What To Wear On An African Safari

  • Bunnik Tours
  • 22 May 24

Going on an African safari? Learn our hacks and dress the part with our essential guide to packing for an African safari adventure.

Okavango Delta, Botswana by Graham Meale

Okavango Delta, Botswana by Graham Meale

Have you ever wondered why there seems to be a universal dress code for African safari-goers? It turns out there are good reasons for it. Make sure you are well-prepared with the essentials for your next safari adventure and don’t forget your bug spray!




How to pack for an African safari

For starters, pack your belongings in a soft bag as no suitcases are allowed due to luggage restrictions. In Africa, there is often limited storage space in light aircraft and safari vehicles. Your bags will sometimes need to be squished into different vehicles and piled on top of your fellow traveller’s bags. To make this possible, it is essential that they are malleable! Too much clothing is unnecessary; pack light as most safari lodges offer laundry facilities. Consider packing hacks to save space, plan your outfits and opt for convertible clothing like zip-off trousers that turn into shorts or a zip-off fleece that turns into a vest. Don’t forget your swimsuit to cool off in the pool back at the lodge!


Bring your essentials

As with any journey, remember to bring your ‘hard to buy’ items with you such as toiletries, prescription medication, sunscreen, insect spray and anything else you can’t go without.


Travel with a first aid kit

It is also good travelling practice to carry a small well stocked first aid kit for unexpected illness or injury, including painkillers, gastro-stop, anti-nausea, antihistamines, antiseptic cream, Band-Aids etc.


What to wear on an African safari

  1. Layers; tank or t-shirt plus a linen shirt/light long-sleeved overshirt
  2. Utility trousers/ linen trousers
  3. Sunglasses
  4. Hat
  5. Walking boots
  6. Light fleece (for cooler temperatures)
  7. Light scarf/wrap
  8. Day pack


Choosing the right footwear for safari

Sturdy and comfortable walking shoes are a must for an African safari, ideally boots that cover your ankles. Enclosed footwear is a must, but you don’t want to bring anything too heavy which will weigh down your suitcase - unless you plan on wearing them throughout your whole journey!

A pair of thongs or light hiking sandals, which you can pack in your bag to take on safari, will be perfect for time spent back at the lodge and around the pool. This goes without saying - heels won’t be required here!


What not to wear on an African safari

  • Don’t wear bright-coloured clothing as it will draw attention to you and scare off the wildlife.
  • Avoid ‘camo print’ clothing as some African countries reserve this pattern for military personnel only.
  • Dark colours attract Tsetse flies.
  • White-coloured clothing will quickly show dirt and dust, opt for neutral colours like greens, olives, browns and khakis.


When to go on safari

It’s always a good time to go to Africa, as it is such large continent conditions vary greatly and different regions come alive throughout the year. If there’s something special you’d like to see we’ve put together some seasonal highlights of Africa so you can plan your trip accordingly.


The best view on safari

Whether you’re tracking the wildebeest Great Migration or attempting to spot one of the elusive endangered species of Africa it helps to have binoculars on hand. Seasoned safari goers deem these as an essential item for a day out on the plains. A light pair will be perfect on foot or for game drives and will ensure you get the most out of the experience.


Come on an African safari tour with us!

Is safari for you? At Bunnik Tours, we pride ourselves on our ability to create unique, once-in-a-lifetime small group tours. We aim to ensure all Bunnik Tours travellers enjoy their trip, so we work with you to ensure you’re on the right tour for your fitness level.

Travellers continue to choose us for their small group tour adventures and we’re proud to say we’ve won awards for our commitment to touring experiences.


Frequently Asked Questions

What colour should I avoid wearing on safari?

Blue, as it is most visible to animals, it is best to stick to neutral colours to blend into the surrounding environment.


Do you dress up for dinner on safari?

Casual dress is fine, most camps and lodges will have a relaxed dress code so there's no need to dress too formally.


Can I wear sneakers on safari?

You can wear sneakers on safari but it’s preferable to wear hiking boots that cover your ankles. Choose shoes that are light, comfortable, and previously worn in. Trail shoes are also a great option.


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