What to Wear on Safari • Ultimate Safari Outfit Packing List

Woman smiling and walking toward the camera while walking through the Serengeti on safari

You’ve booked your dream trip; an African safari. And now, the slight panic sets in because… what do you wear on safari? You’ve seen in documentaries people in head to toe tan, with dirt-covered boots and mosquito nets, but is actually what the ideal safari outfit looks like? I’m going to help you put together multiple safari outfit ideas so that you are dressed in a safe, functional, and maybe even cute way for this safari trip! So settle in and let’s look at some Africa safari outfits.

I specifically went to Tanzania for my 7-day safari, but these rules for a recommended safari outfit are pretty applicable to almost any safari in Africa (aside from gorilla trekking).

This safari packing guide is organized into the following sections:

Rules for What to Wear on Safari

And before we get started, I may receive commission if you make a purchase from some of the links in this list. However I promise I would never recommend something to you that I didn’t personally love. So these items are all vetted through yours truly and are 100% perfect for a safari outfit.

Colors Matter in Safari Outfits

The first time I typed “what to wear on Safari” in Google was because I wanted to know what colors and patterns I could get away with on my first safari. Turns out, not many! You see mostly earth tones from guides and naturalists because that’s what you need to wear to not stick out to the wildlife.

Here are some no go safari outfit colors:

  • Don’t wear black or dark blue because these colors attract tsetse flies
  • Don’t wear white, it doesn’t blend with any terrain
  • Avoid loud colors and patterns for the same reason as white
  • Avoid camouflage, this is reserved for military only

What colors are good to wear on safari?

  • Light earth tones; tans, browns, forest greens, and colors in that same vein
  • Either solid print or very minimal patterns aregoing to be ideal for your safari outfit

Dress in Light Fabrics and Layers

The mornings and evenings can be cool with warmer to hot afternoons, so you’ll definitely want to pack safari outfits that can be layered. It’s easiest to layer light fabrics, and you’ll definitely want things that are breathable so you don’t overheat. A safari outfit made of sweat-tastic fabrics is no good!

What fabrics to wear on safari?

  • Linen
  • Cotton
  • Polyestser
  • Silk
  • Anything lightweight and breathable

Pack Light

You’re going to be traveling between lodges or camps almost every day on your African safari, and you’re not going to want to be packing up a ton of clothes every time. So, I HIGHLY recommend you pack 2 or 3 outfits that you can mix and match items between.

I also packed using my Peak Design backpack and the Away Bigger Carry-On luggage, and these were easy to move with every day.

Keep Your Safari Outfits Simple

I know we’re all sort of convinced from movies we need these extravagant safari outfits, but I promise simple is better here. Form and function over fashion for sure; you’re going to be getting in and out of vehicles, standing up and down all day every day for however many days you’re on safari. But the best thing about some of my outfit recommendations below is that they’re still cute!

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Wear Long Sleeves and Pants

You’re going to want to protect yourself from the sun, the dirt/dust, and the elements, so I highly recommend wearing pants and for one of the layers of your safari outfit to be a long sleeve shirt of some sort. Not every layer needs to be long sleeves, but at least one.

Comfortable Shoes

If you’re not doing any sort of hiking or trekking on safari, your shoes won’t really matter as much. Our safari consisted of game drives for the most part, so I really just recommend something comfortable and neutral in color. This can be hiking boots or a sneaker; whichever would work.

But you will want something that isn’t going to get ruined by a little mud. Depending on what time of year you go on safari you may be walking in a little bit of mud at your hotel/camp site, lunch spot, or any other stops you make along the way.

Bring a Raincoat

Again, because of the weather I highly recommend a raincoat for your safari outfit. Because not only is it a light jacket that acts as a great outer layer should you need it, it’s also great in case you’re going on safari during the shoulder or rainier seasons.

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Safari Outfit Ideas

Looking for outfit ideas and inspiration for what to wear on safari? I’ve got you. Here are the outfits I wore during my safari:

Safari Outfit Idea 1 • Wayre

Wayre is a brand that sells sustainable and ethically-made travel clothing, and I found these outfits to be perfect for safari. They’re lightweight, they had great neutral colors, and they’re stink-proof!

Recommended products:

What to Wear On Safari Inspo 2 • Wayre

Another outfit from Wayre; this brand is a perfect solution for what to wear on safari.

Recommended products:

African Safari Outfit Idea 3 • Patagonia

This romper/jumpsuit was amazing. It was SUPER lightweight and very cute. I loved it as a cuter safari outfit, but as always remember that when wearing a jumpsuit you basically have to completely disrobe to use the restroom. I didn’t find it much trouble, but important to keep in mind!

Recommended products:

Safari Outfit Inspiration 4 • Patagonia + Amazon

This button up shirt was an absolute must and I wore it multiple times in multiple ways. I loved it. And I also paired it with these Amazon pants in addition to the previously mentioned jumpsuit.

Recommended products:

What to Wear On Safari • Shoe Ideas

Like I mentioned before, I would just go with comfort and color preference here. Find something earth toned that’s comfortable to wear. If you’re in the jeep all day for your safari, this won’t matter as much, but I would definitely steer clear of black and dark blue for the tsetse flies I mentioned before. And if you go with white, pick a shoe that is easy to clean mud and dirt off of.

Recommended products:

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So there you go, all the rules I learned around what to wear on safari. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out. To learn more about my safari, definitely follow me on socials, because I’ve got TikTok playlists and Instagram highlights saved! I hope you have the absolute time of your life on safari, I know I did!

Pin This Packing Guide for What to Wear on African Safari for Later

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5 thoughts on “What to Wear on Safari • Ultimate Safari Outfit Packing List

  1. Your tip concerning the colors just saved me! My entire wardrobe is mostly black clothes so I’d be hanging with tsetse flies all day. Saved to check back for when I pack for our upcoming safari 🙂

  2. Love these tips! I would never have thought about black or blue attracting the flies. I’m already a ‘bug magnet’ so I’ll take all the help I can get!

  3. Okay, you make dressing for a safari look so stylish! I love your outfits 🙂 This is seriously so helpful though, I would have had no clue what to wear on a safari. Thanks for sharing these tips!

  4. This is such a helpful post! My favorite color is black so I would definitely need to invest in some new pieces before a safari (which is on the bucket list!). Great advice. Loved the recommendations for stylish yet functional pieces. Definitely saving for later!

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