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Preparing for an African adventure can be all consuming - especially when it is time to start packing.

My Insights into What to Wear on your Trip to Africa (Safaris and Cities)

Preparing for an African adventure can be all consuming – especially when it is time to start packing. Personally, I can get very immersed in the details of a holiday and I love being prepared and planning in advance.

My packing lists are meticulous (I use Microsoft To Do for my packing lists), and I love researching the appropriate things to wear to a destination or an experience (Pinterest is my best friend for this one).

My favourite part of the research is looking at what real people (as in, not styled for a photo) wear on their travels. This makes for more attainable and practical outfit inspiration.

A great hack when planning your wardrobe for any trip is to assess what you already own and then work out what gaps you need to fill with new purchases. More often than not, you can adapt what you own to an experience.

Your existing clothes are often tried and tested and there is nothing worse than uncomfortable clothing, especially when doing something active. More importantly, aim not to wear anything which takes away your focus on your enjoyment of your safari.

If shopping for a holiday excites you then go right ahead! You can buy a new wardrobe or adapt your own wardrobe.

Remember, you are there to look at the sights and animals and not for them to look at you 😉

My Top Tips
  • Plan your outfits around easy-to-remove layers. Many safari and cities in Southern & East Africa can have a range of temperatures. Cape Town can have 4 seasons in one day, any time of the year, and a safari is often cold in the mornings and evenings and hot in the day.
  • Depending on the temperature of your destination, start the day in shirts/t-shirts, a fleece top or jersey, long pants with walking shoes or boots, a jacket, scarf, and beanie.
  • Peel things off as the day warms up and have a pair of shorts & sandals to change into. At the end of the day, just reverse the process, adding the layers back on.
  • It is great to have 1 or 2 nice outfits. A dress that can be layered up or down for a dinner or an afternoon at the pool.
  • On safari, clothes should be lightweight, loose-fitting, and preferably neutral colours. Avoid brights and patterns and please do not wear camouflage print.

Guests at Molori Mashuma

What to Wear and How to Pack:

Important things to note:

  • Remember that most lodges and hotels have a daily complimentary laundry service.
  • The weight limit on small flights which you may have to take to reach your safari lodge is only 15kg / 33lbs (per person, including hand luggage). We suggest that you pack very light or you make a luggage storage plan with your travel manager.


What to wear and pack

Packing is made easy when sticking to a tonal colour palette. On game drives & walking Safaris, it is advised to wear colours that “blend in” with the environment. Avoid very bright colours including white. If you’re travelling to an area with Tsetse flies, avoid wearing very dark colours. White, however, is lovely to wear at camp as it is cool and repels insects.  In terms of footwear – flip flops, very comfortable walking shoes, sports shoes if you plan to exercise. View our Safari Packing List guideline

Packing Tips

I break up my packing list into main sections with sub-items so it is easy to follow:

  • Last minute items (like toothbrushes, toothpaste & phone chargers)
  • Important items
  • Hand Bag
  • Overnight Plane Bag
  • Electronic items and miscellaneous
  • Clothes
  • Toiletries
  • Medicine
Additional tips

Packing Hacks:

  • Pack light
  • Pack outfits
  • Pack your outfits in layers
  • Roll, Don’t Fold
  • Packing Cubes for Organization
  • Use an undergarments Organizer

Read more packing tips here »


Your arrival pack:

Your Timeless Africa Safaris arrival pack will contain the important documentation we provide which is outlined below.

  • A safari waist pack that includes: Lip balm, wet wipes, tissues, cable ties
  • Your Timeless Africa Safaris waist pouch is useful instead of a handbag or backpack for days out on safari.
  • Your printed detailed itinerary
  • A Timeless Africa Safaris peak cap
  • Gratuity guidelines
Most Lodges already have:
  • Birding books
  • Binoculars
  • Daily laundry service
  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • Body wash & moisturiser
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Reusable water bottles
  • Small boutiques where you can buy things like hats, shirts, gifts, safari clothes…
Leopard Hills Bathroom

Leopard Hills Bathroom

Safari style guide

A Stylist's Guide:

“You can be incredibly comfortable and stylish on Safari. You should also be able to integrate these clothes into your wardrobe when you’re back home”. Louise Park-Ross, Cape Town based fashion & interior Stylist, gives us her top tips for dressing on Safari. She loves South African designers and works closely with many of them so the majority of items in this document are from her home country. Check out our ‘stylists guide’ to preparing for your safari »

What we wear:

I have put together some real people reference photos in this article of what the team at Timeless Africa Safaris wears on safari. Have a look at our inspiration on what to wear on safari »


Examples of what we wear on safari
Robin, our operations manager out and about in the City
Sophie looking for termites.
What real people wear on safari
Nicole on a hot air balloon ride experience in Kenya

In this article
  • Casey's Insights
  • Casey's Top Tips
  • What to Wear & Pack Tips

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