What Should I Wear on Safari?

Are you already booked and preparing for your upcoming Tanzania trip? If so, have you packed for your safari? If not, here are a few tips on what to bring for your safari. Keep in mind you can store these items in a secure room in the hotel while you’re climbing Kilimanjaro.

Leopard on Safari
Photo by Wayne Lubbe

So what should you wear on safari? Here are a few essential items you should definitely bring along:

Comfortable and Light-Colored Clothing

Safari Clothes

Opt for comfortable clothing. Choose light color clothing like white or tan to reflect the light. Avoid shades such as blue. Blue attracts the tsetse fly. The tsetse fly is a large biting insect found in tropical Africa. While tsetse flies are usually harmless to healthy adults and children, their bites can be momentarily painful. It is like a pinprick.

Loose-fitting clothes are also a good choice, allowing you to move easily within the safari vehicle. Wear a shirt that has long sleeves that roll down. They will protect your arms as you cruise along the bumpy dirt roads.

Wide Hat with a Chin Strap

hat for safari
Photo by Juan Vargas

Don’t forget to pack a hat for sun protection. Choose one with a strap to prevent it from blowing off while you’re standing and the vehicle is moving. Additionally, opt for a hat with a brim to shield your face from the sun’s rays. You’ll be under our pop-up roof, but a hat is still an essential piece of clothing.

Neck Gaiter, Buff, or Scarf

Bring one of these to protect yourself from the dust. As you drive along the dirt roads, you’ll stir up a lot of dust that will swirl into the vehicle.

You can use the same one you took on Kilimanjaro since the hotel has laundry service. You can have it washed before heading on the safari.

Closed-Toe Shoesshoes for safari

Ensure you wear closed-toe shoes during the safari. Sandals or open-toed shoes may lead to stubbed toes. This is especially common when you’re constantly moving around the safari vehicle to catch sight of various animals.

Paying attention to your foot placement can be challenging while the vehicle is in motion, so closed-toe shoes are a safer option.


Given the brightness of the savannah, sunglasses are a must-have accessory for your safari. They protect your eyes from glare and help shield them from the dusty environment you’ll be traversing.


Sunscreen is an essential item to pack and use during your safari adventure. Make sure it is sweat resistant and mostly odorless. Reapply it as often as the package suggests.

DSLR Camera with a Telephoto Lens

Camera for Safari
Photo: Jordan Bergenda

Capturing stunning wildlife photographs requires a good camera with a telephoto lens. Instead of relying on a smartphone or tablet, bring a DSLR camera with a lens of at least 300-400mm. Ideally, a lens of 500mm or greater would be best. Animals tend to keep their distance from vehicles. Renting a camera and lens is a cost-effective option. High-quality lenses are expensive. Many camera rental places offer two-week rentals for around $200.

What to Wear on Safari
Photo: Paul Jousseau

Final Thought

In conclusion, what you wear on safari will greatly increase your comfort level on your Tanzanian safari. Depending on what safari you booked, you’ll be visiting several parks. They may include Lake Manyara National Park, Arusha National Park, Tarangire National Park, The Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, and Serengeti National Park. If you plan to visit the Serengeti (highly recommended), allocate at least four days due to its location. By packing these items, you’ll be able to focus on the incredible wildlife and create lasting memories without discomfort or distraction.

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