An African safari is definitely a grand adventure. It isn’t just about glimpsing wildlife. It is experiencing wildlife. Africa has a very wide range of landscapes, vegetation, and climates so what to wear varies. Dressing right isn’t only for looks, there are practical reasons people carefully choose what to wear on safari. The clothes to wear on your safari holiday will depend on where in Africa you’re headed, at the time of year and what type of safari you are going to.
What to Wear
- You do not have to wear any special safari clothes. Wear comfortable clothes that will not stain dirt, offer sun protection, and are comfortable from the heat or cold.
- Remember to wear a safari outfit and clothes suited for the environment. You are better off wearing long sleeves and long pants that are lightweight and breathable during game drives and safari walk. It’s important to protect your skin from the elements. Staying covered up not only protects you from the sun, it also keeps the bugs away. You have a better chance of not being bitten by mosquitoes if you are covered from head to toe.
- Wear beige, khaki, green, and brown colored clothes. They are the staple colors of safari wear because they blend into the environment and they do not attract unnecessary attention. The more you blend in with your surroundings the better chances you have of not disturbing the wildlife. Blending with the environment provides a better game viewing experience.
- A light jacket or fleece is great for an extra layer of warmth in case you need it. The climate and weather in Africa range from one extreme to another, from the extremely cold freezing nights to very hot and dusty afternoons. Layers allow you to remove clothing to make yourself comfortable as temperatures fluctuate. Layers are a great way to pack light but stay warm. Your layering should include at least on warm layer especially if you plan to go on early morning game drives.
- Lightweight hiking shoes are a great option for safaris. Even when staying in the most luxurious lodges, you’ll be in the middle of nature.
- Hats are a fantastic way to protect your head and face from the sun in an open-top safari vehicle and they have the added benefit of reducing glare for better game viewing. It often gets hot, dusty and windy and a hat will protect you from the heat and your hair from the dust. It can also be used to keep your hair away from your face.
- Sunglasses should be worn to block out harmful rays. The African sun can sometimes make that difficult with its very harsh glare, so keep your eyes safe and carry your sunglasses.
- Bring a light rain jacket depending on the season. Most Safari companies and lodges come prepared in this aspect and will provide their guests.
- Bring multi-pocket vests. Or any clothing with pockets to carry sunblock, lip balm, flashlight, camera, or binoculars. It’s better than having to juggle around a bag.
- Don’t forget to bring a swimsuit if your lodge has a pool. A swim would be the perfect way to wind down and relax after a long hot day of game viewing.
What Not To Wear
- Don’t bring bright-colored clothing or busy patterns. This will make you stand out and scare off animals.
- Avoid camouflage clothing as some African countries reserve this pattern for military personnel only.
- Avoid Dark blue and black. These colors can attract tsetse flies which have a nasty bite.
- Don’t wear white and very pale colors. White clothing will quickly show dirt and dust.
- Shorts and shirts are quite comfortable on a safari especially during the day, but sometimes during the game drives and short walks in the bushes you might wish you had covered up a little more.
- Formal wear is not necessary as most lodges and camps have a relaxed dress code.