Going on a safari is one of my most favorite things to do, and living in South Africa I am often lucky enough to experience it. We go to the bush a couple of times a year, and in South Africa you really are spoilt for choice as there are many game parks available for all budget ranges. Personally, the Kruger National Park is my favorite but I have been to many smaller lodges that have also been amazing to visit. Recently with local travel being allowed again, I thought that I would compile this post of what clothes to pack on a safari if you are planning a local trip, or if you are from overseas, then this is a great guide for you on what to pack when visiting South Africa for your first safari!
Since its currently August, the weather is neither here nor there- its rather cold in the evenings but the days are hot! When packing for a safari you have to consider the weather, but because my recent trip was a bit of both, I have some outfits to include here to show you for both seasons.
Colder season(April- August)
The nights are very chilly, and what always gets to me is the crazy wind! When travelling on an open-air game vehicle, keep in mind that you have no protection from the wind and if it’s a cold day, you can absolutely freeze your bones off.
Sweaters in soft colors such as green, beige, brown and grey. Remember that when packing for a safari, you want to try and keep the colors as neutral as possible, to avoid disturbing the animals with any loud prints or shades. I am an avid lover of pink and yellow, but a safari is not the time to wear it. Also avoid camo prints, even though it might be tempting.
Jeans and cargo pants in neutral colours. I wouldn’t actually recommend white as my pants got quite dusty in the picture, so try and rather wear beige, brown or grey if you can.
Linen shirts in soft colours.
Windbreakers, puffy jackets or anything that will keep you warm including beanies and gloves. The 5am morning safari rides are absolutely gorgeous, but you can’t even feel your fingers while on the drive!
Sneakers, comfy shoes and flat boots. Absolutely no heels are ever required for a safari. I find combat boots a bit too bulky for a safari(and a pain to pack) so I love my Chelsea boots for this. Absolutely no suede, you have no idea how dusty you get on a safari ride!
Felt hats to hide from the sun in an open-air vehicle and to style up your outfit! I am a fan, as you can tell but hold on to it while on the vehicle! It might just fly right off your head.
The days can get VERY hot, but the nights are lovely. Stick with the same color palette, and while I don’t always recommend any prints on a safari, it adds a bit more fun in the summer time(just make sure its matching your surroundings appropriately). Stick to light fabrics like linen and soft cotton.
Midi and maxi dresses in either solid colors or non-busy patterns. The reason I don’t recommend a mini dress, is that it is simply uncomfortable while you are getting on and off the game vehicle, which is quite high. Midi dresses are a lot more comfy in a situation like this.
Neutral colored T-Shirts and linen shorts. It gets so hot in the day sometimes so bring some shorts and pair them with simple Tees, or a linen shirt.
Beige jumpsuits(either long or short). Very safari chic, and can be worn to a fancy dinner at the lodge as well. As I said I don’t recommend bringing a mini dress on a safari, but a nice short linen jumpsuit could work.
Sandals and trainers– again no heels are ever needed for a safari.
Sunhats, sunblock and sunglasses.
Cute swimming costumes to take a dip in your lodge after a game drive.
I know its tempting to pack an animal print with you on safari, and I am on the fence about this one. Personally, I like a leopard or zebra print however you don’t want to scare off the animals with a bright print, so I would say do it but only for the pictures. Actual useful things that you need to bring is mosquito repellent, binoculars and your camera!