WHAT TO WEAR ON YOUR TANZANIA & KENYA SAFARI
Safari clothing should be comfortable and casual—suffice it to say, any fine jewellery should be left at home. And while it’s not actually necessary to dress like an old safari hand, you won’t feel out of place if you do since that’s the everyday attire of the locals—i.e., the present-day “old safari hands” whose great-grandparents moved to Africa from England and points beyond. Plus, there are valid reasons to do so.
Wearing white increases your visibility to wildlife, while bright colours, particularly red, can frighten animals. (It is said that lions fear red because it is the colour worn by the Maasai, who hunt lions as a part of their coming of age rituals.)
Planning what to wear and essentials to bring on your upcoming safari in Kenya is not all that complicated. Everything you need is most likely in your closet already! Our clothing suggestions apply for all seasons on a Tanzania safari while different guidelines apply if your route is to the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro or heading down to the famous Zanzibar beach.
The best wildlife viewing months in Tanzania are during the Dry season from late June to October. The best chance of seeing the wildebeest migration in the Serengeti is during June and July and the time to see the wildebeest calving is late January to February. Tanzania’s main rainy season, or the ‘long rains’, last during about March, April, and May.
WHAT KINDS OF CLOTHES ARE RECOMMENDED FOR SAFARI?
Casual, comfortable and easy to wash clothes are recommended. The goal is to pack lightly as most lodges and camps will launder clothes for a small fee. Safaris are informal, and there is no need to dress up. Do plan to dress in layers so you can adjust to temperature changes as early morning game drives can be quite cold depending on the time of year while daytime temperatures can get quite warm. Stick to neutral or khaki colors and avoid wearing dark blue or black clothes as these colors tend to attract tsetse flies. Wide brimmed hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent are a necessity. After sunset, we recommend that you wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks and spray insect repellent to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
RECOMMENDED SAFARI CLOTHING TO BRING
- T-shirts and tank tops
- Long-sleeved shirts (for protection from sunburns)
- Light long pants or convertible long-short pants
- Warm fleece pullover or jacket
- One swimsuit
- Cotton socks and underwear
- One pair of comfortable walking shoes
- One pair of sandals or flip-flops
- Wide-brimmed hat
- Bandana (for dust)
- Heavy sweater, gloves, and toque if traveling in the cold season (June – August)
CLOTHING FOR ZANZIBAR
Please dress modestly when sightseeing in Stone Town or visiting anywhere outside of the beach resorts in Zanzibar. Women should not wear sleeveless or revealing tops and short skirts or thigh-high shorts (Capri trousers or at least knee-length shorts are fine). Men should wear shirts, pants or knee-length shorts.
WHAT ARE SOME OTHER ITEMS TO PACK?
We strongly recommend that you carry-on all important items such as prescription medication, camera equipment, essential toiletries (please keep in mind many airlines have liquid restrictions) and one or two changes of clothes in case of checked luggage delays or loss.
PACK LIGHT! HERE ARE THE TOP THINGS TO BRING WITH YOU ON A SAFARI:
- Plane tickets
- Travel Insurance Policy & Emergency Contact Numbers
- Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate (if applicable)
- Safari itinerary
- U.S. dollars in large and small denominations ($20, $50 & $100 bills should be issued after 2005)
- Credit cards and ATM bank cards
- Sunscreen and lip balm
- Small flashlight or headlamp
- Insect/Mosquito repellent
- Eye drops and extra contact lenses or spare glasses (if applicable)
- Anti-bacterial hand sanitizer
- Tissue paper and small travel towel (washrooms in Tanzania often don’t have toilet paper or paper towels)
- Camera, extra memory cards, batteries, and charger, if applicable
- UK plug adapter and transformer/voltage converter, if applicable
- Ziplock bags for toiletries, camera equipment, snacks, etc.
- Personal toiletries
- Small first aid medical kit including Tylenol or ibuprofen, antimalarial pills, cold and allergy medicine, itch medication, band-aids, stomach ache remedy, antibiotic cream, diarrhea medicine, prescription antibiotic for travelers diarrhea (Ciprofloxacin) and any prescription medications.
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