Ultimate Safari Clothes Guide: What To Wear On Safari In Africa (2019)

Safari Clothes for Africa

Safari clothes are a serious affair in Africa. Yes, it is a bit “old-fashioned,” but fashions like the proper safari outfit never die. Unlike, certain parts of the world you won’t be laughed at if you show up in all khaki on a game reserve. In fact, there is even a South African brand dedicated to safari fashion offering only khaki garments.

While we are not seasoned guides we have spent six months of our lives in the bush. In those six months, we have been on safari in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya. We have been on safari in all of the major parks of Southern and East Africa and put our favorite clothes to the test. It’s a ridiculous amount of time on safari and we’ve even made a list of all of our favorite spots to go on a safari.

It’s unlikely the safari clothes you wear will have to hold up to a year of non-stop safari. However, we have a serious addiction to find and test the best garments on the market. We have put all that safari knowledge to the test. In this article, we can dispel some of the myths about what to wear on safari and back it up with solid packing advice. Let’s get down to some expert advice on what to wear in Africa and where to buy safari clothes.


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What Clothes to Pack for a Safari?

Safari Clothes - What To Wear On Safari Ruasha

You don’t need an endless collection of safari clothes in your luggage. We’re big fans of versatility and minimalism. As people tend to overpack for their safari which becomes a burden.

On safari, you are traveling to the wilds of the African bush a full wardrobe of clothes is unnecessary. In addition, the common form of transportation is a small Cessna bush plane so a heavy suitcase of clothes is not going to fly.

We break down the clothes that help you look the part, but any safari expert will agree there is no set dress code or safari outfit. Let’s start off with some safari packing lists and what to wear on safari and then progress on to recommendations for safari clothes.


What Season to go on Safari?

Balloon Safari Masai Mara

Weather plays a large role in what you wear.

Most African climates do not have your standard four-season climate. Through most of Africa seasons vary between dry and wet season, especially in Eastern Africa. In dry season comes heat in East Africa; however, dry season in Southern Africa means that it’s going to be cool in the evenings and mornings.

Then it flips.

Rainy season in East Africa brings cooler weather patterns and perpetuates constant spring-like weather in Tanzania and Kenya. While the rainy season in South Africa can coincide with its hottest months. The hottest of this weather build just before the first rains as humidity slowly creeps up before storms cross the plains.

The basic gist in regards to safari clothes, during the dry season we suggest khaki, brown, and tan. During the rainy season, it’s time to bust out the browns and greens. Just please no leopard print, okay maybe a little.


Where to go on safari?


Safari Shorts

The first decision in packing for a safari is where you’re headed on safari. Africa has a very wide range of landscapes, vegetations, and climates. You should pack for where in Africa you’re headed, that’s pretty straightforward.

We have another post on the best destinations to go on safari along with our favorite parks, camps, and lodges. While you’re at it you can read up on our favorite safari animals to see while traveling.

Africa’s Best Safari Destinations


What to Wear in Southern Africa?


Kruger National Park

In Southern Africa, the climate varies across the region. Summers can be blisteringly hot while winters are freezing in the back of a game vehicle. Many visitors show up in the winter thinking they’re going to be in the hot bush only to find zero degree weather in an open vehicle. Yikes!

The key to a comfortable safari outfit is layers. We often pack and wear layers to adjust to the wide range of temperatures you can experience on a typical day. While the morning can be freezing in arid locations like Botswana by midday it can be hot, layers will save you.

Packing list for Southern Africa

What to Wear in Central & East Africa?


What Safari Clothes To Wear Zambia

Here the weather is more temperate year-round. It is often referred to as the “never-ending spring.” However, morning game drives can still be chilly so convertible pants and a light jacket are great options.

Always come prepared for rain given the time of year. We’ve been caught in a number of the famous thunderstorms of Africa, including a flash flood in Tanzania!

Packing list for Central and East Africa

The Best Safari Clothes


Safari Shirts and Tops


Safari Pants

The perfect safari shirt will make all the difference in being comfortable throughout the day. A synthetic shirt will give the most practicality, while cotton shirts tend to have a more timeless look. Organic textiles like cotton, wool, or hemp can provide a nice base for warmth on a cold morning or cool evening.

Synthetic has its own advantages mostly related to quick-drying, stain resistance, and keeping cool. Below is a collection of some the best safari clothes we’ve found on the market.

In the end, this is meant to be used as a guide about what to look for; what is the best fit for you may be something not included on this list. We’d also suggest you check out our post on safari shirts.


Men’s Safari Clothes: Shirt


1.) Columbia Tamiami II ($48)


Columbia PFG Tamiami II Men's Safari Shirt Safari Clothes

This Columbia long sleeve shirt looks great and is well constructed. Made entirely from a nice blend of synthetic materials it allows for quick drying and ventilation in the hot sun. A long sleeve shirt like this allows for greater comfort moving from chilly mornings into hot days.

The functionality of the shirt is great with a rear vent on the back for heat management and double breast pockets for storing gear or small items. It can be tough to find good technical shirts sometimes, but Columbia has some great options. It’s affordable, performs well, and looks pretty good so it’s a great option for safari clothing.

Columbia Silver Ridge on Amazon Columbia Silver Ridge on REI Columbia Silver Ridge on Backcountry


2.) Arc’teryx Skyline Shirt ($99)


Skyline Shirt Best Safari Clothes What To Wear On Safari

Arc’teryx is well known for making some tremendous technical clothing. It’s all built for being active whether that’s hiking or going on a safari. It’s a lightweight shirt made from polyester fabric that resists wrinkles, dries quickly for comfort, and wicks away sweat from the body. My only gripe would be that color options tend to be a little dark, but they’re still nice neutral earth tones and the technical features do a good job at temperature management.

The front breast pocket is great for a small tube of sunscreen, bug spray, or a camera lens cap. For me, it’s the cut and technical capabilities of the shirt that make it a slam dunk choice. It comes in both long and short sleeve option so take your pick.

Arc’teryx Skyline Long Sleeve Option on Arc’teryx Arc’teryx Skyline Long Sleeve Option on REI


3.) Simms Guide Long Sleeve Shirt ($89)


Safari Clothes - Simms Guide Long Sleeve Shirt

Simms is a company dedicated to fishing and makes some fantastic technical clothes and shirts. The shirt is a blend of polyester and nylon which results in a lightweight shirt that has a soft and supple feel. It has fantastic moisture control that is helpful in humid environments. With the technical clothing that has UPF protection and long sleeves, it’s perfect for covering your skin from the harsh African sun.

What I love about this shirt are the zippered breast pockets which are perfect for storing sunscreen, chapstick, utility tool, or your camera lens cap. Then you have the classic styling that extends to a wide range of environments and can look good on a bush walk or sitting down to dinner.

Simms Guide Long Sleeve


4.) Patagonia Farrier’s Shirt ($89)


Patagonia Farrier's Shirt Safari Clothes

I just added this new shirt to my safari wardrobe and love it! I love Patagonia clothing so it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. They make some of our favorite products and they are a large portion of what we wear. To top it off all of my clothes are still in great condition with plenty of wear.

The safari shirt has a great material blend of hemp and recycled polyester. It feels soft to the touch, but the hemp gives a weight to the fabric that will stand the test of time and the bush. The weight is perfect for spring conditions but will be a tad hot for summer in Southern Africa.

Patagonia Farrier Shirt


5.) Mountain Hardwear Canyon Shirt ($65)


Safari Clothes - Shirt - Mountain Hardwear

This is a fantastic safari shirt for hot weather and it was one of my favorite safari shirts for hot weather with sun protection. I wanted a shirt that offers protection from the African sun and while keeping me cool in the heat.

This shirt knocked it out of the park. It has a nice cut, feel, and love the design of the collar which has a hidden extension to cover your neck when flipped up.

Canyon Shirt on BackcountryCanyon Shirt on REI


6.) prAna Merger Long Sleeve Shirt ($85)


prAna Merger Long Sleeve Shirt Safari Clothes

We’re pretty loyal to a number of brands that have proven reliable over the years and prAna is a personal favorite. Their newest men’s shirt the Merger is perfect for Southern Africa in the cooler months.

The shirt is made from hemp and recycled polyester blend that feels warm and soft while retaining technical capabilities that we look for in a safari shirt. I love to great features in this shirt the first one being button flaps to roll up your sleeves when the temperatures rise. However, the stand out is the side hip pocket for stashing away something while in the back of safari vehicle.

We love natural fibers like hemp that offer technical features while providing a nice organic feel to them. It also helps that hemp is sustainably produced material, so for the eco-conscious travelers, this would be a great choice. It’s Fair Trade Factory certified!

prAna Merger Long Sleeve Shirt on REI prAna Merger Shirt on Backcountry


7.) Marmot Aerobora Shirt ($75)

Marmot Aerobora Shirt Safari Clothes

This comfortable polyester shirt from Marmot offers a stylish cut with good moisture management properties and UV protection.

It’s comfortable looks great and the roll-tab elbow sleeves keep the cuffs in place when you want them out of the way. While polyester, in general, is not the most durable material flat-felled seams at least provides some durability.

Marmot Aerobora Shirt – Men’s on REI Marmot Aerobora Shirt on Amazon

8.) Dickies Men’s Short Sleeve Work Shirt ($36)


Dickies Men's Short Sleeve Work Shirt Safari Clothes

Look I’m not going to lie and say Dickies are known for style because they aren’t. They are a working man’s shirt. The shirts are meant to stand up wear and tear, yet look presentable.

Which, is exactly what you want out of a good shirt on safari. They’re hard to stain come in all manner of colors and sizes. Furthermore, with short sleeves, pockets, and synthetic materials this shirt is a winner.

Dickies Work Shirt


9.) African Bush Shirt ($53)


African Bush Shirt Safari Clothes

Tag Safari makes excellent shirts for a safari. All their products are made in Zimbabwe by locals so you know their African bush shirts are about as authentic as they come. With two chest pockets, two chest security pockets, a button-down collar, and safari tabs there are a lot of bells and whistles on this classic men’s safari shirt.

The whole shirt is double stitched so you know that you are getting a rugged piece of clothing. Tag Safari is known for their great products. I love their mission to help “Africa through trade, not aid.” Check out more of their products on Amazon!

Short Sleeve OptionLong Sleeve Option


10.) tasc Performance Carrollton T-Shirt ($38)


tasc Performance Carrollton T-Shirt Safari Clothes

You don’t always need some safari garbs to enjoy your time and be comfortable. That’s where some great comfortable t-shirts come in handy. Tasc shirts made with organic cotton, bamboo viscose, and spandex. The result is an extremely comfortable shirt that will hold up for years.

I’m a big believer in a classic t-shirt and always opt for solid colors over graphic tees. I also love a simple classic cotton T-shirt or a performance fabric that handles sweat and the sun.

tasc T-Shirt on Amazon tasc T-Shirt on REI


Women’s Safari Clothes: Shirts


1.) Columbia Tamiami II ($48)


Columbia Tamiami II Safari Clothes

This shirt pretty much checks off every box when it comes to good safari wear. Design built for anglers, but that makes it a perfect fit for the African Bush. The shirt offers UV protection, it’s lightweight, quick-drying, it has a vented back, and front pockets.

Loaded with features such as Omni-Wick moisture management, antimicrobial treatment, and strategic mesh vented panels this shirt perfect for a safari. Columbia is one of our favorites when it comes to shirts as they make affordable and well-designed clothes. Its negatives are a more loose cut and outdoor style as it has a large vented back and large front breast pockets.

Columbia Tamiami II on Amazon Columbia Tamiami II on REI Columbia Tamiami II on Backcountry


2.) Orvis Open Air Casting ($89)


Orvis Open Air Casting Safari Clothes

For women, this is my personal favorite for the style. The shirt is lightweight and breathable with solid sun protection and other technical features. The Open Air has vented panels on the back, mesh panels, and mesh pockets that keep you cool particularly when you’re sitting in the back of a safari vehicle.

If you’re still feeling hot you can roll up the sleeves and secure them with stylish tabs. Then with two front breast pockets, you have the functionality we like with a great safari shirt. More than anything it’s a technical safari shirt with a great look.

Orvis Open Air Casting on Amazon Orvis Open Air Casting


3.) REI Co-op Sahara ($59)


REI Co-op Sahara Safari Clothes

It’s all built for being active whether that’s hiking or going on a safari. This lightweight shirt from REI is made from polyester fabric that resists wrinkles, dries quickly for comfort, and wicks away sweat from the body. It has a number of pattern options which help break up the monotony of khaki, green, and white.

The front breast pockets are great for a small tube of sunscreen, bug spray, or a camera lens cap. For me, it’s the cut and technical capabilities of the shirt that make it shine such as UPF protection, long sleeve cuffs, underarm panels to reduce odor, and a spandex blend for easy movement.

REI Co-op Sahara Shirt


4.) Mountain Hardwear Canyon Shirt ($65)


Canyon Shirt - Safari Clothes Womens

This is a fantastic safari shirt for hot weather and it was one of my favorite safari shirts for both men and women that for hot weather and sun protection. I wanted a shirt that offers protection from the African sun and to keep me cool in the heat.

This shirt knocked it out of the park. It has a nice cut, feel, and love the design of the collar which has a hidden extension to cover your neck when flipped up.

Canyon Shirt on AmazonCanyon Shirt on REI Canyon Shirt on Backcountry


5.) Royal Robbins Expedition ($70)


Royal Robbins Expedition Safari Clothes

This shirt is a great safari shirt as it is built for tropical and hot weather. It’s designed with 100% polyester and offers UPF 40+ protection while remaining light, quick-dry, and flexible.

It has some great features for a safari shirt too with thermoregulating mesh to keep you cool and two front breast pockets for storage. As an added bonus this safari shirt it’s a great travel shirt in developing nations as it has a hidden pocket to secure your valuables like a passport or smartphone.

Expedition Dry Long Sleeve Expedition Dry Long Sleeve on REI


6.) prAna Foundation Short Sleeve V-neck ($45)


prAna Foundation Short Sleeve V-neck safari clothes

Not every item in your pack has to be outdoor wear. Simple clothes like a classic T-shirt or V-neck are great staples to bring in your pack. This shirt from prAna is super lightweight and breathable. It’s probably the most comfortable shirt you’ll ever wear as it’s made from a new sustainable material called Lenzing Modal.

The material is made from spinning natural cellulose that comes from various trees. Our only complaint would be in regard to longevity of the shirt due to its lightweight nature, you can easily snag this shirt if not careful

prAna Foundation V-neck on REI prAna Foundation V-neck on Amazon


7.) KUHL Ezra Shirt ($85)


KUHL Ezra Shirt Safari Clothes

This is a tremendous shirt from Kuhl that utilizes a blend of nylon and polyester. It’s a better option than many of the polyester blends on this list as nylon has a higher strength rating with better water resistance.

Kulh’s Ezra shirt has some great features for safari clothes such as chest pockets, UPF fabric shields, and an internal envelope pocket.

KUHL Ezra Shirt on REI


8.) Patagonia Western Snap Shirt ($79)


Patagonia Western Snap Shirt Safari Clothes

This is similar to the Men’s Patagonia above and it’s an excellent addition to the safari wardrobe. We love Patagonia clothing so it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. They make some of our favorite products. To top it off all of my clothes are still in great condition with plenty of wear.

The Western Snap Shirt is a material blend of hemp and recycled polyester. It feels soft to the touch, but the hemp gives weight to the fabric that will stand the test of time and the bush. The weight is perfect for spring conditions but will be a tad hot for summer in Southern Africa.

Patagonia Western Snap Shirt


9.) LE3NO Military Anorak Vest ($25)


LE3NO Military Anorak Vest Safari Clothes

Functional, lightweight, and comfortable with a whole bunch of pockets. Easy Addition to the list of best safari clothes. It’s not high-quality fashion and I wouldn’t expect much out of this piece, but for the price, it’s tough to complain. Oh, and it’s available via Amazon Prime.

LE3NO Military Anorak Vest on Amazon


10.) Filson Scout Shirt ($115)


Filson Scout Shirt Safari Clothes

Filson makes some wonderful high-quality clothes made for the outdoorswoman. Their women’s Scout Shirt is made from a heavy 4-oz cotton twill that’s super durable and perfect for the bush.

It has a classic look and the thick cotton is beautiful but just light enough to not be overly hot. That being said it’s best in the cooler seasons on safari. It’s best compared to a lightweight flannel. If you want to know the cooler months on safari read here.

Filson Scout Shirt


Safari Pants And Bottoms


Safari Boots for Africa

Pants should be bought with activity in mind. If you’ll be doing bush walks, light pants will be much more practical than a pair of shorts. Bottoms should also have a little give, new outdoor gear has synthetic materials built into to provide strength and give. So, when you’re hopping into the back of a safari vehicle your pants don’t rip.

Shorts also should not be feared. Most safaris are very easy-going affairs riding around in the back of the vehicle so the protection of long pants is unnecessary. Whatever you pack you should bear in mind the location, time of year, and activity level.


Men’s Safari Clothes: Pants


1.) prAna Brion Pant ($79)


prAna Brion Pant Safari Clothes

These pants provide more stretch than most of the others on this list making them great for sitting in the back of a safari vehicle or on a bushwalk. They are made with nylon fabric with spandex material and have a quick-drying technology.

If there is one pant I throw in my bag for any trip it’s the prAna Brion. The pant is a blend of nylon and spandex that has great moisture and temperature management. They also look pretty good as everyday pants that can go anywhere in the Mud and Dark Khaki colors.

They’re a functional pant that is designed as a climbing pant so they have superb flexibility. Although, they’re flexible do not mistake them for being loose and sloppy looking.

These pants are what you want if you are after a slim fitting pant that can still accompany you to work or on a hike up the mountains when you are back at home. They also happen to be some of the best travel pants.

prAna Brion Pant on Amazon prAna Brion Pant on REI prAna Brion Pant on Backcountry


2.) Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Convertible Pants ($60)


Safari Pants Clothes - Silver Ridge

Whatever these pants lack in style they make up for in practicality. Made from a synthetic material they offer UV protection, convertible, and vented for comfort. The material is great for fighting moisture and dirt/dust when our in the bush.

Pants like these are particularly helpful if you’re gorilla trekking as the jungle is extremely humid with lots of low lying plants where protection is crucial.

Silver Ridge Convertible Pants on Amazon Silver Ridge Convertible Pants on REI


3.) REI Co-op Sahara Roll-Up ($59)


REI Co-op Sahara Roll-Up Safari Clothes

REI is easily one of our favorite companies when it comes to outdoor and travel gear. They also make a large number of products that are of great value. For example, their Sahara Roll-Up Pants designed for adventure travel, or perfect safari pants.

The Sahara is definitely for a more active traveler on a trip to Africa or South America, and we love the Nylon blend with dual cargo pockets. The fit is still great as they’ve taken note from many of the manufacturers above and general trend.

You can even save weight in hot weather and avoid a belt as these pants have an adjustable waistband that can perfect their fit to your waist. Really we just love REI and they make some great clothes that they stand behind with a guarantee. In terms of weight, they’re lighter and cooler than the prAna Brion, but heavier than the Columbia Silver Ridge.

REI Co-op Sahara Roll-Up


4.) KUHL Silencr Pants ($85)


KUHL Silencr Pants Safari Clothes

I love the Kuhl brand. They make quality products that last years and these pants are no different. Great on safari or even a day at work back home these safari pants are both comfortable and professional. These softshell pants deliver technical performance yet look great.

The polyester pants use a thick fabric that stretches and moves with your body. These pants will get you through any bushwalk in Africa and won’t rip easily. They have reinforcements at the cuff and you can wear them with a nice pair of safari boots. The only negative we found is that all the pockets to fall out.

KUHL Silencr Pants on REI KUHL Silencr Pants on Amazon


5.) 5.11 Tactical Men’s TacLite Pro Pant ($50)


5.11 Tactical Men's TacLite Pro Pant Safari Clothes

5.11 specializes in tactical gear and makes some seriously great products. These pair of pants are comfortable, practical, tough, and look great. It ticks off every box for what I’m seeking in safari clothes.

The fabric feels a bit stiffer than the prAna Brion above, but that lends to their durability. I loved these pants when we were in the bush on our own as they had padded knees, double stitching for durability, and plenty of pockets.

5.11 Tactical Men’s Pant on 5.11 5.11 Tactical Men’s Pant on Amazon


6.) Filson Oil Finish Single Tin Pants ($195)


Oil Finish Single Tin Pants Safari Clothes

These pants were built for the modern-day adventurer so they’re more than ready for an African safari. Thick canvas and brass fittings deliver an unparalleled pant in terms of style and quality.

These water repellent pants are durable and made from an oil finish Tin Cloth. The heavy canvas is sewn together using a sharp-looking double seam.

They come with a slew of well thought out features that are sure to last a lifetime. If you’re looking for a gorgeous safari wardrobe Filson has a number of outdoor clothing options for the perfect look. Just be prepared to pay for a premium product with their outdoor wear.

Filson Oil Finish Single Tin Pants


7.) Patagonia Men’s Quandary Pant ($79)


Patagonia Men's Quandary Pant Safari Clothes

These are a great pair of safari pants from Patagonia. Made from a blend of recycled nylon and spandex for durability, comfort, and flex. The result is pants that are lightweight and quick drying. An added bonus is the DWR finish that helps bead and repel water while offering sun protection.

I really love these pants as they offer a lot of technical features yet look formal enough to wear to dinner. They also have a zippered pocket and provide a bit more warmth than the polyester pants on this list. Really nice when you’re on a chilly morning game drive during your safari.

Patagonia Men’s Quandary Pant on Patagonia Patagonia Men’s Quandary Pant on REI Patagonia Men’s Quandary Pant on Backcounty


8.) Mountain Hardwear AP Pant ($90)

Mountain Hardwear AP Pant Safari Clothes

These pants combine performance and style. Made from a blended canvas fabric they’re comfortable, durable, and move with your body. AP pants gain their strength from their durable material that makes for a great work pant or tough travel pant.

As with many of the pants on here, they have a nice slim cut that blends the line between dress pant and active pant that we love to see in safari pants. They’re also an awesome pant that remains really comfortable to wear on safari.

Then you have some different features here that will surely be appreciated such as hidden reflective elements that are exposed when the cuffs are rolled and safety zip pockets to secure your valuables.

All of this makes for a great safari pant. I also love that this pant uses different materials as many of these pants are nylon/spandex blend on this list of best safari clothes.

Men’s AP Pant on REI


9.) prAna Vaha Pants ($79)


prAna Vaha Pants Safari Clothes

I spend so much time traveling in these pants, and they’ve become one of my favorite pairs of pants ever. It’s gotten to the point where I now have three different pairs. The prAna Vaha Pant is designed for Yoga and climbing, but I use them for anything these days. For safari, they’re great for a relaxed evening around camp or the lodge and can even double as pajamas.

We’re also massive on reducing our eco-footprint so when our package from prAna arrived with no in a paper envelope with no plastic packaging we were impressed.

Hemp and recycled polyester give the breathability to the pants with quick-dry, and odor-fighting qualities along with being a heck of an eco-friendly product. We’re pretty big fans of prAna so we highly recommend checking out some of their products. The women’s pant is the Summit pant and the men’s is the Vaha pant.

prAna Vaha Pants on Amazon prAna Vaha Pants on REI prAna Vaha Pants on Backcountry


10.) The North Face Motion Pant ($75)


The North Face Motion Pant

There are so many great travel pants out there that it’s tough to even put these this far down the list. However, the other pants above fit specific needs while these are great all-rounders like the prAna at number one.

These are the perfect pair of pants for travel. The pants have a nice look to them with straight legs that feel at home exploring a city. A fabric blend of cotton and Sorona® is (a technical fabric) gives the pants water-resistant and durable qualities. I like that the synthetic material as it holds up well on outdoor activities and will keeps you cool in the heat.

They’re well cut and avoid the traditional trappings of hiking pants being bulky and stiff. The cut is made to move with you as it features articulated knees and a crotch gusset. So that when climbing up a hill to get a better view of the city or climbing a mountain you have full mobility.

The North Face Motion Pant on Amazon The North Face Motion Pant on REI The North Face Motion Pant on Backcountry


Womens Safari Clothes: Pants


1.) prAna Women’s Halle Pant ($85)


prAna Women's Halle Pant

These pants provide more stretch than most of the others on this list making them great for sitting in the back of a safari vehicle or on a bushwalk. They are made with nylon fabric with spandex material and have a quick-drying technology.

Similar to the men’s Brion the Halle is a blend of nylon and spandex that has great moisture and temperature management. They also look pretty good as everyday pants that can go anywhere in the Mud and Dark Khaki colors.

They’re a functional pant that is designed as a climbing pant so they have superb flexibility. Although, they’re flexible do not mistake them for being loose and sloppy looking.

These pants are what you want if you are after a slim fitting pant that can still accompany you to work or on a hike up the mountains when you are back at home. They also happen to be some of the best travel pants.

prAna Women’s Halle Pant on Amazon prAna Women’s Halle Pant on REI


2.) Columbia Saturday Trail Pant ($60)


Safari Clothes - Saturday Trail Pant

The design of these pants is almost a carbon copy of the prAna pants above. Tasha has tried both these pants and found that the prAna Halle pant fits her better, but she also has short legs. We’d recommend trying both pants out or looking at the color options and going with your preference.

Color options are of greater variety with the Saturday Trail Pant. However, you should expect all the same features such as roll-up Capri, security pocket, and a button fly. These pants are great for traveling since they’re lightweight, look good, and versatile.

Columbia Saturday Trail on AmazonColumbia Saturday Trail on REI


3.) Outdoor Research Ferossi Pant ($80)


Best Travel Pants - Outdoor Research Ferossi

This is a close first for best safari pant, but it’s stylings make it much more a hiking/technical pant. When it comes to function in the outdoors it takes top marks and when I’m hiking it’s my go-to pant. However, I find it’s too technical and outdoorsy looking to walk around more formal environments comfortably.

The pants are really lightweight but similar to a softshell pant with great water resistant and windbreaking capabilities.  With that in mind, it keeps you warm in cool weather, but the breathability of the pants keeps you cool in hot weather. With a thin yet tough material, that pack down really small they eat up minimal room in luggage and they are the lightest pants on this list.

Similar to Stretch Zion the Ferossi has five pockets with two back, front, and one side pocket. The pockets are a bit smaller, but I do appreciate the horizontal zipper. Granted it lends more to outdoors style that dings it for a travel pant. These pants are great for the more adventurous traveler or ones who spend a lot of time outside.

Ferossi Pant on Outdoor Research Ferossi Pant on REI Ferossi Pant on Backcountry


4.) Women’s Patagonia Corduroy ($89)


Patagonia Women's Fitted Corduroy Safari Clothes

These are some of my all-time favorite pants. The first pair I literally wore them until the pants disintegrated. That doesn’t mean they’re not a great build quality I just wore the same pair every other day for two years straight – if not more!

The pants are made from organic cotton. What’s great about corduroy is the natural stretch of the textile. You can only buy these pants direct from Patagonia’s website or one of their stores. If you like corduroy you’ll love these pants, if you don’t like the feeling of corduroy then definitely give these a skip.

Patagonia Fitted Corduroy on Patagonia Patagonia Fitted Corduroy on Backcountry


5.) REI Co-op Trailsmith Pants ($69)


REI Co-op Trailsmith Pants Safari Pants

These rugged pants from REI have such a classic look to them they’re perfect for a stylish safari outfit. Made from a blend of cotton, polyester, and spandex they move freely, but the fabric feels thick and durable. That durability plays out in looks through the double layer reinforced knees that are great for performance and style.

They have a real retro look which I love. My only complaint is they’re a tad warm for hot weather and the pockets are little more than jeans ones. Either way, they’re a great pair of work and safari pants for women.

REI Co-op Trailsmith Pants


6.) The North Face Paramount II ($79)


The North Face Paramount II

These pants are built for hiking, climbing, and pretty much anything adventurous. They are made out of stretchy, DWR water-resistant fabric, providing durability. On top of that, they have UPF 30 sun protection which can be necessary if you are caught out in the hot African sun for too long.

I absolutely love that these pants either roll into a 3/4 length Capri fit or zipper off to a pair of 5-inch safari shorts. A nice feature as many convertible pants often zip off and look like long men’s shorts. Similar to most of the safari pants on this list, these aren’t just good for an African safari, they’ll keep you going in the mountains or even traveling through new cities as well.

North Face Paramount II on Amazon North Face Paramount II on Backcountry


7.) Royal Robbins Women’s Discovery Pencil Pant ($79)


Royal Robbins Women's Discovery Pencil Pant

The pants are nylon and are available in the right colors. They have a mesh waistband, a snap button, and deep pockets. This makes them the perfect pants to wear on a safari.

The nylon blends keep you cool while protecting your skin from the elements and bugs common on a safari. The fit of these pants allows them to avoid that ugly baggy hiking pant look.

Discovery Pencil Pant on Amazon


8.) Mountain Hardwear Dynama Capri Pant ($65)


Mountain Hardwear Dynama Capri Pant

These capris have an awesome stretch meant for rock climbing that translates into some super comfortable capris. They’re lightweight and the low waistband gives you a flattering figure.

It’s a good substitute if you’re not sure about wearing shorts as they cover your thighs, but feel light and cool. Altogether, these pants surprised me in terms of quality and comfort. Since they’re made from Nylon they also bring plenty of technical qualities to the table like durability, comfort, and water resistance.

Dynama Capri Pant on Amazon Dynama Capri Pant on REI Dynama Capri Pant on Backcountry


9.) The North Face Aphrodite 2.0 Pants ($70)


The North Face Aphrodite 2.0 Pants Safari Clothes

I literally live in loose free-flowing pants when I’m at the beach, but they are perfect for safari too.  My new favorites are made by The North Face.

Their Aphrodite pants are made out of nylon and polyester while offering 50+ UPF protection. They are perfect for a laid back safari as they are lightweight and weigh nothing in a carry-on bag. Don’t count them out either as they’re a nice blend of technical hiking and laid back pants.

Aphrodite 2.0 on AmazonAphrodite 2.0 on REI


10.) KUHL Splash Roll-Up Pants ($85)


KUHL Splash Roll-Up Pant Safari Clothes

We love the Kuhl brand. They make quality products that last years and these pants are no different. These pants are great on a safari or even a day at work back home as these travel pants are both comfortable and professional.

Thanks to a durable cotton-blend fabric with just a small hint of nylon these pants will get you through any travel and remain comfortable. They have reinforcements at the cuff and you can wear them with a nice pair of boots or roll up with sandals or sneakers. Most importantly with a slim side pocket and straight leg cut these pants look great.

The Splash pant comes in a wide range of colors and features cargo pockets for a relaxed look that doesn’t feel too outdoorsy.

Splash Roll-Up on REI Splash Roll-Up on Backcountry


Men’s Safari Clothes: Shorts


1.) Mountain Hardware Men’s AP Short ($69)


Mountain Hardware Men’s AP Short Safari Clothes

Mountain Hardware has been making rough and ready clothing for the extreme adventurer for years, and they sure do it well. The AP short embodies this dedication to durability by producing a rugged canvas fabric that is both durable and stretchy.

The stretchy aspect of these shorts will keep them nice and comfortable as you’re climbing in and out of a safari truck. Yet the nylon and cotton blend will also hold up to the rough environment and some abrasion.

We also like how, despite their tough build, these shorts are still stylish enough for relaxing evenings at a lodge or in camp. Mountain Hardware also produces these shorts in a wide range of colors, so you can perfectly match your wardrobe to the season at your destination.

Mountain Hardwear AP Short on AmazonMountain Hardwear AP Short REI Mountain Hardwear AP Short Backcountry


2.) Marmot Arch Rock ($59)


Marmot Arch Rock Safari Clothes

Yet another tough little pair of shorts comes from the mountain masters at Marmot. The Arch Rock short follows our trend of abrasion-resistant material that will hold up to constant motion in tough environments, and remain comfortable for the entire time.

The breathable, UPF 50 protected shorts also come with a zippered thigh pocket and gusseted inseams for increased mobility. This particular short is also Bluesign approved, meaning that it is manufactured through sustainable textile manufacturing.

Marmot Arch Rock on Amazon Marmot Arch Rock on REI Marmot Arch Rock on Backcountry


3.) Columbia Silver Ridge Cargo Shorts ($45)


Columbia Silver Ridge Cargo Shorts Safari Shorts

Columbia’s Silver Ridge Short is a classic staple and an excellent balance between function, fashion, and price that can be the perfect sidekick for your safari.

These shorts also feature a DWR finished to support water repellency during those wetter days. Additionally, they also support UPF 50 sun protection to assist in the hotter and sunnier occasions.

A two cargo pocket on the thigh helps keep gear where you need it during longer days, while the nylon material allows for a nice stretch on your adventures. All in all, a solid choice for your safari adventures that won’t break the bank either.

Silver Ridge Cargo on Amazon Silver Ridge Cargo on REI Silver Ridge Cargo on Backcountry


4.) prAna Stretch Zion ($68)


prAna Stretch Zion Safari Clothes

These tough shorts by prAna are built expressly for tough activity in the heat. They feature a phenomenal moisture-wicking finish to keep you nice and dry if the sweat valves get turned on. The material, in turn, is quick-drying nylon that will help prevent moisture buildup.

The short goes even further in temperature control and includes built-in ventilation on the inseam. The reason? Well, let’s be real, whether you’re sitting in a safari jeep or working your way through the bush, things get toasty and a little extra ventilation is always appreciated.

Throw in UPF 50 sun protection and a highly abrasion-resistant material in addition to its fantastic heat control, and you have a short that earns a place in our top 10 list without even breaking a sweat.

prAna Stretch Zion on Amazon prAna Stretch Zion on REI prAna Stretch Zion on Backcountry


5.) Schooner Boat Short ($75)


 Schooner Boat Short Safari Clothes

Sure these Madda Fella shorts may be labeled a “boat short,” but I actually think they are perfect for safari. They are lightweight and come in a kale green color that I so rarely see on safari. It might not be what you typically wear on safari, but there aren’t really any safari rules.

They are made out of 100% microfiber polyester and quick-dry fabric with a really soft feel that is great against the body. super-soft feel

It has two side pockets and two back pockets to store everything. The best part about these is you can bring them to the beaches of Zanzibar after your safari and be good to go there too!

Madda Fella Schooner Boat Short


Women’s Safari Clothes: Shorts


1.) Columbia Women’s Saturday Trail Short ($45)


Columbia Women's Saturday Trail Short Safari Clothes

The Columbia brand is always good for affordable outdoor wear. These trail shorts are perfect for a safari in Africa as they provide UPF 50 sun protection and insect repellant. Their stretchable fabric makes them ideal for sitting in a safari vehicle for long hours throughout the day.

Even though these are safari shorts they are still fashionable enough to wear to dinner and other activities that revolve around your safari. The best part about these shorts is even after your African safari experience you can take them home and they are perfectly acceptable to go trail running, hiking, or errands around town.

Saturday Shorts on AmazonSaturday Shorts on REI x_button shape=”pill” size=”large” float=”none” href=”http://bit.ly/2Pf73Ic” target=”blank” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]Saturday Shorts on Backcountry[/x_button]


2.) prAna Women’s Tess Shorts ($59)


prAna Women's Tess Shorts Safari Clothes

In case you haven’t heard prAna is my absolute favorite brand of clothing. Almost every day there is something on my body made from prAna, so it’s no surprise that I am recommending their Tess Shorts. Their Cargo Green color is great for bush walks and game drives around Africa as it blends in nicely to the environment.

What I love about prAna is the material they use, an organic stretch woven canvas. These safari shorts have both front and back and stretch with you. I’ve noticed with most prAna products their sizes run a little big so it may be worth ordering a size down if you are unsure.

Tess Shorts on Amazon Tess Shorts on REI Tess Shorts on Backcountry


3.) The North Face Aphrodite 2.0 Shorts ($40)


The North Face Aphrodite 2.0 Shorts Safari Clothes

These drawstring pants are perfect for safaris. They come in a variety of colors perfect for the African bush including khaki, but can also double as good beach coverups shorts if you decide to make your way to Zanzibar afterward.

These are made out of nylon and elastane for great comfort and performance. A wide comfy waistband sits low on your hips and feels soft and comfortable.

Aphrodite 2.0 Shorts on Amazon Aphrodite 2.0 Shorts on REI Aphrodite 2.0 Shorts on Backcountry


4.) Title Nine Clamber Shorts ($69)


Safari Shorts

I just got my hands on these safari shorts and love the stretchy waistband on them. They are super comfortable especially if you’re going to be sitting a game viewing vehicle for hours on end.

They are made by Title Nine one of my favorite brands for women’s clothes. The Clamber is made of MoxieFlex abrasion-resistant fabric and also good for all hiking, trekking, and scrambling.

Title Nine Clamber Shorts


5.) REI Co-op Sahara Shorts ($44)


REI Co-op Sahara Shorts Safari Clothes

REI is easily one of our favorite companies when it comes to outdoor and travel gear. They also make a large number of products that are of great value. For example, their Sahara shorts designed for adventure travel.

The Sahara is definitely for a more active traveler on a trip to Africa or South America, and we love the Nylon blend with dual cargo pockets. The fit is still great as they’ve taken note from many of the manufacturers above and general trend.

You can even save weight in hot weather and avoid a belt as these pants have an adjustable waistband that can perfect their fit to your waist. Really we just love REI and they make some great clothes that they stand behind with a guarantee.

REI Co-op Sahara Shorts


Women’s Safari Clothes: Dresses


1.) Arc’teryx Contenta Dress ($89)


Arc'teryx Cala Dress Safari Clothes

I love Arc’teryx products and this dress is no exception. With UPF 45 sun protection this dress is great for a safari with two hand pockets and even a hidden zippered security pocket. This dress is made out of polyester fabric meaning it is quick to dry and doesn’t wrinkle easily. What I love about this dress is how sophisticated it looks on safari. Perfect to have on while drinking a sundowner or at dinner.

Arc’teryx Contenta Dress on REI Arc’teryx Contenta Dress on Arc’teryx


2.) prAna Cantine Dress ($85)

Safari Clothes - Prana Cantine Dress

I love to wear dresses while on safari. They are perfect if you are wondering what to wear on safari evenings. My favorite dresses that look nice, but are still made for active women are made by prAna.

I’ve traveled all over with their Cantine dress and can attest to it’s durability.

prAna Cantine Dress on Amazon prAna Cantine Dress on REI


3.) prAna Perry Midi Dress ($78)


prAna Perry Midi Dress

Made out of Lenzing modal fabric to keep you breathable while being friendly to the environment the perry midi dress is one of the only safari dresses on this list that is mid-length.

Its waistband keeps the dress well fitted and stylish while keeping you cool on those super hot African days. You can’t see it from the photo but there are also two side pockets to stash away goods or just keep your hands in while relaxed.

prAna Perry Midi Dress on REI prAna Perry Midi Dress on Backcountry


4.) Marmot Josie Safari Dress ($69)


Marmot Josie Safari Dress

The Marmot Jose is made out of 95% nylon and 5% elastane and is lightweight, and extremely easy to pack up. The dress is airy and quick-drying, exactly what you need for adventures out in Africa. My favorite thing about this dress is that it protects from the sun with UPF 50 blocking harmful rays.

Marmot Josie Safari Dress


5.) United By Blue Pinnacle Commuter Dress ($98)


United By Blue Pinnacle Commuter Dress Safari Clothes

While it looks just like a dress, it’s also possible to make these into more of a romper with an elastic hem closure in between the legs. This dress is 98% organic cotton and 2% spandex which allows for a little stretch. United By Blue is one of my favorite sustainable brands! For every product sold United By Blue removes a pound of trash.

United By Blue Safari Dress


Safari Boots


Cheap safari hats

A good safari boot is the one thing that is a must when it comes to safari wear and bushwalks. Sure you can dress up in khaki, leather, leopard print, and dark green, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter all that much about what you wear on safari if you don’t have the shoe.


Men’s Safari Clothes: Boots


1.) Chippewa Apache Boots ($195)


Chippewa Apache Boots Safari clothes

These are probably my favorite pair of boots I’ve ever owned. I spent some time looking for the perfect boot brand and came across Chippewa. They make gorgeous leather boots and they’re all made in the USA. Which, for me, means supporting my own nation and it brings a level of quality when not mass-produced cheaply.

The boots are made of thick soft leather, strong stitching, and they’re extremely comfortable. These boots are tough and perfect for both a safari and life in general. As a tip I’d pick up some leather treatment to protect the boot and add a level of water resistance.

Chippewa Apache Boots on Amazon Chippewa Apache Boots on Zappos


2.) Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger ($329)


Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger Safari Clothes

Red Wing comes in a close second for boot brands in my opinion and they’re also made in the USA. These boots are both functional and stylish. Designed with quality materials and solid craftsmanship. Red Wing’s Heritage Iron Ranger’s have a high ankle and steel toe for great protection beyond the bush.

If I was considering a serious self-drive safari into the deep bush I’d go for a pair of steel toe boots. What I love about these boots and the Apaches are they are some of the best damn boots in terms of style, quality, comfort, and longevity. You can’t go wrong with a classic. Now all you need is a hat and a good camera for safari.

AmazonZappos!


3.) Blundstone BL585 ($229)


Blundstone BL585 Mens Travel Boots

For a stylish men’s boot, these are a solid go-to for safari. The BL585 has great tread, insoles, and strong arch support which makes much more than a stylish boot for men. Not only can these boots feel comfortable in a more formal or stylish event, but they’re equally at home on a ranch or going for a walk in the woods. An EVA footbed with special technology in the heels ensures all-day comfort.

The boots are made of thick soft leather, strong stitching, and they’re extremely comfortable. I love the slip-on fit and the pull tabs make it easy to put on and take off. As a tip I’d pick up some leather treatment to protect the boot and add a level of water resistance. Altogether they’re a tremendous safari boot for men.

Blundstone BL585 Boot on Amazon

Blundstone BL585 Boot on Zappos


Women’s Safari Clothes: Boots


1.) Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger ($319)


Red-Wing-Heritage-Iron-Ranger-Best-Mens-Travel-Boots

I wish Chippewa had a greater option of women’s boots. However, Red Wing does the job with the Women’s Iron Ranger. They look great on both Men and Women.

They’re rugged, chic, and sexy on both sexes. To me, it all comes down the superb leather they use to construct their boots. When you buy a classic pair of boots like these you’re making an investment in your feet.

Red Wing on AmazonRed Wing on Zappos


2.) Blundstone Leather Boot ($229)


Blundstone Leather Boot Safari Clothes

For a stylish women’s boot, these are a solid go-to for safari. It has great tread, insoles, and strong arch support which makes much more than a stylish boot for women. Not only can these boots feel comfortable in a more formal or stylish event, but they’re equally at home on a ranch or going for a walk in the woods. An EVA footbed with special technology in the heels ensures all-day comfort.

The boots are made of thick soft leather, strong stitching, and they’re extremely comfortable. I love the slip-on fit and the pull tabs make it easy to put on and take off. As a tip I’d pick up some leather treatment to protect the boot and add a level of water resistance. Altogether they’re a tremendous safari boot for men.

Blundstone Leather Boot on AmazonBlundstone Leather Boot on Backcountry


3.) Merrell Moab II ($130)

Best Hiking Boots - Merrel Moabs

Merrel is one of our favorite boot brands and they deliver some of the best value on the market. They make entry-level boots that are super comfortable for long distances and with weight on your back. Merrell has managed to keep these boots affordable as they haven’t updated the design in years and it’s proven to be a reliable boot. It’s not broken don’t fix it.

The boots are a blend of leather, textile, and synthetic. They are waterproof, comfortable, rubber soles, and high ankles. On the outsole is tough Vibram soles that provide good cushion and traction on slick surfaces. The major downside of the boot is its lack of support.

The Moab 2 operates more as an easy trail boot that something designed for scrambling or traversing craggy trails. If you spend a lot of time in the Rocky Mountains with lots of scree and rough rocks you may want a more robust hiking boot. However, if you spend more time out in warm environments these boots are great. As a bonus, they come in a non-waterproof vented version to keep your feet cool.

Merrell Moab 2 on REI Merrell Moab 2 on Backcountry Merrell Moab 2 on Zappos


Safari Accessories


Bathing Suit


bathing suit

It really all depends on where you’re going, but Africa has some of the best beaches in the world. Not to mention some stunning hotels, rivers, lakes, lodges, and waterfalls all present the ability to go for a dip.

Swimsuit

One of the biggest travel regrets is missing out on something. We almost always carry a spare bathing suit even on a safari. There are also plenty of great beach lodges that make for a wonderful and relaxing end to be a busy safari. You can read about the best hotels in Zanzibar or Diani Beach!

Find A Men’s Swim Suit! Find A Women’s Swim Suit!


Buff Headwear ($15)


buff headband

We both travel around with buff headbands and they’re some of our favorite travel accessories that we’ve recommended a handful of times. They’re great for keeping sweat out of our eyes on a hike. Or in dust out of your face when riding down a dusty road, which you’ll need on Safari. They offer sun protection, can act as a scarf, and a whole bunch of other things. Buy one and fall in love with it.

Buff Headbands on Amazon


Grayl Ultralight Water Bottle ($59)


Grayl Ultralight Water Bottle

It’s not advisable to drink the tap water in most of Africa. We previously used the Lifestraw Go for all those times during our travels when the water is questionable. However, over time we became annoyed with the water bottle as the filter aged and clogged. Plus the bottle leaks when it is on its side.

We now switched to the Grayl Ultralight Purifier. It’s a more simplistic design than the Lifestraw that is more effective and does not leak. Most importantly it is a purifier, not a filter. The Grayl water bottle system purifies water vs. filters which removes viruses and virtually removes all threat of waterborne illnesses.

Grayl Ultralight Water Bottle on Amazon Grayl Ultralight Water Bottle on Backcountry


Filson Tin Packer Hat ($70)


Filson Tin Packer Hat safari hat

You spend a lot of time outside on a safari. We often fall into the category of people who do not take sun protection seriously enough. Yes, we wear sunblock on the beach, but outside of that, it’s not something we regularly think about. The time you spend outside adds up.

On our first safari, I ended up paying for it with a nice sunburn on my neck and face because I didn’t even think about it. Mind you that was in the winter… Do yourself a favor and invest in sun protection. If it’s not a hat, at the very least wear sunblock. Even the game rangers we meet wear hats and sunblock. The full safari dress does serve a purpose.

This is a great go-to all-around safari hat for women. Filson makes a great product and that is no exception with the tin packer hat. It’s water repellent and wear-resistant so it will last for the many years.

If you want to get a more in-depth look to safari hats you can check out our post detailing the best hats on the market.

Filson Tin Packer Hat The Best Safari Hats


Smith Lowdown 2 Sunglasses ($129)


Beach Packing List Sunglasses

Make sure to protect your eyes from the sun when you’re traveling. There are a lot of options for sunglasses and everyone should own at least a pair. It’s best to make sure they do have UV protection for the health of your eyes.

We made our first investment in quality polarized sunglasses with a pair of SMITH Optics Lowdown 2. Truthfully, not everyone needs to invest $150 in a pair of sunglasses, but they do make a huge difference from the crappy $10 ones. Added bonus polarized sunglasses help with contrast and spotting wildlife.

It can be really dusty in the back of a game vehicle. Then much of East Africa sits on the equator which means UV rays are much stronger so eye protection is super important.

Smith Lowdown Sunglasses


REI Coop Down Jacket ($99)

REI Co-op 650 Down Jacket Hiking Jacket

REI has designed a great jacket that is perfect for casual use and cool climates. It’s a down jacket that only costs $100 which is about as inexpensive as they come. The jacket is incredibly lightweight at only 10.2 ounces and packs up well. Warmth is its only downfall, but the 3 ounces of 650-fill-power down will keep you warm in cool climates.

When it comes time to move to the next destination the jacket packs up into the left pocket and occupies minimal space in your luggage. A nylon shell is lightweight and has some water-resistant capabilities. It has a water-repellent finish that should handle light rain, snow, and wind.

If you’re looking for an affordable no-fuss jacket that will be able to handle travel, light winter sports, and cool days then this is a great choice. It’s a lightweight down jacket that’s under a $100, really tough not to love that price point. If you want to learn more about down jackets we break down our favorite packable down jackets here.

Men’s REI Coop Down Jacket Women’s REI Coop Down Jacket


Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 ($250)


Nikon Monarch - Best Compact Binoculars

Another phenomenal mid-range option for your safari viewing is the Nikon Monarch. Nikon has long been a reputable name in the field of binocular manufacturing, and the Monarch is an excellent example.

The 42mm lens diameter allows for excellent low-light viewing, while the body itself is built for extreme use – sounds perfect for a safari, doesn’t it? Rubber armored body and entirely waterproof, this pair will hold up to the elements as you dive into the wilderness.

What’s more, the Monarch offers a very long eye-relief (the distance from the viewing lens to your eye), which maximizes eye comfort for extended viewing and is perfect if you wear glasses.

Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 on Amazon Best Safari Binoculars


Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag ($139)


The Patagonia Black Hole bag is a staple for adventure travel and one of the best safari bags. The bag can pack down small when empty so it’s great to stick in your bag. It was also plenty easy to stuff and organize, thanks to the large U-shaped zipper and two mesh pockets on the top flap. It’s also super lightweight an important aspect when you have strict weight allowances on bush planes.

Patagonia Black Hole on REI Patagonia Black Hole on Backcountry


Nomatic Carry On Backpack/Daypack ($279)


Nomatic Travel 40L Best Travel Backpack

Nomatic is fairly new to the anti-theft backpack game, only getting started after raising over 5 million dollars on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. They claim to have created the “most functional travel bag ever!” Based on their design scheme, they just might have. 

A roomy 40L bag, individual removable organization panels, headphone and charger cord pass-throughs, magnetic snap-back side pockets, and backpack to briefcase versatility, it really does seem like they have thought of everything. 

However, it would be better stated that this is a business/travel backpack with anti-theft features, such as RFID protection and lockable zippers, rather than calling it primarily an anti-theft bag. This bag feels right at home traveling anywhere including on a safari.

Nomatic 40L Travel Backpack


Elements of Good Safari Garments

Safari Clothes - What To Wear On Safari In Mana Pools
Classic safari style in Mana Pools

There are a couple key elements to look at with each piece of safari clothing. While you may picture yourself as an adventure seeker, you should keep in mind that you are a guest and your safari guide will handle the nitty-gritty.

Unless you’re driving across Africa like us, you’ll be safe. The clothes you pack should be for comfort, not some rugged adventure. If it doesn’t feel comfortable you may as well leave it at home.

Versatility

Safari Dresses for AFrica

You’ll want to pack light. The days are often busy so multiple wardrobe changes aren’t really in the mix. Solid clothes that are casual, yet stylish enough to wear to dinner in a lodge over a five course meal.

Versatility can include the right material, fit, and functionality. For example, a good long sleeve shirt can keep you warm in the morning, but cool during the day in a way that short sleeve or tee shirts fail.


Durability

This one is key. Africa can be hard on clothes even on a short trip. Climbing in and out of a safari vehicle can easily rip a weak pair of pants or shorts. Look for clothes for Africa that stretch a little.

You also have a lot of dust and sun exposure. If you’re involved in conservation efforts, on a walking safari, or spending anytime outside of a game vehicle you need some decent safari clothes that will hold up to the elements. The best way is often to stick with solid name brands that we trust when ordering online or to shop in your local store, although that can be difficult with limited selections.


Material

Safari Shirts

With a safari, you’ve come to see nature and that’s just what you will encounter. So, your clothing needs to be well suited to the environments of Africa. When it comes to our outdoor wear we go for solid natural materials like hemp, linen, leather, or wool.

Manmade materials such a nylon or polyester are other great options as they are excellent at moisture management and protection. The only material we’re not massive fans of is cotton, but it’s often the softest and warmest material while with great value. I always read the tags and materials on outdoor apparel before I make a purchase and consider it’s intended purpose.


Practicality

Things like having pockets can make or break good safari wear. Where else are you going to stash things like lip balm, sunscreen, or even a pair of binoculars?

The day to day wear of clothes is the most important part because if you feel uncomfortable in the bush you’ll likely end up looking ridiculous. You aren’t walking the runways of Paris, but spending time in the bush. Care about your look, but not too much.


Camouflage

Safari clothes should blend in with the environment. You should wear beige, green, and brown colored clothes. They are the staple colors of safari wear because they blend into the environment and can provide a better game viewing experience.

While wearing bright colors such as red is said to scare off animals, and make you stand out. This may or may not be true, only the animals know for sure. Of course, the Maasai Warriors in Kenya and Tanzania have been wearing red for centuries!

That being said neutral colors do a great job at hiding dirt and dust which there will be plenty of on a drive or walk through the bush. White clothes aren’t going to stay white very long and dark colors are believed to attract tsetse flies. Trust us you do not want to become familiar with tsetse flies!

For example, when gorilla trekking it advised to wear long pants and greens. When on foot it is always advised to wear colors that blend well into the environment and a good pair of safari boots.


Tips On Safari Clothes


Safari Clothes Not Required

First and foremost, you do not have to wear any special safari clothes. The majority of time on safari is spent in a vehicle where clothes choice does not matter much.

Blend

Attempt to blend in. Remember to wear a safari outfit and clothes suited for the environment.

No Animal Prints

Don’t wear animal prints or some ridiculous getup. You’re not bushwacking through the African jungle. This isn’t Jumanji. You’ll spend the majority of your time in the back of a vehicle. So, wear comfortable clothes that will not stain from dirt, offer sun protection, and are comfortable from the heat or cold.

It Can Get Cold

Mind the weather. It can get really really cold in the back of a game vehicle in Africa early morning or at night. Make sure to pack a nice jacket. I didn’t recommend any here – anything that breaks the wind should do.

Ditch Dark Blue

DO NOT wear blue in Eastern Africa. The color blue attracts the Tsetse fly, and this is not a myth.

Don’t Overpack

Don’t overpack. You only need a handful of shirts and pants. You are in the African bush, there is no need for multiple wardrobe changes. However, it goes without saying to always pack ample underwear and socks.

Relax

Keep it relaxed. At five star lodges in Africa, things are still casual.

Sunglasses

A good pair of sunglasses will save your eyes from staring at landscapes all day.

Layer

Make sure to pack in layers. It will go from cold in the morning to hot at night and then back to evening time.

Light Rain Jacket

Bring a light rain jacket depending on the season. Most Safari companies and lodges come prepared in this aspect and will provide their guests with nice thick ponchos, but if you’re doing it on your don’t forget a rain jacket.

Pockets!

Pockets. We love clothing with pockets to carry sunblock, chapstick, flashlight, camera, or binoculars. It’s better than having to juggle around a bag. We already have our safari cameras to contend with in the back of a game viewer.


Clothing Brands We Recommend

Safari Clothes

Where to buy safari clothes? It’s pretty tough outside of South Africa to find a store that carries safari clothes. I would recommend you shop online. At the end of the day, we like to choose quality. A good safari outfit is versatile, long lasting, and timeless. Spending the extra dough to buy decent brands is almost always a good idea. One of the best brands in our opinion is Patagonia.

  • Patagonia – If you’ve read any of our other packing guides you’ll know we love this brand. They make great quality clothes that hold up.
  • REI – This is one of our favorite stores! There may be no REI safari clothes specifically, but you can find a great number of products that will serve you well in the bush.
  • Columbia – This is a great outdoor company with affordable products. We tend to like Patagonia more, but the brand costs significantly more for a slight improvement in quality. {Shop the brand here!}
  • First Ascent – You can’t find this brand in America, but if shopping in South Africa they make some great quality clothes.
  • Royal Robbins – Specialize in outdoor and travel gear making some perfect safari clothes. {Shop the brand here!}
  • prAna – They’re a closer runner up to Patagonia for style and quality when it comes to outdoor apparel.

Book A Safari in Africa


African Safari

Traditionally if you wanted to book a safari you’d have to go to a travel agent and have them book your safari for you. They made suggestions for camps and lodges then presented you with a large bill. Most of the industry still operates in this fashion.

However, Timbuktu is a new platform that allows you to select the lodges you’d like and see the pricing per day that way you can select the best itinerary for yourself. They will then contact the lodges and help you through booking your safari. With experts on staff, they can also provide suggestions and arrange the little details much like a travel agent.

Plan Your Safari in Africa


Our Favorite Lodges in Africa


Bwindi Lodge

We’ve spent over a year on safari and tried out dozens of lodges and have visited nearly every park in Africa. While it’s impossible to say we’ve visited every lodge we’ve seen a fair amount. Check out our list of favorite lodges in Africa. Have you visited any yourself?

Our Favorite Safari Lodges in Africa


Check Out Some Lodges in Africa


Kigelia Camp - Nomad Tanzania

Kigelia Ruaha Camp

Kigelia Camp is located along a dry river bed beneath Kigelia Africana trees. Each of the six tents is the perfect size for two people to enjoy comfortable beds and an outdoor seating area.

It’s worth noting that there is also a family tent for children above 12 to enjoy with their parents. Each tent has a flush toilet and a classic outdoor bucket shower. All in an effort to preserve water a precious resource in the park.

Staying in these tents allows guests to connect with the wild. Falling asleep to the sounds of hyenas and lions in the night is a memory never to be forgotten

Read About Our Time At Kigelia Ruaha Camp

Book A Stay at Kigelia Ruaha Camp


Wolwedans

Wolwedans Dune Lodge

Wolwedans Dunes Lodge features ten chalets mostly constructed out of wood instead of canvas tents. Each room opens up to the east, offering incredible views of the sunrise every morning. We slept with the canvas tents rolled up and could gaze at the stars all night. We felt at one with nature while still having an extremely comfortable sleep.

Wolwedans Dunes Lodge has a massive pool attached to the pharmacy (or the “bar”) and continues to spill into one grand lobby area. This is where Cameron and I spent most of our day – basking in the intense Namibian sun surrounded by cool water and a good book.

Book A Stay at Wolwedans


Ruckomechi Camp

Ruckomechi Camp

Ruckomechi consists of 10 large spacious safari tents. Each room is stylishly decorated and has a large bedroom area. The en-suite bathroom has an amazing shower that opens up to the Zambezi via a tent flap allowing you to choose indoors or outdoors, we choose outdoors.

A unique experience at Ruckomechi is a bath on the banks of the Zambezi River, where guests can soak in a bubble bath. We, of course, had to take full advantage of this enjoyed a romantic bubble bath together while listening to the sounds of the wild.

Read About Our Time At Ruckomechi Camp

Book A Stay at Ruckomechi Camp


THANKS FOR READING!

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2 Comments on “Ultimate Safari Clothes Guide: What To Wear On Safari In Africa (2019)”

  1. Cameron & Natasha! EXCELLENT site! Lots of great info! We’ll be heading from the US to Kenya and Tanzania in August to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary (not as old as we sound!) along with our adult daughter and 11-year-old granddaughter (who will celebrate her 12th birthday in Tanzania!) My husband and I visited that region 47 years ago and have always wanted to return! I’m sure we will find it to be quite a bit different now. My granddaughter is psyched to go safari clothing shopping! Typical adolescent. So totally looking forward to this very special family time in a very special place….Warm regards, Hope

  2. This will be our first time visiting Africa. The information you presented was clear and concise. It was nice to get a real “travelers” perception on what to expect and how to prepare without the “push” to buy a certain brand name item or overpriced items from their website. A few websites that I visited before yours were more of an advertisement page written by someone who is using their knowledge of the Lion King movie as a bases for the information and their recommendations. Most of our traveling experience has been in Europe and Asia. I am looking forward to Africa.

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