The Ultimate Guide to Safari Outfits: What to Wear on Safari

Embarking on a safari adventure is an exhilarating experience, but it requires careful planning, especially when it comes to your wardrobe. Choosing the right safari outfit is essential for comfort, safety, and blending into the environment. This guide will help you determine what to wear on safari, ensuring you are well-prepared for the adventure of a lifetime.

Understanding the Safari Environment

Before diving into specific clothing recommendations, it’s crucial to understand the typical conditions you’ll encounter on a safari:

  • Climate: Safari destinations often have hot days and cool nights, with temperatures varying significantly. Layering is key.
  • Terrain: You’ll be traversing through savannas, forests, and possibly mountainous regions. Sturdy, comfortable footwear is a must.
  • Wildlife: Neutral colors are essential to avoid attracting insects and blending in with the natural surroundings.

Essential Safari Outfit Components

1. Shirts and Tops

  • Neutral Colors: Opt for earth tones like khaki, beige, olive, and brown. These colors blend well with the environment and minimize disturbance to wildlife.
  • Long Sleeves: Long-sleeved shirts protect against the sun, insects, and scratches from vegetation. Lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton or linen are ideal.
  • Moisture-Wicking Materials: During hot days, moisture-wicking fabrics help keep you cool and dry.

2. Pants and Shorts

  • Convertible Pants: These are perfect for varying temperatures. You can start with full-length pants in the morning and convert them to shorts as the day warms up.
  • Durable Fabrics: Choose pants made from sturdy materials that can withstand rough terrain and resist tears.
  • Comfort: Ensure your pants or shorts allow for easy movement and comfort during long hours of walking or sitting in a vehicle.

3. Footwear

  • Sturdy Hiking Boots: A good pair of broken-in hiking boots provides ankle support and protection. Opt for waterproof options if you’re visiting during the rainy season.
  • Comfortable Sandals: For downtime at the lodge or camp, bring a pair of comfortable sandals.

4. Outerwear

  • Light Jacket or Fleece: Early mornings and evenings can be chilly, so pack a light jacket or fleece.
  • Rain Gear: A lightweight, waterproof jacket or poncho is essential during the rainy season.

5. Accessories

  • Hat: A wide-brimmed hat provides sun protection. Look for one with a chin strap to keep it secure in windy conditions.
  • Sunglasses: Polarized sunglasses reduce glare and protect your eyes from the harsh sun.
  • Scarf or Bandana: These versatile accessories can protect against dust, sun, and even serve as a makeshift pillow.
  • Insect Repellent: Insect-repellent clothing or sprays are crucial in areas prone to mosquitoes and other insects.

Additional Tips for Safari Attire

  • Avoid Bright Colors: Bright colors and patterns can attract unwanted attention from insects and disturb wildlife.
  • Layering: Mornings and evenings can be cold, while midday can be extremely hot. Layering allows you to adjust to changing temperatures.
  • Comfort Over Style: While looking good is nice, prioritize comfort and practicality. Safari clothes are designed for functionality.
  • Sun Protection: Besides wearing a hat and sunglasses, consider clothing with built-in UV protection.

Packing Checklist

Here’s a handy checklist to ensure you have all the essential items for your safari adventure:

  • Long-sleeved shirts (3-4)
  • Short-sleeved shirts (2-3)
  • Convertible pants (2 pairs)
  • Shorts (1-2 pairs)
  • Sturdy hiking boots
  • Comfortable sandals
  • Light jacket or fleece
  • Rain jacket or poncho
  • Wide-brimmed hat
  • Polarized sunglasses
  • Scarf or bandana
  • Insect repellent
  • Moisture-wicking socks
  • Underwear
  • Swimsuit (if your lodge has a pool)
  • Toiletries and personal items


Choosing the right safari outfit is crucial for a comfortable and enjoyable experience. By focusing on neutral colors, layering, and durable materials, you’ll be well-prepared for the varying conditions of the safari environment. Remember, the key is to blend in, stay comfortable, and protect yourself from the elements. Happy adventuring!

FAQs about Safari Outfits: What to Wear on Safari

1. Why are neutral colors recommended for safari outfits?

Neutral colors such as khaki, beige, olive, and brown help you blend into the natural environment. This minimizes disturbances to wildlife and reduces the likelihood of attracting insects.

2. What type of fabric is best for safari clothing?

Lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, and moisture-wicking materials are ideal. These fabrics keep you cool in the heat and comfortable throughout the day.

3. Should I wear long sleeves or short sleeves on safari?

Long sleeves are recommended as they provide protection against the sun, insects, and vegetation. However, it’s also good to have a few short-sleeved shirts for hotter parts of the day.

4. What kind of pants should I wear on safari?

Convertible pants are a great option as they can be adjusted from full-length to shorts, accommodating temperature changes. Ensure the pants are durable and comfortable for movement.

5. What footwear is suitable for a safari?

Sturdy, broken-in hiking boots are essential for support and protection. Additionally, bring a pair of comfortable sandals for relaxing at the lodge or camp.

6. Do I need a hat for a safari?

Yes, a wide-brimmed hat is crucial for sun protection. Choose one with a chin strap to keep it secure in windy conditions.

7. What should I bring for cooler mornings and evenings?

Pack a light jacket or fleece to keep warm during early mornings and evenings when temperatures can drop.

8. Is rain gear necessary on a safari?

If you’re visiting during the rainy season, a lightweight, waterproof jacket or poncho is essential to stay dry and comfortable.

9. How can I protect myself from insects on safari?

Wear long sleeves and pants, use insect repellent, and consider clothing treated with insect-repellent chemicals to protect against mosquitoes and other insects.

10. Can I wear bright colors on safari?

It’s best to avoid bright colors and patterns as they can attract insects and disturb wildlife. Stick to neutral, earth tones.

11. What other accessories should I bring on safari?

In addition to a hat and sunglasses, consider bringing a scarf or bandana for protection against dust and sun, as well as a pair of polarized sunglasses to reduce glare.

12. Do I need special socks for a safari?

Moisture-wicking socks are recommended to keep your feet dry and comfortable, especially if you’ll be doing a lot of walking.

13. Is it necessary to bring a swimsuit?

If your lodge or camp has a pool, bringing a swimsuit is a good idea for relaxation during downtime.

14. How should I pack for a safari?

Layering is key. Pack a mix of long-sleeved and short-sleeved shirts, convertible pants, sturdy footwear, and essential accessories like a hat and sunglasses. Be prepared for varying temperatures and weather conditions.

15. What should I do if I’m unsure about the safari dress code?

Check with your safari operator or lodge for specific dress code recommendations. They can provide guidance based on the region and time of year you’ll be visiting.