How to keep cool and protected from the sun on safari

How to keep cool and protected from the sun on safari

Story by:

C. Fraser Claire

One of the big draw cards to Africa is all the glorious sunshine but a bad sunburn can ruin a relaxing break, so make sure you protect your skin with hats, sunscreen, and clothing which offers a high SPF

Don’t sweat the small stuff on safari with these sun protection essentials

Around Africa, it can get very hot and the sun can damage our skins - with painful, red sunburns and sometimes serious long-term effects. Luckily, if you are going on safari, clever packing can reduce the negative effects of the sun – and even help to keep you cool.

1. Let your clothes do the work

Opt for sun protective clothing (preferably long-sleeved safari shirts and zip-off trousers) in technical fabrics. These fabrics are better at wicking moisture – and so keeping you cool - than cotton and other fabrics. (Top tip: our safari clothing in technical fabrics offers built-in UPF50+ sun protection and wicks effectively even in the midday and afternoon heat of the sun in Africa. These ripstop fabrics are very light and many styles are vented for extra airflow and ventilation.) This extends to your accessories. The Vintage Print Head&Neck Scarf is a tubular scarf made from fabric with nanoweave technology that offers built-in UPF50+ and a range of additional features.

2. Hats off to leaving your hat on

A safari hat will make you look cool and stylish on safari. Keeping the sun off your face will help you to feel slightly cooler too and protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. (Top tip: our Mara&Meru™ hats and Rufiji™ hats come with an adjustable internal drawstring and detachable chin strap. Whether you are on the back of an open game-viewer or game viewing on a boat trip, the wind won’t get in the way of wearing your hat).

3. It really burns when you find out your sunscreen doesn't work or isn't fit for Africa

Opt for sunscreen that absorbs quickly, is water-resistant, is easy-wearing and comfortable on the skin. The sun protection factor measures the amount of protection the sunscreen offers from UVB rays, with SPF50+ offering the highest level of protection. It is very important to look for sunscreen which offers both UVA and UVB protection.

4. Look at the difference safari eyewear can make

Your eyes are just as susceptible to sun damage as your skin and need to be factored into your safari sun care strategy. Invest in premium sunglasses with high-quality lenses to ensure performance. (Top tip: You will find your sunglasses especially useful on game drives when you find yourself facing the rising and setting sun, on stark salt pans, or on river trips when the sun reflects off the water. Shop this fundamental game drive tool here.)

5. To the infinity pool and beyond

Most lodges have a pool or swimming spot and this is the perfect way to cool down between activities and enjoy your bush surroundings. (Top tip: a kikoy is an extremely versatile item to pack for a safari – and will be right at home next to the lodge pool.)

6. Sun and bug protection

Many warm-weather destinations have perfect conditions for insects. Apply sunscreen first, wait a few minutes for it to absorb, and then apply insect repellent to get the best of both of these safari essentials. Get the benefits of both by covering up in BUGTech™ clothing with built-in insect defence and UPF50+.

An infinity pool with loungers and guest towels at a lodge in Africa

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