Clothing, Footwear & Laundry

15 August 2017

If you have never been on safari before, packing can be quite daunting. Are you taking too much, too little, what will the weather be like, are there laundry services, how smart do you have to dress in the evenings? We have all been through this and we have all asked these questions!

Clothes to take on a safari

We always suggest wearing neutral colours like earth tones or khaki for your safari, especially if you are doing a walking safari. Try to avoid any bright colours, which are more visible and distracting to others and may attract insects. White clothing is also more visible and will show a lot of dirt very quickly!

In areas where there are tsetse flies, you should avoid blue and dark colours, as this attracts them. You don’t need to buy a whole new wardrobe, just get a couple of neutral-coloured t-shirts or shorts and mix and match these with your normal casual clothes. Remember that a lot of time on safari is spent bumping around in a vehicle and/ or in the hot sun, so dress in loose, comfortable clothes. Long sleeves and trousers will protect more from the sun, insects and (if you are walking) thorns.

Lightweight safari trousers that unzip to become shorts are a great option. For early morning and evenings, when temperatures may drop, we would suggest that you take a fleece with you and even gloves, hat or a ‘snood’ (tube scarf). If you are going gorilla trekking you will also need to take waterproofs with you.

In the evenings, the dress code at safari lodges is smart casual (e.g. smart jeans/trousers/shirt). There is no need for a jacket and tie! Dress code at city and beach hotels is also smart casual.

What footwear should you take?

Unless you are doing some major hiking or serious walking safaris when you are in Africa, you will normally just need a good pair of trainers – hiking or proper walking boots are unnecessary.

Laundry Service in the bush

The vast majority of all lodges in safari Africa provide laundry services and it is usually included in the accommodation cost. It tends to take 24 hours to return laundry, so bear this in mind if you need to get some done before you leave a property. In most places, the laundry service will not include underwear, so there is usually washing powder in your bathroom for these personal items, or more delicate garments.

Safari Packing List: what essentials to take on safari to Africa

  • Soft bag with no wheels for all main luggage packing (if taking internal flight on light aircraft)
  • Passport (valid for at least 6 months from when you depart Africa)
  • Visas (if needed and if applying in advance for these)
  • Proof of your Travel Insurance (policy number & 24 hour emergency contact)
  • Proof of vaccinations (if needed) and/or anti-malarial medication (if taking)
  • Cash – US Dollars for most African countries or South African Rand for South Africa & Namibia
  • Clothing in neutral tones (khaki, green, brown or grey)
  • Fleece or jumper for early morning/evening game drives
  • Comfortable walking shoes (e.g. running/gym shoes)
  • Sun protection - hat, sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Lip balm or Vaseline
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • A good book
  • Gardening gloves (f you are going gorilla trekking for protection against thorns, etc)
  • Toiletries (almost all safari camps and lodges provide towels, basic toiletries (shampoo, shower gel and body lotion), and insect repellent, though of course you can bring your own)