10 Best Safari Hats For The Bush

We were on a mission to find the best possible safari and hats for the bush. My first search for a good safari hat turned up very little and left me struggling to find an excellent hat for safari. We wanted a stylish hat that looked great in photos in Africa, not just solely because of its functional purpose. For my generation, protecting ourselves from the sun can be a joke. However, on safari, we have learned that you’re faced with long days out in the strong sun, and to avoid skin damage, a packable safari sun hat is a necessity.

Despite loads of stylish safari gear, all the good safari hats serve a purpose. Anyone who’s spent time in the African sun can attest to the rays’ power, and a safari hat is the first line of defense from sun damage. I became obsessed with the idea of the perfect safari cap and found myself self-asking to try total strangers’ hats to find the perfect fit. With all this testing and searching, I made some headway (pun intended). After all that effort, my six-month mission to find the best hat money can buy was successful.

The Best Safari Hats

Tilley LTM6 Airflo Hat ($99)

Tilley LTM6 Airflo Hat Safari Hat

Tilley has long been famed for its sun protection hats. They’ve seen the world over and have seen more than a few adventures. The Tilley LTM6 Airflo holds its shape, and the material has a stylish look. Tilley is set apart because they guarantee their hats for life against wear and tear.

A wide brim keeps the sun off your hat. What I love in addition to the guarantee are the features such as its ability to float in the water and a hidden pocket to store an I.D. or money. It has everything you could want in a great safari hat. Although the higher price point may deter some – keep in mind, that it has a lifetime guarantee.

Tilley LTM6 Airflo Hat

Columbia Bora Bora Booney II ($30)

Columbia Sportswear Bora Bora Safari Hat

I talk about stylish hats, but this Columbia safari cap is the least attractive. However, this is the most practical and affordable safari hat out of our selection. For a synthetic floppy hat that you can stuff and crush anytime, it still looks pretty good.

The Bora Bora is made of nylon, is well-vented, packs well, and features UPF technology. Comfort is the strongest characteristic of this hat, as it keeps your head cool while sitting snuggly on your head. Unlike leather, which can be itchy, you’ll forget you’re even wearing this hat while in the bush. I love the built-in sweatband to keep moisture out of your eyes.

Bora Bora Booney II

Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero ($60)

Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero Safari Hat

The Seattle Sombrero is a hat designed to do it all. It will repel rain and then protect you from the sun. It’s durable, lightweight, and can even float should you drop it in the water. You can take it anywhere with you and stuff it in your suitcase without worrying that you will ruin the shape.

This safari hat will keep the sun off your face and dry in the inevitable African rainstorm. The Sombrero has a wide brim and waterproof GoreTex. It’s the most technology-packed safari hat on this list. It also floats in the water, which will come in handy if you decide to dip in one of the Zanzibar beaches or while white water rafting on the Nile River. A cinch strap in the headband allows a tight fit to keep the hat on your head in windy conditions.

Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero

Henschel Hats Aussie Breezer ($38)

Pistil Colton Safari Hat

This is one of those stylish hats that aren’t just great for safari, but for everyday wear and protection from the sun. It’s made of cotton and mesh, so it provides breathability and won’t have your whole head sweating out the day. It also has an adjustable chin strap, which will be helpful if your safari guide is hauling it to see a pack of wild dogs or some other fantastic safari animal.

Henschel Hats Aussie Breezer

Scala All-Season Crushable Hat ($59)

Dorfman Pacific All-Season Crushable Hat Safari Hat

We love the Scala All-Season Crushable Hat. It’s made of wool felt and is an all-around great-looking olive green 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 about it is that for such a good-looking hat, the material still allows you to crush the hat to fit inside your luggage. Because no one likes to have to wear their hat home on a 15-hour flight. Once you take it out of your luggage, it snaps right back into shape!

Scala All-Season Crushable Hat

Panama Jack Safari Hat ($39)

Panama Jack Sun Hat Safari Hat

This hat may not be the classic safari hat, but it still looks great and serves its purpose. A leather hat may look good on safari, but once you get to the coastline of Africa, it may be time to put it away. The Panama Jack Hat can look great on the beach and in the bush. It’s probably one of the best all-around hats on this list, and its rugged cotton construction means you can stick it in your bag without fear of damaging it.

Panama Jack Safari Hat

Filson Tin Packer Hat ($70)

Filson Tin Packer Hat safari hat

The Tin Packer is a great go-to all-around safari hat for women and is the perfect item to add to your safari clothes for women. Filson makes a great product, which is no exception with the Tin Packer hat. It’s water-repellent and wear-resistant so it will last for many years.

Tin Packer

Conner Hats Men’s Bounty Hunter ($46)

Conner Hats Men's Bounty Hunter Safari Hat

This is one of my favorite hats on the list, but it’s also one of the most expensive. The hat is rugged and stylish and a great sun hat for men. It is still convenient, being made out of sturdy organic cotton. You wouldn’t even guess the headwear is made out of cotton upon first look as it looks very high dollar.

A wide brim with a built-in wire that can be adjusted assures that it accomplishes the task of sun protection. The distressed cotton wins me over for looks and could fool some for leather. This is a great winner for those who don’t like to wear animal products but still want an awesome jungle hat.

Conner Hats Men’s Bounty Hunter

Dorfman Hat Co. Weathered Outback Hat ($39)

Dorfman-Pacific Outback Hat

This hat is a contender for the best safari hat on the list, according to user reviews. It’s a great-looking hat that is sturdy and offers plenty of protection. The wide brim will protect you from long days in the bush, and despite being black, the thick cotton material remains cool. The brim is shapeable and broad, so you can bend it exactly how you would like. I could try and sell you this hat, or I can let the reviews on Amazon do the talking.

Dorfman Hat Co. Weathered Outback Hat

Outback Trading Co. Kodiak Oilskin Hat ($50)

Outback Trading Co Men's Co. Kodiak Oilskin Hat

This is the perfect hat for those going into the Outback or the African bush. Like most of the hats on this list, it’s made of cotton. The cotton has been treated with oil making, meaning it is water-resistant. So, when you get caught in a thunderstorm, you don’t need to worry about the safety of your hat or getting uncomfortable. It’s a stylish hat and probably one of my favorites.

Outback Trading Co. Kodiak Oilskin Hat

Our Favorite Features

Wide Brim

Natasha A Sign That Says Thank You At The Linyanti Camp With African Bush Camps

The primary reason for wearing a cap on safari is to protect from the sun while searching for wildlife in the African bush. Some of our favorite hats in this post have wide brims but have a large downside. Wide-brim hats are more cumbersome and difficult to travel with on airplanes. As a result, we still love a classic ball cap design that can still offer sun protection on the face, and they’re easy to pack a backpack or suitcase.


Natasha Looks Out To Rhinos On Safari

Having a waterproof hat in the dry season may seem silly, but you’ll probably be sweating a lot. There is no point in buying a flimsy cotton hat that will only last a short while. We’ve been caught in rain showers while on safari in both South Luangwa and the Masai Mara without a hat, and it sucked.

Thick Headband

Natasha With A Sundowner In Hand Wearing A Dress and Hat

If you wear something on your head all day, making sure that it is comfortable is a no-brainer. Although safari pith helmets are world-famous for being the headwear of famous British explorers and look great in safari photos, they’re uncomfortable. Yes, we’ve tried them.

We find fashion hats to be the most guilty offenders of discomfort, as they have small headbands and less space for your head. Outdoor brands design hats with thick headbands and technical fabric that stretches with the head for a more comfortable fit.



Leather, rubber, and synthetic all have advantages. What you pick for your hat depends on personal preference. I chose leather because it has the classic safari adventure feel and look—and with maintenance and care, it can last forever. However, leather is a very hot material and fails to soak up sweat or ventilate like its synthetic counterparts.



What you wear on your head says a lot about you. I had my idea of what the perfect safari cap would look like, and I was set on finding the perfect fit.

Why You Need A Hat?

Cameron And Natasha On Safari In Botswana

Unlike safari clothes or safari boots, we would say everyone needs a hat when on safari. Especially in East Africa! Most people coming on safari are from more Northern climates away from the equator and are unaware of the sun’s damage around Africa.  The sun near the center of the earth is intense and can leave you sunburned in a matter of minutes.

Natasha Sits In Pool With Hat On At Somalisa Safari Camp

You spend a lot of time outside on a safari. As I said, we probably do not take sun protection seriously enough but meet anyone who has spent their days in Africa, and they all wear a hat, sunglasses, and long-sleeved breathable shirt. After spending a year traveling the continent, we can’t suggest a safari hat more and consider it an essential item to our Africa packing list.

Natasha With A Traditional Pith Hat In The Masai Mara
We found a safari helmet!

On our first safari, I ended up paying for it with a nice sunburn that turned into a scab on my face because I didn’t think about sun protection too seriously, which cost me my face dearly. Do yourself a favor and invest in sun cream and a hat. At the very least, bring a baseball cap or cheap packable sun hat.  Safari attire often goes beyond style and cool vacation photos – it serves an important purpose.

Book A Safari in Africa

A Safari Guide Silhouette At Sunset

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

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 to Africa. Get one before you get there so you don’t pay a premium on the ground.
About Cameron Seagle

Cameron Seagle is one of the principal writers and photographers for The World Pursuit. He is a travel expert that has been traveling the world for the past decade. During this time, he established a passion for conservation and environmental sustainability. When not traveling, he's obsessed with finding the best gear and travel products. In his free time, you can find him hiking, mountain biking, mountaineering, and snowboarding. His favorite countries are Scotland, Indonesia, Mozambique, Peru, Italy, and Japan.

You can learn more about Cameron on The World Pursuit About Us Page.

2 thoughts on “10 Best Safari Hats For The Bush”

  1. I’ve been looking into guides on what to wear on a safari trip. Hats are definitely going to be useful to shield me from the sun. I would definitely need all the help I can get to keep myself hydrated and shielded from the sun so I don’t feel too exhausted. Plus, hats are going to be amazing on photos! They’re the quintessential look for a safari trip after all! Looking forward to reading more of your tips!

  2. I have a Tilley Hemp hat that I used in Australia. It has a medium brim so that it gives good coverage, but doesn’t get in the way. Can’t wait to use it next year in Africa!

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