safari jackets south africa

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African Nature is an outdoor safari clothing company made expressly for the African landscape. We are passionate about the beautiful continent of Africa and strive to produce the best quality clothing for the unique environment of the African bush to leave you feeling comfortable, cool & light – in body and spirit. ​ African Nature has been manufacturing safari clothing in South Africa for the African Safari Lodge industry since 1994.

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Safari Jackets

The a-z of safari jackets… and the best safari jacket to buy.

Planning on taking a safari? If so, you should be aware of just how useful and important a proper safari jacket is. In this article, we discuss why you really do need a safari jacket and give you some options on finding the perfect safari jacket for your trip.

Safari jackets are sometimes mistakenly considered as just a fashion trend , so wearing ‘just’ a normal jacket on your safari might cross your mind – perhaps one a bit thicker than usual with a few more pockets. Whilst this might just about work for a short trip, you should bear in mind that safari jackets have a very specific use, hence they have a certain design. Colour, pockets, material, weight, protection, and where you’re travelling to are all things you should consider when looking at safari jackets.

Two other important considerations when choosing a safari jacket are comfort and weather:

  • Wearing clothes that you are most comfortable in will enhance your safari experience. Whilst some people may be more interested in their Instagram wall than their own comfort, on safari you’ll be out in vehicles or walking for many hours each day, so feeling comfortable in your safari jacket is an important factor.
  • Where and when you’re going on safari will determine the weather – wet or dry season – which will likely have an impact on the style of safari jacket you go for. Does it need to be waterproof, or provide maximum coverage?

Traditionally, safari jackets are khaki, tan, brown, or beige, though many are also now offered in neutral shades of grey. The colour of a safari jacket is important for several reasons, not least because it may impact the amount of wildlife you see on a game drive or when on a walking safari. Any bright colours will cause you to stand out from your environment, and likely scare away any animals, whilst very dark or blue will attract insects and mosquitos, which can carry malaria, yellow fever, and dengue fever amongst other things.

Styles of safari jacket

Thankfully there are plenty of choices when it comes to choosing a safari jacket. Here are some of the key styles of safari jacket to help you differentiate the options on offer:

Standard safari jacket

A lightweight, hip-length, and cotton-blend fabric, the standard safari jacket has an oversized collar with four patch pockets, and four buttons to enclose it.

[amazon box=”B07W5GMPGJ,B07YJNKXQK,B01LCBUXGQ” grid=”3″]

Mid-length safari jacket

The name says it all. A mid-length safari jacket offers more warmth for those early morning game drives or walks, it also comes with four pockets large enough to stash everything you’ll want to take out with you.

[amazon box=”B089Y98BRL,B008V001ZA,B0753X871M” grid=”3″]

Bush jacket

This is similar to a standard/mid-length safari jacket, with the difference being that a bush jacket usually has a belt around the waist.

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Safari bomber jacket

Unlike a traditional bomber jacket a safari bomber jacket is lightweight, made up of polyester fabric, has four patch pockets, an inside pocket, and a zippered front.

[amazon box=”B07GF61SVT,B07GXM9YWS,B078YBWQ83″ grid=”3″]

Safari vest

A twist on the traditional safari jacket is a safari vest, which gives you an extra layer of protection and warmth (and gives you those all-important extra pockets!), but has no arms.

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We’re keen to hear your thoughts and tips on taking a safari jacket on safari with you. Please join in the conversation in the comments section below!

What to wear with a safari jacket

Now that you have a bit of a background about safari jackets, you’ll need to consider what to wear with it. Clothing combinations on safari are a personal preference, but there are some critical items (think sunglasses and safari hat ) and best practices when packing for your safari. We have an in-depth article on safari clothing here and run over the basics of what clothes you might want to take on safari below

Upper garments

• Wearing a shirt under your safari jacket is comfortable • Some people prefer sleeveless as an option, given that you are already on your jacket, it will be less hot. • Long sleeves are also an option, and this is also good if you want to take off your safari jacket for a moment.

Lower garments

• Wearing khaki trousers or shorts are the common option • Leggings can be very comfortable for ladies. • You can also consider wearing long skirts, as you’ll probably find yourself squatting whilst game viewing at points on your safari, making a long skirt useful and comfortable to wear

• Putting on your safari boots always complement, this is go-to wear for this kind of trip so consider having a pair of it • Hiking shoe is the best alternative option that you can wear when you don’t have other options, it is comfortable and light • You can wear slip-on shoes or closed shoes, or you can consider bringing this as an extra shoe because you will not always be on a hike or a trek, and would probably stay most of your time on your vehicle so this will help you feel more comfortable.

And that’s our take on safari jackets. What do you think – any important information missing? Or perhaps you have a few safari jacket tips of your own. Please let us know in the comments section below!

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Which is the best safari jacket style?

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Safari Hats - Everything You Need To Know 1

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Africa Freak

Best safari clothing: brands, clothes & tips for African safaris

safari jackets south africa

You’re off on safari! You’ve done all the research , purchased the guide books , and the tickets are hot in your hand.

But most importantly, you’re getting ready to pack your ultra-light bag with everything you’ll need for your trip of a lifetime.

You’ve read all the advice you can handle (perhaps even this post on how to pack for safaris for your African bush adventure).

But when it comes down to the line, you still have no idea whether your favorite sweater is going to be a help or a hindrance, if you should pack jeans, how many pairs of socks are enough, and what on earth to expect once you are out in the wild.

What to wear on safari is something of a conundrum , the answer to which is entirely dependent on whether you are a complete slave to fashion and constantly worry about your appearance.

Or whether you don’t care if your trousers absolutely match your shirt and if your shoes co-ordinate properly with your camera bag.

So, in a bid to help sort the wheat from the chaff when it comes to safari style, this guide aims to highlight the best safari clothing brands and tips for your next trip to Africa .

African Safari Clothes: 7 Useful Tips

The African savanna has seen virtually every take on both the best and worst dressed safari goers , including some of the most practical and impractical safari gear around.

This includes everything from haute couture animal prints hot off the Milan catwalk, to Prada stilettos getting stuck in between the slats of wooden decks, and $300 silk scarves ripped to shreds by thorn bushes.

There are also tales of wild baboons getting hold of Victoria’s Secret lingerie and leaving it draped for all to see high in the branches of an acacia tree.

There are plenty of stories about complete wardrobe disasters—but to ensure you’re not one of them, here is a list of useful tips on how to dress for safaris .

1. Leave the luxury safari clothing at home

Couple on safari in Tanzania, posing in front of their four wheel drive

Lesson 1 in safari style is to NEVER take your best clothes into the bush .

If you find a pair of shorts, trousers, or a top you love and know that it would break your heart to have it ruined on safari, it’s probably best to leave it at home .

Instead, look for clothing that is specifically suited for the wild . And if the item comes in different colors, buy the range!

This way, over the years, you’ll acquire a variety of clothes which come everywhere with you. Look out for clothes that you can team together to create practical yet stylish outfits.

2. Keep your clothes for safari simple

Lesson 2 is learning how many of each item you will need . As a rule of thumb, always go with four of the basics.

Four pairs of shorts , four pairs of cut-off pants , four string vests , four t-shirts , four pairs of long pants , four button-through shirts (two of which are long-sleeved), four sets of underwear , four pairs of socks … you get the drift, I am sure!

When traveling in winter or during the colder months of the year, add to this scenario two lightweight long-sleeve t-shirts and two knitted sweaters , plus two fleeces or warm jackets , thermal long johns , gloves , a scarf , and a beanie .

When considering your safari apparel, ALWAYS pack a swimsuit and a couple of sarongs/kikoys . Even in the winter, it’s usually warm enough to suntan during the day and sometimes even swim.

3. Your safari wear should include comfortable shoes

Low angle view of two safari guides and an elephant bone

Lesson 3 concerns footwear . In the heat of the summer, it is best to pack at least two pairs of “bush slops” – flip flops (thongs) which are heavy-duty, waterproof, and good enough to handle walking in the light bush for game drives.

You may also need two or three pairs of fashionable flip-flops or sandals for around camp and evening meals, and a pair of good walking shoes ( Merrells ) for walking safaris.

In the winter, replace the walking shoes with walking boots and add a pair of lightweight faux-fur lined “trendy” flat boots for evening wear.

4. Safari fashion: accessories

Accessorize – that’s the key to lesson 4 – it’s the difference between a good safari wardrobe and a bad one. Two or three lightweight colored scarves and/or wraps are a must in any safari bag .

Usually, they have beadwork or applique of some description on them. These are useful for dressing up even the most conservative safari outfit—great if you’re looking to add a dash of glamor to your evening meals. Team them up with a couple of great “ethnic” bead necklaces and earrings .

Another essential item to include with your safari attire is a hat —and these can most certainly be fun. Pack in a couple of lightweight, floppy straw sun-hats, as these are great for game drives or tiger fishing.

Another good option is the usual peak baseball-style caps.

5. What to wear on safari – quality

Typical clothes to wear on an African safari

Lesson 5 is all about quality . Everything you take into the bush with you needs to stand the test of time.

This includes the elements of the African wild, the rigors of hand-washing, and bumping and grinding in the back of a safari vehicle halfway across Africa.

So it’s important to check your clothes before you pack to make sure they can be hand-washed, aren’t going to fall apart the first time you wear them, and are not likely to fade too drastically when hung in the sun to dry.

The material of your clothing is also important. When out in the wild, it is best to stick to strong natural materials like hemp , linen , leather , and wool .

Nylon and polyester also tend to provide adequate protection against the elements.

6. Best safari clothing brands

Wondering where to buy safari clothes? Most of the high-street fashion chains carry good quality fashionable safari clothes which will stand up to the average safari conditions.

As such, you may be able to avoid the need to go to specialist outfitters and camping/outdoor stores where things tend to cost a lot more.

And, of course, the big brands like Jeep (a favorite with safari goers because their clothes are practical, hard-wearing, and pretty at the same time) and Cat always have some great clothes for safaris—including some of the best safari shirts.

In addition to these, here are several more reliable brands to consider when buying safari clothes:

  • Columbia — this is a good option for those seeking affordable safari clothing that is still good quality.
  • First Ascent — if you’re buying safari clothes in South Africa, keep an eye out for this brand as it offers some excellent quality clothing.
  • Patagonia — while the brand is more expensive, they provide some of the highest quality outdoor clothing and gear on the market.
  • REI — if you’re shopping online, REI is often the go-to for outdoor gear. Their house brand is affordable and offers many items that will serve you well on your safari.
  • Ruggedwear — proudly South African, it is an official partner of the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA).
  • Sapmok — footwear for every adventure. Comfy. Durable. And stylish.

7. What color clothing for African safaris

Woman observing African elephants from her safari vehicle

Finally, lesson 7 concerns white . Do you take white clothes into the bush with you? Hell yes.

As long as you don’t expect them to remain white for long and can accept the fact that no matter where you wear them, they’re bound to get a little dirty. It’s more or less a bush essential in my book because it reflects sunlight , keeps you cool and goes with everything .

Everyone says, “don’t wear white on a safari vehicle,” – but this is far from the truth. However, white isn’t the only color that’s good for safaris.

When dressing for safaris, the basic color range is simple: khaki , beige , white, and brown (or variations thereof).

Avoid black and blue during the day because they attract tsetse flies .

But do occasionally take these colors for evening wear when the tsetses have gone to bed.

What to Wear on an African Safari: Checklist

Father and kids enjoying the view of the Ewaso Ng'iro river in Samburu

Now that you’re all clued up with what to consider when deciding what clothes to wear on a safari, it’s time to pack.

Here’s a checklist to ensure you don’t miss anything.

Africa safari clothing list

Below are some of the most essential pieces of clothing to bring along on a safari:

  • 4 safari shirts
  • 4 casual t-shirts or vests
  • 4 safari pants or shorts
  • 4 pairs of blister-proof socks for safari walks
  • 3 pairs of pajamas
  • 2 warm fleece tops or jackets (good for a summer or winter safari outfit)
  • 2 pairs of flip-flops or sandals (one for the wild and one for at the lodge)
  • 2 safari dresses (for at the lodge)
  • 2 swimming costumes
  • 1 waterproof jacket
  • 1 kikoy or sarong
  • 1 wide-brim hat or baseball cap
  • 1 pair of safari shoes or boots

Safari gear and accessories list

In addition to clothing, you should include the following items when packing for a safari:

  • 4 pairs of anti-chafing tights (good for walking safaris)
  • 2 pairs of garden gloves (useful for gorilla trekking safaris)
  • 2 pairs of ankle gaiters
  • 1 pair of sunglasses
  • 1 bottle of sunscreen
  • 1 safari belt

Start Packing Your African Safari Clothing

Tourists on a mokoro safari in the Okavango

There’s nothing quite like getting down and dirty on an African safari. Whether you’re going on a game drive or a walking safari, you’re sure to come in contact with the various elements of the wild—and not to mention the wildlife, too.

For this reason, having the correct clothing is important . This will protect you during excursions and allow you to blend in better with the natural environment.

So next time you’re contemplating what to wear on African safaris, review the list above . These useful tips will guarantee you have a pleasant experience, both at the lodge and in the bush.

So what are you waiting for? Check out these incredible African safari deals and start packing!

About The Author

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Sharon van Wyk

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South Africa Travel Blog

The Complete Guide to What to Wear on A Safari in South Africa

Many people visit South Africa for its wildlife, especially to see the Big 5 of wild animals. Doing an African safari is an experience of a lifetime for these people, and preparing helps you enjoy this unique experience. Here you can learn more about what to wear on a safari in South Africa.

What consider when deciding what to wear on Safari in South Africa

There are two main factors to consider when you are going on a Safari in South Africa and need to plan what to wear:

Time of The Year and The Weather

The seasons in South Africa are the opposite of those in the Northern Hemisphere. When countries, such as the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, have summer, it is Winter in South Africa. South Africa has summer when those countries have their winter season.

When you should visit South Africa depends on your specific travel needs. It is always helpful to consider the seasons in your destination when planning a trip. South Africa’s summers are hot and may be humid, depending on the province you visit.

What to wear on safari in south africa Pin 1

The nature reserves and wildlife areas may be green and lush during the summer. Many animals give birth during summer, and if you are lucky, you may spot one of these newborn wild animals. South African winters are usually mild and dry unless you visit Cape Town , where the rainy season occurs in Winter. It may be easier to spot wildlife during Winter, as the vegetation is dry and sparse compared to summer. Pleasant times to visit South Africa are autumn (fall) and spring, when the weather is perfect for exploring this beautiful country!

Other Countries You May Also Visit and Their Weather

What to wear on safari in South Africa

Suppose you plan a trip that includes South Africa and other African countries. In that case, it is essential to remember that Southern Africa’s climate differs slightly from these countries, especially those in Eastern Africa. Whereas countries in East Africa have hot and dry seasons, South Africa’s hot season may have cooler evenings and mornings. It also rains in South Africa’s warmer seasons. South Africa’s cooler seasons are also its dry season when other African countries have rain with cooler weather.

Your Baggage Allowance

When planning what to wear on Safari in South Africa, consider your baggage allowance. With international flights, airlines allow up to 30kgs in baggage. You may not get the same allowance when flying domestically within South Africa . For example, many domestic airlines charge extra for any checked luggage or only offer up to 23 kgs in checked luggage for free. For flights from Johannesburg to Kruger National park or Sun City , you may even fly with a small aircraft, and it could have a lower luggage allowance. Make sure what the luggage allowance is when planning your Safari outfits.

Don’t take too many Safari clothes with you. Instead, wash your clothing more often to avoid over-packing. You can find laundry facilities or day laundry service at most hotels, game reserves and national parks in South Africa.

What to Wear on Safari in South Africa and Other Things to Pack

Here you will find some information to help you decide what to pack on a game drive in South Africa. Take these items with you to make the most of your safari without worrying about what you’re wearing:

Lightweight, Airy Clothing in Neutral Colours

If you’re wondering what to wear on a game drive in South Africa, it is important to always take comfortable casual clothing. If your safari is summer, you will appreciate lightweight, airy clothing as the African sun can become scorching.

What Colours to Wear on Safari in South Africa

The best Safari clothing is lightweight items in neutral colours. You don’t want to wear black in summer. Instead, take clothing in neutral colours, such as beige, brown, khaki, light green or blue.

Avoid white clothing as it will quickly get dirty from the dust roads while on safari. Other colours to avoid include bright colours, such as red and yellow, since animals can spot you from a distance when you don’t blend into the bush environment. Also, avoid wearing dark colours, such as purple and black, which attract Tsetse flies when you’re on a game drive. Darker clothes also attract heat, which is not ideal on a hot summer’s day.

Types of Clothing to Take

The best way to plan your Safari outfits is to be practical. Take simple clothing items, such as lightweight, quick-dry t-shirts, long pants and a jacket for a warm layer for the cooler evenings and mornings. Take shirts with short and long sleeves to cater to the different times of the day.

You can consider bringing a beanie, scarf, and gloves if you are doing a Safari in Winter. Although you may have hot days, the mornings, late afternoons and evenings may be cool, and when you are sitting on the back of a moving Safari vehicle for a game drive, the breeze may be icy cold.

Rain Jacket

If you’re visiting South Africa in summer, prepare for rainy weather by taking one or more rain jackets. Sometimes Safari vehicles have a close top, but wearing a waterproof jacket can help any rain entering from the sides of the vehicle.

A fancier outfit for special dinners

If you’re planning a dinner at a lodge or hotel with formal dress codes, you need to pack a slightly fancier outfit than what you would wear during the day while on safari. This may include dress shoes or a lovely scarf.

If you’re doing a safari in summer, always take a swimsuit! You’ll be grateful for a dip in a pool to cool down.

You are most likely not only visiting South Africa for a Safari. Whether you visit South Africa in Winter or summer, you may want to swim in the warmer seas of the KwaZulu-Natal Province or in a heated swimming pool elsewhere. Most hotels and lodges provide pool towels, but it is good to take a quick-dry towel.

Sun Protection Gear 

Don’t underestimate the African sun. When you’re on safari, you may be in a Safari vehicle with a cover, but you may also go on one or more bush walks or spend a significant amount of your time outdoors in the pleasant South African weather. Be prepared by bringing sunscreen , sunglasses , a sun hat and lip balm. Make sure the hat offers UV protection and has a wide brim. Don’t take a baseball cap as they don’t protect the back of your neck or the sides of your face – they are not the best option for a safari in South Africa.

What Shoes to Wear on Safari in South Africa

You spend most of your time on your feet when travelling. Comfortable footwear is critical for you to enjoy your trip.

Although hiking shoes sound ideal for a Safari, they are often heavy and too warm for a summer safari. When visiting South Africa for a Safari, the best shoe option is a pair of old runners or tennis shoes. Only bring shoes you don’t mind getting dirty. Bring hiking shoes only if you plan a hike.

It is also good to have a pair of sandals or flip-flops for walking around inside your unit, by the pool or while showering. Flip-flops are also perfect when you go to the beach to protect your feet from the hot sand.

Water Bottle

Another essential thing to pack for a safari is a reusable water bottle . Take fresh water to keep hydrated, especially when visiting South Africa in summer. The good news is that South African tap water is safe to drink.

Insect Repellent

Protect yourself from mosquitos, tsetse flies and other insects by wearing insect repellent , but especially while on safari or at night.

Having a small day bag with you when heading out on a safari is a great idea. You can keep everything you need in this bag during the day. Good options include a small backpack or cross-body bag . You can keep your sunglasses, camera and water bottle in the bag.

Other Items to Pack for A Safari in South Africa

What to pack for a safari in South Africa

Now that you know what to wear on Safari in South Africa, here are some additional items to remember to pack:

  • Take a book with you. Some good book options for a trip to South Africa include Cry the beloved country or anything by Deon Meyer .
  • If you are not a reader, consider bringing a tablet and downloading a movie or games to keep busy.
  • You must always take a first aid kit for any trip. Be sure to include any prescription medications. You may need eye drops, plasters, painkillers, and allergy medicines. Depending on your safari’s location in South Africa, you may need to visit a travel clinic for malaria medication. 
  • Always remember your camera to capture the memories of your own experiences while on safari in South Africa. A good zoom lens will be helpful in capturing animals at a distance. Also, bring portable chargers , powerbanks and extra memory cards .
  • A pair of binoculars is one of the best things you can pack for game viewing. Imagine seeing an animal in the distance up close with your binoculars!
  • Don’t forget your essential travel documents ! Pack your flight tickets, passport, travel insurance, medical information and forms, and emergency contact information. Make copies of these documents, physically or digitally, and keep them in several places for safekeeping.
  • A small flashlight may be helpful when you go on a night safari or walk through your camp at night.
  • Try reusable travel-sized bottles for your shampoo and conditioner when packing toiletries for your trip.

Safari Options in South Africa

What to Wear on A Safari in South Africa Pin 2

South Africa offers several options for a Safari, including:

  • You can choose from various safari packages at the Kruger National Park . You can choose between being driven around in safari vehicles to see the broadest range of animals possible or night-time game drives. You can also do a walking Safari at Kruger National Park, involving a 3 to 4-hour trek through the African bush at a leisurely pace.
  • There are several safari options within a two-hour drive from Cape Town. Popular options include the Aquila Private Game Reserve , where adventurous families can explore the reserve on horseback, four-wheelers, from small aeroplanes, or helicopters. They offer traditional safaris as well.
  • You can view the Big 6 during a safari at the Addo Elephant Park while experiencing the Garden Route and Port Elizabeth.

Best Tour Options for A Safari in South Africa

You can choose from several safari tour options when visiting South Africa. Here are some of the best options:

  • 2-Day Safari Experience at Garden Route Game Lodge
  • Aquila Game Reserve: Afternoon Safari
  • Aquila Private Game Reserve: Sunset Safari
  • Botlierskop Private Game Reserve: 3-Hour Guided Game Drive
  • From Sun City: Pilanesberg National Park 3-Hour Game Drive
  • Big-Five Safari Full Day Guided Private Transfer from Cape Town
  • Aquila Game Reserve Wildlife Safari from Cape Town

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safari jackets south africa

Travel Fashion Girl

Best Women’s Safari Clothing for Africa Overland Travel

Africa Packing Lists , Packing Lists , Travel Packing Lists

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Planning a safari or overland tour through one of Africa’s incredible game parks? This is the best womens safari clothing for your trip. Read our complete guide to find out exactly what to wear on safari!

Women Safari Clothing

Table of contents.

An African safari is one of the most exciting trips you can take as a traveler. Roughing it in the wilderness surrounded by the Big 5 is truly a thrilling experience. There are several things to keep in mind when you choose safari clothing for this type of adventure.

How should I dress for an African safari?

The focus of your safari attire should be on comfortable safari clothing in neutral colors and light fabrics. If it’s not something you would feel comfortable wearing something on an overnight flight, it’s best to keep it out of your safari gear.

Safari clothes for Africa should be relaxed, so you can enjoy the experience to the fullest. The drive time on overland trips can vary anywhere from 6 to 12 hours each day. Making comfort key on those long-haul journeys — the distances in Africa are massive!

Expect your safari clothing to be covered in dust and keep in mind that you won’t have much time to do laundry. Your safari clothes should feature synthetic fabrics that are hard wearing, quick-dry, easy to wash, and won’t show dirt or dust.

What to Wear on Safari

When it comes to options for what to wear on an African safari, womens travel brands tend to feature technical fabrics focusing primarily on khaki and olive colors. But unless you’re planning to live in the bush or are taking a Gorilla trekking trip to the jungle, it’s likely that this type of clothing isn’t necessary.

The majority of Africa safari tours will see you viewing animals within the confines of a vehicle, whether a giant overland truck or 4×4 car. This means that the khaki safari shirt or safari pants that you purchased will tragically go to waste.

safari jackets south africa

Safari Clothing Essentials Packing Guide: An Overview

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of your clothing options, let’s take a look at an overall view of what your safari gear for your travel capsule wardrobe should consist of. Here’s a quick snapshot of the amount of what should be on your bag when you’re planning what to wear on an African safari.

TFG Recommended Clothing List

4 sleeveless or short-sleeve tops 2 long-sleeve tops 1 dress or skirt 4 pants 1 shorts 1 windbreaker jacket 1 fleece or warm jacket 1 swimsuit 3 bras (sports bras are recommended) 3 socks 7-10 underwear 1 jacket 1 scarf 1 sunglasses

TFG Recommended Shoe List

1 pair comfortable sneakers 1 pair flip-flops

What is the Best Women Safari Clothing?

Whether you’re looking for what to wear on safari in Kenya or are camping in the Serengeti, you need the best of the best when it comes to your safari clothing. Our selections offer you a nice range of safari pants, tops, dresses, and even safari jackets. That way you can be confident and comfortable on your jaunt in Africa!

Best of all? You can avoid the head-to-toe khaki safari outfits that somehow became the must-have on an African safari. Here are some realistic clothing pieces you’ll love carting along with you:

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Shop Sizes XS-3X: Eddie Bauer Resolution T-Shirt 

Best Safari Shirts for Women

As you plan what safari clothes to pack, make sure to bring a variety of tops and include sleeveless tanks, short sleeve tees, and long sleeves that you can layer!

The best safari shirts for the day time and warm weather are sleeveless or short sleeved breathable, moisture wicking tees in neutral colors.

For really hot days or to layer underneath warm items if cold, add a couple of casual tees. These also will be beneficial for those long safari travel days (read more on this in the Pants section below).

Stay cool with these moisture wicking shirts !

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Shop Sizes XS-4X: Smartwool Merino Short Sleeve

Merino wool tops are some of the best safari shirts because they are both practical and can be re-worn without washing. This is particularly important on longer safari trips when you won’t have access to laundry for extended periods of time.

However, If you plan to hand wash your merino wool tops you’ll have to wait until you spend two or more nights in one location to allow time for the clothes to dry. This is why either quick-dry or long-lasting items are the best as safari clothes.

While merino wool is more expensive, you can get away with bringing just a few tops and then re-wearing them every few days. This is key for packing light!

Merino wool Icebreaker tops like these have a higher price point but are excellent for safari trips because they’re practical and you can rewear them (for weeks) without washing.

Learn more about how to hand wash while traveling !

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Shop Sizes XS-XL: Icebreaker Merino Women’s Siren Tank

If you are traveling in hot weather, you might prefer a sleeveless top like the Icebreaker Merino Women’s Siren Tank  one pictured above (perfect safari shirt). Like the short sleeve tops, the ideal fabrics are from performance brands with quick dry 100% cotton, merino wool, or synthetics.

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Shop Sizes XS-XXL: Columbia Cades Cape Tank

If you’re looking for a sleeveless safari shirt that’s less body hugging, then one like the Columbia shown here is perfect.

A sleeveless top not only helps to keep you cool on your safari days, but it can also be dressed up when you’re visiting the city! Pair it with a cute skirt and you have an instant evening outfit. Double-duty top!

Plus, it also looks the part of an African safari shirt!

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Shop Sizes XS-3X: Columbia Quick Dry Sun UV Protection Convertible Long Sleeve

For the sunny days you’ll want to bring one light but practical womens long sleeve safari shirt to protect you from the sun’s beating rays. This will be a piece you’ll want to re-wear, so we advise choosing a quick dry fabric so that when you wash it, it will dry relatively quickly!

The dark khaki convertible womens long sleeve safari shirt (pictured above) is not only quick dry, but it’s specifically designed for UV protection. Plus, with it being convertible you can make the sleeves longer and shorter based on your preference.

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Shop Columbia Silver Ridge Lite Long Sleeve : Amazon | Columbia (Sizes XS-3X)

Can you wear grey on safari? Grey is a great color choice for safari clothes along with other medium to dark neutral colors like khaki. These colors are good choices due to the fact that your clothes are likely to collect a lot of dust, especially the ones you use for the outer layers, and the darker neutral colors are able of masking it.

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Shop Sizes XS-XL: Unbound Merino Long Sleeve

When you’re planning what to wear on a safari, make sure to bring at least one warm long sleeve or thermal top . You should also include a long-sleeve blouse you can use to cover you from the winter sun and to wear in the cities.

Depending on the time of year you’re headed on your safari and the region in Africa that you’re going to, you might need to add a few extra long sleeve tops to your safari wardrobe to layer at night. It can get pretty cold!

Safari Packing Tip : You’ll want to keep your safari attire as light as possible. To keep your packing light, make sure to include six to eight safari shirts. Any more and you’ll be overpacking!

Best Safari Pants for Women

When you are actually on a safari, you are much more likely to be going inside of a vehicle — walking safaris aren’t the norm. Being inside a vehicle allows for the undisturbed observation of the wildlife in a natural setting. Perfect for safari adventurers!

Of course, it’s best not to assume. So if you aren’t sure that you’ll be in a vehicle, double-check with your tour operator (if you have one).

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Shop Sizes XXS-XXL: Zella Live In High Waist Leggings

It might surprise (and excite you) to find out that some of the best pants for safari are leggings. Seriously! This is specifically the case when you are taking a driving safari tour, NOT if you are getting out of the vehicle and walking in the bush.

Leggings are the perfect safari pants choice for comfort. Avoid choosing thick fabrics that will take too long to dry if you are hand washing them.

Leggings are also great for travel days. If you’re looking for leggings to take on your safari, TFG readers voted for the best leggings for women , so you’re bound to find a pair you like! We also really love these leggings from Zella (which are also available in plus size ).

Leggings are the most comfortable, packabe safari pants. So they’re definitely a good choice to wear on safari. While you can easily wear a pair of black leggings when you’re inside the vehicle, you might want to consider a lighter color to wear outdoors by the campfire (you’ll thank us later).

Safari Packing Tip : Make sure to choose a legging color that you can easily re-wear in-between washes!

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Shop Sizes XS-XL: Scuba Mid-Rise Pant

If leggings aren’t your thing, a good alternative is casual joggers. Lululemon — a much-loved brand by yogis and travelers alike — makes a great pair of chic joggers which are great safari pants. They also make some pretty nice leggings too! 

The travel-friendly fabric in these safari pants makes them easy to clean and de-wrinkle. Plus, with four-way stretch and a drawstring waist, you can wear them comfortably on the longest of overland safari rides!

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Shop Sizes 2-24: Amazon | Columbia  |  Zappos

When you first think about what to wear on African safari, you might imagine an outfit consisting of a khaki button down shirt and convertible trousers. But generally speaking, convertible pants are not a necessary item to add to your safari attire (unless they make you comfortable and confident, that is).

We recommend a modern-yet-functional pair of travel pants like Saturday Trail Pants by Columbia . Not only are these safari pants versatile, but more importantly they’re comfortable! They also pack light, dry quickly and don’t stain easily — what more are you looking for in your safari pants?

As an added bonus, they have a stretchy pull-up waist band that’s sitting down for long periods of time. It’s also easy to remove for quick bathrooms stops on an overland trip.

Here are 16 best hiking pants for women that are lightweight and practical!

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Shop prAna Halle Pant: Amazon | prAna

If you’re looking for both more traditional and budget-friendly safari pants, these prAna travel pants are for you! Both safari pants are ideal for walking safari tours or trips that will incorporate both extensive time outdoors and inside a vehicle.

If you are going to be trekking through the bushes, we highly recommend making technical womens safari clothing part of your wardrobe.

When you’re planning on what to wear on safari, make sure you always pack a pair of safari shorts! Safari shorts are casual and easy-to-wear on hot days.

You might also want to consider including a breezy long skirt or sarong. Both make it easier to “pop a squat” on the side of the road without baring it all to your tour mates!

Travel Tip : There aren’t usually bathrooms along the long roads, and stops are typically infrequent.

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Shop Sizes 26-40: Levi’s Classic Straight Jeans

Can you wear jeans on safari? Jeans are a must, especially if you’re traveling in the winter! Sometimes the best women’s safari clothing isn’t necessarily the most technical travel gear. Jeans are not only practical, but they’ll provide you with warmth disguise dirt, and also give you a bit of style if you make a top in a major city like Cape Town!

But make sure not to hand wash your jeans! They’ll take way too long to dry. Denim is practical because you can re-wear it constantly without washing it. Denim designers make them specifically for multiple uses, and it’s one of the main reasons that modern travelers pack jeans. Jeans are a must-have when it comes to what to wear on safari !

You’ll also want to have a comfortable pair of pants that you can wear around the campsite at night.

Safari Packing Tip : Make sure you’re packing light. You should need no more than 5 pairs of safari pants.

Best Safari Dresses

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Shop Columbia Freezer III Dress: Amazon | Columbia (Sizes XS-3X)

A dress may sound like the exact opposite of safari clothing. But, it’s always good to have at least one dress that you can sport on the beach in Zanzibar or wear out to a nice dinner at Victoria Falls.

The best safari dress is a little black dress that you can dress up for restaurants or a fun night out in the city. This one by Columbia features wicking, cooling, and sun protection fabric. Plus it’s available in sizes up to 3XL.

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Shop Sizes S-3X: Riviera Sun Tie Dye Summer Dress

When it’s hot, a loose and lightweight safari dress is also ideal for those long overland trips. In fact, dresses are more practical than pants — especially when you need to stop on the side of the road for a quick bathroom break in the bush along with your fellow tour mates!

When it comes to picking the best safari dress, choose something both versatile and comfortable. When it comes to choosing what to wear on safari, you’ll want a dress that can be worn on the beach and doubled for dinner and night on the town!

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Shop Sizes XS-3X: WEACZZYLoose Trapeze Dress

If you aren’t a person that’s comfortable in dresses, you simply don’t like them or you’re going to be traveling when it’s colder, a long tunic top that covers your backside cans also do the trick for those safari roadside bathroom stops.

Long tunic tops can be versatile just like a safari dress — you can wear it in the camp after a shower, on the beach over your bathing suit, loosely over a comfy pair of safari pants or tick it into your shorts for a cute but casual safari outfit!

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Shop One Size: ToBeInStyle Strapless Dress

REALLY IMPORTANT TRAVEL TIP : WHEN PLANNING WHAT TO WEAR ON SAFARI, AVOID ROMPERS. ESPECIALLY ON AN OVERLAND TRIP FOR TRAVEL DAYS . YOU DON’T WANT TO HAVE TO PULL OFF YOUR ENTIRE ROMPER TO USE THE BATHROOM ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD. NOT COOL .

If you’re something that has the same comfy and lightweight feel as a romper, opt for a strapless sundress like the ToBeInSty Strapless (seen above). You can wear it as a safari dress during the day for those long safari travel days or layer it over your leggings if it gets cold outside.

A strapless dress can also be worn as a safari skirt. Simply pair it with a cute top and dress it up with some jewelry that you find at a local shop during your travels!

Remember to avoid choosing bright colors on a safari so you don’t draw attention away from the safari (or frighten away any animals!). But if you pack bright colors in your safari wardrobe, you can wear them on travel days when you’re not on a game drive.

If you’re looking for maximum versatility, one of these convertible travel dresses might be perfect for your safari attire!

Best Safari Clothing for Cold Weather

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Shop Sizes XS-XL: Terramar Silk Undershirts  |  Terramar Silk Thermal Pants

Contrary to what you might think, it does get cold in Africa. That means that layering your safari clothes is key to surviving those cold African days. We’ve previously written about how to layer for cold weather , we’d highly recommend you take a peek before you start packing!

Regional climates in Africa vary throughout the season, so be prepared to encounter both hot and cold temperature. Make sure you always check the weather forecast before you go so you’re dressed right!

If you happen to be traveling during the cold season, from May to August, you might want to consider packing a set of thermals for women  with your safari clothes so you can stay warm. You can wear them up to two weeks (or longer) without having to wash them!

Safari Packing Tip : For maximum warmth, pack one set of merino wool thermals. Especially if you’re camping in the winter!

Best Women’s Jacket for Safari

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Shop Sizes XS-3X: Columbia Womens Arcadia II Rain Jacket

As you’re preparing your safari clothing checklist, make sure you pack a good jacket for safari. The roof and windows of some safari vehicles are open as you drive around the parks. With those open windows it can get quite chilly both at dawn and during night drives.

When you’re looking for the best jackets for safari, you should look for a good, quality jacket that can also serve as a windbreaker. You’re sure to feel a chill in the air with an open window first thing in the morning!

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Shop Columbia Full Zip Fleece Jacket: Amazon | Columbia  (Sizes XS-3X)

A travel fleece or rain jacket for safari are most needed when you’re doing an African overland trip that crosses various countries. When deciding what to wear on safari, make sure you don’t underestimate how cold it could get in Africa on your trip!

While it might be hot and sunny during the day, when the temperature drops at night you’ll be glad you packed a rain jacket and fleece in your safari clothes. TFG has a list of the best windproof jackets and fleece jackets for your travels.

When you’re packing your safari wardrobe, make sure you pack both a windproof jacket and a merino wool or fleece jacket for safari clothes.

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Shop Columbia Switchback Jacket: Amazon | Columbia (Sizes XS-3X)

Remember to choose neutral tones for your safari clothing. This is especially the case for items that are highly visible such as your jacket for safari.

Trust me on this one. If you’re head is hanging out of a vehicle at 5:30am, you’ll feel the crisp morning air and wish you had a warm jacket — it happened to me!

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Shop Sizes XS-XXL: Style & Co Safari Jacket

For a stylish jacket for safari option that you can wear as part of your safari outfit, the Style & Co Safari Jacket is both chic and practical. When it comes to choosing a jacket for safari that’s neutral, easy-to-clean and will hide the dust, go for the grey, khaki, or olive green color!

Best Safari Shoes

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Shop Merrell Moab 3 Shoe: Amazon | Zappos

Now that you’re packed and ready with your safari clothing, it’s time to plan your safari shoes! This is probably going to be much easier than you think!

We recommend taking only two pairs of shoes. When it comes to picking those safari shoes, go with a pair of sneakers and flip flops (for camps, shower, and beaches). Your sneakers should be something comfortable you can wear on the truck, for occasional safari walks, and at the campsite at night if it’s cold.

However, if your safari itinerary includes walking safaris, you’ll need substantial sturdy safari shoes. For multi-day treks through the jungle, you’ll want to bring sturdy hiking boots . But for the occasional day trip, regular all-terrain sneakers or hiking shoes will work as safari shoes.

Ideally, you’ll want your safari shoes to be waterproof and easy to clean in case they get muddy or otherwise dirty.

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FitFlop Iqushion Super-Ergonomic Flip-Flops

Flip-flops may seem like a random item to add to this safari packing list. But it’s nice to air out your toes if you’ve had them in sneakers all day. Flip-flops are also great safari shoes as they’re convenient to wear in camp showers. And don’t forget about the beach!

Not a big fan of flip-flops? Try one of these slip-on beach sandals as your second pair of safari shoes instead. Throw in a pair of cute ankle boots or stylish slip ons if you’re traveling in Cape Town .

But make sure not to add too many shoes to your safari wardrobe!

Best Safari Socks

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Darn Tough Crew Socks

Whether you need to pair your socks with safari boots or sneakers, make sure they are moisture wicking socks ! This is particularly important so you can keep your sock numbers down.

I know we’ve mentioned merino wool a lot, but just as with the rest of our suggested safari clothing, merino wool socks are perfect to pair with your safari shoes because you can rewear them multiple times without having to wash them.

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Kirkland Signature Trail Sock

Several TFG readers agreed that Kirkland’s merino wool socks are a great pick to add to your safari wardrobe. One reader says, “I wash them in cold water and hang them to air dry, but they have held up really well and keep my feet warm, too.”

If you’re camping, you can bring a pair of Kirkland socks (like the ones shown above) to keep your feet warm at night. If you choose dark colors or prints they won’t show the dust as easily.

Best Bras and Underwear for Safari

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Panache Underwire Sports Bra

Last but not least for your safari travel checklist, make sure to pack a good sports bra for the bumpy journey! Vehicles in Kenya, and other countries, often cover all terrains including deeply rutted roads and huge potholes.

Make your ride more tolerable by wearing a sports bra whenever you are being transported. Also, take some motion sickness meds beforehand if you are prone to car sickness.

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Shop Sizes XS-XL: Icebreaker Siren Merino Wool Bikini

Also, quick dry travel underwear helps you easily do laundry without having to wait ages for it to dry!

Because you may be moving locations every night, you won’t have much time to wash your safari clothing, so it’s best if you bring fast drying fabrics or clothing you can re-wear easily.

Safari Travel Tip: Most of the time, you’ll be popping a squat on the side of the road, so a female urinary device or even a flowy skirt might be helpful if you’re not crazy about the idea of flashing your goods. Don’t forget your antibacterial hand wipes!

Other Safari Gear

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UPF 50+ Sun Protection Quick Dry Baseball Cap

TFG has a great post on what to pack for African safari tours that we’d highly encourage you to check out so you know what other safari gear you’re going to need on your trip!

To go along with your safari clothing choices, you’ll need a few accessories.

Hats are great because they can help shield you from the sun and hide unwashed hair. But while hats are a definite must, but that doesn’t mean they have to be unattractive.

When it comes to your hair, you will want to keep it covered and pulled back in a ponytail or bun so it doesn’t get tangled in the wind and full of dirt from the road. We have a few suggestions for some hair accessories that will help keep high maintenance hair on the down low during your safari tour.

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Compass Rose Secret Bra Wallet

Sunglasses are also a must-have, they offer shade and protection from the sun which is really important considering how close to the equator you’re going to be! A few other safari necessary accessories include a bathing suit and scarf.

Don’t be a target for unwanted attention. When you choose what to wear on safari, make sure you don’t dress too flashy or showy. Make sure you don’t bring any of your expensive jewelry and leave your designer handbags at home (or another safe place).

Finally, conceal the majority of your money and extra credit cards for extra safety. This bra wallet is a great way to do that!

We’ve got some great anti-theft tips for you so you can protect your valuables during your safari travels.

Essential Packing List for Safari

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Shop Osprey Fairview 55L: Amazon | Osprey

Which luggage should I choose for safari?

When it comes to choosing luggage for safari, check out the Osprey Fairview 55L . It’s kind of perfection.

I found it easier to lug a soft bag than a suitcase, as everyone’s gear gets piled up under the truck. I personally use it with the Compass Rose packing cubes to stay organized and fit in everything!

Don’t worry so much about the baggage weight. My bag never goes over 30 lbs using the guidelines suggested on the site. If you aim to pack light, you shouldn’t be overpacking!

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Left:  Compass Rose Medium Packing Cubes  (13″ x 8.5″ x 2.8″) | Right:  Compass Rose Slim Packing Cubes  (13″ x 5″ x 2.8″)

Should I use packing cubes on safari?

Yes! You should definitely use packing cubes on safari. Packing cubes will help keep you organized, keep your bag light, and help you avoid over packing.

Many readers use our packing cubes for this task. The  Compass Rose Packing Cubes  are now offered in two sizes: slim and medium. The  slim size cubes  measure 13 x 5 x 2.8, and the  medium size cubes  measure 2.8 x 13 x 8.5. Both fit an international carry-on suticase and can help you organize and compress clothing items. The medium sizes is great for bulkier items.

Watch this video to learn how to pack light thanks to packing cubes!

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pStyle Urinary Device

What should I pack for toiletries on safari?

When it comes to what you need to pack for toiletries on safari, there are a few things you’re definitely going to need.

You definitely will want to have a female urinary device , because the only bathroom breaks you get are in the bush. Finding adequate coverage can be a challenge, so you might also need to get comfortable with flashing your bum at other women on the trip!

You’ll want to bring a travel towel so that it can dry quickly when you’re constantly on the go. You should also pack any prescriptions you might need along with mosquito repellent … don’t forget that! And while it’s not exactly a toiletry, you’ll want a collapsible water bottle , too!

If you’re going to go the carry-on only route, make sure you cut back on your toiletries. It’ll help with TSA if you put all of your liquids in a Ziploc bag, following the 3-1-1 rule !

Learn all about packing toiletries with this guide !

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Travelon Anti-Theft Cross-Body Bag

What should I take for a purse on safari?

You’ll want to choose a bag that can fit into your carry-on when it comes to the perfect purse for safari. TFG recommends taking a crossbody travel purse with anti-theft features like the Travelon Anti-Theft Cross-Body Bag bag or other similar purse.

See our picks for the best anti-theft purses for travel .

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Lewis N. Clark Deluxe Neck Stash

What anti-theft accessories do I need on safari?

We recommend you make sure your purse is built for security. Other great anti-theft accessories for safari might include a secret bra wallet , neck wallet , or even a money belt.

Read about popular anti-theft accessories !

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International Travel Adapter

What electronics do I need on safari?

A headlamp will be a lifesaver when it comes to camping at night during your safari.

A few other things that might come in handy include a travel adapter , portable battery charger , and your headphones . Plus, if you’re planning on taking any pictures, you’re going to need your camera and gear!

Printable Travel Checklist

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Don’t forget to download the TFG Printable Travel Checklist

The Dos and Don’ts of Safari Clothing Packing

Packing for your African safari can seem overwhelming, so let’s finish off by going over our main dos and don’ts when it comes to getting together your safari gear and planning your safari attire!

What should you not wear on safari?

What you shouldn’t wear for an African safari depends highly on the actual trip type that you’re participating in. An overland trip that touches on a variety of countries is going to mean different must-haves from a short safari to Kruger Park that’s smack in the middle of a longer trip.

If your African safari trip is long, you’re going to want to focus on making comfortable, practical safari clothing a priority. But if you’re headed on a short three-day trip, you can definitely get by with wearing regular clothes.

But for both trips, we highly recommend that you DO NOT wear a romper on a safari — three days, seven days or otherwise. We know that we’ve mentioned this before, but it’s such an important note that we want to talk about it in a little more detail!

When you’re on an overland safari trip, it’s common place to simply pull over on the side of the road to go to the bathroom — in public — as there really aren’t bathrooms along the way. The reason why we stress that you shouldn’t wear rompers is due to the fact that going to bathroom in a romper means taking all of your clothes off to go to the bathroom.

While you might be able to find a somewhat “discreet” spot in the pushes to pop a squat, you’ll still be pulling off your entire romper in public and it’s much harder to attempt to conceal the top and bottom half of your body at the same time. It’s much easier to focus on covering your backside.

We know you’ll thank us for this advice later!

womens-safari-clothing

What colors should you wear on safari?

As exciting as it is to experience nature in its rawest form, you don’t have to immerse yourself to the extent that your safari clothing completely blends in with the foliage and desert itself. We can leave that for the Hollywood movies!

With that in mind, the best colors for safari clothes include:

  • Olive green

A tip for picking the best color for your safari clothing is to go with colors that are inspired by nature. Measure your clothes with the image above, if they’re in the same tone, intensity and relatively the same color they’re good to go. You’re looking to blend in, but you don’t have to look like Crocodile Dundee or wear full tactical gear!

What color should you not wear on safari?

If you’ve done your safari clothing due diligence, chances are you’ve come across something that tells you not to wear bright colors. It seems like a strange request, but it’s recommended that you choose neutral colors because you don’t want the animals to see you — if they do they might be scared off!

Stick to neutral colors but avoid white because your safari clothes are bound to get very dirty, especially if you’re camping, and white will show it all!

Can you wear black on safari?

Wearing black on safari is not recommended. Black clothing attracts mosquitoes, and you’ll want to avoid that as much as possible to keep your trip its most enjoyable!

If you do end up bringing some black pieces, keep them to a minimum and opt for lightweight fabrics wherever possible!

womens-safari-clothing

What are your tips on choosing the best womens safari clothing? Share and comment below!

For more Africa packing lists, please read:

  • What to Pack for Safari: South Africa to Zimbabwe
  • What to Pack for Africa: Safari and Beaches
  • Africa Travel Packing Tips
  • 10 Essential You Absolutely Need for Safari

Suggested Travel Resource:

  • Lonely Planet Tanzania
  • Lonely Planet South Africa
  • Lonely Planet Africa on a Budget

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womens-safari-clothing

Hope you liked these safari clothing women’s tips. Don’t forget to share this post on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. Thanks for reading!

63 comments.

Amy Sankaran

I’m going on a safari next week, and the packing list looks like it would be a lifesaver, but I’m getting an error that the page is unavailable when I click on it. Anything I’m missing? Thanks!!

Alex

Hi Amy, I am so sorry about this. Please can you email us at [email protected] so we can send it over to you.

Have a wonderful time on your Safari!

Linda Biche

On August 2, 2022, Just got back from South Africa; Cape Town, Cape Winelands, then off to safari at Kruger; Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe; Botswana, Okavango Delta! It was a great 12-women trip, Women, Wine and Wild. I researched and looked at this site for everything from suitcases, carry-ons, cross-body bags, packing, lists of clothes, shoes, jackets, underpinnings, toiletries, hats, scarves, etc.; for varying types of travel, city, winelands, safaris, and Travel Fashion Girl came through on all fronts – I was ordering things left and right even in the last few days and got it all together and had the most wonderful trip. I may have taken a little too much, but I really used most everything I brought so it all worked out. But as they say, less is more; I wouldn’t bother even with a little heel for dinners out if it’s only a few night in a city. I wouldn’t take as many pants as those can be interchangeable pretty easily, especially if you bring a few blouses/tops. For chilly mornings or evenings, a lightweight puffer jacket was perfect. And scarves are perfect to help mix it all up and really be able to wear the same things with different scarves. TFG is an amazing place to go for everything travel; I love it!

Courtney S

Just got back from our 3 week honeymoon on safari in Kenya and Tanzania including a week in Zanzibar – these packing lists from TFG were so helpful for knowing what to expect and helping to minimize how much luggage to bring. Definitely recommend carry on backpack for this trip to fit in the small trunks of the land cruisers and for small airplanes (we took one with only 12 seats!)

Tracy

This recommended packing list was just what I needed for a 10-day safari in Tanzania.Thank you 🙏

Someone recommended we take soft travel bags to fit onto the small airplanes which I would NOT do again. Due to their weight, it made the grueling trek through airports a painful experience 😣 Instead, we would have preferred rolling, carry-on luggage. My two-cents, but unless you travel lightly, soft bags aren’t the way to go for this type of trip. Anyone else?

Thank you for sharing your own feedback with us Tracy, this is really helpful to know. Hope you had an incredible time!

It was an incredible time, thanks Alex! Would love to go again 😀

Keri

Loved this packing list! I only went on a two day safari but this was immensely helpful with helping me choose the right clothes to pack for a conference plus my safari outing.

Julia Carling

We’re just back from a Safari in Zimbabwe , Botswana and Zambia And I found previous posts on Safari clothing on this site invaluable! And def no all in ones ! We stopped for loo breaks whenever needed and took it in turns to go round to the back of the truck so it was totally private and discreet! I took very thin summer dresses for the middle of the days and was really glad of these . And we definitely needed warm things for early morning … I had a cashmere snood I was so thankful for … I could pull it up over the back of my head . Also silk gloves ! And it was the best holiday we have ever had !

Thank you so much Julia, so glad we were able to help you with your packing. And thank you for sharing your packing insights with us, these are all super helpful.

So pleased to hear you had such an amazing time!

Victoria

Just came back from a trip that included: Capetown; The Winelands; Vic Falls; Chobie game drive in Botswana; self drive through Kruger; and a luxury resort/safari game drive; — oh yeah and we had a two day stop over in Doha (!) So we had temps that ranged from 50-65 degrees in Capetown/Winelands; 55-85 in Kruger, and 98-112 degrees in Doha (!)

So one big thing to consider is that the weather is vastly different depending where you go: Capetown in July is Winter, which is chilly and drizzly, can be windy and stormy, BUT because it’s their winter, it was the best time to go on Safari on the other side of South Africa, which was Great Kruger National Park, so just remember, your season might not be their season. Best safari pants I brought was North Face Hybrid Yoga/cargo pants in olive — stretchy, quick dry, had tons of pockets, but felt like leggings. Also the lululemon “Smooth Departure” packable rain coat. Ultra light, and looks good while on safari or in the city. Lastly, even if you go during a “light bug” season, I would recommend at least one Insect Shield SPF long sleeve top (that can be also rolled up) and at least two pairs of their socks. Long sleeve shirts that have SPF can keep you cooler than a t-shirt because the African sun is HOT!! And even if you come from a sunny state (Like CA, as I do) your arms can get really get burnt. Also, a first layer underlayer (for cold) can do double duty. I wore it over my bathing suit while I was going into Devil’s Pool (Victoria Falls), and it really saved me because the water was COLD!! Because it was dry-wicking, it dried almost immediately. Also, just a note: our safari guides would NOT have recommended wearing that bright turquoise jacket that’s pictured in the photo (especially on a walking safari) — maybe it was more “neutral” looking in real life?

Hi Victoria, thank you for sharing your trip report with us and all your great travel tips! This is really helpful. Hope you had an incredible time on your trip! ?

Mari

Thank you for the advice! I am looking to travel to Togo, Africa at the end of January 2020 for roughly 2 months. I think the best take away for me I hadn’t really considered is laundry and drying time! I tend to get hot, sweat a lot and very easily. I will let you know how it goes!

Hi Mari, so pleased you found this atricle helpful. Looking forward to reading how you get on. Have the most incredible time! ?

Jody Puryear

Hello, we are going to Ezulwini Lodges in the middle of March. I have struggled over what to wear and what essentials I should take. I have loved reading all of your comments over the years and am finally taking a 7 night trip there. We are also going to spend 2 night in Maritime Bushveld Estates. Any thoughts on attire?

Hi Jody, thank you for your lovely comment, so pleased you enjoy reading our blog!! 🙂 For other tips to help with your packing for your safari, have a read of this article: https://www.travelfashiongirl.com/what-to-pack-for-african-safari-tours/ You may also find this article interesting, its about how one TFG reader packed carryon for her African safari and how she also was able to keep the weight to below 10lb: https://www.travelfashiongirl.com/safari-packing-list/ Also our readers have the best advice and tips, so I have gone ahead and posted your question on TFG’s facebook page. Keep your eyes out for our readers replies from Wednesday: https://www.facebook.com/TravelFashionGirl/ Hope this helps. Have an incredible trip!!

Hi Jody, here is the FB thread with our readers replies to your question: https://www.facebook.com/TravelFashionGirl/posts/2240284559328533 Hope this helps! 🙂

Tracy

Thanks so much for sharing this Alex! It’s really helpful . Well, I’m going to Tazania in mid of December. Plan a week in there, there are 2 days will be soft hinking with group. Any tip of packing for specific December weather. Please advise! Thanks in advance,Tracy

Maria

What shades of blue need to be avoided? Just dark blue or also aquamarine/baby blue and royal blue? How about lavender? Thx!

Janice Woeste

thank you for this very inclusive list. I appreciate all the work and effort to provide this resource.

Megan

YES it gets COLD, even in summer! Keep in mind that some local flights out into the bush have a weight limit on luggage so double check on this- they’re strict! Also, some safari’s do laundry daily so that helps cut down on what you need. I survived a 2 week trip with 2 pairs of leggings, 1 hiking pant from Athleta (cute!), 1 pr of shorts, 5 shirts, (mix of button ups, tanks and athletic type t’s) a fleece and a windbreaker. Don’t overdo the shoes either! One pair of sneaker types and one pair of sandals is fine!

alex

Great tips Megan, thanks!

Emily C

Great article! Having lived in Africa for the past nine years, I might also advise against wearing shorts. Most of Africa is significantly more conservative than many Western countries, and the only people I ever see in shorts are the tourists and, at times, wearing anything cut above the knee can attract unwanted attention from males- an unfortunate but true reality

Hi Emily, thank you so much for your comment! Thank you for sharing your travel advice 🙂

LAURIE C ALLEN

Hi Alex, Emily’s comment about shorts also might include strappy tank tops and leggings. Your comment about wearing sports bras was right on. Safari trucks have lousy shocks and you will be bounced around. A scarf is useful for keeping dust out of you eyes and mouth.

Mary Samson

This really helped me on my recent trip to Kenya and Tanzania. Thank you! 😊

Linda

Love your posts! What kind of shoes do you recommend? Are light nike trainers enough or do you need sturdier shoes that are waterproof? I am going on an overlanding trip to South Africa, Namibia and Botswana in July, not to many walking safaris scheduled. Thanks!

I found my regular cross trainers worked well as we only had one walking safari. A few more tips here: https://travelfashiongirl.com/what-to-pack-for-african-safari-tours/

Anne Gow

We are going to Tanzania Zambia staying in lodge accommodation at the end of November,we are on the older side but are fairly fit. What clothes should I take..?we have a black tie do to attend in Zambia.I like clothes with sleeves

Try this: https://travelfashiongirl.com/what-to-pack-for-kenya-and-tanzania/ and https://travelfashiongirl.com/what-to-pack-for-africa-serengeti-zanzibar/

Judy

We are going to Cape Town for 4 days then winery for 4 days, safari for 5 then victoria falls. Will it look silly if I wear kaftans for dinners? And what about days for shopping and touring in towns? I can’t imagine having only a carry on and not a variety of clothing.

If you’d normally wear kaftans to dinners at home then you should wear them while you’re traveling too 🙂

Emmy Scammahorn

No blue clothing, as it (like black) attracts mosquitos. Bring decent underwear, something you won’t be embarrassed for camp staff to wash by hand, as I found one fellow doing. You’ll wear the long-sleeve shirt in the jeep during the afternoon so you don’t get sunburned. Unless you’ll hike, closed-toe sandals are good for everything. I wore clogs for the plane and around camp. Glad I brought a fleece jacket for cold mornings. I brought older clothing and left it. In Tanzania, I left sneakers with a camp staffer who was extremely grateful, even though they were one size too big for him. To my safari driver went my bathing suit and robe (someone will wear them), fleece jacket, and old Tevas. I suggest a headlamp, which you may need (tents and hotels were short on light).

Thanks for your feedback Emmy, great tips!

Midori

I would add one trash bag to the packing list. In the morning game drive on our last day of the safari, it rained cats and dogs on us, and we got soaked (we all had rain ponchos on but they didn’t help much). Thankfully, someone had trash bags to spare, so we could put the wet clothes in the bag and put in the luggage without everything else getting damp.

alex

That’s a really great tip Midori! thanks for sharing!

Jo

Is there a printable safari packing list so I can have it with me shopping, in my closet and when I am actually packing? Thanks

No printable option, maybe take screenshots of this post to help? Happy travels!

Cathy Blackwell

I have been to Tanzania (with way too many clothes) and am heading back to Africa for a trip to Cape Town, Namibia, and Victoria Falls. Your packing list suggestions are very helpful as I tend to grossly over pack! Thank you!!!

Travel Fashion Girl

Thanks for reading Cathy! Sounds like you have an incredible trip planned! We are happy that you have found the packing suggestions helpful! Less stuff is less stress! Happy travels!

Cynthia Tilford

Great tips! What size bag did you pack? We’re going mid-July for 3 weeks, and will be spending several days on Mauritius at the end of our trip, so I’ll need to take a few things to dress up a bit.

Hi Cynthia, glad you like the post! This was before I traveled carryon only so I had a 65L backpack. However, I was on a round-the-world trip and had been traveling for nine months before I got to Africa.

Currently, I would never travel with anything larger than a 22″ or 46L suitcase since that’s what I use on my long-term travels now 😉 All the luggage styles Ive used throughout the years can be found here: https://travelfashiongirl.com/best-osprey-backpacks/

This post will help you downsize your suitcase as much as possible: https://travelfashiongirl.com/10-step-packing-guides/10-step-guide-to-packing-in-one-suitcase-for-any-trip/

You can find more tips here: https://travelfashiongirl.com/africa-packing-lists/

Have a great trip!

jennifer

Can you tell me the name of the hiking shoe in the above pic? Thanks

Hi Jennifer, the shoe is the Merell Calia found here http://amzn.to/1Abb4Js

For more ideas, please take a look at: https://travelfashiongirl.com/best-hiking-boots-for-women/

Jennifer

Could you tell me what brand of hiking shoe is shown above? Thanks

Kate Grissom

Just got back from an Africa safari, and here is my recommendations: 1.) Take Sunscreen! I burned one half of my face sitting in the safari vehicle one day…so I switched sides to burn evenly the next. 2.) A hat would help combat problem #1. 3.) Don’t waste space on hair dryers or makeup etc. No one in the bush cares. 🙂 Bring soap, shampoo, toothpaste and call it done. 4.) I only brought hiking tennis shoes. I longed for a pair of flip flops on the long days in a car. 5.) It can get quite chilly at night. Bring long pants for sleeping if you are staying in a tented camp. I was on my honeymoon so pajama’s wasn’t a top priority when packing…wish it had been! Lol! 6.) Bring a clean outfit for the plane ride home and put it aside. Coming out of the bush after a week of bucket showers you feel dirty enough. 7.) Last and most important: Don’t pack anything that resembles food in a tented camp. I had a granola bar in my bag and we had a honey badger break into our tent while we were gone. It ate the granola bar, chewed up all my underwear, and then took a big poop in my husbands suit case!

Great tips Kate, thank you! Hope you had an amazing experience 🙂

Stephanie

At least one knee length skirt or dress is a must if you are going to be exploring outside of the parks at all. A sarong also goes a long way and I have a nice knit hat I alway bring along in the winter. Also, the first time I traveled to Tanzania I made the mistake of thinking I would only need camping gear and spent the whole time wishing I had a cute top with me. I highly recommend bringing an outfit you can wear to dinner or a club. Overall, great tips! Thanks!

Great add! Thanks 🙂

Georgie M

Thank you so much for this post! I have been searching everywhere for something like it and it’s perfect! I’m off to fashionable Dubai & Iran after overlanding in Africa, so I’m trying to figure out a way to keep my suitcase light AND have enough clothes that are fashionable and practical! I reckon a few colourful scarves may be the way to go, and one long black skirt as well as the above.

That sounds about right! You can always buy a few new things upon arrival. This post might also be helpful: http:/travelfashiongirl.com/how-to-dress-for-conservative-countries-modest-clothing-essentials/

Sue

I am not sure if you have already gone trekking or not, but I might consider changing your black skirt to tan, beige, grey or even light pink. I spent two years in and out of Dubai and Afghanistan….you will constantly be trying to clean your black skirt, the sand is more like a talcum powder and sticks to everything, also the dark colours are hot! You will definitely want something feminine/girlie though and the scarves are an excellent idea! Have a wonderful time! 🙂

great tips!

catherine

I love all your posts! One question, do the outfits go in addition to what you will be wearing or do you wear one of the outfits in the photos? Thanks!

Hi Catherine! Sorry, which outfits specifically? Thanks for commenting 🙂

Ilona

I think she means are the clothes pictured above ALL of the clothes for the trip, as in, are the clothes that you would be wearing on the way there and back included in the picture.

yes they are

Vanessa (@Turnipseeds)

As always, love, love, love the lists! In all parts of Africa, it’s best to always err on the side of modesty and cameo prints should always be avoided. On safari, it would be worth spending the extra money for clothing that is sunscreen rated/treated with bug repellent.

Thanks Vanessa!

Julia

Love that you show a sports bra – those African roads can be amazingly bumpy!!

Yes and painful without support! Ouch!

Lorette

I always bring gloves with me when I’m in Africa. The morning game drives are always cold.

Oooh that’s true! Forgot that one…thanks for the reminder 🙂

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safari jackets south africa

Global Travel Planning

What to wear on safari in South Africa – a complete packing guide.

By: Author Tracy Collins

Posted on Last updated: February 10, 2023

Discover what to wear on safari in South Africa so you pack what you need for your trip! Practical tips and advice based on my own experiences of over 60 safaris in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe!

If you are heading off to South Africa and have a few safaris included in your itinerary you may be wondering what to pack. This post will help you with all the info you need.

Thinking about what to bring on safari in South Africa is important so you only pack the safari clothing that you need. I spent many years living in South Africa and Botswana and took numerous game drives (safaris) so I have a good idea of what to wear on safari in South Africa.

In this article I will help you put together your perfect wardrobe to ensure you have exactly what you need for your trip.

WHAT TO PACK FOR YOUR SOUTH AFRICAN SAFARI TRAVEL AFRICA

What colours should you avoid wearing on safari?

Dress for the weather, what footwear do i need on safari, consider your baggage allowance , enjoy your african safari, what to wear on an african safari (best safari clothing).

Obviously everyone has different fashion tastes but there are some essential items I would suggest you add to your safari clothing packing list.

I would also strongly advise not buying a whole safari-themed wardrobe full of new clothes. Nothing screams tourist more than people climbing aboard the jeep wearing pith helmets and dressed head to foot in khaki.

Lightweight cotton items in neutral tones are the most practical items to add to your packing list for an African safari.

If you are wondering what colour safari clothes not to wear (or what colour clothes to avoid taking on safari) I would strongly suggest avoiding white.

The dirt roads can be extremely dusty and you can come back coated with a thin layer of orange dust.

Although not an issue in South Africa, the tsetse fly, which passes on human sleeping sickness,  is attracted to black and blue clothing. Something to be aware of if you are visiting Tanzania, Kenya or Zambia during your trip.

If you are planning to take a walking safari do not wear white or bright colours. It is safer for you and less intrusive for the animals if you are wearing neutral tones that blend into the surrounding area.

Giraffe, elephants and zebras

Most game drives occur during the early mornings/late afternoon/early evening. It can be quite chilly at these times so it is best to dress in layers and add/remove layers depending on the temperature. Even though it may be warm when you head out the temperatures can drop sharply when the sunsets.

I recommend packing a jacket or pashmina that you can wear if the temperatures are on the low side. The breeze can be very cold as you drive along in the jeep and you may even need a woolly hat and gloves if you are in South Africa during the winter.

I would advise checking the expected rainfall and temperatures during your trip but also bear in mind that increasingly unpredictable weather patterns may make it is worth preparing for all eventualities.

Think about what to wear on safari in South Africa as the open sides on the jeep as shown in the picture can mean it can be very cold

Learn more – Where to visit in South Africa: The Ultimate South African Bucket List

In terms of footwear trainers are the best option though I will admit to going out in sandals too (just avoid flip flops!). Trainers are best as they keep your feet covered and warm and also for climbing into and out of the vehicle which can be quite high.

If you are planning a walking safari you will need to consider bringing sturdy walking boots.

A leopard in a tree

One of the main things to consider is though you may have a 30 kg baggage allowance on your international flight this allowance may not be as generous when flying internally.

Don’t overpack – think layers of lightweight clothing. Don’t pack heels, fancy dresses and expensive jewellery.

Pack one or two outfits for the evenings if you are staying in a private lodge but otherwise seriously don’t bother. Most lodges have laundry facilities so you really don’t need to take a change of clothes for every day of your trip!

You may find my posts with recommended mini travel products and mini travel beauty products helpful.

An African elephant

South African safari packing list

Essential packing list for your South African safari

Backpack

OGIO Renegade RSS Backpack

Lightweight backpack perfect for taking with you on safari. Sturdy with plenty of pockets to store all your essential items.

Samsonite duffel bag

Samsonite Andante 2 Drop Bottom Wheeled Rolling Duffel Bag

Built for travel this Samsonite duffel bag is perfect for your African adventure. Includes a push button handle, shoe pockets and front U zip.

SAFARI PACKING LIST - CLOTHES 

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Pashmina 

It can be very chilly early in the morning when you leave on your game drive (and again in the evenings) so I recommend taking a pashmina or light jacket with you.

jacket

Women's Utility Jacket

Take a lightweight jacket for mornings or evenings

Mens jacket

Men's Cotton Lightweight Jacket

Avaailable in lighter colours too this jacket is ideal for the cooler mornings and evenings

shorts

Shorts for her

Take a few pairs of shorts if you are going on safari in the warmer months. The weather in South Africa can be very hot during the summer and even in winter temperatures can be warm during the day.

mens shorts

Shorts for him

As I have mentioned a few pairs of shorts are a good idea especially during the warmer months. Take at least 3 pairs for a 2 week vacation.

t shirts

T-Shirts for her

Some cotton t-shirts are also a great idea - cotton is the best fabric to choose as it is natural.

mens t shirts

T shirts for him

I would pack 5 t-shirts each for a 2 week trip. Choose neutral colours which you can mix and match with your other clothes.

womens long sleeved

Long sleeve cotton tops for her

Layers are essential and a longer sleeve top such as this is easy to wear. If you are visiting during winter I would pack 2/3 longer sleeve t-shirts.

long sleeved

100% Cotton Long Sleeve T-Shirt for him

A few tops in this style are worth packing for your African safari especially during the cooler months when you will need to layer. As it warms up during the day it is easier to cool off by removing each layer.

Safari shirt

Men's long sleeve top

This is the perfect light weight cotton blend long sleeved shirt for safari.

safari hat

Safari Hat 

Athough you will generally be in the shade in the vehicle it is always a good idea to take and wear a hat when under the African sun. Make sure it covers your neck so a wide-brimmed hat not a baseball cap.

SAFARI PACKING LIST - USEFUL ITEMS TO PACK

These are all useful items that I have used when on game drives in southern Africa.

binoculars

Compact Binoculars 

A pair of binoculars is worth taking with you especially if you like bird watching. They can also proof invaluable for spotting that elusive leopard or cheetah hiding in the bush a few hundred yards away.

Birds of Southern Africa

Birds of Southern Africa

Identify the birds you will see on your safari or keep track of the ones identified by your guides.

Wildlife of SA

Wildlife of Southern Africa: A field guide to the animals and plants of the region

Useful little book to take with you to keep track of the animals you see. We used to have a book we took with us every time we went on a game drive and it was a great way to keep a tally of what we had seen where.

Tracks and signs

Tracks and signs

Detailed coverage of tracks, droppings and more - a perfect comapnions for anyone considering a walking safari.

Safari companion

The Safari Companion - a guide to African mammals

A fantastic book for those interesting in spending some time observing African mammals when they are on safari.

SAFARI PACKING LIST - ESSENTIAL ITEMS TO PACK

water

LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottles

Keep yourself hydrated during your safari. Although you will probably stop for a drink during the game drive it is essential to keep fluids up especially during the hot summers.Reusable LifeStraw

610VU4lLReL. SY450

SPF30 Lip Balm

As I mentioned above I find lip balm with high SPF protection worth keeping in a pocket to use during the trip.

51fR9iQaYNL. SY355

South Africa Power Adapter

Don’t foget to pack an adaptor so you can use all your electrical appliances in South Africa.

71X DIBcV7L. SX425

Insect Repellent

I would suggest seeking medical advise regarding malaria before you travel so you can take appropriate precautions. Always use an insect repellant too to provide additional protection.

71cs2B81b rL. SX466

Flashlight 

A small torch is always useful and you never know when you will need it. We even found ours invaluable in Tasmania recently when looking for animals after dark!

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Small First Aid Kit

Take a small medical kit with the essentials. If you already have one make a point of checking the use by dates on ointments and medicines in your kit.

15 MINI TRAVEL PRODUCTS

Mini Travel Size Products 

A selection of useful travel products to pack for your trip including mini toiletries.

mini beauty products

10 essential mini travel beauty products

Some great mini travel beauty products are included in this post. Buying smaller sizes is the best way to travel especially when weight may be an issue.

This packing list for a safari in South Africa will provide you with all the essentials for your trip.

Remember to pack your camera/lenses and extra memory cards for all those fantastic memories you will make during your travels.

Read more about taking a safari in South Africa with my essential tips for first-timers as well as general advice and tips about what NOT to do when in the country.

You can find links to all my articles to help you plan your trip included in my Essential Travel Guide to South Africa.

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  • Safari Clothing Packing Advice: What Clothing To Pack For Your Safari.

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Safari Clothing Packing Advice: What clothing to pack for your safari.

When deciding on the best safari clothing to pack for your safari, let us be your guide into the world of what to wear in Africa.

The safari clothing rule of thumb: Dress in layers for all activities & wear shades of the African bush - khaki, browns, and greens.

Top 10 tips for selecting the best safari clothing.

Follow our safari clothing advice and you'll be comfortable, cool, protected, and assured that the safari clothing you pack is 100% safari suitable. Learn what safari clothing to pack - and what clothing not to pack - for your safari.

To get more insight into this list, please simply scroll down this page to where we elaborate further - and/or download our free packing list.

1.Dress in layers for all activities , with a warm layer essential in the mornings and evenings. Long-sleeved shirts with roll-up tabs and zip-off trousers allow you to adapt to local conditions.

2. Colour is key : Select safari clothing which is made from muted neutral and naturally-toned fabric such as shades of khaki, greens, and browns.

3. No white or black clothing : Please ensure that you do not go on safari wearing clothing made from fabric which is white or black - or shades of fabric which appear white in direct sunlight.

4. No camouflaged clothing : it is illegal in some African countries for civilians to wear camouflage safari clothing, so this is best avoided.

5. Man-made fabric vs cotton : As a general guideline, man-made fabrics (such as polyamide) outperform natural fabrics (such as cotton) - and so keep you cooler and better protected from the sun.

6. Pack a wide-brimmed hat : You will be out in the sun for long hours of the day and a good wide-brimmed hat is an essential.

7. Pack a warm layer : Even in mid-summer, it gets cold on the back of an open 4x4. Do not leave home without a safari jacket or fleece .

8. Pack a dry layer : When it rains in Africa, it tends to pour. If travelling during the rainy season, take a truly waterproof layer . Southern Africa tends to have rains November to April; East Africa gets rain in April/May and in November.

9. Pack light : Luggage restrictions on internal flights means that packing lightweight safari clothing is key. The bonus is the lighter the clothing, the more you can pack in.

10. Comfortable shoes : At the very least, take your best walking shoes and a pair of sandals or flip-flops (thongs).

What safari clothing should I pack for my safari?

This is one of the first questions you will ask once you have booked your safari. Unfortunately, there are many people and blogs who think they know what makes for great safari clothing, but actually have very little idea about what works and what doesn't work well to improve your safari experience. At the end of the day, getting the best advice and packing the correct safari clothing will add to your enjoyment of your safari. Fortunately, we have been asked the question on safari clothing many times over the decades and so have come up with the long answer - and the short answer - and have also created expert safari clothing packing lists to guide you further. For the short answer as to what safari clothing to pack for your safari, we have created our "Top 10 tips for selecting safari clothing". For the long answer, please scroll down below the "top tips" as we go into detail about each key aspect for picking what safari clothing to take with you. Use our image "cheat sheet" too if you don't feel like reading much to get quick, essential safari clothing packing tips

Informative image showing the best advice on what safari clothing to pack.

Safari Clothing: Colour is Key

Safari clothing which is made from neutral and naturally-toned colours is the order of the day in deciding what safari clothing to pack for your safari. The best safari clothing colours are therefore shades of khaki, greens, and browns as these are the colours most prevalent in the wilds, wilderness, and back-country of Africa. On the other end of the scale, the worst safari clothing colours are without doubt white and black and lighter shades of natural colours such as very light stone which appear as white when in sunlight. It isn't by chance that animals such as impala and Thompson's gazelle have white rumps to make following one another through the bush easier to do - white really stands out. . Which brings us to the core question here: "why is the choice of colour for safari clothing so important?" You spend a good amount of money going on safari not to watch animals watching you and reacting to you, but rather to view animals behaving - well - as naturally as animals should do. The aim of any safari is therefore to blend in as much as possible so that you do not disturb the wildlife you are viewing. This ensures that you are able to watch animals behaving naturally and not reacting to you, running away, or charging towards you. Staying as unseen as possible is so important that, in high-level guide walking safari training, the trainee guide fails or passes based on whether or not they are able to use the wind, cover, and terrain to view high profile herbivores (elephant, rhino, buffalo) without one of the herd seeing the trainee guide and the evaluators. To achieve this, colour of clothing and the ability to blend in is very important. As illustrated by the split image on this page, white is the most conspicuous colour on safari for safari clothing and you will be seen by African wildlife from a mile away. It quite simply stands out the most against the muted brown and green tones of Africa. This is most true while walking on safari - an activity we highly recommend - where remaining as undetected as possible is key to watching natural behaviour. Also, please do not pack safari clothing that is blue or black in colour. Black is second only to white in how clearly it stands out in the bush, but there is another reason why black and blue safari clothing should not be worn: tsetse flies. If you are travelling to an area with tsetse flies, please note that the flies - which are the equivalent of tiny fighter jets and deliver a very painful bite with their proboscis - are attracted to blue and black. We know this for certain from personal experience and after noting that the traps used to attract and catch tsetse flies are made from fabric which is blue and black. For the majority of African countries, please do not pack camouflage safari clothing as camouflage safari clothing is illegal attire for civilians and this law may be strictly enforced. In conclusion, all the safari clothing stocked by The Safari Store is handpicked to be made from safari-suitable colours - and are the ideal colours for safari travel.

As an aside, some travellers have asked why safari clothing colour is such an issue when African tribesmen - for example, the Maasai - wear bright colours in the bush. The answer is simple: their main aim us to be as visible as possible as they are herdsmen who are trying to protect their livestock from predators such as lion, hyena, and cheetah. The bright colours ensure that any roaming predator sees them before attacking their herds and are dissuaded from doing so. The herdsmen want to be seen in African bush. For the best game-viewing experience, you - on the other hand - do not.

The ideal colours to wear on safari allow you to blend in well with your surroundings.

The right side of the image above shows why the worst safari clothing colour to wear on safari is white - simply as you stick out like a beacon in the African bush. The left side shows that the best colours to wear on safari are shades of Africa's neutral and natural tones which blend in with the browns, greens, and khakis of the African bush. This makes you harder for wildlife to see. The longer you remain unseen, the higher the change that you will get to see what you really went on safari to see: wild animals behaving naturally, and not reacting to your presence.

Safari Clothing Links: Includes more detailed information for each safari clothing product type. Simply click on the orange "Read our Advice Guide" at the top of each page.

  • Safari Shirts
  • Safari Trousers & Shorts
  • Safari Jackets & Fleeces
  • Safari Dresses & Skorts
  • Safari Hats
  • Safari Beanies & Scarves
  • Safari Shoes & Boots
  • Safari Socks & Ankle Gaiters

Safari Clothing: Deciding on cotton or man-made fabrics

We have spent years studying and understanding how yarns - the building block of any fabric - work and affect the engineering of any garment, including safari clothing. These studies have lead us to develop and field test fabrics of all types, with only the cream of the crop making it into our range of safari clothing. Here we tell you what we have learnt about the differences between fabrics made from man-made yarn and those made from natural yarns such as cotton and the impact that should have on your choice of safari clothing. To start, we have to say that safari clothing made from cotton is, of course, fine to wear on safari, but it will never perform as well as modern man-made fabrics which offer a much higher level of outdoor performance. To illustrate this point, we often use the example of the typewriter versus the computer. While one is still able to write a perfectly good letter on a typewriter and mail or fax it once written, the computer has become a much more powerful word processing tool which also allows you to do so much more to share what you have written with others. This too is the case with man-made fabrics - they are simply able to do so much more than natural fabrics. One of the key indicators of performance for safari clothing is the ability of the fabric to keep you cool through the hotter midday and afternoon hours of the day. Here, man-made fabrics win hands down. Your body keeps cool by perspiring - which, of course, is no secret. In itself, the act of perspiring does not keep you cool, but it is the movement of sweat away from the skin which keeps you cool. The faster the rate of evaporation from the skin, the faster you are kept cool. In fabric, this movement of water is referred to as wicking. Cotton does not handle this movement of perspiration as well as man-made fabrics such our BUGTech™ fabrics. Cotton is greedy and holds on to 20% of its volume of sweat before releasing it to the environment; whereas BUGTech™ fabric only holds 4% of its volume before releasing sweat to the environment. The nett effect is that water moves much faster away from your skin with our BUGTech™ fabric than with cotton - and, as such, it cools you much faster than cotton too. The faster speed of wicking also explains why our BUGTech™ fabric is much better suited to safari and travel in general. It does not crease as badly and releases creases much faster than cotton when hung up or ironed. It also only requires a cool iron to release the water in the fabric, which in turn releases the creases. This explains how steam irons work too. They inject moisture into the fabric and then wick the moisture out of the fabric at a very high speed, releasing the creases. It follows that BUGTech™ also dries much faster than cotton after washing or becoming drenched in a river or heavy rain. It is simply a case of how efficiently our BUGTech™ fabric moves water. This also explains why you will often see dark sweat patches under the arms and down the back of a person wearing a cotton garment which last for a long time. There have also been tremendous advances made in the finishes which we are able to add to man-made fabrics. This means, for our BUGTech™ fabric, we are able to build on the high level of wicking performance by adding finishes which offer robust sun protection (UPF50+); insect defence; and a built-in silver finish called Silver+ which fights bacteria - and, as a result, odour - keeping you and your garment smelling fresh for longer.

As a team, we have also rigorously Expedition Tested™ our man-made fabrics under extreme conditions to prove that they are ideally suited to the conditions on your safari.

Wear fabrics such as MaraTech & BugTech on safari.

Top tips for selecting safari clothing with the best in safari, travel, and outdoor clothing technology & garment engineering.

1. Select clothing which is easy to pack, dries quickly, and wicks moisture away from the skin.

2. Keep bugs at bay : Get added defence by selecting clothing that offers a built-in anti-insect treatment . Insist on seeing proof that the built-in insect defence has been proven to work by asking to see the laboratory test results .

3. Protect your skin : The African sun can be harsh, even during winter. Opt for clothing that offers protection from the sun . This will be shown as a UPF rating. 50+ is the highest rating available today.

4. Light can also mean strong. The best safari clothing is lightweight, but also has built-in ripstop for added strength.

5. Stay fresh : As we all prefer to smell fresh, select clothing that uses an anti-microbial or anti-bacterial fabric. This also means that you will be able to wear the same clothing for longer and so pack less and travel lighter.

7. Get back-up : Add to the protective performance of the clothing which you take on safari by packing a wide-brimmed, packable safari hat , an effective sunscreen, and insect repellent which has been proven to work to spray on to your clothing and skin.

Safari clothing with the latest in garment technology.

Safari Clothing: Pack a warm layer and pack light

Make no bones about it, it gets cold on safari. African winters, open Land Rovers, early mornings and late evenings, land-locked countries, and high altitudes all contribute to the mix. Areas such as the Okavango Delta, Masai Mara, and northern Tanzania - to name but a few - are at the same height and above of some ski resorts in Europe. Even during the summer months, it will be cool to cold on the back of an open game-viewer. The rule of thumb is that the hotter it gets at midday, the earlier in the morning you will leave to go on safari as that is when animals are most active. You should pack a jacket or fleece for all safaris and a beanie and scarf for the African winter. A waterproof layer is an essential too if travelling over the rainy season.

Packing the correct safari clothing has become increasingly important in Africa due to the strict implementation of luggage weight restrictions on internal flights - usually 12 to 15 kilograms per person. This applies in particular to travel to Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, and all other countries where access to safari camps and lodges is by scheduled charter or light aircraft. You will be able to find out the luggage weight limitations for your safari by discussing this with the company who have arranged your safari. Read our safari luggage advice for more information on the best bags for your safari.

The clothing stocked by The Safari Store is all lightweight and packs and unpacks with minimum fuss or creasing. It also stands to reason that the lighter each garment you pack, the more garments you are able to pack and still remain under the weight threshold set by charter flight companies.

Please note that, as the maximum take-off weight in any aircraft has to be strictly adhered to by pilots to maximise your safety on each flight, you may find that your pilot will not be able to take any luggage over the maximum allowed weight per passenger. In this instance, you may have to pay for your luggage to be flown separately. We mention this to reiterate the importance of not overloading your luggage where maximum luggage weight limits apply.

Wear a fleece or jacket on safari.

Safari Clothing: Functionality & style

We realise the importance of offering practical garments which allow you to express your style while on safari. We all want to look good and so, early on in our history, we took a big step away from tent-shaped safari shirts and drab, heavy safari trousers. We think that you will agree with us that our range is a breath of fresh air and ensures that you not only wear the correct attire on safari, but look and feel good too. As our clothing is all tested on expeditions, by purchasing safari clothing from The Safari Store, you will also protect your own day-to-day clothing from the dust, thorns, and strong sun encountered while travelling.

Pack soft and squashhable luggage for your safari

What luggage should you take on safari?

Pack your safari clothing and gear into a bag which is soft and squashable. This is especially true for safari travel to Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, and Kenya. The reason for this is rather a practical one. The majority of safari lodges and camps within these countries are accessible only by light aircraft and, in order for your pilot to fit your luggage into the small, cramped hold, your luggage must not have hard sides and should rather be soft-sided so that the pilot is able to fit (squash) your bag into the plane. The same is true for some overland and expedition-style safaris where there will be limited space for luggage in the safari 4x4.

Therefore, we recommend that you take one larger safari holdall (around 70x30x30cm in size when full) and one smaller carry-on type bag to use when you travel and to take your binoculars and accessories on game drives and walks. For safaris with a daily walking element, we recommend that you take the holdall plus a small bag such as our Mara&Meru™ Selous Satchel which you are able to use as a shoulder bag or backpack and which attaches to your belt to carry your binoculars, compact camera or smartphone, and your safari accessories. When attached to your belt, this will leave your hands free to use your binoculars or camera and to push a thorny branch out of the way, drink water, or lift yourself up a rocky outcrop. Being 'hands-free' really does make a difference to your enjoyment of the walk.

All our Safari Clothing is Expedition Tested™

We sweat so that you don't have to. Expedition-testing products is central to everything we do. We prefer expedition-testing our products over hiding behind large marketing campaigns which claim too much and deliver too little. This is the core reason for embarking on our expeditions. The testing and re-testing and re-sampling is ongoing at The Safari Store. It is part of our DNA. Where products do not meet the high standards we set for your safari clothing and gear, we either design, re-make, and re-test the products until we get them right or we scrap them all together. #expeditiontested

Expert Advice™ on what safari clothing to pack

For comprehensive information on what to pack for your safari, get your free, detailed safari packing list..

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Ruggedwear Safari Clothing

Ruggedwear Clothing is a category that offers a wide range of durable and tough clothing options for individuals who lead an active lifestyle or work in demanding environments. Whether you are exploring the outdoors, engage in physically demanding activities, or enjoy the adventurous side of life, this category has got you covered. Safari-inspired shirts like the Men's Safari Serengeti S/S Shirt, the Men's Safari Hippo Two Tone Short Sleeve Shirt, and the Men's Safari Impala Short Sleeve Shirt. These shirts are made with high-quality materials that are both comfortable and rugged, ensuring that they can withstand the rigors of outdoor activities. We also offer a range of bottoms such as the Men's Safari Sabie Cargo Pants, Men's Kilimanjaro Jeans, and the Men's Safari Sable Shorts in khaki. These pants and shorts are designed to provide the perfect balance between functionality and style. With reinforced stitching and durable fabrics, they can handle whatever adventure comes your way. The Ladies Safari Trogon Short Sleeve Blouse, Ladies Safari Flycatcher Long Sleeve Blouse, and Ladies Safari Kestrel Shorts are some of the options available for women seeking durable yet stylish clothing. These pieces are designed to provide maximum comfort and mobility while still looking fashionable. Ruggedwear Clothing offers accessories like the Safari Bush Jacket, Safari Water Resistant Fleece Lined Poncho, and Safari Khaki Water Resistant Poncho that provide extra protection against the elements. These items are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who want to stay dry and warm even in adverse weather conditions.

Ruggedwear Clothing is the go-to category for individuals who require sturdy and reliable clothing options that can withstand tough conditions. Whether you are planning a hiking trip, going camping, or working in a demanding field, our collection has the perfect pieces for you. Don't let your clothing limit your adventures; choose Ruggedwear Clothing and embark on your next adventure in style and comfort.

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Safari Polar Fleece Beanie

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Safari Ladies Floppy Hat | Stone

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Safari Cricket Style Hat | Stone

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Safari Water Resistant Poncho - Black

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Safari Sparrow Jean-Style Skirt

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COMMENTS

  1. 10 BEST Safari Jackets For Men And Women (2024)

    The Organic Cotton Herringbone Jacket boasts a relaxed fit that prioritizes comfort while making a bold safari fashion statement. Crafted from 100% organic cotton twill, this jacket is lightweight yet durable. It features a double-breasted button closure, utility twin needle topstitching, and welt and flap front pockets for convenience.

  2. African Nature Online Store

    We are passionate about the beautiful continent of Africa and strive to produce the best quality clothing for the unique environment of the African bush to leave you feeling comfortable, cool & light - in body and spirit. African Nature has been manufacturing safari clothing in South Africa for the African Safari Lodge industry since 1994.

  3. Outdoor Clothing, Luggage and Accessories

    Manufacturers and stockists of quality outdoor safari clothing, luggage, accessories and workwear. Our products are designed and handmade locally using quality materials. FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER R700 OUTDOOR CLOTHING. Men's Clothing. Jackets & Jerseys. Shirts. Shorts & Trousers. Footwear. Ladies Clothing. Ladies Shirts.

  4. Safari Clothes, Safari Shirts, Safari Hats: Safari Store

    Sun Protection Safari Clothing. Opt for high-UPF hats & safari clothing styled for sun-filled days. Shop: Hats | Clothing ... The Thusk™ Knitwear Project employs Zulu grannies in Africa to hand-knit luxury 100% South African wool beanies, scarves & heandbands. Shop Thusk™ - you will already feel a little warmer. Find out more: ...

  5. Outdoor Safari Jackets & Safari Fleeces

    Shop outdoor safari gilets, safari fleeces, and safari jackets and beat the chill in the outdoors. Tested to be effective warm layers with safari-style. ... Note too that the South African rainy season is split down the middle of the country, with the east receiving rain through summer and the west a winter rainfall area. That winter rainfall ...

  6. Men's Travel, Outdoor & Safari Clothing

    Men's Kiwi Fleece Jacket in Evergreen. £48.00 £40.00 Save 17%. Men's outdoor safari clothing made for comfort, style & protection. Shop men's safari shirts & trousers, safari fleeces, safari hats, shoes, boots & accessories.

  7. Safari Jackets: Ultimate Guide To Choosing A Safari Jacket ️

    Lower garments. • Wearing khaki trousers or shorts are the common option. • Leggings can be very comfortable for ladies. • You can also consider wearing long skirts, as you'll probably find yourself squatting whilst game viewing at points on your safari, making a long skirt useful and comfortable to wear.

  8. Best Safari Clothing: Brands, Clothes & Tips for African Safaris

    2 warm fleece tops or jackets (good for a summer or winter safari outfit) 2 pairs of flip-flops or sandals (one for the wild and one for at the lodge) 2 safari dresses (for at the lodge) 2 swimming costumes. 1 waterproof jacket. 1 kikoy or sarong. 1 wide-brim hat or baseball cap. 1 beanie.

  9. Outdoor Ruggedwear Safari Jackets

    Outdoor Ruggedwear Safari Jackets | Ruggedwear Clothing Suppliers in Cape Town, South Africa | Shop our wide range of outdoor jackets designed to keep you comfortable, dry, and protected during any adventure. From safari bush jackets to water-resistant ponchos, we have something for everyone. Explore now.Azulwear Cape Town, Somerset West, Stellenbosch, Paarl, Durbanville, Durban, Gauteng ...

  10. Khaki Fever

    Bush Clothing for the Great Outdoors. Go shopping. ... Fever Work Wear has built up a fantastic range over the past fifteen years and is now a proud supplier to many Southern African lodges and safari operators. ... affordable, 100% cotton garments made for the African outdoors. Bestsellers. Original Shorts. Sale Product on sale. R 355.00 R 115 ...

  11. Best Africa Safari Clothing

    This is Africa, not Alaska. The best Africa safari clothing does not require massive insulation and rain proofing -- although a little doesn't hurt. And a bunch of it often saves the day. Of course, Africa is a huge continent with diverse weather, but remember: we're planning an inexpensive Plains Game hunting safari in southern Africa, which ...

  12. What To Wear On Safari In Africa

    We love the Sony RX100V for a pocket-size camera and the Fujifilm XT-4 for a professional camera. Check out our favorite cameras for Africa. Safari Clothes: Lightweight, beige, and moisture-wicking clothing are great for traveling Africa. See our favorite safari clothing here. Safari Hat: A good hat is both stylish and functional.

  13. Salty Clothing

    At Salty Outdoor Safari Clothing, we understand the importance of comfortable, durable, and functional clothing for outdoor enthusiasts. That is why we strive to provide a wide range of clothing options for men, women, and children. Whether you are planning a safari adventure, a fishing trip, or simply enjoying nature, our clothing will help ...

  14. Safari Clothing for Men Women and Children Authentic Safari Gear

    Safari Clothing and Gear for Men Women and Children, Made in Africa for the best UV protection using long staple cotton. Tag Safari Clothes for Men include Safari Shirts, Hats, Shooting Shirts, Hunting Shirts, Jackets, Birding vests, Clay Shooting and Upland Bird Hunting Clothes for Men Women and Children

  15. Women's Travel, Outdoor, & Safari Clothes

    Women's outdoor safari clothing: stylish outdoor clothes with protective features. Shop safari-inspired women's shirts, trousers, jackets, hats, dresses & more. ... Please also note that the South African rainy season is split down the middle of the country, with the east receiving rain through summer and the west a winter rainfall area. ...

  16. What To Wear On Safari: 32 Best Items In A Safari Packing List

    Thus, wearing layers is essential. A good packing list for Africa will include plenty of cotton shirts to wear during the day, and a few sweaters and a light jacket to wear in the early morning hours and in the evenings. I also recommend bringing a scarf, a hat and gloves.

  17. Outdoor Safari Jackets & Ponchos

    Each jacket is crafted with precision and attention to detail, ensuring that they are built to withstand the rigors of the great outdoors. Stay warm and cozy on chilly expeditions with our Safari Karoo Fleece Jacket for men. Crafted from high-quality materials, this jacket offers superior insulation without compromising on style.

  18. The Complete Guide to What to Wear on A Safari in South Africa

    If your safari is summer, you will appreciate lightweight, airy clothing as the African sun can become scorching. The best Safari clothing is lightweight items in neutral colours. You don't want to wear black in summer. Instead, take clothing in neutral colours, such as beige, brown, khaki, light green or blue.

  19. Women's Safari Clothing for Africa Overland Travel

    The Compass Rose Packing Cubes are now offered in two sizes: slim and medium. The slim size cubes measure 13 x 5 x 2.8, and the medium size cubes measure 2.8 x 13 x 8.5. Both fit an international carry-on suticase and can help you organize and compress clothing items. The medium sizes is great for bulkier items.

  20. Men's outdoor safari jackets & safari fleeces

    Essential Waterproof Safari Poncho in Khaki. £40.00. Shop for men's outdoor safari jackets & safari fleeces. Field-tested to keep you warm on your travels - or as soon as you leave your front door.

  21. What to wear on safari in South Africa

    This packing list for a safari in South Africa will provide you with all the essentials for your trip. Remember to pack your camera/lenses and extra memory cards for all those fantastic memories you will make during your travels. Read more about taking a safari in South Africa with my essential tips for first-timers as well as general advice ...

  22. Safari Clothing

    Top tips for selecting safari clothing with the best in safari, travel, and outdoor clothing technology & garment engineering. 1. Select clothing which is easy to pack, dries quickly, and wicks moisture away from the skin. 2. Keep bugs at bay: Get added defence by selecting clothing that offers a built-in anti-insect treatment.

  23. Ruggedwear Safari Clothing

    We also offer a range of bottoms such as the Men's Safari Sabie Cargo Pants, Men's Kilimanjaro Jeans, and the Men's Safari Sable Shorts in khaki. These pants and shorts are designed to provide the perfect balance between functionality and style. With reinforced stitching and durable fabrics, they can handle whatever adventure comes your way.