I love to wear a safari dress in Africa! You don’t have to give up all feminine style just because you’re on an adventure. There are more looks than khaki pants and a long sleeve top. You can be just as comfortable with the right safari dress.
I love wearing dresses while traveling in Africa. First, African women are so beautiful; many dress their best always, so it felt nice for me to dress up and put in the effort. Second, they look fabulous in photos. And third, they can be light and airy under the hot African sun.
Below I share a collection of my favorite safari dresses and rompers. Either one will add plenty of style to your safari outfit and wardrobe. One thing to note is that there is one significant disadvantage to a romper: bathroom breaks in the bush. Anyone who has worn a romper knows it can be an exciting experience, especially if you don’t have the privacy of a bathroom.
Best Safari Dresses & Jumpsuits For Africa
Patagonia Fleetwith Romper
MSRP – $129 | Material -Recycled Polyester/Spandex
I love Patagonia and its brand ethos around sustainability. The Patagonia Fleetwith Romper is Bluesign certified and super comfortable. While the Fleetwith is available as a dress, I prefer the romper best. It’s just so functional, comfortable, and cute!
The one-piece romper is made from a 91% recycled polyester/9% spandex blend, moves with your body, resists wrinkles, and quickly dries. The romper and dress make for great safari wear, and they are so versatile you may end up living in them at home.
Shop For Patagonia Fleetwith
Scotch & Soda Safari Dress
MSRP – $165 | Material -Tencel
This fashion-forward safari dress from Scotch & Soda delivers everything I want in style. The classic off-white look, cuffs, and buttons down the front will feel right at home on a safari.
It’s made from a lightweight material called Tencel that is eco-friendly and operates in a closed-loop system. That soft material is light and breathes easily, so you’re comfortable and cool in the African sun. Be warned, this is a super popular item from the brand, and they regularly sell out.
Shop For Scotch & Soda Safari Dress
Outerknown S.E.A. Suit
MSRP – $175 | Material – Cotton/Linen
It’s tough to find a more perfect jumpsuit than the Outerknown S.E.A. Suit for travel, safari, and life. The fit, material, and colors are perfect! It all comes down to the quality of cotton and linen blend material.
The S.E.A. stands for Social and Environmental Accountability as the jumpsuit uses sustainable materials. Organic cotton and buttons made from tagua palm nuts make the Outerknown S.E.A. a winner. We prefer sustainable products when we’re out enjoying nature.
Shop For S.E.A. Suit
Kuhl Vantage Dress
MSRP – $85 | Material – Polyester/Spandex
The Kühl Vantage Dress is super casual, comfortable, and practical. It features lightweight fabric that is soft and wicks away moisture. A polyester and spandex blend allows the fabric to stretch in four ways to move comfortably with your body.
Synthetic materials also allow the technical dress to resist odors, stains, and wrinkles. Yet it remains super lightweight and comfortable in warm weather. Best of all, the drawcord and cut make the dress flattering for various body types. The green color is also an excellent choice for safari!
Shop For Kuhl Vantage Dress
prAna Railay Dress
MSRP – $99 | Material – Recycled Polyester/Elastane
Another technical dress with smart fabric keeps you cool and comfortable in the bush. As much as we love the style of natural materials, synthetics do a much better job in the heat. The Railay Dress is ultra-lightweight and super breathable. Similar to the Kuhl Vantage it resists odors, stains, and wrinkles. Also, the fit and elastic waistband allows the dress to move comfortably with your body.
It’s pretty cute and comfortable but feels a little more on the mature end of safari dresses. I love that it features two hemline pockets and one secure zippered pocket. The Railay is a great safari dress that feels super functional.
Shop For prAna Railay Dress
Outerknown Blanket Shirt Dress
Outerknown’s Blanket Shirt Dress is equal parts comfy and cozy. The casual dress shirt is highly versatile and can be worn in various ways for different occasions and climates. It’s a great light coat, a warm dress, and an oversized shirt.
It quite literally feels like being wrapped in a blanket, but it looks far better! The shirt dress has some soft eco-friendly credentials, too, with its organic cotton twill and buttons made from nuts. This will become a staple in your wardrobe outside of any safari.
Shop For The Blanket Shirt Dress
Rhythm Linen Short Sleeve Shirt Dress
MSRP – $64 | Material – Linen/Cotton
Lulus is my go-to site for cute affordable dresses of decent quality. They are a few steps above the cheaper fast fashion brands like H&M or Zara. However, they still have a wide range of clothing and keep up with modern fashion trends.
I love this Linen Short Sleeve Shirt Dress for a relaxed style that blends well at the beach or on safari. The linen and cotton blend feels soft and lightweight, but it’s not see-through, so it can be worn as a dress or cover-up. It’s a surprisingly versatile piece of clothing and affordable too.
Shop For Short Sleeve Linen Shirt Dress
Free People Oasis Midi Dress
This simple midi dress from Free People is perfect for a lovely evening or a dressier day on safari. It’s not quite as practical as some options above, but not every day involves adventuring through the bush.
The loose fit and adjustable bustline make it comfortable and capable of fitting various body types. Above all, the cotton material is soft and will hold up reasonably well to travel. It’s not the dress you can wear every day on safari, but we love it nonetheless.
Shop For Oasis Midi Dress
Banana Republic Savannah Midi Shirt Dress
Banana Republic’s Savannah Midi Shirt Dress is a modern take on a classic dress style. The dress is 100% cotton so it’s not technical, but the cotton does provide durability so it should be a staple in your wardrobe for years to come.
The best part about this safari dress is that it’s not just a one-time wear for vacation. You can easily style this dress for the office and daily wear back home. The look it gives is timeless and chic.
Shop For Savannah Midi Shirt Dress
Rhythm Verona Sage Green Drawstring Wide-Leg Jumpsuit
We love the Rhythm Verona Jumpsuit for a super cute and casual look that works on safari, the beach, or any warm summer day. It can easily be worn with a tank, bando, or bikini. Plus, the cotton and linen blend fabric handles the heat well and is super comfy.
A drawstring around the waist and the adjustable tank straps allows you to tailor the fit and style. We also love anything with pockets for safari as this has two generous hip pockets.
Shop For Rhythm Verona Jumpsuit
Complete The Look With A Safari Hat
You don’t want your skin ruined from the harsh African sun; a hat is essential to every women’s safari outfit. A safari hat is not just about fashion but functions as it keeps the sun off your face.
Since the equator splits Africa, expect intense UV rays. No accessory is better suited or more fashionable than a safari hat—it feels right and never out of place.
16 Best Safari Hats for Men and Women
Scala All-Season Crushable Hat
Oh my, I love this safari hat for women. The wool felt makes for an all-around great-looking stylish safari hat. The style is similar to a fedora with a very Western vibe. It looks great, and the price point isn’t bad, either.
The best part is that the material still allows you to crush the hat to fit inside your luggage for such a good-looking one. No one wants to wear an outdoor hat home on a 15-hour flight. Once you take it out of your bag, it snaps right back into shape!
Shop For Scala All-Season Crushable Hat
Tilley LTM6 Airflo Hat
Tilley has long been famed for its sun protection hats. They’ve seen the world over and had more than a few adventures. It holds its shape, and the material has a stylish look. What sets Tilley apart is that they guarantee their hats for life against wear and tear.
Shop For Tilley Airflow Hat
What To Look For in A Women’s Safari Dress
African elements can be tough on women’s safari clothing, so choose good quality clothing made from robust fabrics with intelligent design and double stitching. Avoid fast fashion companies such as H&M, Zara, and Forever21.
Look for lightweight, synthetic, quick-dry clothing from recycled nylon or sustainable materials such as hemp, wool, or linen. Avoid rayon and opt for organic cotton if possible. You’re on a trip to explore the wonders of nature. A safari outfit shouldn’t negatively impact the environment.
Pack interchangeable clothes to avoid carrying a jumbo suitcase. One long skirt or dress, one pair of shorts, and two pairs of pants that go well with plain-colored shirts are great options.
Pockets are essential for storing lip balm, sunscreen, or binoculars. Choose comfortable and practical clothes, and avoid black yoga pants with no pockets.
A safari dress 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 are 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 of 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!
We love greens, beige, and khaki just as much as the next wannabe Merryl Streep in Out of Africa. However, you will spend a lot of time in a car on game drives in Africa. Wearing these colors help you blend in and don’t bake your body under the hot African sun, but in the end, colors don’t matter.
The Basics of Safari Clothes
What Clothes to Pack for a Safari?
You don’t need an endless collection of safari clothes in a safari bag. We’re big fans of versatility and minimalism as people tend to overpack for their safari, which becomes a burden.
On safari, traveling to the wilds of the African bush, an entire wardrobe of clothes is unnecessary. In addition, the standard form of transportation is a small Cessna bush plane, so a heavy suitcase of clothes will not fly.
We break down all the clothes you’ll want for safari here to help you look the part, but any safari expert will agree there is no set dress code or safari outfit.
Where to Go On Safari?
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.
What Season to Go on Safari?
Weather plays a large role in what you wear.
Most African climates do not have your standard four-season climate. Here it is the primarily dry and wet season, especially in Eastern Africa. With dry season can come heat in East Africa; however, dry season in Southern Africa means it will be cool in the evenings and mornings.
Then it flips.
The 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 basic gist is if it’s dry season, we suggest khaki, brown, and tan if it’s rainy season, time to bust out the browns and greens. Just please, no leopard print, okay, maybe a little.
What to Wear in Southern Africa?
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 will 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.
What to Wear in Central & East Africa?
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 several of the famous thunderstorms of Africa, including a flash flood in Tanzania!
Plan Your Trip to Africa
- Travel Insurance: We don’t travel without travel insurance and neither should you. You never know what can happen while traveling so it’s best to be prepared. HeyMondo provides excellent short-term and long-term travel insurance plans.
- Travel Waterbottle: When we’re uncertain about the water supply we use our Grayl Purifier. It’s come in exceptionally handy around Africa.
- Camera Gear: Chances are you’ll want a camera for your trip to 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.
- Safari Bag: A durable bag is ideal for traveling around Africa.
- Safari Pants: We recommend neutral-colored pants as they’re great at hiding dirt and can match most shirt colors.
- Safari Shirt: Shirts like these are lightweight and keep the bugs away!
- Boots: While you don’t need to wear sturdy shoes every day, at least one pair of safari boots will make your trip nicer!
- Travel Adapter: You’ll need a special travel adapter for traveling Africa. Get one before you get there so you don’t pay a premium on the ground.
2 thoughts on “10 Best Safari Dresses & Jumpsuits For Africa”
Way to go, Natasha! I agree that going to a Safari doesn’t always mean that you have to dress in those “explorer clothes” that we all see on travel shows on TV. An airy light dress does seem like a perfect thing to wear.
I love dresses or a shirt / skirt combo on safari for all the reasons mentioned above.
One other thing to add though, if you are on a walking safari or deep in the bush, they are much more practical if you need to use the “bush toilet” – not glam I know, but you’ll thank me !