What to Wear on Safari

Figuring out what to wear on a safari is vastly different from packing for any other trip you’ve been on. We’ve made it a whole lot easier with this guide.

They key to packing for a safari is to plan on dressing like an onion. While you may not consider winter the best time to visit Africa, it actually is – from June to September the mornings and evenings can be chilly but the dry winter sun is a scorcher.

Earthy Colors
Choose earthy, muted colors to wear on South African safari tours and you’ll blend in with the nature around you. Bright whites are a no-no since they reflect light and are known to scare the animals. Royal and dark blues and even black are also no-no’s as they tend to attract insects.

Breathable, Lightweight Fabrics
Even if you book luxury African safari tours, you’re going to need to leave a lot of home comforts behind. So when it comes to what to wear on safari, pack sensibly – lightweight and breathable fabrics will have you feeling much more comfortable, especially since you’re likely to be in the same clothes all through the day. Choose clothing that is quick drying, easy to wash and moisture wicking to keep the sweat at bay. Fabrics with a built in UPF sun guard are a bonus, too.

Long vs Short Pants
Skirts and shorts are okay for the safari camp during the day – at night you will want to cover up to avoid being bitten by insects – but when it comes to what to wear on safari game drives and in the bush, cover up with lightweight pants in lighter colors such as grey, khaki or cream. Leave those dark denims at home; the color is a lot more likely to attract flies and you’ll feel pretty out of place, anyway.

Sturdy Shoes
South African safari tours necessitate sturdy, closed-toe walking shoes, particularly for bush walks and game drives. Running shoes are okay, but you may prefer a short hiking or even desert boot that will give you maximum support along with extra coverage to keep the mosquitoes away.

Scarf and Hat on Safari
You’ll want to be shielded from the harsh African sun on those scorching hot afternoons, so a wide-brimmed safari hat is the way to go. It will shield your face while providing a little bit of warmth during the cooler evenings and mornings. A scarf is a good idea, too, not just for keeping warm but also to wipe the dust of your camera lens, binoculars and yourself when you are out on game drives. Those open-air safari vans can get fairly dusty in the bush. Don’t forget your sunglasses.

What to Take in the Game Drive Vehicle
Juggling a camera, binoculars and a purse on your lap in an open-top van is just awkward. Besides worrying about what to wear on safari, you need to put thought into what you take out on game drives. A collapsible bag is highly recommended, as are backpacks, to hold all your items in one place and you can place the bag on the vehicle’s floor. A neck cord for your sunglasses is also handy.

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