The majority of safari tours take place in the African highlands where temperatures can be cool in the morning and evening but balmy in the afternoon. Safari-goers should also prepare to protect themselves from the dust, insects and hours of direct sunlight if you are traveling around in a windowless, roofless vehicle. Dressing in the appropriate attire allows visitors to focus their attention on the safari experience at hand rather than worrying about getting bitten or sunburnt.
Although temperatures rise quickly in Africa with the dawning of the sun, warm clothes are needed for the chilly drive to the park which is generally in an open topped vehicle. Full length trousers, a t-shirt and some form of jacket that is easily removable is required, so opt for breathable, mist-proof material such as windbreaker trousers and jacket. Although the weather will almost certainly heat up as the morning progresses you will be glad you wore the correct attire to kick off your safari.
Footwear is another important aspect of your clothing to consider. As most safaris are hot and dusty, a pair of hiking boots or well-worn trainers with adequate breathing space is perhaps your best bet. Something you are not too fussed about getting dirty but yet at the same time you don’t want your feet to be sweating all day either.
As the day wears on, the layers are going to start coming off. Underneath your morning attire it is certainly recommended to wear a lightweight shirt and shorts made of durable material. A typical safari vest is a good idea to put over your t-shirt so you can use the pockets for your camera and a pair of binoculars. For as long as the sun is shining it’s advisable to wear a large brimmed hat which covers both your head and neck, the last thing you want on your trip is sun burn or worse, sun stroke. Factor 30+ sunscreen is the minimum you should carry with you at all times, ensuring any visible skin showing is fully covered.
Many safari tours finish off with an evening meal under the stars. The clear skies brings the temperatures back down again, so for the evening a more formal approach is usually considered the norm and usually consists of a modest dress for the women and a polo shirt with khaki slacks for the men. To complete the somewhat formal outfit, wear comfortable shoes which usually consists of leather boots or shoes for the men and a pair of open toed flats for the women.
A final word of warning, in many African countries it is disrespectful to wear very short and revealing clothes, especially on women. Many African regions are very religious both Muslim and Christians so take that into consideration before you begin traipsing through your wardrobe looking for things you wore on the beach on your holidays in previous years.