Which clothes do you bring on safari? That was the question I asked before our November trip to Lion Sands and Madikwe Hills in South Africa. Alan and I are lucky to have a travel advisor, Ngaire Keene of Brown and Keene Travel, who spelled it all out for us. Explicit instructions about dressing for safari, down to how many shirts and pants to bring for a six-day safari, were included in our travel documents, plus tips for packing light since luggage size is limited on the small charter flights to the camps.
Of course the smart way to travel is to plan ahead, know what fits best and order from the catalogs. But I’m too busy traveling and writing to be that organized. By the time I thought about packing for our safari, it was too late to order by mail so I had to shop the stores hoping to find summer-type safari clothes when retail stores in Arizona had already switched to winter apparel.
I found everything Alan needed at Sportsman’s Warehouse. Two light-weight, long-sleeved shirts that could be rolled up, with 30+ sun protection built into the material. One was the house brand and the other an ExOfficio Air Strip Lite Long-Sleeve Shirt. Both pairs of convertible, teflon coated pants were ExOfficio Men’s Nio Amphi Convertible Pants.
My luck wasn’t as good. While I found one Exofficio Women’s Bugs Away Baja Long Sleeve Shirt with Sun Guard 30+ protection on sale at Sportsman Warehouse, I had to drive across town to Summit Hut for the rest of my supplies. That’s where I found another ExOfficio shirt as well as zip-off convertible pants by Columbia and the Royal Robbins Women’s Zipngo Pant. And, my favorite buy a Tilley Endurables TM10 Cotton Duck with Mesh Hat.
I completed my packing with two short-sleeved t-shirts by Chico’s and a zip-up sweatshirt with hood. Alan brought old t-shirts and didn’t worry about a sweatshirt, after all, we were there in late spring for the southern hemisphere. We both included one extra outfit to change into for dinner. Tennis shoes were our only shoes.
Were we prepared? Yes. Although it rained, our light-weight clothes dried quickly plus we used rain gear provided by the safari lodges. What will we be doing differently for our next safari? We’ll bring one more pair of pants. Although both camps provided laundry service, changing camps meant we lost a laundry day. We were ready for clean clothes after wearing the same pants and shirt in the hot weather for three safari sessions.
And what about cooler weather safaris? My boomer travel friends advise bringing lots of layers plus earmuffs and gloves when dressing for safari that includes colder temperatures. Have you been on safari? What did you pack? Post a comment to tell me. OK, I admit it, I’m a bit of a princess when it comes to travel. I’ll read your advice to clean up my act!
Thinking about planning an African safari? Check out all the information on our complete Safari Page as well as our Tips for Planning a Safari, both great resources for active boomer travels in Africa!
Disclosure: The Amazon links to safari clothes listed in this post are for your convenience. However My Itchy Travel Feet does receive a small percentage for purchases made at Amazon.com.