Does the color of your clothes matter on safari?

Jan 29th, 2010, 07:32 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 3
I would suggest that what you smell like is more of interest to the wildlife than what you look like. Lions like clothes that rip easliy, though ;-)

What you wear can however influence the enjoyment of the trip. If you look like a rooky tourist, you may as well wear a sign saying 'Please rip me off'. We locals can often determine the nationality of a tourist a mile off:

American: Hawaiian shirt or golf shirt with bemudas, socks and sneakers
German: Socks and sandals
Dutch: Socks and sandals and bad teeth
French: Scarf around the neck and stylish hat
English: Jacket and tie or cravat (not kidding), excessive sunburn and handkerchief shaped into a headcovering

As far as colour is concerned, wear muted pale colours as they are cooler. When I go on safari, I usually wear lightweigh cotton jeans or cargo shorts, long sleeve cotton shirts and a floppy hat. I tend to burn easily, hence the long sleeves which I can alsways roll up it it gets too hot.

What you must avoid is the following:

Dark colours as they are hotter
Hunting or camo gear
Safari outfits including pith helmets - they shout 'sucker'
Fancy fabrics that promise to deal with perspiration, etc - they cost the earth and cannot beat simple cotton
Bling - makes you a target for robbers

I like atravellen's comment that a loud mouth is worse than loud colours ;-)
kennekam is offline  
Jan 29th, 2010, 08:25 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 378
Nice post kennekam.

I'm curious about where you think the people who wear the pants with the zip-off legs are from. Is this an international phenomenon? I'm thinking it must be....I was in Hoi An, Vietnam a few years ago and it was funny to see all of the zip-off legged pants that they had made out of silk. I think they see what the tourists were wearing and thought this would be a good thing to make.

I'm also starting to notice from my travels that these may be going out of fashion. I know I hesitate to wear them much now because they also scream "TOURIST!!!!" They're hard to beat while doing walking safaris though.
Gritty is offline  
Jan 30th, 2010, 03:05 AM
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Thanks Gritty

Have not really seen any much of the convertible trousers in the game parks. I presume that because of the heat most have removed the bottoms already so they look like cargo shorts? But yes, they do shout tourist.
kennekam is offline  
Jan 30th, 2010, 11:43 AM
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My backpack and bumbag probably also shout tourist, though I also use them on a daily basis at home.

Fashion schmashion on the cargo/zip-off pants. If they save me packing room and weight, they go. I rarely unzip them, but I find having that option to be both liberating and comforting. Quite the trousers!

Even more than cargo pants, doesn't the minibus or Landcruiser with the name of a safari company also give away the visitor status?

A pith helmet? Really? Have you seen them on real people?

I had to laugh at the French in their scarves observation. The French women also somehow repel dust and dirt. We can be in the same vehicle and I'm a dirty mess by the end of the day and they are fresh as a fleur and so is their pastel scarf!

Those Dutch teeth must be really bad if you can see them "a mile off." On one of my last trips, I was mistaken for Dutch. Until now I was rather pleased with that mischaracterization. I realize from now on I'd best keep my mouth shut.
atravelynn is offline  
Jan 31st, 2010, 05:17 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 378
I agree atravelynn, I'll probably always pack and use the zip-off leg pants, fashionable or not fashionable. The nylon ones that I have weight practically nothing and save so much space! I use them a lot at home when I go camping or backpacking.

On my first trip to Africa, I packed nothing but shorts and zip-off leg pants. I felt like I really drew too much tourist attention to myself when I wore the zip-off leg pants around Cape Town. I've actually packed a pair of jeans(!) for subsequent trips.

I really, really want to see a tourist wearing a pith helmet. That would be like a pangolin sighting in my book.
Gritty is offline  
Jan 31st, 2010, 09:03 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
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I've seen a tourist wearing a pith helmet once and I've seen a pangolin once (different trips), so your odds are right on, Gritty. At least for me :-B
safarimama is offline  
Jan 31st, 2010, 09:11 AM
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Just quit showing off Safarimama! How about a pangolin WEARING a pith helmet? Bet you never saw that.

You know who I recall wearing the brightest reds? A couple of times I've encountered various volunteers who were doing a safari post-assignment or as a mid-assignment getaway. These folks usually were interesting enough that I barely noticed their clothes. None of them did walks, where that might have been a problem.
atravelynn is offline  
Jan 31st, 2010, 11:16 AM
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Sorry Lynn, I'm such a definite show-off!!!!! However, I never saw a pangolin wearing a pith helmet or anything but his armour. However, I once saw a monkey wearing a RED bikini!!! she must have got it off a line where it was hanging to dry!!!
safarimama is offline  
Jan 31st, 2010, 11:58 AM
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Now that's funny! Was it worn properly?
atravelynn is offline  
Jan 31st, 2010, 02:19 PM
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Not really, one cup was stuck over her head and she was .... literally ... seeing RED!!!!!!
PS. monkeys do see in color.
safarimama is offline  
Jan 31st, 2010, 05:05 PM
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What do you mean not really? That's exactly how I wear my bikini!

I hope you have photos.
atravelynn is offline  
Jan 31st, 2010, 06:24 PM
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You are a hoot! When can we travel together?

This RED Monkey Business happened so fast, during lunch and I didn't get photos. The camera was in the room!
safarimama is offline  
Jan 31st, 2010, 07:46 PM
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Safarimama, I am looking at S. Tanz in Sept 2011 for a 1st visit to that area. Snorkeling at Mahale means I may be able to show off my red bikini.

I'm kidding--but just about the bikini. The rest is for real.

Might you be in the Mara in mid-Sept of 2010?

If you like bears, how about Alaska in July of 2010? Waders not bikinis are the fashion up there.

Percy, Just saw your chatter apology. I'm sure you are sufficiently quiet in the vehicle. Besides I find Australian accents to be almost musical.
atravelynn is offline  
Jan 31st, 2010, 08:12 PM
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So. TZ in Sept 2011 sounds like a dream. I wear a full bathing suite when snorkeling though; the monkey stole my red bikini!!!
So does The Mara in mid-Sept 2010 sound like a dream also.
I love bears too, so why not Alaska in July!

Wow! you travel a lot. Is Percy coming? I love Aussie accents too.

Did you post your details somewhere? Decisions, decisions.
safarimama is offline  
Feb 1st, 2010, 07:55 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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I will forever be on the lookout for the bikini clad monkey when I'm in Africa.

Percy, you are invited, just bring your accent.

I travel a lot in July and Sept but that's it for all of 2010. Except for the Dakotas maybe.

Alaska is Brooks Falls Lodge: July 13, 14, 15 out 16
17, 18, morning of 23rd in Kodiak
Katmai Coastal boat probably July 19, 20, 21 out 22

Feel free to email me. Just click on my name for contact.
atravelynn is offline  

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