I do hate packing!

One would
think that having been a travel writer for 17 years,
 packing would, by now,be second nature
to me.
But I fear
that is not the case. 
I still cringe when it comes to viewing an empty pre-trip
I feel much like
a writer staring at a blank page, 
waiting for that flash of inspiration.
What to put
in first…
If I am
driving, the weight and contents of my suitcase
 do not pose a problem…
this dynamic changes when I have to board an aircraft.
I tend to
leave my packing to the last moment and as a result,
 I have never had a single
trip where I have packed and enjoyed it.
 Many years ago a very seasoned traveler gave
me the following advice when it came to packing.
everything out on a bed, and then remove 50%.
Now pack and
before closing the suitcase remove another 25%.
retrospect that seemed like good advice at the time,
 but in reality it did not
really work.

My well traveled Samsonite suitcase.
I refuse to go anywhere without it!


I have
subsequently come up with my own formula,weight.
I know that we are usually
allowed about 20kg of check-in luggage and my current goal, irrespective of
what I pack is to get that to 10kg or less.
The closest
I have come is 12kg, but to be honest, going on a 3 week trip with only one
pair of underwear was not a good idea.
Have a
packing list I was told…I tried that, but with little success.
“Why”? I
hear you ask. 
There were items that I forgot to put ON the list.
I remember going on a trip to Italy and forgetting my deodorant. Trying buying your
favourite brand in a store
 where no one speaks English.
I have traveled to Turkey and after spending an entire day shooting pictures in
Istanbul, I returned to my hotel only to find that I had left the battery
chargers for BOTH cameras back in South Africa.
I could not
find a shop that had the required devices,
 so I had to limit my picture taking.

I have
packed items knowing that they would not be returning home with me…shoes and
tee-shirts specifically
 that I have left in a variety of hotel rooms.
And of
course there are always THOSE items that you pack
 and never wear…
like a warm
jacket when visiting Dubai in the middle of summer.
Or the long
pants that you pack,
 just in case there is a “formal” dinner.
On one
particular cruise, I was invited to join the Captain for dinner, but I had
packed neither a suit nor a tie.
 I ended up being gifted a tie by the guest relations
which is currently the only tie I own.
So, if in
doubt…leave it out…or perhaps just pack it anyway.
 You can always leave it
behind to make room
 for the gifts that you HAVE to bring home.
All the suitcase images are from Hamiltons Tented Camp.
This posting has been based on an article that I wrote
for the November issue of Skyways magazine.
Currently to be found in the seat pockets
of all the aircraft in the Airlink fleet


To find out more bout this camp and that they have to offer,
visit their website:
The latest addition to my sponsors list…
The Olight SRS2UT Intimidator.
Marketed locally by:
My camera brand of choice for more than 4 decades!
When it is time to print out my special images,
this is the company that I rely on to do that.
Bush gear to make me blend in…
in comfort and style.
I have worn these shoes in the jungles of India
and on the beaches of Croatia.
Not to mention, many game reserves in Africa.
They are probably the most comfortable pair of shoes
that I have ever owned.
When I get home. I rely on this ISP
to provide me with high speed fibre connectivity
to enable me to get my postings published in record time.
This powerbank is my constant companion
 while I am travelling.
It can do up to 4 full re-charges of my phone before
needing to be charged.
Supplied by…
When offered an option…
ALWAYS be Batman.
This time he was standing in front of a picture of
Col. James Stevenson-Hamiltion,
 after whom this tented camp is named.
The newest of my travelling companions.
To find out more about the collectible Funko range of figurines,
My new addition, this awesome laptop bag from Solo.
Padded for protection and with enough pockets to keep
almost everything INCLUDING the kitchen sink in,
this is definitely an stylish addition to any business presentation.
Be it in the boardroom or the bush.
This bag can also be worn as a backpack.
There are straps in a hidden compartment that can be deployed
when you need both hands for other purposes.
To find out more about the stylish Solo range,
A new “tool” in my camera bag.
This locally made product was indispensable when using a long lens.
The ball and socket might look simple…and it is,
which is why it should be in the gear bag of every serious photographer.
This locally made, deceptively simple device is ideal
for tracking birds in flight or animals in motion.
The base can be used on a beanbag or a tripod,
with the ball being fitted to the camera.
The simplicity of the device allows to to move from supported
to hand held in a fluid motion.
There is also a version that can be used on a car window.
To see more about the product,
visit their Facebook page:
Or order directly from:
All images are the copyright property of
and may not be used without permission
Follow me on Twitter: @davidbatzofin