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Ultimate Safari Clothing Guide • What To Wear On Safari in Africa
By June 30, 2023 No Comments

Ultimate Safari Clothing Guide • What To Wear On Safari in Africa

When packing clothes for an African safari, it’s important to consider both functionality and respect for the local culture. Keep in mind that you will be spending most of your time outside, potentially in hot and dusty conditions. Choose safari wear that is comfortable and practical, such as lightweight and breathable fabrics. It’s also important to dress modestly and avoid wearing clothing with offensive language or images.

Safari Clothes

When it comes to what to wear on an African safari, you must think about comfort, appropriateness, and style. These are the five principles we suggest you use to guide your safari wear and outfits, no matter where or when you go:

Long sleeves and pants

Wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts not only keeps you warm but also prevents insect bites and sunburn. Although Africa is usually hot, it can also get quite cold! Many safari-goers experience this when they’re up early in the morning or out late at night.

Long pants are an important part of a good safari outfit as they are not only comfortable but also protective. The same goes for long sleeve shirts If you’re going on safari or a game drive since there will be times when you have to get out of the vehicle. Wearing long safari pants will safeguard your legs from any scratches or insect bites.

Closed Shoes

In addition to flip flops, comfortable walking shoes, preferably ones that cover your entire foot and have some traction, are essential for safari activities such as walking safaris or camping. To avoid harming your feet, please wear good hiking or safari boots that fit snugly with socks meant for hikes. It’s best to break them in before your safari so you can fully enjoy the experience. Safari walks can be fun, but it’s important to take precautions against potential dangers like snake bites. Wearing gaiters is one way to protect yourself.


The weather can change quickly on safari, especially in areas like Southern Africa. Hence, it’s important to pack layers that you can easily add or remove as needed. This could include a lightweight long-sleeve shirt, a warm jacket or sweatshirt for chilly mornings and evenings, and a scarf or shawl for added warmth.

Layering also allows you to adapt to different environments, such as a hot game drive in the middle of the day and a chilly night spent camping under the stars. It’s also important to pack African safari clothes that are comfortable and practical, such as a light jacket and breathable fabrics.

A sunhat

It’s important to wear a sunhat with a full brim while on safari to prevent heat stroke and sunburn under the intense African sun. A hat with a full brim offers more protection than a sports cap as it protects the back of your neck as well as your face from harmful UV rays. This is especially important if you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors, whether it’s on safari drives or exploring the surrounding areas. In addition, wearing a crownless peak or visor isn’t ideal because it can cause severe sunburn.

Neutral colors

Colors are another important thing to consider when deciding what to wear on an African safari. Opt for neutral colors such as khaki, olive green, and beige for your safari shirts, pants, and jacket. These colors will blend in with the environment and make it easier to spot wildlife while you are on a wildlife safari. Bright colors can startle wild animals and make it harder for you to see them. In some cases, they may even perceive you as a threat and incite aggressive behavior. On certain safaris, like the walking safari or those on a safari vehicle, there’s a greater likelihood that you’ll get close to the animals, thus, it is important to have the right colors on.

In addition, steer clear of clothing with camouflage prints since some African countries only expect the military to wear it. This is simply a sign of respect. Also try to avoid light colors like white, cream, and other similar hues as they will highlight any dirt or dust. Black won’t keep you cool, and dark blue clothing can attract tsetse flies!

Where to Buy African Safari Clothes

Many outdoor and travel clothing companies offer safari-appropriate attire. REI, Patagonia, Columbia, and The North Face are some reliable brands that sell a range of options for men, women, and children. You can also check out the Safari Store, which has a wide selection of safari outfits and safari gear. If you’re on a budget, thrift stores, and army surplus shops can have good options as well. Remember to plan and start shopping for your safari wardrobe well before your trip!

Finally, don’t forget to add a few bandanas to your safari packing list. This will come in handy for dust or sweat protection and you will thank yourself for bringing them on hot game drives.

What luggage should you take on safari?

When it comes to packing clothes for an African safari, it’s important to have the right luggage. A sturdy and durable duffel or backpack is best as it can withstand rough handling and varied terrain. It’s also helpful to have a smaller daypack that you can take on game drives or hikes.

The main priority is practicality. Most safari lodges and camps in countries such as Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, and Kenya are only accessible by small aircraft, so your pilot must be able to fit all the luggage into the tiny hold. This means that your luggage shouldn’t have a hard shell. It should be soft instead, so the pilot can squash it into the plane if need be. For safaris where space is limited for luggage, the same holds true.

When in doubt, pack light and leave room for souvenirs or any extra items that you may want to purchase on the African safari trip. This will make the whole safari experience smoother and more enjoyable for you. Happy packing and safe travels!


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