We use the recently released Cloud Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) Version 4.1 (V4) lidar data to study the smoke plumes transported from Southern African biomass burning areas. Significant improvements in the CALIPSO V4 Level 1 calibration and V4 Level 2 algorithms lead to a better representation of their optical properties, with the aerosol subtype improvements being particularly relevant to smoke over this area. For the first time, we show evidence of smoke particles increasing in size, as demonstrated by their particulate color ratios, as they are transported over the South Atlantic Ocean from the source regions over Southern Africa. We hypothesize that this is due to hygroscopic swelling of the smoke particles and is reflected in the higher relative humidity in the middle troposphere for profiles with smoke. This finding may have implications for radiative forcing estimates over this area and is also relevant to the ORACLES field mission.