Clothes to wear on Safari in Tanzania
Going on an African safari conjures up amazing images of adventure, glamour and excitement. However, some of the practicalities like what to bring and wear on a safari can be less interesting – but very important!
Nobody wants to be distracted from the incredible site of the African animals by uncomfortable shoes or the dreaded tse tse flies.
What to bring and how to pack efficiently for Tanzania safari
Comfortable, loose clothing with a good pair of shoes
If you’re heading to the main spots such as the Serengeti or the Ngorongoro Crater, you will likely spend most of your time inside a jeep, but prepare for the unexpected!
Our trip in the Serengeti was momentarily stopped by a mechanical meltdown, which resulted in us all jumping out and helping push the car out of a muddy spot. So, it is best to wear comfortable, loose clothing with a good pair of shoes.
For many people, a multi day safari involves a night or two camping. Therefore, it is important to bring warm clothes as it can get very cold overnight.
Avoid leather clothing
Also beware of leather clothing – the scent can attract animals (honestly – we had a tour mate lose a nice pair of leather sandals to a hyena!)
Light in colour and long garments
One things to be aware of when you are on safari in Tanzania is tse tse flies. Unfortunately they can fly in swarms and make your trip really uncomfortable! Although most good drivers will know how to avoid the areas where they are common, they tend to be attracted to darker colours.
Therefore, it is recommended that your clothing is light in colour. Also, long garments (like a safari skirt!) are perfect as they protect your skin from the little pests!
For women on safari, a long safari skirt is a great way to go. Not only are they glamorous, but they are great for the warm weather. Most places in Tanzania are pretty conservative, so it is also an appropriate way to go.
Hat and Sunglasses
The sun can also be quite severe, so it is a good idea to bring a hat and sunglasses as well.
Towel and Soap
The best tip for packing efficiently for a Tanzania safari is to only bring the essentials. One thing you should definitely bring is a towel for the shower!
Unless you’re specifically told, most campsites do not have towels and it’s not much fun to be caught out without one!
I would also recommend bringing your own soap. Shampoo and conditioner are probably not necessary for any short trip – if you’re vain, bring a hat or headscarf!
Probably the most important thing to bring on either a one day or multi day safari is a camera for capturing the amazing moments. Any camera is fine but for the enthusiast, a good, fast lens is best for snapping the lightning-quick moments.You can also bring a binocular.
Insect repellent and sunscreen
Another must is some insect repellent.I recommend this natural insect repellent DEET-Free.Sunscreen is also important – even through the windows of the safari car, you can still get badly burnt.
Finally, it is absolutely necessary to bring your own water. Nothing will ruin your dream safari faster than if you suffer from dehydration, which does happen. So ensure that you bring at least 2 litres of water.
What to wear on Zanzibar
Zanzibar is a beautiful place, whether it be for relaxing on a beach or going on safari. Although it is popular with tourists and many resorts have their own private part of the beach so you can be a little more care free, in the cities (and especially Stone Town), the culture is very conservative.
Out of respect and in order to avoid any uncomfortable situations, it is best to cover yourself – at least your shoulders and knees. One priceless item for these situations is a sarong – perfect for wrapping around your shoulders or bathing suit.
If you are heading off on a safari from another location that you’ll be returning to (like a hotel), ask if you can leave your bag there and just take a small backpack.
In order to make it easy to access what you have packed, I recommend organising your backpack efficiently using other smaller bags; one for your wet and dirty clothes, and one for your underwear and other things you want to be able to grab easily.