What to wear

What you pack to wear on safari can have a huge impact on how much you enjoy your time out on safari, trust us, we have learnt the hard way! 

Knowing what to wear while on safari can make a big difference to how comfortable, and therefore, how much you enjoy your time on safari. So let us guide you through our recommendations for what to wear and not to wear while on safari. Please note that all the information below holds true for safaris in southern Africa (South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia), as the main safari areas in Kenya and Tanzania are much closer to the equator, requirements for these will vary – please contact us if you are travelling to these areas and would like advise on what to pack.

Firstly, we cannot stress enough, Africa gets cold! Too many people think that Africa is always hot and that they won’t need warm clothes, this is simply not true. Temperatures can fall below freezing, and when you are travelling in an open vehicle at dawn it can be bitterly cold. If you are travelling during the southern hemisphere summer (October to March) you will need very different clothes to if you are travelling during the mid-winter season (May – August), refer to our guide below to make sure you are well prepared!

Summer (October - March)

  • Lightweight (preferably cotton) clothing, ideally in muted tones
  • Long sleeve shirts and trousers for early morning and late afternoon/early evening when mosquitos are most prevalent.
  • Hats to protect from the sun, preferably with a wide brim to protect your nose and neck as well. One with a chin-tie is even better to stop it flying off while in the open vehicle.
  • Lightweight rain gear. For the majority of areas in southern Africa, summer is the rainy season, and an afternoon downpour is very common, and longer spells of rain quite possible. However, it will be warm rain.
  • Something warm (and preferably windproof) for the early mornings and evenings, especially while on the safari vehicles.
  • An ideal scenario would be start with a cotton T-shirt, then a long sleeved cotton top to go on top of the T-shirt, a jersey/fleece to go on top of that and finally a windproof rain jacket. This way your can dress up or down according to your needs.
  • Comfortable shoes that you do not mind getting dusty/dirty
  • Given the bumpy ride, some women may find it more comfortable to wear a sports bra
  • Bathing suit – there is nothing better than relaxing in the pool during the heat of the day in summer.

Winter (May - August)

  • The great rule for winter is layers, layers, layers and more layers! As for the last section of what to wear in summer, take the same policy, just make the clothes thicker and warmer. A good thick, possibly thermal, vest/T-shirt, warm long sleeved shirt, fleece or jersey and a very warm winter jacket. During the morning drive start with everything on and take off as it warms up - in the afternoon start in what you feel comfortable with and add layers as the temperature drops. 
  • Beanie, gloves and scarf
  • Thick socks
  • Ideally keep to muted tones
  • Comfortable shoes that you do not mind getting dusty/dirty
  • Given the bumpy ride, some women may find it more comfortable to wear a sports bra

For the mid-seaons like April and September take a balance of clothes somewhere in between.

If it seems we are being excessive for winter, please trust us, there is nothing worse than sitting in an open vehicle being frozen to your core. If you get too warm you can take layers off, but if you don't have them, trying to get warm will preoccupy your safari!

Tip!

This little guy, the tsetse fly can be quite nasty - and is attracted by blue, especially brighter blues. So try avoid wearing that colour in a tsetse fly area! 

Safari In Style

The Croft, Monkton Combe,

Bath, BA2 7HQ, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 7851 811 900

E-mail: info@safariinstyle.com