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For the Ladies - Question re: dressy clothes on safari

For the Ladies - Question re: dressy clothes on safari

Aug 17th, 2005, 09:09 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 682
For the Ladies - Question re: dressy clothes on safari

Hi All,

I'll be in Africa mid-September and am planning to pack one pair of dressy pants in addition to my safari gear to get me through any fancier dinners. The pants I was planning to take are cropped, and I am now wondering if I will be too cold in them. I am also wondering if Joburg has the same unwritten rules about "white shoes" as we do based on the time of the year.

Here is my itinerary:
2 ni Joburg
2 ni King's Pool
2 ni Jao
3 ni Singita Ebony

Please let me know what you think.

Ericka is offline  
Aug 17th, 2005, 05:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 100
Dear Ericka,

I have never taken dressy clothes away with me on safari, even though I usually stay one night in J'burg on the way into South Africa. I tend to wear jeans/denim skirt depending on the season on the plane, and for dinner in J'burg I will change into a nice top.

I have not been to King's Pool or Jao, but I have been several times to Singita Boulders, and will be there again in December. I have never changed for dinner, in summer I will shower before dinner and change into long pants and clean shirt, but it is my usual daytime wear - nothing dressy, for Xmas & New Year I will put on a fancier top, but that is it!

Weather wise, it is hard to say - I have been in the Sabi Sands one year and it was really hot, last year I was there Nov/Dec and some mornings/evenings were chilly. Anytime of the year, I will always wear long pants and boots to dinner mainly because of the mosquitoes, as I have had dengue fever which was on a June trip in the Sabi Sands, the middle of winter and I still got bitten by a mosquito.

Regarding the "white shoe" rule, I am Australian and we do not have that rule and I am not really sure what it is except you do not wear white after some specific date, so I am not sure that the people of South Africa would really be that worried about you wearing white shoes or not, but I would be reluctant to wear open shoes after dusk, only because of biting things!

Hope this helps,

austkaye is offline  
Aug 17th, 2005, 07:43 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 396
I didn't bring any dressy clothes and felt absolutely fine. I did have ear rings/necklace/scarves and such and noticed most women dressed up a bit w/accessories.

As for cropped pants, I think temperature will be fine, but you will have a problem with bug bites. Bugs love exposed ankles.

Have a fab time!
linjudy is offline  
Aug 17th, 2005, 09:04 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 424
When I was at Kings Pool everyone was very casual with their dress at dinnertime and basically stuck to safari wear. I would just change into clean clothes which I would then wear for the next days activities.

Can't comment on Singita but I would think that anything casual would be just fine.

I agree with linjudy that you might want to consider covering up in the evenings so as to avoid the insects especially at the camps with outdoor dining.

Hope you have a great time. You will enjoy the new bungalows at KP as they are quite amazing for a bush camp.
DJE is offline  
Aug 18th, 2005, 04:40 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 682
This is great feedback everyone. Thanks!
Ericka is offline  
Aug 18th, 2005, 04:43 AM
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I always packs at least 1-pr of long black pants and dress it up with a great sweater, jewelry and bright scarf/shawl, especially for Singita. When we visited here, rarely did woman wear safari clothing, except those who had safari clothing as if popping off the pages of Vogue or Harpers. And to be honest, most looked out of place at dinner, if not even on safari.

Many women did wear white slacks (instead of black); younger women and honeymooner wives actually wore spaghetti strap slip dresses. All men were in nice casual slacks and shirt... a few men even wore a sports jacket (but this isn't necessary).

At other camps/lodges throughout Africa most guests stick with their safari clothing (slacks with sweater and a nice scarf or some jewelry) if they wanted to feel "dressed for dinner." Generally, everywhere is rather casual, but at the higher-end camps, guests tend to dress-up somewhat. So, Ericka, go with what you feel comfortable wearing.

As to the mossies at night. The only time I was ever attacked, was recently in Zanzibar (hot and humid) - these critters loved the ankles regardless the amount of repellent. Elsewhere, even with exposed skin, never a bite. But go prepared.
Aug 18th, 2005, 05:29 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 686
I'm intrigued. OK, nosy. I confess that I'm a male, as my name implies. But I gotta ask. Unwritten or not, what's the rule"?!

In any event, I also confess that (as a male?) I almost certainly wouldn't notice what colour/color a woman's shoes were, in whatever country. I assume it's a woman-to-woman-looking-down-on kind of thing. Or does the maitre d' also inspect at the door?

Pray do tell. And is this in the U.S.? My guess is that it's not a dress code in S.A., even in the many higher circles that I don't frequent.

ArthurSA is offline  
Aug 18th, 2005, 06:10 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 987
In Jo'burg, I think you will be happy that you took the dressy pants. Women in South Africa generally are very well-dressed. You'll want something other than a safari look in the city.

The "white" rule, Arthur, is that white shoes and purses are only worn between Memorial Day (the start of American summer) and Labor Day (the end of American summer). In the South, I think it's Easter and Labor Day. The idea is that white is a hot weather color. I think this rule is more honored in the breach than in the observance, but I'm old enough that I do find myself following it, not because I want to appease the fashion police, but just because white looks too summery to me to wear in cool weather.

When I lived in Jo'burg, Ericka, people didn't follow the white shoes rule.
Celia is offline  
Aug 18th, 2005, 11:10 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,766

At KP if Brian is your guide you will just about have time to get off the vehicle, grab a quick drink and go to dinner. He is truly hard core and absolutley refuses to be the first landrover in, and usually tries very hard to be last. If you meet any of the following people say Hi from Matt and Elke Wood. Brian, Chantelle, Lizzie, and Cady.
napamatt is offline  
Aug 18th, 2005, 04:43 PM
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NapaMatt - how nice that you remember the names of people at King's Pool! It must be a very friendly place. I'm looking forward to it.
Ericka is offline  
Aug 18th, 2005, 08:58 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 396
Ericka, believe me, you will remember the names of the guides and staff after your trip. I will never forget mine -- they are what made our trip so special.

linjudy is offline  
Aug 19th, 2005, 04:18 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Arthur, the rule was that white shoes could only be worn between Memorial Day and Labor Day (roughly end of May through beginning of September).

I believe that the rule has gone the way of hats and gloves.
dsquared is offline  

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