The Best Safari Clothes for Women (Outfit Ideas)

Safari clothes for women can be a mystery to any first-timer in Africa. Safari-style is iconic and feels right at home in the outdoors beyond the Serengeti. The key to safari clothes for women is the perfect blend between form and function.

If you are fortunate enough to jet off to the continent, an African safari will surely be one of the greatest highlights of your life. However, any great safari may be spoilt with the wrong clothes, so it’s important to come prepared for the climate in Africa.

Before I traveled to Africa, I knew nothing about women’s safari clothing or what to pack for safari. After countless safaris through Southern and Eastern Africa, these are the women’s safari clothing items I would make sure to bring on your first African safari.

Safari Clothes For Women

Women’s Safari Shirts

I recommend at least a few safari shirts as they are the most versatile piece of clothing. The right piece, a natural color such as white or tan, proves to be both stylish and practical. A long sleeve shirt is the most ideal as it protects from the sun and bugs, but many of the items below are also made in short sleeves. Below is a selection of shirts that combine style and function.

Columbia Tamiami II ($48)

Columbia Tamiami II Safari Clothes

This safari shirt pretty much checks off every box regarding good safari wear. The design is built for anglers, making it a perfect fit for the African Bush. The shirt offers UV protection, is lightweight and quick-drying, and has vented back panels and front pockets.

This shirt includes features such as Omni-Wick moisture management, antimicrobial treatment, and strategic mesh vented panels, perfect for a safari. Columbia is one of our favorites regarding shirts as they make affordable and well-designed clothes. Its negatives are a more loose cut and outdoor style as it has a large vented back and large front breast pockets.

Check Prices On Columbia Tamiami II

Orvis Open Air Casting ($89)

Orvis Open Air Casting Safari Clothes

For women, this is my personal favorite style. The shirt is lightweight and breathable with solid sun protection and other technical features. The Open Air has vented panels on the back, mesh panels, and mesh pockets that keep you cool, particularly when sitting in the back of a safari vehicle.

If you’re still feeling hot, you can roll up the sleeves and secure them with stylish tabs. Then with two front breast pockets, you have the functionality we like with a great safari shirt. More than anything, it’s a technical safari shirt with a great look.

Check Prices for Orvis Open Air Casting

REI Co-op Sahara ($59)

REI Co-op Sahara Safari Clothes

Safari attire like this is all built for being active, whether hiking or going on a safari. This lightweight shirt from REI is made from polyester fabric that resists wrinkles, dries quickly for comfort, and wicks away sweat from the body. It has several pattern options that help break up the khaki, green, and white monotony.

The front breast pockets are great for a small tube of sunscreen, bug spray, or a camera lens cap. For me, the cut and technical capabilities of the shirt make it shine, such as UPF protection, long sleeve cuffs, underarm panels to reduce odor, and a spandex blend for easy movement.

Check Prices For The REI Co-Op Sahara

Mountain Hardwear Canyon Shirt ($65)

Canyon Shirt - Safari Clothes Womens

This is a fantastic safari shirt for hot weather, and it was one of my favorite safari shirts for both men and women for hot weather and sun protection. I wanted a shirt that offers protection from the African sun and keeps me cool in the heat.

This shirt knocked it out of the park. It has a nice cut, feel, and I love the collar’s design, which has a hidden extension to cover your neck when flipped up.

Check Prices For Canyon Shirt

Royal Robbins Expedition ($70)

Royal Robbins Expedition Safari Clothes

This is a great women’s safari shirt as it is built for tropical and hot weather. It’s designed with 100% polyester and offers UPF 40+ protection while remaining light, quick-dry, and flexible.

It also has some great features for a safari shirt: thermoregulating mesh to keep you cool and two front breast pockets for storage. As a bonus, this safari shirt is a great travel shirt in developing nations as it has a hidden pocket to secure valuables like a passport or smartphone.

Check Prices For Royal Robbins Expedition

prAna Foundation Short Sleeve V-neck ($45)

prAna Foundation Short Sleeve V-neck safari clothes

Not every item in your pack has to be outdoor wear. Simple clothes like a classic T-shirt or V-neck are great staples to bring in your pack. This shirt from prAna is super lightweight and breathable. It’s probably the most comfortable shirt you’ll ever wear as it’s made from a new sustainable material called Lenzing Modal.

The material is made from spinning natural cellulose that comes from various trees. Our only complaint would be regarding the shirt’s longevity due to its lightweight nature; you can easily snag this shirt if not careful.

Check Prices For prAna Foundation

KUHL Ezra Shirt ($85)

KUHL Ezra Shirt Safari Clothes

This tremendous shirt from KUHL utilizes a blend of nylon and polyester. It’s a better option than many of the polyester blends on this list, as nylon has a higher strength rating with better water resistance.

KUHL’s Ezra shirt has some great features for safari clothes, such as chest pockets, UPF fabric shields, and an internal envelope pocket.

Check Prices For KUHL Ezra Shirt

Patagonia Western Snap Shirt ($79)

Patagonia Western Snap Shirt Safari Clothes

This is an excellent addition to a safari wardrobe. We love Patagonia clothing, so it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. They make some of our favorite products. To top it off, all of my clothes are still in great condition with plenty of wear.

The Western Snap Shirt is a material blend of hemp and recycled polyester. It feels soft to the touch, but the hemp gives weight to the fabric that will stand the test of time and the bush. The weight is perfect for spring conditions but will be a tad hot for summer in Southern Africa.

Check Prices For Patagonia Western Snap

Women’s Safari Pants

Cameron and Tasha enjoying morning coffee wearing safari pants in the bush

Pants are an essential part of a safari outfit for women. One pair of women’s safari pants are great; however, two pairs of pants ensure that you won’t have to do any washing on your trip. I personally have the prAna Halle pants and have had them for almost three years now without issue. It’s almost impossible to stain them; they roll up into capris when it’s hot and is water-resistant.

prAna Women’s Halle Pant ($85)

prAna Women's Halle Pant

A staple to my women’s safari outfit. 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 quick-drying technology.

The Halle is a blend of nylon and spandex with 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 functional pants designed for climbing, 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 slim-fitting pants 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.

Check Prices For Halle Pants


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 a roll-up Capri, a security pocket, and a button fly. These pants are great for traveling since they’re lightweight, look good, and are versatile.

Check Prices For Trail Pant

Outdoor Research Ferossi Pant ($80)

Best Travel Pants - Outdoor Research Ferossi

This is a close first for best safari pants, but its stylings make it much more a hiking/technical pant. When it comes to function outdoors, it takes top marks, and when I’m hiking, it’s my go-to pant. However, I find it too technical and outdoorsy, and I want to comfortably walk around more formal environments.

The pants are really lightweight but similar to softshell pants with great water resistance 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 packs down really small, they eat up minimal room in luggage and are the lightest pants on this list.

Like prAna Halle, the Ferossi has five pockets with two back, front, and side pockets. The pockets are smaller, but I appreciate the horizontal zipper. These pants are great for the more adventurous traveler or ones who spend a lot of time outside.

Check Prices for Ferossi Pant

REI Co-op Trailsmith Pants ($69)

REI Co-op Trailsmith Pants Safari Pants

These rugged pants from REI have a classic look that 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 that they’re a tad warm for hot weather, and the pockets are a little more than jeans. Either way, they’re a great pair of work and safari pants for women.

Check Prices For Trailsmith Pants

Women’s Safari Shorts

It gets HOT in Africa, especially in the middle of the day. I would recommend bringing at least one pair of safari shorts to stay cool – plus, they look great and will add to your women’s safari outfit. I prefer a nice pair of shorts that are practical yet stylish.

Columbia Women’s Saturday Trail Short ($45)

Columbia Women's Saturday Trail Short Safari Clothes

The Columbia brand is always good for affordable outdoor wear. These trail shorts are perfect for a safari in Africa as they provide UPF 50 sun protection and insect repellant. Their stretchable fabric makes them ideal for sitting in a safari vehicle for long hours throughout the day.

Even though these are safari shorts, they are still fashionable enough to wear to dinner and other activities that revolve around your safari. The best part about these shorts is that even after your African safari experience, you can take them home, and they are perfectly acceptable for trail running, hiking, or running errands around town.

Check Prices For Saturday Trail Short

prAna Women’s Tess Shorts ($59)

prAna Women's Tess Shorts Safari Clothes

If you haven’t heard, prAna is my absolute favorite clothing brand. Almost every day, something on my body is made from prAna, so it’s no surprise that I recommend their Tess Shorts. Their Cargo Green color is great for bush walks, and game drives around Africa as it blends nicely with the environment.

What I love about prAna are the material they use and organic stretch-woven canvas. These safari shorts have both front and back and stretch with you. With most prAna products, I’ve noticed their sizes run a little big, so it may be worth ordering a size down if you are unsure.

Check Prices For Tess Shorts

The North Face Aphrodite 2.0 Shorts ($40)

The North Face Aphrodite 2.0 Shorts Safari Clothes

These drawstring pants are perfect for safaris. They come in various colors perfect for the African bush, including khaki, but can also double as good beach coverups shorts if you decide to make your way to Zanzibar afterward.

These are made out of nylon and elastane for great comfort and performance. A wide comfy waistband sits low on your hips and feels soft and comfortable.

Check Prices for Aphrodite 2.0 Shorts

REI Co-op Sahara Shorts ($44)

REI Co-op Sahara Shorts 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 shorts are designed for adventure travel.

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 noted many of the manufacturers above and general trends.

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 love REI, and they make some great clothes that they stand behind with a guarantee.

Check Prices For Co-Op Sahara Shorts

Safari Vest for Women

Linyanti Concession - Botswana

Safari vests are great if for storing little items on you in all the pockets. They are especially useful for walking safaris.

LE3NO Military Anorak Vest ($25)

LE3NO Military Anorak Vest Safari Clothes

Functional, lightweight, and comfortable with a whole bunch of pockets. Easy Addition to the list of best safari clothes. It’s not high-quality fashion, and I wouldn’t expect much out of this piece, but it’s tough to complain about the price.

Check Prices For Anorak Vest

Women’s Safari Dresses

Tasha in a safari tent reading a book while wearing a safari dress

A safari dress is great because it can be a one-piece safari outfit for ladies. I like to bring a few dresses on safari for meal times and for times out of the game vehicle. Also – they are perfect for safari photos!

prAna Skypath Dress ($89)

prAna Skypath dress in Chalkboard Dotty makes a great dress for safari

My favorite dresses that look nice but are still made for active women are made by prAna. I’ve traveled all over with their Skypath dress and can attest to its durability. The Skypath is perfect for safari because it has a built-in bra, so you don’t have to worry about getting your bras dirty or sweaty while on safari.

The flattering cut has the perfect stretch, so it fits most women’s shapes. It is a nice blend of style, comfort, and practicality. I love this dress as it’s perfect to wear on a hot day in the back of a game vehicle.

Check Prices For Skypath Dress

REI Co-op Sun Up Shirt Dress ($89)

REI Co-op Sun Up Shirt Dress

This lightweight and stylish safari dress is a great choice. The REI Co-op Sun Up dress will keep you cool in the sun with lightweight, fast-drying fabric. It’s also great as it will dry overnight after a quick wash along the in your washbasin.

The outer layer of fabric is treated with (DWR) which is great if you get caught in a rainstorm. The zippered pocket is also great for sticking a small sunblock tube or lip balm. The color choices and patterns are also super cute and feel appropriate in the bush or running errands around town.

Check Prices For REI Sun Dress

Patagonia Fleetwith Romper ($119)

Patagonia Fleetwith Romper may not be a safari dress, but it makes for tremendous safari wear.

We love Patagonia and love that their always looking to reduce their impact and improve the supply line. The Fleetwith is Bluesign certified and super comfortable. While the Fleetwith is available as a dress, we prefer the romper best.

It’s comfortable, fits just about anyone, and is practical when active or moving around. With the romper, you can easily feel comfortable on a bush flight, in the back of a game viewer, or on a bushwalk.

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. It’s a slam dunk in our books for eco-conscious travelers.

Check Prices For Patagonia Fleetwith

Scotch & Soda Safari Dress

This fashion-forward dress from Scotch & Soda delivers everything we could want in terms of style. The classic off-white look, cuffs, and buttons down the front are sure to 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 very lightweight and breathes super easy, so you’re comfortable and cool in the African sun.

Check Prices On Scotch & Soda Safari Dress

Bathing Suit

Swimsuit ($95)

One of the biggest travel regrets is missing out on something. We almost always carry a spare bathing suit, even on a safari. Plenty of great beach lodges make for a wonderful and relaxing end to a busy safari. You can read about the best hotels in Zanzibar or Diani Beach!

One of the best brands for swimsuits I’ve found is Andie Swim. They make amazing swimsuits that fit as nicely as they look. Many of their pieces are stylish yet supportive. You are warned you will love them!

Check Prices For Andie Swimsuits

Safari Jacket

I would say no matter what season you go on safari, you should at least bring a warm fleece jacket (maybe even a down jacket) with you just in case it gets cold (which it probably will). However, if you want something a bit more stylish for warmth and photos, I recommend a nice safari jacket.

KUHL Jacket ($169)

Safari Jacket

I love Kuhl products, and this safari jacket is no different. This safari jacket for women is packable, lightweight, and perfect for all sorts of travel – not just on safari.

The zippered chest and hand pockets provide storage for any extra goods you’ll need on safari, and a hood zips into the collar. This jacket also has an internal drawcord at the waist to cinch it in and make it more fitting.

Check Prices For Safari Jacket

Orvis Pack-And-Go Travel Jacket ($149)

Orvis Pack and Go Lightweight Women's Jacket

If you’re looking for something versatile and packed with style, the Orvis Pack and Go is a great choice. This adorable mid-thigh travel jacket is wind and water-resistant, has a stowaway hood, and loads of space and hidden pockets.

The fit is very complimenting, cinching at the waist, and the colors are fairly muted, making this jacket the perfect pairing to almost any outfit! The polyester blend also resists wrinkling, which is excellent because it comes with its own stuff sack so you can pack and go. 

A large downside for us is the use of polyester. It’s a cheaper material and one of the best ways to distinguish high-end vs more affordable options. Polyester has a lower fail rate, easier to snag, and requires a weather-resistant coating to remain water-resistant, which breaks down over time.

Check Prices For Pack-And-Go Travel Jacket

Women’s Safari Boots

You’ll be sitting in a car for most of your African safari. I actually wear flip-flops quite a bit unless I am going on a bushwalk in which good women’s travel shoes are needed. You don’t want to have to run from a buffalo in bad shoes (joking)!

I would suggest bringing at least one pair of durable sandals (I personally have had my Rainbow sandals for five years and counting), and one good pair of women’s safari boots.

Danner Mountain 600 ($180)

Danner Mountain 600 Mens Travel Boots

If it’s looking like you might need something a little heavier than the standard shoe, then take a close look at the Danner Mountain 600 Boot.

Danner has been building boots since 1932, and in that time, they crafted some of the footwear for the U.S. Marine Corps, so you can bet they know what they’re doing.

The Mountain 600 is a perfect balance between performance and aesthetics. You’ll have a rugged boot that can take anything you throw at it but appear like you’re wearing stylish leather city kicks. They are completely waterproof and feature a comfortable, shock-absorbing midsole, perfect for a few trail adventures during the day, then heading back into the city for the evening. The more rugged construction also means a longer break-in period, so wear them around at home before you take off.

Check Prices For Danner Boots

Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger ($329)


I think Red Wing comes in a close second for boot brands, and they’re also made in the USA. These boots are both functional and stylish. Designed with quality materials and solid craftsmanship. Red Wing’s Heritage Iron Ranger has a high ankle and steel toe for great protection beyond the bush.

They’re rugged, chic, and sexy for both sexes. To me, it all comes down to the superb leather they use to construct their boots. When you buy a classic pair of boots like these, you’re making an investment in your feet.

If I was considering a serious self-drive safari into the deep bush, I’d go for a pair of steel-toe boots. I love these boots and the Apaches because they are some of the best damn boots in terms of style, quality, comfort, and longevity. You can’t go wrong with a classic. Now all you need is a hat and a good camera for the safari.

Check Prices For Red Wing Boots

Merrell Women’s Moab 2 ($130)

Best Travel Boots - Merrel Moabs

Merrell is a great boot brand. They specialize in hiking shoes, so you know your feet will be comfortable for walking long distances. The boots are a blend of leather, textile, and synthetic. They are waterproof, comfortable, have rubber soles, and have high ankles.

The soles themselves are specially designed to grip, so they grip in muddy or wet conditions. It’s unlikely you’ll ever go for a bushwalk in rainy conditions.

I would suggest these boots for someone going gorilla trekking in the jungle or climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. We started off this list with the typical “safari boots” that are leather and stylish. However, these are more about practicality and value.

Check Prices for Moab 2

Blundstone Leather Boot ($229)

Blundstone Leather Boot Safari Boot

These are a solid go-to for safari for a stylish women’s boot. It has great tread, insoles, and strong arch support, making it much more than a stylish boot for women.

Not only can these boots feel comfortable in a more formal or stylish event, but they’re equally at home on a ranch or going for a walk in the woods. An EVA footbed with special technology in the heels ensures all-day comfort.

The boots are made of thick soft leather and feature strong stitching. Best of all, they are comfortable! I love the slip-on fit, and the pull tabs make it easy to put on and take off. As a tip, I’d pick up some leather treatment to protect the boot and add a level of water resistance. Altogether they’re a tremendous safari boot for men.

Check Prices For Blundstones

The North Face Ballard Lace II ($119)

The North Face Ballard Lace II

I love the look of the North Face Ballard. These aren’t good just for safari, but they are also very stylish and go well during any season. The Ballards are made out of durable coated canvas and leather uppers.

They are great for walking for long periods with their OrthoLite footbed and blown rubber sidewalls. These boots are durable enough to last for years and have rust-proof hardware.

Check Prices For North Face Ballard

Safari Hat

Ants Hill

You don’t want your skin ruined from the harsh African sun and a hat is essential to every women’s safari costume. A safari hat is not just about fashion, but functions as it keeps the sun off your face. Since Africa is split into at the equator expect strong UV rays. No accessory is better suited or more fashionable than a hat on safari — it just feels right and never out of place.

Filson Tin Packer Hat ($70)

Filson Tin Packer Hat safari hat

This 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.

Check Prices For Tin Packer

Dorfman Pacific All-Season Crushable Hat ($54)

Dorfman Pacific All-Season Crushable Hat Safari Hat

Oh my, I love this safari hat for women. It’s made of wool felt and 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!

Check Prices For Dorfman Pacific

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. It’s made of cotton treated with oil, 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 on the list.

Check Prices For Kodiak Oilskin Hat

Safari Bag

Safari Dress

You’ll need a good safari bag to carry and pack all these women’s safari clothes into. If you’re going on safari chances are you may be taking a bush flight or two. I would recommend packing light as most of these small plans severely limit you on weight.

We have been on flights where we are only allowed 15 kg’s a person and some flights that allow us to have 25 kgs. Make sure only to pack what you need.

Polare Genuine Leather Weekender Safari Duffel ($160)

Polare Genuine Leather Weekender Safari Duffel Safari Bag

I like Polare Bags for their supreme quality.  I break down some of my other favorite safari bags here.

This 23″ bag is stylish, strong, and made of cowhide. If you think it looks great in the photos, wait until the product ages a bit! This bag is beautiful for both men and women on safari, and at less than $200, the price is great too!

Check Prices For Safari Bags

Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag ($139)

The Patagonia Black Hole bag is a staple for adventure travel and one of the best safari bags. The bag can pack down small when empty, so it’s great to stick in your bag.

It is also plenty easy to stuff and organize, thanks to the large U-shaped zipper and two mesh pockets on the top flap. It’s lightweight, which is important when you have strict weight allowances on bush planes.

Check Prices For Patagonia Black Hole

Saddleback Front Pocket Daypack ($550)

Saddleback Front Pocket Daypack

They only use sturdy materials on their bags, including full-grain leather, pigskin lining, and marine-grade polyester thread. The lower back section is padded with Neoprene, and the shoulder straps are completely adjustable.

No, this bag won’t hold all your luggage but is perfect for an overnight bag or as a carry-on addition to your main luggage. We also choose this bag as our go-to for safari bags!

Saddleback Leather makes some of the best quality backpacks – hands down. Their leather backpacks are the best daypacks on the market. They aren’t cheap by any means, but they are quality. Saddleback Leather ensures its products with a 100-year warranty.

Check Prices For Saddleback Bag

Herschel Classics Little America Daypack ($99)

Herschel Classics Little America Daypack

You’ve definitely seen this daypack before. Herschel makes a classic backpack with styles from mountaineering bags back in the day.

They have a classic look, and it’s simple backpacks. No, this isn’t a heavy-duty travel daypack meant to tackle mountains, but with a great look and affordable price, we’ll take it.

I appreciate the features, such as the drawstring top, while the polyester exterior does a decent job at water repellency and durability.

Check Prices For Herschel Classics

Lowepro Flipside 300 ($100)

Lowepro Flipside 300

These guys have been making camera equipment for decades and know what it takes to protect camera gear. They looked at what they needed from a great photography daypack and built it.

The pack has padded compartments designed to hold lenses and cameras. It has a weather-resistant rain cover and a sturdy design that protects your gear.

This is one of the camera bags we currently carry, and it’s been a nice addition to our camera gear. My only complaint with this daypack is the straps on the daypack don’t feel very robust – they strain under heavy load. It doesn’t hold a robust amount of camera gear, but it is great as an all-around bag. The bag is perfect for everyday travel with a laptop compartment, a large top section, a divided camera section, a water bottle/tripod holder, and a small pocket.

Check Prices For LowePro Flip

Safari Accessories

Buff Headwear ($15)

buff headband

We both travel around with buff headbands, and they’re some of our favorite travel accessories that we’ve recommended a handful of times. They’re great for keeping sweat out of our eyes on a hike.

Or in dust out of your face when riding down a dusty road, which you’ll need on Safari. They offer sun protection, can act as a scarf, and many other things. Buy one and fall in love with it.

Check Prices For Buffs

Grayl Ultralight Water Bottle ($59)

Grayl Ultralight Water Bottle

It’s not advisable to drink tap water in most of Africa. We previously used the Lifestraw Go for all those times during our travels when the water was questionable. However, over time we became annoyed with the water bottle as the filter aged and clogged. Plus, the bottle leaks when it is on its side.

We now switched to the Grayl Ultralight Purifier. It’s a more simplistic design than the Lifestraw that is more effective and does not leak. Most importantly, it is a purifier, not a filter. The Grayl water bottle system purifies water vs. filters, removing viruses and virtually all threats of waterborne illnesses.

Check Prices For Grayl

Smith Lowdown 2 Sunglasses ($129)

Make sure to protect your eyes from the sun when you’re traveling. There are many sunglasses options; everyone should own at least a pair. It’s best to ensure they have UV protection for the health of your eyes.

We first invested in quality polarized sunglasses with a pair of SMITH Optics Lowdown 2. Truthfully, not everyone needs to invest $150 in a pair of sunglasses, but they do make a huge difference from the crappy $10 ones.

Added bonus polarized sunglasses help with contrast and spotting wildlife. It can be really dusty in the back of a game vehicle. Then much of East Africa sits on the equator, which means UV rays are much stronger, so eye protection is super important.

Check Prices For Sunglasses

Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 ($250)

Nikon Monarch - Best Compact Binoculars

A great safari accessory to have is a pair of safari binoculars. Nikon has long been a reputable name in the field of binocular manufacturing, and the Monarch is an excellent example.

The 42mm lens diameter allows for excellent low-light viewing, while the body itself is built for extreme use – sounds perfect for a safari, doesn’t it?

Rubber armored body and entirely waterproof, this pair will hold up to the elements as you dive into the wilderness. Moreover, the Monarch offers a very long eye relief (the distance from the viewing lens to your eye), which maximizes eye comfort for extended viewing and is perfect if you wear glasses.

Check Prices For Nikon Monarch

What To Look For in Women’s Safari Clothes

Best Safari Shorts


I wouldn’t recommend dirt cheap safari clothing for women. African elements can be especially tough on clothing, so you will want to ensure you get quality clothing. The key things to avoid are fast fashion companies, and brands such as H&M, Zara, or Forever21. Good quality clothing uses more robust fabrics, smart design (gusseted and articulated panels), and double stitching.


One of the first ways we pick out fashion and outdoor wear is to look at the material used in the pants. Even in a store, one of the first things we do is check the tags to see the materials used because it will speak to the quality and performance more than any marketing ever will.


Lightweight, synthetic, quick-dry clothing is great for Africa and is what you should look for in your women’s safari outfit. Synthetic fabrics have great durability, quick-dry properties, stretch, comfort, and strength. However, the downside to nylon and polyester is that they are petroleum-based products and support the “dirty industry.” However, they are plastic-based products, so it’s possible to find recycled nylon materials in clothing.

There are a couple of synthetic materials to avoid, most notably Rayon. It can be billed as a “natural” product because it is plant-based. However, when manufactured, it releases many toxic chemicals that are horrendous for the environment. It may feel soft to touch at first; however, it’s difficult to clean, prone to stretching, incredibly weak, and it often pills. This is often found in cheap fashion.

Our favorite synthetic material is Nylon, with an obvious reference to the recycled version of the product. We love GORE-TEX for rain jackets, but it should be noted that is simply a robust layered Nylon material with Polyurethane.


There are several natural materials used in outdoor clothing we love to see, such as hemp, cotton, wool, and linen. Everyone is familiar with cotton, which is a great product for its value, durability, comfort, and warmth. However, it does a poor job at moisture management.

This means it’s slow to dry when hand washed on the road, poor for sweat management, and can make you cold in wet environments. Also, if possible, opt for organic cotton as regular commercial cotton accounts for around 90% of all insecticides used in farming, so it actually makes a massive impact.

Cotton is not our favorite. Instead, we recommend going for hemp, wool, or linen. I love hemp as natural material and wish that it was used more in the fashion industry. It’s durable, handles moisture well, breathes, and feels really great to the touch.

Wool is a favorite of many, and for good reason. It’s one of the best materials out there for handling moisture and providing warmth. However, it’s also pretty pricey, and it’s easy to spend over $100 on a shirt.

The brands on this list best for using sustainable organic materials are prAna, Patagonia, Fjallraven, and Filson. They all make high-quality products and share a passion for our environment. Patagonia has long led by example, demanding suppliers to meet their controls and inspections.


Avoid having a jumbo suitcase and pack safari clothes for women that can be interchanged with different safari outfits for women. I particularly like having one long skirt or dress, one pair of shorts, and two pairs of pants which all go well with some plain colored shirts. This is particularly important if you plan to take bush flights where you are limited to 15kgs of luggage.


Black yoga pants with no pockets are wonderful, just not on safari. Always keep in mind how practical something is. Things like having pockets can make or break good safari wear. Where else will you stash things like lip balm, sunscreen, or even a pair of binoculars?

The day-to-day wear of clothes is the most important 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 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 is 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 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 are believed to attract tsetse flies. Trust us; you do not want to become familiar with tsetse flies!

For example, when gorilla trekking, it is advised to wear long pants and greens. When on foot, wearing colors that blend well into the environment and a good pair of safari boots is always advised.

Tips on Women’s Safari Clothing

Safari Dresses for AFrica

Color Choices for a Women’s Safari Outfit

I love greens, beige, and khaki just as much as the next wannabe Merryl Streep in Out of Africa. However, the truth of the matter is you will spend a lot of time in a car while 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.

Avoid Dark Blue


The dreaded Tsetse fly is said to be attracted to dark blue colors. Avoid dressing in these colors unless you want to become a target.

Layers are Key

Layering is essential when it comes to safari clothes for women. Game drives usually start early and end late when it is cold. In the middle of the day, temperatures can soar, so shedding some layers will save you a heat stroke. Always make sure to check the weather for the season you are visiting Africa. It’s not one big giant hot continent.

Safari Clothes Are Not Required

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.

Don’t Forget a Jacket

Is it the rainy season where you are heading? Make sure to take note and pack for wet days if it is. I make some suggestions in this post on great lightweight jackets for travel.

Fashion Sense

Being in Africa doesn’t mean you can’t be stylish. For some style, make sure to pick out a few fashionable safari clothing items for your trip.

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 suggested camps and lodges and 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 daily pricing, which allows you 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 Africa. Get one before you get there so you don’t pay a premium on the ground.
About Natasha

Natasha is the co-founder of The World Pursuit. She is an expert in travel, budgeting, and finding unique experiences. She loves to be outside, hiking in the mountains, playing in the snow on her snowboard, and biking. She has been traveling for over 10 years, across 7 continents, experiencing unique cultures, new food, and meeting fantastic people. She strives to make travel planning and traveling easier for all. Her advice about international travel, outdoor sports, and African safari has been featured on Lonely Planet, Business Insider, and Reader’s Digest.

Learn more about Natasha Alden on The World Pursuit About Us Page.

3 thoughts on “The Best Safari Clothes for Women (Outfit Ideas)”

  1. Forget dresses, your thighs will just stick together and you will be uncomfortable. Vests are unnecessary unless you need the extra pockets for lenses and such. Unless you are on a walking safari, forget high top boots. Sneakers or trail runners are really all you need. A light scarf is good for multiple uses including covering face when ride is dusty, extra warmth on cool mornings and evenings. There’s no fashion show happening, so pack practically and minimally. You’ll not miss the frills at all.

  2. You didn’t read the post, as it clearly states all of that. Sneakers won’t work for every destination as acacia thorns are a real threat. And there is nothing wrong with wanting to look good, many people take a safari once in a lifetime, so if they’re going to look good, they have every right.

  3. Thank you for the great article. Such great advice! Practical…and stylish is what I’m aiming for on our upcoming trip to Tanzania. No reason not to look cute on safari…I love dressing for the occasion but I won’t be packing anything that I don’t intend to wear often…and it all needs to fit in one bag. On my last safari trip my go-to favorites were a khaki-green romper (shorts/short-sleeve)) and jumpsuit (long pants/long sleeve), which I lived in every day…and a cotton-gauze tank dress for evenings…and of course, my Blundstone boots which I wore every day with every outfit. I wish I read this before my first trip when I packed all the wrong things.

Leave a Comment