Dressing for an African safari

January 18, 2017

what to wear on safariYou probably already know that I went on my first safari last year. i know, I live in Africa. I know. But, I haven’t really been the most outdoorsy person ever. Picnics in the rose garden and the beach are usually as far as it goes. I’ve always wanted to hike Machu Picchu but I’ve got to psych myself up for that. Probably for years.

Part of the reason I’d never gone on safari was the whole ‘camping’ thing. I couldn’t bring myself to pack a backpack and make my own food on the fire. That’s not my idea of a holiday. So I went to Marataba Safari Lodge for my first experience. I spoke about the experience in this post, so go have a look if you want to know more.

Before the trip, I have to say that I freaked out a little. I had no idea what to wear, what was going to happen and basically felt that I was going to make a fool of myself everyday. A quick google search made things even worse. I found articles that stated certain colours would make certain insects attracted to you and I was alarmed, to say the least. I have a minimal wardrobe, not one that has items of clothing for every occasion. Every occasion in the city yes, but I’m not partial to the neutrals and khakis I saw in all the ‘inspiration’ photos. I ended up taking a set of items and no one batted an eyelid. Yes, I was wearing a cotton-cashmere blend sweater that looked better at work, but it kept me warm and I think practically is key. I really did keep it practical. I am NOT a fan of that jersey and black pants combo, but it worked.

I chose light pants in black to wear in the evenings, a muted blue pant that I felt was camouflage (it wasn’t), flip flops for lazing around the tent, my Nike Roshe Runs for all the drives and a light jersey. The jersey was not close to warm enough but our game vehicles always had warm blankets so I survived. Please take a hat, even if you don’t have one, go buy one. It is so necessary. I am obsessed with my Cotton On denim shorts so I took them and paired all my items with white t-shirts and shirts.

Looking at the photos makes me feel like I did okay. No one stared me down while I was there, success!

If you really want to pack well, here’s what you can include (if the weather is going to be warm):

  1. Light long pants for dinners and morning drives
  2. A good wind-breaking jacket for early morning and night drives
  3. Your swimsuit (if the lodge has a pool)
  4. Loose long sleeve shirts in white or neutrals (longer sleeves block the sun as well as help prevent insect bites)
  5. Medium length shorts for day drives and walks
  6. Good walking shoes that you’re comfortable in
  7. flat sandals or shoes for meals and between drives

The list could go on, let me know if you’d like to me do a full safari-packing post!

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