If you’re getting ready for your upcoming safari trip and looking for outfits that are practical, versatile and comfortable, we have the ideal guideline for you.

Here’s a list of our top suggestions for safari outfits. 

Safari clothing: What should you pack?

When packing for a safari trip in South Africa, visitors should think cool and comfy clothing and safari outfits. Light materials and neutral tones such as beige, khaki, brown and green great for both keeping cool and blending in with the natural surroundings.

Casual clothing is suitable for just about any African safari, and apart from selecting neutral or muted coloured clothing, safari clothing is generally comfortable and easy. 

Minimise your visibility in the bush by avoiding bright colours such as reds, oranges and blues. Other colours to avoid wearing are darker colours such as navy and black, which can attract tsetse flies. It is best to steer clear of camouflage clothing as this is associated with trophy hunters and military personnel in many African countries. 

Suitcase packed for travel

Layering is key 

Layering your safari outfits is the most practical way to cope with fluctuating temperatures in the bush. As the day heats up, you can peel a layer off, and when it begins to cool down, you can add another layer.

Pack in plenty of t-shirts and long sleeve sweaters with collars which help protect your skin from the sun and mosquitoes. A pair of “safari trousers” that that turn into shorts like these are a great choice too. Ladies, consider packing a sports bra as game drives can be a little rough.

Warm clothing

It is a common misconception that South Africa is always warm. In fact, winters can be freezing, especially during morning game drives. While the sun is certainly out in summer, the mornings can have a chill to them.

Here, your layers will come in handy so that you can take off or add as it is needed. Bring a waterproof jacket with you for chilly mornings and evenings, when there is a chance of rain. If you’re travelling in winter, squeeze in a pair of gloves and a beanie if you can!

A comfortable pair of sneakers or hiking boots

Take a good pair of sneakers or shoes for the game drives and pack in a pair of flip flops or sandals for downtime around the lodge. If you plan on doing a walking safari or a hiking tour up Table Mountain or to the Drakensberg, pack in a pair of thick socks and heavy-duty hiking books. 

We’re a big fan of Salomon hiking boots and shoes. Trail running shoes will also be a good option.

A wide-brimmed hat

The strength of the African sun is powerful. It is essential that you pack a wide-brimmed hat to shade your face and the back of your neck. Neutral colours such as this wide-brimmed hat work well and generally tend to work well with multiple safari outfits.

Safari game drive in Malilangwe Reserve Zimbabwe

Sunscreen/sunblock

While out in the African bush, wear a sunscreen with a high SPF between 30 and 50 to protect your skin from the harsh sun rays. The lodges will more than likely have sunscreen available for guests, but it’s best to bring your own to use at your convenience. 

If you have sensitive skin, we suggest using a zinc oxide sunblock. 

Sunglasses

Pack a pair of sunglasses with you, as the glare from the sun can give you a headache or hurt your eyes.

A little glamour 

We’re not talking suits and evening gowns, just something a little glamourous for your candle-lit dinner under the African sky. While staying at a bush lodge or safari camp, you might want to you pack in a pretty dress or crisp shirt for dinner. 

If your travel itinerary includes a few nights on the luxurious Rovos Rail, you’ll need to pack in a few glam pieces. Dinners aboard the train are a stylish affair, so if you’re embarking on a rail journey pack in a pair of fancy shoes and black tie attire.

Curious about Rovos Rail? Read about our trip on this luxury steam train.

Check the weather 

Do your research online and check what the weather will be like during your vacation. If it is the middle of summer, you may not need plenty of winter gear. Remember to include your swimming suit and sarong!


We hope that you enjoyed reading this guideline on what to wear on safari in South Africa. If you have any more questions on what to pack share your question with us in the comment section below. 

If you need help planning your next safari, contact us today

We look forward to hearing from you! 

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