrap away and say I cannot use, it.......then I will find other non-plastic cushioning and not take a chance.

Just wondering if anyone has had actual experience with this since the plastic bag bans have been in place for a couple of years now -- although since we've been fairly locked down from Covid for so long, I'm not holding out a lot of hope for a definitive answer. Just askin'

Hope you are all well and surviving the Covid pandemic. We are vaccinated and waiting a couple of weeks for our bodies to build immunity. But then will continue to mask and stay careful. Just because.

Thanks,
Mary

03-20-2021, 12:54 PM   #2
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Hi Mary,

I can’t speak to a bubble wrap ban, but I’ve had good luck when traveling with padded camera/lens wraps and generous use of clothing and other soft items to prevent damage while walking about or in luggage.

The wraps are available in various sizes and have Velcro to let you “close” them around the gear...

Have a great trip!

-Eric
03-20-2021, 01:05 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Since you will be at the mercy of whoever checks your baggage and their interpretation on the " rules " I would advise on the side of caution and avoid the bubble wrap

I have used wraps as suggested and I would second the suggestion of checking them out and/or using clothing and duct tape

I have used these from Optech USA

Soft Wraps - Adjustable Case for Camera Lenses and Accessories | OP/TECH USA

enjoy the trip and

don't feed the animals, return safely
03-20-2021, 01:41 PM   #4
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All I know is that in South Africa, you pay for the plastic bags that they put your groceries in. You are free to bring your own bags, of course.

03-20-2021, 02:00 PM - 2 Likes   #5
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And they won’t let you bring Biltong back to the US, if you’re a cured meat fan

-Eric
03-20-2021, 02:13 PM   #6
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Spare socks, undies and T-shirts have worked well for me.
I would have though bubble wrap was pretty horrendous to work with anyway....
03-20-2021, 04:45 PM   #7
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The wraps are a great idea, and also camera bag inserts, individual lens bags, all better options than taking something that they may make you ditch.
03-21-2021, 03:08 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
Spare socks, undies and T-shirts have worked well for me.
I would have though bubble wrap was pretty horrendous to work with anyway....
additional thought -

an advantage of using your clothing as a " protective wrap " you don't add any extra weight to your gear

that can be important if you have to take a small plane while in Africa

03-21-2021, 09:33 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by TwoUptons Quote
And they won’t let you bring Biltong back to the US, if you’re a cured meat fan

-Eric
That must be a new rule. The last time I was there the rule was you can bring it as long as it's in a factory sealed package. The bilton people would put a label on one of those plastic bags and then use a machine to suck the air out of it and seal it.

That said I ate all if it on the flight.
03-21-2021, 12:22 PM   #10
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Thanks to all for this good advice. I'm going to check out the wraps, as they would be good in general, and I haven't been aware of them. Some have told me that people are still using bubble wrap, and it is convenient since I have it cut into specific sized pieces and put it on with rubber bands. But I do think I'm going to avoid the bubble wrap. I relate to aslyfox's comment about being at the mercy of individuals rather than the specific rules. That happens in every country. I don't want to be surprised. I'd rather be prepared instead (type A personality???) Don't worry about the biltong - I'm not a fan. (sorry) And yes, I do want to avoid extra weight, since we ARE taking small planes from camp to camp. We had been used to a 44lb per person limit in Botswana, but we've been told that Kenya's limit is 33lb per person. I've never had anyone weigh our carry-on bags/backpacks though. Only checked bags. So far so good. Cut down on clothing and do more laundry. There have been times in the past when I think just the camera gear and binos all together took up almost our entire weight limit, had they been weighed. Thankfully they have not. We would have chosen the equipment and left the clothes behind - LOL.
03-21-2021, 12:27 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mary Lippold Quote
. . . There have been times in the past when I think just the camera gear and binos all together took up almost our entire weight limit, had they been weighed. Thankfully they have not. We would have chosen the equipment and left the clothes behind - LOL.
been there done that

have dumped clothing, sure that someone will use it, in order to make room for souvenirs

as you say, camera gear comes first
03-21-2021, 02:10 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mary Lippold Quote
Don't worry about the biltong - I'm not a fan. (sorry)
I'm speechless.

03-23-2021, 11:40 AM - 2 Likes   #13
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Ah yes, biltong. Basically just raw meat that's been spiced and cured. South Africans love it.



Here is a recipe, but there are many more.

Home-made biltong - MyKitchen
03-30-2021, 02:16 PM - 1 Like   #14
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So, here is what I finally decided on. Found these all on Amazon - so free shipping. I bought a set of four lens bags by Altura, each one a different size and sold as a set. Very nice, padded, totally soft and non-snag on the inside, cord at the top to close as well as a hook to attach to something else if I wanted to. The largest one exactly fits my 70-200 lens, though without the tripod collar and without the sun shade (not a big deal - I will pack those separately). Actually, the sun shade does fit in there, very tightly, and I think it's easier to pack it separately rather than be delayed in customs/security trying to get it in and out of the bag. Without those two pieces, the lens fits perfectly into the largest bag. Then I also bought several of the Domke protective wraps. Velcro on all four corners. The two 15" size wrap my K3 camera bodies. I also got two of the 19" size - in case the largest Altura bag didn't fit my 70-200 well enough, and an extra 19" in case I decide at the last minute to take my 50-500 Big Ma. One of the other smaller Altura bags will be used if I again rent either the Pentax 55mm f1.4 or the Sigma 18-35 f1.8 for nighttime safari drives. The Sigma 18-35 went along last time and was very nice, but I might go with the Pentax instead this time for the extra reach and extra light. Haven't decided yet. In any event, I'm very happy with both the Altura lens bags and the Domke wraps. Who needs bubble wrap? I don't. Thanks everyone for your input. I'm now ready. .....and sorry I just can't get into biltong
Mary
03-31-2021, 01:55 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wasp Quote
Ah yes, biltong. Basically just raw meat that's been spiced and cured. South Africans love it.



Here is a recipe, but there are many more.

Home-made biltong - MyKitchen
Yum!
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