How not to dress when on an African Safari
In light of the visit from the First Lady of the U.S. to regions in Africa, let's look at the fashion tips for visitors to African reserves.
A safari is an expedition to observe or hunt animals in their natural habitat, most especially in Africa. It is a grand adventure that many travel from all over the world to witness. When packing, there are some essentials for a smooth trip, even though one should pack light.
Apart from the basic needs for visiting an African country, like sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent, water bottles, etc, there are some mistakes that one should never make when going on an African safari.
1. Bright colours
The best colour to wear on a safari is khaki. Other colours you can wear are olive, tan colours and brown. Since you are hoping to sight and possibly, interact the exotic animals of the African desert, bright colours are a huge no-no for safaris as they can frighten the animals.
2. White clothes
You're going to be spending days in the desert or the wild so prepare to see your clothes soiled with dust. Because of this, white and other extremely pale colours are a bad idea.
3. Wearing outfits that nod towards colonial times
Recently, Melania Trump was criticised for her outfit while on a Safari in Kenya, where she donned a pith helmet and thigh-high safari boots. The Guardian explains that this type of outfits were worn by European explorers and colonial administrators in Africa and have endured as a longstanding symbol of European colonial rule in the continent. It's hard not to see a white person in a colonial outfit and not see colonial undertones so, don't do that.
In most African countries, camouflage is taken very seriously as it identifies with soldiers. It is best to avoid those completely.
5. Sleeveless clothes or layers
Temperatures can get as high as 30 degrees or more while on a safari in Africa, but winds can get chilly too. So, it is advisable to skip layered outfits and go for light, long sleeved shirts instead. You can also go for shorts but make sure to check the weather forecasts before you choose the outfit. If the weather is going to be cold, especially during early morning game drives, take a safari jacket with you and avoid shorts.
Having knowledge of the activities you will be engaging in while on the safari will let you know the range of shoes to take with you. However, you will probably never need heels or any form of uncomfortable shoes. You will mostly be needing good quality, water-proof hiking boots though.
7. Wearing Dark coloured jeans
Wearing any form of jeans during a safari is a bad idea because they are heavy and hard to dry when wet. Dark coloured jeans, however, have no place on an Eastern, Central and Western African safari because they attract Tsetse flies, the carriers of African sleeping sickness. In Southern Africa, tsetse flies aren't much of a problem.
8. Going sans hat or scarf
You should definitely take a safari hat and a light scarf. The hat will give you even more protection against the sun and the scarf can help protect your hat when it gets really windy. You can also use the scarf to warm yourself if it gets cold.
Wearing perfume while on a safari can attract insects such as mosquitoes, which you'll do well to avoid. Also, it can give you a rash since you'll be in the heat for most of the time.
10. Tight clothes
Baggy or almost-baggy clothes are your friend on an African safari.
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