A perennial fancy dress costume, the safari suit may have last been worn seriously Roger Moore in 1973’s Live and Let Die. Flared, tight fitting khaki two pieces might be out but that doesn’t mean that all safari clothing is ripe for pastiche.
A safari might be an experience of a lifetime but you will be outside all day viewing wild animals and the wrong clothes might mean you are uncomfortable, scaring away animals or get arrested! That’s why we’ve created this quick guide to safari clothing so that you can blend in wherever you are.
Most safaris take place in either the sweltering heat of the African plains or unpredictable wilds of Asia, packing jeans and t-shirts just isn’t going to cut it. So, just what do you need to pack in your bag when heading off on safari?
Any guide to safari clothing needs to bear two things in mind. Firstly, the clothes you wear need to be safe, and secondly, they need to be comfortable. With both of these factors in mind, we’ve broken down the guide to safari clothing into handy categories.
Safari clothing colours
Bright colours might be fine for wearing round the lodge in the evening but when you’re out in the vehicle you need to blend in as much as possible. Depending on your environment, that means colour matching. If you’re in the snow, for example, white clothes will work. But if you’re on the plains, that means traditional khakis, greens and browns.
However, it is very important if you are travelling in Africa not to wear camouflage gear. Africa is a beautiful and incredibly diverse continent but there are the occasional lunatics running around starting wars and fighting each other. The last thing you want is to be mistaken for one of them. This might seem funny but we’re very serious. In some African countries there is even danger of arrest for wearing camouflage gear.
Safari clothing materials
On any African safari, lightweight and breathable is the way forward. It’s going to get hot and anything other than lightweight cotton is going to get uncomfortable. Plus, if your clothing is noisy, you might potentially be scaring away some incredible animals.
Waterproofs are recommended if it’s rainy season but keep them stowed away until absolutely necessary as are additional layers as mornings can be very cold. The same colour rules apply across the board.
Ok, so we joked about Roger’s safari suit but the reality is, the same safari style still exists, albeit in a more up to date cut. Loose fitting safari shirts, shorts and trousers are cut to cover skin, and with plenty of pockets for storage. They just might not have the wing collared shirts and bell bottom trousers any more.
A hat, preferably wide brimmed is also a good idea for protecting your head and keeping the sun off.
Depending on the type of safari you’ve booked you may have to take some additional clothes and equipment. A jacket for the evenings is usually required, as depending on the season temperatures can drop a lot at night.
Not technically clothing and often provided by the lodge, a mosquito net is essential, so check if one is supplied. Also, depending on the kind of safari you’re going on, the guide to safari clothing will differ. You may want to take some clothes to dress for dinner if it’s an up-market affair. But such is the extent of safari adventure holidays, equally you might not want to take anything you don’t mind getting ruined, if it’s a more rough and ready adventure.