In search of the best safari jacket? We’ve been on countless safaris and visited lodges all over the African continent, from South Africa to Kenya and everywhere in between. On our first trip, we showed up with an assortment of clothes not suited for the bush and had all the wrong colors.
If you’ll be doing bush walks while on your safari, a lightweight safari jacket will be much more practical than a heavy-duty one. However, consider a decently warm safari jacket if traveling at high elevation or during Africa’s winter months when nights get cool. It’s also essential to purchase a safari jacket with a few pockets so that you can stash your goodies.
Whatever you pack in your safari bag, you should consider the location, time of year, and activity level. Keep in mind that you only need one good safari jacket in your luggage, and hopefully, this list will help you narrow down your choices.
The Best Safari Jackets for Women
Orvis Pack-And-Go Travel Jacket
Specs: Price – $149 | Material – Nylon/Spandex
- Super Comfortable
- Versatile For Travel
- Color Choices
- Mid Length Good For Rain Only
This adorable mid-thigh safari-style jacket is both wind and water-resistant, has a stowaway hood and loads of space and hidden pockets. It’s a stylish travel jacket that works for many destinations and would feel right at home in some of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Several color options provide versatility. The “stone” and “loden” color options are perfect choices for a safari jacket.
The fit is very complimenting, cinching at the waist, and the colors are pretty muted, making this jacket the perfect pairing to almost any outfit! The polyester blend also resists wrinkling, which is terrific because it comes with its stuff sack so you can pack and go. It’s just one of the best safari jackets we’ve come across, and it excels at general travel too.
Shop for Orvis Pack & Go
Kuhl Jojo Trench
Specs: Price – $139 | Material – Cotton/Nylon
- Super Comfortable
- Versatile For Travel
- High Quality
- Wax Treatment Handles Light Rain
- Cinch Waist
- Slim Cut May Be Restrictive
- No Zippered Interior Pocket
Kuhl makes some excellent jackets, but their new Jojo Trench is a real standout. It’s a lightweight windbreaker that offers amicable performance in the wind and rain. It manages to walk the line of performance and style well, thanks to the fabric blend.
The material in the jacket is cotton and nylon with a treatment of polyester on the exterior. It allows for the coat to have the appearance of a heavy canvas jacket but remain lightweight and repel water. The fit is slim around the waist, and the arms, so keep that in mind with sizing. It also holds items pretty well with two front hand pockets and two interior drop pockets.
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Johnny MBJ Women’s Safari Jacket
Specs: Price – $40 | Material – Cotton
- Hood Is a Nice Feature
- Lots Of Pockets
- Slim Cut
- Cotton Performance
This stylish jacket is a great deal for less than $40. It’s not a burly jacket or high quality, but the cotton jacket offers decent protection in cooler temperatures. The cotton fabric is thick and provides some warmth, but don’t mistake it for a burly canvas jacket on a cold day. Sleeves roll up for some versatility with the style and convenient temperature management in warmer weather.
Several pockets provide nice space to carry any essentials, and the removable hood is practical. Those pockets are too deep enough for things like a pair of safari binoculars, sunglasses, and chapstick. Altogether, it’s a stylish package that offers a little bit of performance.
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KOGMO Safari Jacket
Specs: Price – $59 | Material – Cotton
- Color Choices
- Cotton Performance
This jacket from KOGMO is another solid choice for a safari jacket. It’s a similar build and quality to the jacket above. It’s not anything that impresses us with the quality, but it is very stylish and comes at a great price.
It’s an excellent cut flattering on most shapes and has a drawcord waist adjustment for a slimming fit. As it’s a light cotton jacket, it’s perfect for the more mild temperatures in Africa, and you can layer it with a sweater for chilly days.
Shop For KOGMO Anorak
Patagonia All Seasons Hemp Canvas Bomber
Specs: Price – $59 | Material – Hemp/Polyester/Cotton
- Eco-Friendly Design
- Too Warm For Hotter Weather
Temperatures during the winter month regularly reach near-freezing temperatures in Southern Africa. It can get freezing from May to August, so a warm jacket is a welcome friend. Patagonia’s All Seasons Hemp Canvas Bomber is a good choice for a robust piece of workwear for a great casual style.
The jacket’s exterior features a durable canvas material woven from industrial hemp, polyester, and cotton. It’s an extremely tough fabric that will hold for years, if not a lifetime of abuse. Inside, the jacket features a recycled polyester taffeta that is super comfortable and provides plenty of warmth. The coat’s fit is excellent, thanks to the wide elastic sleeves and waistband.
Shop For All Seasons Hemp Canvas Bomber
Safari Jackets for Men
Orvis Heritage Field Jacket
Specs: Price – $260 | Material – Waxed Cotton Canvas
- High Quality
- Excellent Style
The Orvis Heritage Field jacket is a great safari bush jacket for men and goes excellent with any safari hat. This jacket is one of their best-selling products for a reason. As stylish as it is functional, the jacket will last you a lifetime. It’s what we’re seeking in a safari jacket, and the style is superb.
Dry-waxed cotton canvas makes for a rugged jacket that will fight away thorns and repel water. Thanks to the weight, it’s an excellent cool weather jacket, but it would be too hot for warmer weather. Honestly, it’s perfect for bush photos to show your friends when you return home from your trip.
Shop For Orvis Field Jacket
Wantdo Men’s Cotton Safari Jacket
Specs: Price – $60 | Material – Cotton
- Excellent Value
This cotton shell safari jacket is a stylish choice that is an affordable option for men. It’s a sharp-looking jacket with a military-style collar and cut. It’s a varsity windbreaker jacket for men that’s well suited for safari as it’s lightweight and practical for safari. With many pockets, it has everything a man needs for essentials on safari.
Shop For Wantdo Men’s Cotton Safari Jacket
Filson Tin Cloth Ranch Jacket
Specs: Price – $230 | Material – Waxed Cotton Canvas
- Non Performance Focus
This is the jacket if you want a no-frills shell jacket designed to be used and abused. The Filson Tin Cloth Ranch Jacket is for demanding work with some rugged good looks. It’s the kind of jacket that gets better looking with age. The coat is warm against a chill and can easily break the wind thanks to the heavy material.
Filson’s Tin Cloth jacket has its roots tied with loggers, ranchers, and outdoors people. It has a casual cut as it’s for work and is to be worn with layers. The amount can be both negative and positive but depends on your needs. It’s a great jacket for any wild adventure you may find yourself on worldwide.
Check The Prices On The Ranch Jacket
Men’s Topo Designs Wind Jacket
Specs: Price – $197 | Material – Nylon
- Long Cut
- Stuff Sack
- More Performance-Based Style
If you’re looking for something less outdoorsy and packed with style for men, the Topo Designs Wind Jacket is a great choice. This stylish men’s safari jacket is both wind and waterproof. It utilizes nylon to provide reliable protection from the elements, but the heavier fabric doesn’t feel overly crinkly or look too sporty.
It’s the perfect rain jacket for trips where rain might be risky. The downside is the lack of a hood. If caught in a prolonged rain shower, you’ll likely get soaked without any covering for your head. If you want the most versatility from a safari jacket, search for one with a hood. However, that does mean sacrificing style for something more athletic.
Shop For Topo Designs Trench Coat
Kuhl Men’s Kollusion Jacket
Specs: Price – $199 | Material – Cotton/Polyester/Nylon
- Stowaway Hood
We love Kuhl for its blend of style and performance. Their Kollusion jacket for men is a highly versatile piece for every day of a trip. A rugged fabric keeps you warm, and the wax exterior can easily handle light rain.
It has a great pocket layout for stashing away various accessories and a stowaway hood for when the weather does take a turn for the worse. The major downside of this jacket is its weight and packability, which it’s lackluster performance. I love this light safari jacket for men.
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Carhartt Men’s Quilted Duck Jacket
Specs: Price – $100 | Material – Cotton
- Color Selection
- Wide Size
- Cuffs & Hood
- Mixed Style
Carhartt’s Quilted Duck Jacket is a classic piece of workwear made for cold temperatures and rugged conditions. We love hiking apparel for travel as it’s designed to be lightweight and pack down small, but this doesn’t matter to workwear.
Carhartt has made this jacket for years with various color options and sizes. If you’re a big guy, then size is designed with you in mind. Its warmth and durability make this a heavy jacket, so make no mistake thinking it’s a light men’s jacket for travel.
Shop For Carhartt Men’s Duck Jacket
Elements of a Good Safari Jacket
There are several critical elements to look at with each piece of safari clothing. While you may picture yourself as an adventure seeker, you should remember 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.
You’ll want to pack light. The days are often busy, so multiple wardrobe changes aren’t really in the mix. Solid clothes are casual yet stylish enough to wear to dinner in a lodge over a five-course meal.
Versatility can include suitable material, fit, and functionality. For example, a good long sleeve shirt can keep you warm in the morning but relaxed during the day in a way that short-sleeve or tee shirts fail.
This one is key. Africa can be complex 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. Suppose you’re involved in conservation efforts, on a walking safari, or spending any time outside of a game vehicle. In that case, you need some decent safari clothes that will hold up 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.
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. We use solid natural materials like hemp, linen, leather, or wool in our outdoor wear.
Artificial materials such as nylon or polyester are other terrific options for moisture management and protection. The only material we’re not massive fans of is cotton, but it’s often the softest and warmest material with great value. I always read the tags and materials on outdoor apparel before I purchase and consider its intended purpose.
Things like having pockets can make or break good safari wear. Where else will stash items like lip balm, sunscreen, or even a pair of binoculars?
The day-to-day wear of clothes is the most critical part because if you feel uncomfortable in the bush, you’ll likely look ridiculous. You aren’t walking the runways of Paris but spending time in the bush. Care about your look, but not too much.
Safari clothes should blend in with the environment. You should wear beige, green, and brown colored garments. They are the staple colors of safari wear because they blend into the background and provide a better game viewing experience.
While wearing bright colors such as red is said to scare off animals and make you stand out. It may or may not be accurate. Only the animals know for sure. Of course, the Maasai Warriors in Kenya and Tanzania have been wearing red for centuries!
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 attract tsetse flies. Trust us; you do not want to become familiar with tsetse flies!
Tips On Safari Clothes
- 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.
- Attempt to blend in. Remember to wear a safari outfit and clothes suited for the environment.
- Don’t wear animal prints or some ridiculous getup. You’re not bushwacking through the African jungle. This isn’t Jumanji. You’ll spend most of your time in the back of a vehicle. So, wear comfortable clothes that will not stain by dirt, offer sun protection, and are comfortable from the heat or 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.
- DO NOT wear blue in Eastern Africa. Blue attracts the Tsetse fly, which is not a myth.
- Don’t overpack. You only need a handful of safari shirts and safari 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.
- Keep it relaxed. Even at five-star lodges in Africa, things are still casual.
- Good sunglasses will save your eyes from staring at landscapes all day.
- Make sure to pack in layers. It will go from cold in the morning to hot at night and then back to evening time.
- 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. 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.
Book A Safari in Africa
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 suggest camps and lodges then present you with a hefty 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 choose the best itinerary for yourself. They will then contact the lodges and help you by booking your safari. Experts on staff can also provide suggestions and arrange the little details much 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 Africa. Get one before you get there so you don’t pay a premium on the ground.