When people go on safari trips they barely have a real idea about clothing. What to wear? Some tourists just wear summer clothes, as if they were going to the beach on a July day! Others, instead, wear too many protections – which can be a very bad idea in the African heat and humidity. So before you go on these charming adventures, be prepared and well informed about what to wear. And remember: there are differences between men clothing and women clothing, dry season and rainy season clothing. If you follow the right advice, you will have a great time as a part of the wild environment of Africa.
Safari clothing, what to wear
Basically, if you go on safari trips in Africa you must be ready to any climatic condition and to any change. First of all, dress in layers from the lightest to the heaviest fabric clothes. Take wool clothes and jackets in your bag and use them only if needed, or wear them and take them off if you do not need them. You must be sure you wear mainly natural fabric clothes – cotton, linen, wool. You cannot afford to have allergic troubles when you walk in the savannah!
Pay attention to colours! No white clothes and no black clothes, not even bright colours. Do wear neutral, delicate shades of colours such as beige, ocher, sand, gray or different shades of green. You must be hiding in nature and not standing out of it!
Clothes shall be short-sleeved shirts ans long trousers. Wear thick socks and high shoes, or boots, much better. Make sure they are comfortable shoes anyway. Also take with you long-sleeved shirts or sweaters, jackets, coats sometimes. You might need them in late afternoon hours, at night, or on the mountains. Never forget: hats, caps, sunglasses, waterproof coverings. As for camouflage clothes, ask your guides. In some African states they are illegal. Do not wear shining or sparkling things (jewels, watches, buckles) that could scare or disturb the animals.
Safari clothing, men and women
The above mentioned clothing can be good both for men and women. It is recommended that you all use those clothes. But sometimes men have less problems for their packaging. They just need trousers, shirts, jackets, hats … being comfortable is their main goal. Women, though, prefer to look pretty even when they face adventure. So, they might prefer to wear simple tops and cover them with veils or shawls in order to feel lighter.
Women are allowed to wear scarves too, if they can protect skin from sun and mosquitoes. As for shorts and miniskirts, you better forget them! Reptiles and insects will ruin your legs and put your health at risk. You can wear long skirts, though, associated to long boots. No heels, of course! Highly recommended: sport bras, large hats, sunglasses, laces for hair.
Different climate, different clothing
The basic clothes we have described are those you shall always take into consideration, before booking a safari trip. But depending on the region, and the climate, you can add or leave something out. Africa is not just “hot and humid” all the time. Mountains can be cold. Deserts are very hot during the day and very cold at night. The rainy season is heavy, sometimes. If your safari is in southern Africa you might have a summer climate very similar to the Mediterranean one. In that case, be sure you wear hats and short-sleeved natural fabrics.
If you go safari in wet regions, along lakes or rivers, or if you go during the rainy season you must wear waterproof jackets, boots, windbreakers. In this situation you are allowed to wear synthetic fabrics instead of natural, because they dry quickly after the rain. Going on trips to the mountains or volcanoes means you might face colder temperatures. Make sure you have wool clothes and winter jackets with you.