Warm outdoor & safari clothing is vital for just about all northern hemisphere outdoor adventures - and on safaris & travels to Africa, India and beyond where dawn & evening game drives, bush walks, & time spent outside can get chilly. It can get very hot - even in Africa - but it can get very cold too. Prepare by packing a snug outdoor & safari warm layer.
It is important that you pack safari-suitable shirts for your children on safari which also offer maximum protection from the elements and defence from most biting insects.
Pack children's safari shirts in neutral, natural tones such as shades of khaki, brown, and green.
We recommend long-sleeved safari shirts for children with roll-up sleeve tabs over short-sleeved shirts. These enable boys and girls to roll their sleeves up and down to stay cool, keep warm, or to avoid sunburn on their arms. It also increases defence from most biting insects when sleeves are rolled down, which is further increased when the fabric is treated with insect repellent.
Kids' safari shirts with a collar also give your kids added protection from sunburn - and, again, from insect bites.
Look for children's safari shirts which have the following key characteristics: the ability to wick moisture to keep them cool, high level of sun protection (SPF50+ is best), and an anti-insect fabric finish assists in reducing bites from most flying and biting insects.
Pack more children's safari shirts made from man-made fibres (polyamide) than natural fibres (such as cotton). Man-made fibres are better at wicking moisture from the skin - and it is this movement of moisture which will keep them cool.
Number of children's safari shirts to pack for their safari: Up to 4-day safari: x 2; Up to 8-day safari: x 4; Up to 12-day safari: x 6
When packing safari trousers for your children, pack children's safari pants made from safari-suitable colours (shades of green, khaki, and brown) and lightweight, strong fabric. Nothing beats the feeling they will get when they wear safari trousers worthy of a great conservationist or early explorer.
Children's safari zip-off/convertible trousers are the simplest safari trousers to pack for children as they allow for maximum versatility. By removing or adding the legs, you are able to convert them from trousers when cool to shorts when hot. Children's convertible zip-off safari pants also save on valuable packing space by being two garments in one. The legs on the children's safari convertible pants also give added protection from the sun and defence from most biting insects - even more so when their safari trousers are treated with built-in sun protection and anti-insect treatment.
The ideal children's safari trousers and safari shorts should offer the perfect blend of the following functionality: lightweight with built-in ripstop for added strength, a high level of built-in sun protection (SPF50+ is best), and an anti-insect finish.
Children's safari trousers which are made from man-made fibres (such as polyamide) are preferred over those made from natural fibres (such as cotton) to keep your children cool while on safari. These fabrics also allow your child to dry off faster should their safari trousers get wet from a rain shower or from mucking about in a stream (a crocodile- and hippo-free stream of course).
What is more, you will be able to wash and dry your kid's safari trousers much faster when made from man-made fibres such as polyamide.
Number of children's safari trousers to pack for your safari:
Up to 4-day safari: x 2; Up to 8-day safari: x 3; Up to 12-day safari: x 4
Children feel the cold faster than adults and so it is important when going on safari to pack a children's safari fleece to keep them warm and snug on early morning and evening game drives and through the African winter.
Pack a kid's safari fleece which is made from safari-friendly colours such as brown, greens, and khaki.
Pack a safari-coloured waterproof layer for each child if you are travelling over the rainy season for your safari.
Having lived in Africa through the rains we are also able to advise that the daytime temperature goes from very hot before the rains start, to much cooler once the rains have settled in. The difference may be as much as 10 to 15 degrees celsius below the average temperatures and so again we advise that a fleece or jacket is packed to keep you warm.
Number of boys' and girls' safari jackets or safari fleeces to pack for your safari:
1 x safari fleece or jacket; 1 x waterproof safari jacket should you be travelling over the rainy season.
If you are going on a classic game drive type of safari, then pack comfortable women's safari shoes to wear on game drive but which are able to double as good walking shoes for a walk in the bush - an activity we highly recommend. Note that if you do not have walking shoes with you on game drive then your guide may decide against a quick impromptu walk in the bush
Also take a pair of women's safari shoes to wear around the camp. These may be the same pair as your select for the above, but it may also be a pair of cooler sandals, pumps, or similar.
For full-on walking safaris make sure you take women's safari shoes which are made for longer hikes - and ensure that you walk them in properly before you go on safari. You may prefer low rise canvas trail shoes or leather higher rise boots - the preference is purely personal.
If you are going on a walking safari in sandy areas (check with the walking safari company you have booked with) then we suggest that you pack higher rise boots with a built in tongue - such as our Rufiji™ APU Safari Combat Boots - as this will minimise the amount of sand which goes into the shoe which will cause discomfort.
We would still take a a pair of cooler women's shoes or sandals for before and after walks when around the camp.
Safari tip: always check your shoes for small snakes, scorpions, spiders and insects before putting them on.
Number of women's safari shoes to pack for your safari:
Up to 4-day safari: x 2 (1+1); Up to 8-day safari: x 2 (1+1); Up to 12-day safari: x 2 (1+1)
*"(1+1)" explained: Walking shoes + shoes to wear around camp.
For the best protection from the strength of the midday sun in Africa - for your neck and face - pack a wide-brimmed women's safari hat.
With mean high temperatures reaching mid-20 to mid-30 degrees Celsius on most safaris and with safari areas in Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, and Zambia high above sea level, the effects of the sun will be pronounced and the risk of being burnt by the sun will be high. A wide-brimmed women's safari hat is literally your first line of defence against sunburn.
Wide-brimmed women's safari hats also provide shelter when it rains. We find that a wide-brimmed safari hat definitely makes it more comfortable when you are caught out on a walk or game drive by a sudden thunderstorm or tropical shower, as at least your face remains dry and fewer drops go into your eyes.
Colour is key when choosing a women's safari hat - with neutral shades such as khaki, green, or brown the best. Your safari hat will often be the most conspicuous part of you while viewing wildlife on a walking safari.
Pack a women's safari hat which suits your safari style. Fortunately, there are more styles available for women today which range from leather hats to classically-styled indie and panama-shaped hats.
Modern wide-brimmed women's safari hats are also conveniently packable and are easy manipulate back into shape. A note though: not all hats are packable and should be carried with your carry-on luggage - and, even when a hat is packable, never crush your safari hat under a hard object - such as shoes or binoculars - when packing.
Number of wide-brimmed women's safari hats to pack for your safari:
1 x wide-brimmed safari hat per person.
*Pack a warm and cosy safari beanie for cold mornings and the African winter too.
It can and does get cold on safari. See our Womens Safari Jackets and Fleeces page for more information on why this is the case.
Pack women's garments and accessories for your safari which keep you warm. Women's safari scarves, safari beanies, and safari gloves should be considered a packing essential over the African winter - and may also be required for some mornings on summer safaris too.
At the very least, we recommend packing a safari beanie on any safari as they are so small and light to carry in your luggage, yet have a big effect on how warm you are should you get cold. Keep your safari beanie in the bag you take on game drives. You may well get some envious stares from others who have not had the foresight to pack a safari beanie.
Further to the point above, for the African summer, pack a women's safari beanie just in case. For the most part, your women's wide-brimmed safari hat should keep you warm enough, but why take the risk? Please also take note of the altitude of the area in which you are going on safari. The Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania, as an example, is over 2000 metres above sea level and most camps are on the rim of the crater and so may have cold temperatures (morning and evenings in particular) and precipitation throughout the year, so we would recommend taking warmer safari accessories just in case.
Pack safari scarves, safari beanies, and safari gloves in safari colours.
Number of women's safari scarves, safari beanies, and safari gloves to pack for your safari:
1 x women's safari scarf; 1 x women's safari beanie; 1 x women's safari gloves - although you should be fine tucking your hands into your women's safari jacket or fleece to keep them warm.
Walking in the bush while on safari is the quintessential experience. We recommend it to all who go to Africa.
Whether you go for a short nature walk with your guide or a multi-day walking safari, please ensure that you pack safari-coloured safari socks which offer a double layer for blister protection. Bad blisters ruin good walks.
Ankle gaiters are ideal for walking in the bush as they offer both your ankles and socks more protection from thorns, wet grass, grass seeds, and anything scurrying around at ankle level. A must-have for longer walking safaris, but useful on any bush walk.
Number of blister-proof socks to pack for your safari:
Up to 4-day safari: x 2; Up to 8-day safari: x 3; Up to 12-day safari: x 4.
Number of Ankle Gaiters to pack for your safari:
Pack 1 x Pair per person.
Pack a women's safari dress and a pair of women's safari skorts to add variety to your wardrobe.
Ensure that you select women's safari dresses and skorts which are made in safari-suitable colours.
A women's safari dress can also be very versatile when worn with tights, as a longer shirt, or tucked into your safari trousers.
Women's safari skorts - which are a combination of shorts and a skirt, with the shorts inside the skorts - are great for safaris in 4x4s as you are able to climb on to and off of the game drive vehicle without worrying about your underwear showing.
While, by their design, both safari dresses and safari skorts do allow for a good flow of air around the body to keep you cool, it is still worth looking for styles made in technical fabrics simply as they are usually lighter, easier to pack, and perform better in the heat.
Pack any combination of women's safari dresses & skorts to get the following totals:
Up to 4-day safari: x 1; Up to 8-day safari: x 2; Up to 12-day safari: x 3