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FABULOUS Safari Clothing - Might as well look FINE... :)


Apr 14th, 2010, 04:07 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
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The important thing is to feel comfortable. If you do, who cares whether other tourists make fun of you. It's their problem, not yours. I went on safari at the end of August. It was very, very cold in the mornings and evenings. I always wore a turtleneck with khaki pants. The colors of the turtlenecks varied - sometimes beige, purple, etc. I also wore a Land's End thermal jacket. I didn't wear a hat, but my mother did. We saw all kinds of get ups during our safari. However, the only thing we dwelled upon was the happy faces of everyone when they came back from the drives. You'll absolutely love it.
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Apr 14th, 2010, 09:04 PM
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Comfort is all you should care about. You'll get so dirty it won't matter what you wear after a long day of game drives.

For my first safari in 1998 I was concerned about what to wear and thought I'd be doing my hair and make up every day. For my third safari last year I didn't even bring my make up and as far as clothes I only cared about being warm (or cool) and comfortable. And I completely agree about getting up at 5:30...after a few days you stick on a hat and go. You don't care what you look like.

I am reminded of a woman I saw who was completely decked out in 'safari wear' head to toe...pith helmut included. She was also covered in jewelry and I still wonder if she made it back home without getting robbed.
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Apr 15th, 2010, 05:09 AM
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I agree w/loru100 - don't worry about fashion or beauty on safari. There's no time to primp, and you do get dirty. We rarely even changed into clean khakis for dinner. I never saw anyone wear heels. I even had my hair cut short because it was cold in the mornings and water was often in short supply.

My best safari advice is this: don't try to have your normal routine (for me that is showering/makeup in the morning). Wake up, brush teeth, put on yesterday's clothes, and get going. You will have a lengthy mid-day period of quiet/privacy, during which you should shower, put on fresh clothes, send things to be laundered, write in your journal, nap, etc. After that you will be out doing activities/game viewing until dark, at which time you will be starving and want a drink, so will likely go directly to the food tent for dinner - dirty and in your clothes from the day. You will stay up late drinking and talking to the endlessly fascinating guides, and fall into bed (with any luck, fully dressed - it makes the next morning easier). Next day, do it again. If you try to fight this rhythm you will be very tired and disheveled. Safari is all about being out to see the animals. It was never, in my experience, about how anyone looked.

Have fun!
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Apr 15th, 2010, 06:11 AM
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I agree with spcfa, don't worry about your appearance. I just got back from a 14 days safari, had three pair of Cargo pants and it worked out fine. They are so easy to wash and dry almost rapidly. The heat is brutal so bring cool clothes and also a sweater for the chilly evenings. You will have a blast. Most of the gals on our safari did not blow dry their hair or put makeup on for the entite trip. It was truly liberating! Enjoy yourself!
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Apr 15th, 2010, 08:47 AM
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Hi everyone. I’ve missed the forum and all your good advice. Been absent for a long while (another death in the family and much going on). It’s good to be back.

MC, here is another perspective.

There is nothing wrong with caring about your appearance, as long as your fashion sense is appropriate for the environment and your itinerary. I agree with most of the comments above: Love cotton, find a natural hairstyle that requires little effort and keep makeup to a minimum (no time to apply it or remove it properly and no good lighting – especially if camping. Lodges offer more amenities). I prefer simple, casual and feminine clothing in earth tone colors versus the normal safari uniform of cargo pants, safari shirt, photographers vest and Tilley hat most people wear.

Our guides often request soft, muted earth tones clothing vs. anything goes, even when just riding around in a vehicle. Some guides try to give you very private game drive and bright colors (reads - any color not naturally found in the environment) broadcast like a beacon for miles. Other drivers may spot your activity in the area more easily if a passenger is wearing intrusive colors and they may follow to investigate – there goes your privacy.

I am reminded of the time a Maasai from Kenya visited the Magellan’s travel good store in Santa Barbara. It was his first time in the US and he declared that everyone who went on safari must get there clothes from this one store because he mostly saw visitors wearing safari shirts, zip-off cargo pants and a Tilley hat. He asked why the women dressed like the men, when they had so many other things to choose from. Why most people thought they had to wear the uniform? And, why others wore old tattered clothing when they had such vast resources in the US? I was hard pressed to give him an answer.

I don’t find anything attractive about the typical safari uniform. You won’t enjoy your safari any less for looking nice! If that is you preference too, don’t hesitate to break with the norm. My rules: just keep to clean lines, don’t go over the top, avoid shiny or clanky accessories, don’t bring anything of value, keep the animal prints muted, tiny and to a minimum, dress modestly and be aware of your luggage restrictions. As others have said, you don’t need to look like a fashion statement, but you don’t have to wear the uniform either.

I’m sure you will enjoy your safari immensely and you’ll enjoy sharing your experiences and photographs with all who show an interest. May you return to enjoy many more safaris and develop you won safari style..
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Apr 15th, 2010, 01:44 PM
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Welcome back Kkakif - it was nice to see your screen name... yes, a long absence. Sorry to hear things weren't well while away and hope all is okay now and that you'll be joining us again.

Good advise, as always.
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Apr 19th, 2010, 04:01 AM
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Thanks for the warm greeting, Sandi. Things are much better now. I'm just in need of a good dose of Africa to help balance and heal.
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Apr 20th, 2010, 09:09 AM
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All this discussion of what color clothing is appropriate for Africa, reminded me of an article I read in Africa Geographic magazine (Feb 2009) titled; "Eye of the Beholder". In it, the author, Tim Jackson, explains the very specialized eyesight of various animals. Its a fascinating article. I finally found it and here is what he has to say regarding mammals seeing color.

"Mammals have evolved from nocturnal ancestors, in which rod photoreceptors dominated in the retina and colour vision was secondary. Whereas most humans can see four principal colours (blue, green, yellow and red) and combinations thereof, the majority of mammals have only two types of cone receptors, giving them colour vision similar to that of people who are red–green colour blind. Animals with dichromatic vision, as it is called, only see two primary colours – blue and yellow – and no intermediate colours, such as orange or violet. Instead, they see desaturated versions of blue and yellow, and shades of grey. This relatively primitive perception of colour is widespread and has been documented in elephants as well as many African ungulates, including steenbok, grey duiker, lechwe, waterbuck, mountain reedbuck, roan, gemsbok, hartebeest, impala, greater kudu and eland."
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May 29th, 2010, 02:55 AM
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Animals, trust me, dont care about what you wear. You will be sitting in a bus, and as soon as you see ananimal, you will be joined by several other cars/buses/whatnot.

So one only wears these khaki safari outfits to "feel as if one is hacking through the jungle". I personally find it rather neo-colonial and a tad stupid to spend money on these.

Peace, Mosee from www.tribaluganda.com
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May 29th, 2010, 01:51 PM
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May 29th, 2010, 04:06 PM
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My favorite travel slacks, which I bought for our Africa trip but now take everywhere, are Cardiff model stretch travel pants by Royal Roibbins. It's a nylon fabric with Lycra for the stretch, relatively tailored styling, and one zip pocket. They are so comfortable I wear them on overnight flights. But most importantly you can wash them in the bathroom sink and hang wet in the shower. Dries in a few hours (certainly overnight) and ready to wear with no wrinkles. Found them at REI but ordered online for less.
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May 30th, 2010, 06:16 AM
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That was good for a chuckle... Chloe jacket $770. That's what my entire safari wardrobe cost!
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May 30th, 2010, 06:37 AM
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On the other end of the spectrum from the $770 Chloe, don't forget your thrift shops and Goodwill.

TribalUganda has a good point: So one only wears these khaki safari outfits to "feel as if one is hacking through the jungle".

I can recall both hacking through the jungle and through the buffets line at the lodge.
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Apr 12th, 2014, 05:11 AM
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This article may provide some insights for you: http://www.momentsinafrica.com/camp-...nt-safari-chic
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Apr 12th, 2014, 08:14 AM
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Yeah, maybe some insights - four years too late!!!

regards - tom
how do people dig up these ancient threads anyway???
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Apr 12th, 2014, 09:14 AM
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oops! Subject came up on a search. Pardon my early morning stupor, I forgot to check the date. Haha!
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