Pack light, but smart by taking safari essentials and leaving as much as possible at home. Use light-weight layers suitable for the African climate. In some safari terrains proper footwear will be the most important thing to choose, and often you will not have to consider rainwear at all.
- Light, technical, casual clothing
Generally light, technical, casual clothing works everywhere and a few light layers are more sensible than heavy jackets or bulky clothing.
- Shorts and shirts/blouses for day time
Neutral colours preferred (khaki, green, brown). As a guideline 2 pairs of long pants/ trousers, 2 pairs of shorts, 2 long sleeved shirts and 1 short sleeve shirt will suffice for a 10 day safari.
- Long-sleeved shirts and trousers in the evenings
Long trousers and shirts will provide additional protection against insects at night but also against the sun and any rough brush during the day.
- Minimise on travel accessories
Leave fins, goggles and gadgets at home. Make sure there is electricity where you are headed!
- Formal clothing isn’t needed except for business
A neat scarf or similar light accessory will add a touch of style for a smart evening in the city without denting the baggage allowance.
- Light waterproof outer shell or a lightweight poncho
During the wet season a light waterproof outer shell or a lightweight poncho will do the trick. (If you take raingear then remember to take extra plastic bags or Ziploc bags for separating wet from dry kit in your luggage.)
- No camouflage
Camouflage is reserved for the military, and is also often is worn by game poachers; try to avoid being mistaken for either one. Avoid white (you’ll stand out in the bush). Avoid dark colours especially black and blue (if tsetse flies are around, you’ll attract them).
- A jersey or fleece
This could be needed during the cooler evenings. Plan on bringing some layers if you’re going to be out doing any night drives whilst on safari.
- Swimming or beachwear
Beach wear guidelines are universal. One consideration throughout East Africa is the sensitivity of the largely Muslim population, where it is considered offensive for women to expose knees or shoulders. This is relaxed on the beach or in the bush, but please bear it in mind when in transit or staying in the cities.
- Sleepwear, underwear and socks
- Sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat
Further recommended reading:
Ask an expert
We've helped first-timers and seasoned travellers in Africa since 1995. We can help you take advantage of mainstream options.
Better still we'll show you how and where to step off well beaten paths for the more interesting journeys.
Drop a note right here...