In search of the best safari jacket? We’ve been on countless safaris and visited lodges all over Africa, from South Africa to Kenya. On our first trip, we showed up with various clothes unsuited 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 elevations or during Africa’s winter when nights get cool.
Whatever you pack in your safari bag, you should consider the location, time of year, and activity level. Remember that you only need one good safari jacket in your luggage, and hopefully, this list will help you narrow down your choices.
Best Safari Jackets for Women
Barbour Beadnell Jacket
MSRP – $385 | Material – Waxed Canvas
- Classic Style
- Great Feminine Fit
- Superb Quality
- Excellent Pockets
- Warm For Hot Climates
The Classic Beadnell jacket by Barbour is the one you’ll reach for every season of the year. Its waxed cotton exterior looks gorgeous and highly functional as it supplies wind and water resistance.
A cozy tartan lining is soft against the skin and supplies warmth in cool climates. It provides a lot of versatility as the jacket works for a wide range of destinations and daily life. We could wear this jacket in Scotland or the Masai Mara. The jacket is also highly functional with two snap button bellow pockets, handwarmer pockets, and one interior breast pocket.
We appreciate the women’s fit that keeps an excellent shape that is done with front and back panels. The one downside is it’s too warm for hot destinations, but it is ready to tackle any cool weather. It’s an expensive jacket, but we feel it’s a worthy investment that will last a lifetime.
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Always Effortless Jacket
MSRP – $150 | Material – 89% Nylon, 11% Elastane
- Plenty of colors
- Versatile “Effortless”
- Hip Length Classic Fit
- High Collar
- Okay Pockets
Experience the epitome of versatile style and functionality with this safari jacket from Lululemon, expertly crafted for those who are always on the go – on or off safari. This remarkable jacket embodies the spirit of adventure and is designed to seamlessly accompany you through every urban exploration and outdoor escapade.
The water-repellent Glyde fabric not only shields from unexpected African drizzles but adds in a water-repellent sophistication on the back. With its classic fit and hip-length design, the jacket strikes the perfect balance between fashion and practicality – great for photos in the bush and keeping warm in the early morning!
The downside is that it’s a jacket for style and not the most durable on this list. It’s not going to protect from hard weather or supply much warmth if you need it. However, we love that it’s machine washable, so you won’t have to run it to the dry cleaner when it gets dusty on safari. Another excellent suggestion for a stylish safari jacket from Banana Republic is the Heritage Suede Shirt Jacket.
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prAna Sancho Jacket
MSRP – $140 | Material – Cotton / Elastane
- Plethora Of Pockets
- Organic Cotton
- Boxy Cut
- Work Wear Look
We love the prAna Sancho Jacket as it’s lovely and super comfortable. It has a great organic cotton material and fits the body well. It achieves its excellent shape with a slightly boxy cut and an internal waist drawcord.
The roomy cut also means it’s easy to add a layer under the jacket to stay warm. It’s a lightweight jacket with little insulation, which is great for a safari jacket. Cool weather feels perfect with this jacket, which can still add a touch of style in warmer weather.
It feels like an essential jacket as the rugged style is perfect in the bush or city. However, it’s not all rugged, as the touch of elastane gives the jacket excellent stretch and performance. Like any safari jacket, we love the two interior and four exterior pockets.
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Columbia Chatfield Jacket
MSRP – $110 | Material – Nylon / Polyester
- Nice Feminie Silhouette
- Very Practical
- Synthetic Material
The Columbia Lillian Ridge Jacket is a cute mid-thigh safari jacket. It provides wind and water resistance with its nylon and polyester blend fabric. It’s a stylish rain jacket that works for many destinations and would feel right at home on safari or the Pacific Northwest. Several color options suit any taste, but we love the “Ancient Fossil” color.
The fit is very complimenting as it has an adjustable drawcord at the waist for a feminine shape. Two other nice features are the spacious hand pockets with button closures and a spacious hood for protection from the rain. The nylon blend provides reliable waterproofing, making the jacket a little clammy. It’s also worth noting that nylon does not look as classic or stylish as a natural fabric like cotton.
However, the synthetic material makes the jacket wonderfully lightweight and easy to stash in a safari bag. It’s a stylish rain jacket for an affordable price, but there are better packable rain jackets on the market for travel — just not safari style. We recommend the jacket for wet weather safaris like gorilla trekking, Amazon cruises, or Borneo.
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Everlane Herringbone Jacket
MSRP – $148 | Material – Organic Cotton
- Organic Cotton
- Lacks Performance
The Organic Cotton Herringbone Jacket boasts a relaxed fit that prioritizes comfort while making a bold safari fashion statement. Crafted from 100% organic cotton twill, this jacket is lightweight yet durable.
It features a double-breasted button closure, utility twin needle topstitching, and welt and flap front pockets for convenience. The boxy fit is excellent for style, but it’s not great for moving with your body. We prefer the comfort and fit of many of the jackets above. The jacket’s spacious cut is easy to layer and ideal for staying warm in cooler temperatures.
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Best Safari Jackets for Men
Orvis Heritage Field Jacket
MSRP – $275 | Material – Waxed Cotton Canvas
- High Quality
- Excellent Style
- Warm For Hot Climates
The Orvis Heritage Field jacket is one of the company’s best-selling products and makes for a tremendous safari jacket. There is a lot to love about the jacket, but it starts with the dry-waxed cotton canvas. It provides excellent protection from the elements.
The rugged protection makes it highly versatile, as it’s tough enough to resist thick brushes and stylish enough to wear around town. The jacket is also highly functional with two snap button bellow pockets, handwarmer pockets, and one interior breast pocket.
Gusseted underarm panels provide ventilation, and a bi-swing jacket allows the jacket to move with the body. While the jacket looks great the roomy fit and subtle design choices ensure it’s ready to tackle challenging work. Quality is superb; compared to competitors, it’s an excellent value.
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Wantdo Cotton Safari Jacket
MSRP – $60 | Material – Cotton
- Excellent Value
- Meh Quality
- Cotton Performance
The Wantdo Cotton cotton shell safari jacket is a stylish and 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. With many pockets, it has everything a man needs for essentials on safari.
Its cotton exterior material and craftmanship are lacking, but it’s so affordable we can’t help but recommend the jacket. It even features more pockets than most jackets so that it can carry a wide variety of essentials like sunblock or lip balm.
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Filson Tin Cloth Ranch Jacket
MSRP – $230 | Material – Waxed Cotton Canvas
If you want a no-frills shell jacket designed to be used and abused, this is the jacket. Filson’s workwear has faithfully served men for decades due to its exceptional quality. A staple of their line is the Filson Tin Cloth Work Jacket which has been in circulation since the 1930s. The rugged jacket displays a classic style that feels appropriate on city streets or a ranch.
Oil-finished canvas provides reliable protection and ages gracefully as a jacket that remains in your wardrobe for years. Most importantly, the coat can easily fight a chill and break the wind thanks to the heavy material.
Its roots are tied with loggers, ranchers, and outdoorsmen, so it features a casual cut for work and layers. The cut can be negative or positive, depending on your needs. It’s a great jacket for any wild adventure you may find.
Shop For The Lined Cruiser Jacket
Levi’s Sherpa Trucker Jacket
MSRP – $108 | Material – Denim/Fleece
- Classic Style
- Hot In Warm Weather
If comfort and classic style are what you’re after, you can beat Levi’s Sherpa Trucker Jacket. The denim jacket has been a style icon for decades and is always among the best men’s lightweight jackets. A cozy interior that is fleece and quilted flannel provides plenty of warmth.
While the exterior features various fabric choices, the classic is denim. Levi’s knows how to construct high-quality denim that does not stretch but will mold to the body. Finding a jacket that will only fit better with time is tough. Fit is slim, and it doesn’t feel overly boxy or loose despite the fleece and wide collar style.
Value is one of the greatest strengths of the jacket. Its quality, warmth, and comfort are near impossible to beat. This jacket will forever remain a staple in my wardrobe.
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Everlane The Bomber Jacket
MSRP – $128 | Material – Cotton/Polyester
- Classic Style
- Lacks Protection
Everlane’s The Bomber Jacket is a modern version of a classic flight jacket. It’s a stylish jacket that is perfect for mild weather. We love the clean lines and timeless design that make it ideal for any setting or destination. While it’s not the classic safari style, its timeless design still works well.
The jacket uses an excellent lightweight fabric that works well in mild weather. We find the material provides a nice balance of comfort and durability. The jacket fits across the body wonderfully. It features a classic bomber design with ribbed cuffs, a collar, a hem, a full-zip front, and two front pockets.
We love that you can wear the jacket up or down to suit any occasion. It just feels like a tremendously versatile jacket. The khaki color is a great complement to any modern safari outfit.
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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, 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 leave it at home.
What To Look For in Safari Clothes
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.
Color Choice & Camouflage
A safari outfit 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 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.
Tips On Safari Clothes
- First and foremost, you do not have to wear special safari clothes. Most time on safari is spent in a vehicle where clothes choice does not matter much.
- 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 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 it 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 allowing you to select the lodges you’d like and see the pricing per day. 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.