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Wondering what to wear on safari? One fashionista tells us everything you need to know about being stylishly prepared for an adventure of a lifetime!


What to Wear on Safari

Written By: Liz Warren


A safari is no ordinary vacation–it’s an adventure that takes place almost entirely outdoors. Start by reading these two helpful safari packing guides:



When I visited Tanzania in October, I floated above the plains on a hot air balloon ride, hiked along the outskirts of the Serengeti, and spent hours tracking amazing wildlife.

On safari, you need to be ready for all kinds of weather and adventures, and that means your outfits need to be practical. But have no fear–this doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice fashion.


Use a capsule wardrobe to pack light but create many outfits. Learn more in my guide!


There are tons of ways to stay both practical and stylish on safari. Here’s what to wear on safari:




Zella Leggings | Mogul Leggings | Icebreaker Leggings


Bring leggings


There’s no safari outfit more practical than leggings and an oversized shirt or sweater. You can dress them up or down, which is perfect for days spent outdoors followed by nicer dinners at camp. Also, they’re super comfortable, which is essential for those long wildlife-viewing drives.





I wish someone had sat me down before my trip and taught me the importance of leggings on safari. Choose leggings you can easily re-wear without washing and avoid cotton fabrics. Fitness brands are ideal for this.

They will get dirty, and they will get wet. Choose pairs that vary in thickness, and throw in some prints to switch things up a bit. You’ll be so glad you did.


Find out the best leggings for women that travel as voted for by our readers!




Leggings | TopCrew | Anorak


Pack asymmetrical layers


Everyone knows the importance of wearing layers, especially in climates that change by the hour. In Tanzania, your morning can start out at 50°F and shoot up to 80°F by noon. When planning what to wear on safari, start with a base layer of leggings and a sleeveless tunic that hits just below your butt.

From there, add on a few layers of varying lengths–slip on a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt that ends at your hips and top it with a light jacket. Having a few different layers peek out here and there will make an otherwise basic outfit more interesting.


Read these tips on how to layer clothing!




Fedora Hat Infinity Scarf | Floppy Hat


Bring accessories – but practical ones


If you choose them wisely, accessories are a total game changer on safari. For starters, you’ll want to bring a few hats–and not just baseball caps. Remember: you won’t be blow drying or straightening your hair, so get used to wearing something on your head every day, even if you’re not typically a hat person. Throw in a wide-brimmed hat and a fedora to switch up your look.


Use packing cubes to help you organize and even compress your belongings to maximize your space when on Safari.





Another thing to add to your list as you plan what to wear on safari is a scarf that you can either drape around your shoulders or use to tie back your hair. I chose a bold orange and blue print to spice up my more neutral-colored outfits.


Read our Lazy Girl’s Guide to Stylish Travel Accessories!




Sandal | Shoes Bootie


Choose the right shoes


The shoes you bring on safari are arguably the most important packing decision you’ll have to make. Your duffel can only hold so much, and shoes can add on many unnecessary pounds if you don’t pack the right ones.


Read this guide on how to choose the best travel shoes!


So, I’ve narrowed it down to three pairs of absolute essentials: sandals for showering and walking around your tent, sneakers for the days you spend hiking, and ankle boots–yes, ankle boots.

They’re great for late dinners, they’re closed so you don’t have to worry about bugs attacking your feet, and they’re super stylish. They’ll match with all of your nighttime outfits, whether you choose shorts for warmer temperatures or your trusted leggings for cooler evenings.


Learn how to wear ankle boots!




Buff Headband: 1 | 3


Invest in some funky buffs


What are buffs, you ask? They’re your safari BFF. I don’t know how I would have gotten through my trip without these small pieces of fabric shielding my nose and mouth from all of the dust and dirt in the air.





I had a lightweight gray floral one for cleaner days in the north and I’d switch it to a thicker one in dark green for dustier days, like in the Central Serengeti. Do not go on safari with at least one, and be sure to wash it out at the end of each day.


Find out why a circle scarf is a must for female travelers!




Backpack: 1 | 2 | 3


Choose a cute everyday bag


Your passport, money, camera, medicine, sunscreen, and bug spray are some things you’ll want to keep within reach at all times. This means you’ll need a bag that’s both practical enough to fit everything comfortably and stylish enough to carry over from days in the bush to all of your evening activities.


Find out how to keep your passport safe while traveling!


I used a slate-colored faux leather backpack with a handbag strap, and it was the best decision I could have made. I could wear it on my back for more physical activities, then wear it as a handbag later on.


Here’s a round up of cute backpacks for travel!



Pay attention to your color palette


I’m typically an all-black-everything kind of girl, but I really tried to step outside my dark comfort zone on safari for a few reasons. Your color palette is one easily forgotten aspect when planning what to wear on safari.





For one, it’s thought that black attracts tsetse flies, which are basically oversized flies that bite (terrifying, I know).

Aside from that, though, Tanzanians cover themselves in these beautiful, bold prints that inspire even the darkest of fashion souls to try out some color. Ease into it by packing some gem tones or deeper neutrals here and there.


What are neutral colors? Find out!



Do you have any tips on what to wear on safari? Please comment below!





For more safari packing tips, please read these:


Suggested Travel Resources:


I hope you liked this post on what to wear on safari. Share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!


Author Bio: Liz is a Boston-based writer with a severe case of wanderlust. She loves that her job allows her to combine travel and fashion, and she’s always dreaming up her next trip (and wardrobe to go along with it). Follow her stylish adventures on Instagram & Twitter.