The 20 Best Safari Pants for Men and Women (2019)

kenya travel tips

In search of the perfect pair of safari? We’ve been on a countless number of safaris and visited lodges all over the African continent from South Africa to Kenya and literally everywhere in between. On our first trip, we showed up with a hodgepodge of clothes that were not suited for the bush and had all the wrong colors.

A good pair of Safari pants should be bought with activity in mind. If you’ll be doing bush walks while on your safari, 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 in and out 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 not always necessary. Whatever you pack in your safari bag you should bear in mind the location, time of year, and activity level. Here are our recommendations for the best safari pants for both men and women.


The 20 Best Safari Pants


Bushflight Masai Mara

Men’s Safari 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 pants.

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, and a gorgeous pair of safari pants.

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 safari 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 safari 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 safari 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 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 on safari 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 safari 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 safari pants.

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. They might not be your typical safari pant, but you will look and feel good in these pants.

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 pant 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


Tips for Picking the Best Safari Pants


Research Your Destination

Safari Vacation

Don’t think that you’re just going to Africa and it’s automatically going to be hot.  The weather there can vary in extremes, so proper research beforehand is pivotal. It’s important to note the region you are going to and the time of year you are traveling. The two main seasons is dry and rainy season.

For example, if you’re heading to Southern Africa during their dry months, April to October, be prepared for cooler mornings and evenings. If you’re heading to East Africa around this same time, however, April to June, you’ll need to be prepared for much more humid and wet conditions. Read more in detail about how to plan a safari here.

So as you can see, there’s variation! Depending on where and when you go, there will be sharp differences in the temperatures ahead. We therefore highly recommend that you plan your shorts selection accordingly.


Color Selection

The goal of the safari is to view wildlife, which in turn means that your goal is to not spook wildlife by wearing bright pink neon shorts when trying to see them. So while you’re researching the weather at your destination, take a look at a few pictures and get a feel for nature’s colors in that area, and dress to match. Khaki, dark green, beige, and grey are popular colors to wear on safari.

If you don’t have the right color shorts it’s not the worst thing in the world, but it may make you stand out.


Durability

A safari isn’t exactly the cushiest environment for clothes. You’ll be climbing in and out of cars, hitting the dusty trail on bumpy roads, and walking through the bush. It’s therefore important to make sure you opt for a pair of shorts that are built with this kind of use in mind.

We recommend aiming for shorts designed for hiking or backpacking when shopping. You’ll then be sure to find some of the most rugged and long-lasting materials on the market.


Moisture and Ventilation Control

As you know by now, the weather for your safari can potentially be very hot or very wet, or both! Depending on what you’re facing, keep an eye out for shorts that will perform well in those environments.

In the case of a toasty trip, shorts with built-in ventilation and moisture wicking technology will perform best. These will wick any sweat away from your body to keep you nice and dry, and at the same time, the shorts themselves will dry quickly to avoid becoming sodden.

But when the weather turns wet, a water-resistant finish will help keep rain from soaking in. You’ll typically see this listed as a ‘Durable Water Repellent (DWR).’ Lightweight, quick-drying material will also be a plus in this department for any moisture that happens to sneak through.


Versatility

Safari Pants

A safari often doesn’t allow for a wide range of clothing options. You’ll find that one pair of shorts will need to last you for every aspect of your day, from early morning at camp, to a day of wildlife viewing, to an evening back at camp or maybe even to dinner.

It’s therefore very helpful to find shorts that embody the heavy-duty ruggedness of the trail, but can also be just as acceptable at a casual evening event with your safari buddies.


Where to Buy Safari Pants

africa

We have found the best place to buy safari clothes are online. Amazon has great deals and prices and if you are Prime member then two day shipping is free. REI and Backcountry are also great outdoor companies to find a variety of safari clothes as well.

A few of the best safari clothing brands today are prAna, TAG safari, Royal Robbins, Ex-Officio, and Columbia.


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


See more of our safari gear!


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