Planning what to wear on safari in Tanzania can be a tricky task. For most of us, going on safari is a trip of a lifetime, and not something we do often. Chances are, if you’re reading this guide on what to wear on safari in Tanzania, this is your first ever safari trip and you’re feeling a little out of your depth. I know, because that’s exactly how I felt!
I was imagining looking like an intrepid adventurer, bounding off into the Serengeti in search of lions, fitting in seamlessly with my surroundings. Perhaps with a stylish camera slung over my shoulder and maybe a sketch pad or two. But in truth, I had absolutely no idea what I’d need. I didn’t know what the weather would be like, I didn’t know what colours to wear to stay as camouflaged as possible, I didn’t even know what travel adaptor I needed! So I did what I enjoy doing most before an upcoming trip-a whole load of research into what to wear on safari in Tanzania.
Now, several years later and several safaris wiser, I have my safari packing list down to a fine art. From sun hats to socks, I’ve got it covered in this guide to what to wear on safari in Tanzania. I hope this packing guide will help you in preparing for what will be the most incredible experience, and a holiday you will never forget.
The Weather In Tanzania
The dry season in Tanzania lasts from late June to October. This is when you’ll have the best chance of seeing some of the more elusive creatures such as leopards, as they tend to be driven to water holes due to lack of rain. This is also when you’ll find the highest prices and biggest crowds!
The best chance of seeing the wildebeest migration in the Serengeti is during June and July and the time to see the wildebeest calving is late January to February.
Tanzania’s main rainy season last through March, April, and May. That being said, we visited during April and had beautiful, clear weather with only one evening of rain. We saw all the big five, including two leopards, countless lions, a rhino and cheetahs. So if you can’t go during dry season then you could always take a chance and go in the rainy season.
Temperatures in the Serengeti and surrounding areas don’t change too much through the year, staying at around 28 degrees Celsius during the day and often halving that at night. The rainy season tends to be a little hotter, and obviously more humid. Expect drier heat in the dry season.
WHAT COLOURS TO WEAR ON SAFARI IN TANZANIA
You should avoid wearing any dark colours on a safari in Tanzania and still with neutral or khaki colours. Tanzania has a bit of a problem with Tsetse flies, which are attracted to dark colours. You’ll see dark coloured flags hung from trees in areas that are especially bad, to attract and catch them. The other problem with dark colours is that they attract heat, so wear lighter colours and they will keep you cooler for longer.
LUGGAGE BAG FOR YOUR SAFARI IN TANZANIA
Consider taking a soft luggage bag with you, like a backpack or a duffel bag. These make packing up the jeep much, much easier.
This super cute duffel bag has wheels, and folds down really small. It’s the perfect compromise between something great for safari and travel, and something that’s easy for getting onto flights. It also looks great too!
WHAT CLOTHES TO WEAR ON SAFARI IN TANZANIA
The most important thing to remember when on safari in Tanzania is comfort. You will be doing a whole lot of travelling, and days will be long (though in all the excitement they certainly won’t feel it!) Casual, comfortable and easy to wash clothes are recommended.
You will also want to pack light. It’s no fun lugging bags and bags worth of clothes you’re never going to wear from hotel to hotel. On top of that, you will need to fit all your suitcases into one jeep. Save your driver a whole load of hard work by packing as efficiently as possible.
A lightweight scarf. Scarfs make wonderful travel accessories and I never leave for a trip without one. You can use them in all sorts of different ways. To keep you warm on sunset and sunrise game drives, to use as a cover up from the sun or to keep the dust off your face. Make sure you have at least one lightweight scarf in your luggage-this one comes in a range of designs, is super good value and will serve a million different purposes!
Sunglasses. You don’t want to be squinting at all those animals. Keep the sun out of your eyes with some polarised sunglasses, and keep the dust out too!
TOPS AND LAYERS FOR YOUR SAFARI TRIP
T-shirts. You will want some light coloured, light weight t-shirts to wear on safari during the day when it’s hot.
Long sleeved blouse. Get a lightweight one for using as sun cover up during the day. It also makes a great extra layer in the evening, or you can wear it over your evening wear to keep the chill off.
Long sleeved t-shirt. Wear this over your t-shirts to keep you warm during the morning and evening game drives. It’s honestly pretty nippy, so layers work best.
Jumper. Something warm and snuggly in neutral colours. You can wear it for sunrise or nighttime game drives, or just for lounging around in your hotel room. It’s nice to have a little home comfort when you’re travelling!
Jacket. I absolutely love this one from Amazon basics, and can’t believe how cheap it is! One like this will be perfect for the colder evenings and early mornings, plus the handy pockets are great for storing lenses in for easy access. You won’t want to be fumbling around in the bottom of your bag when you spot a leopard!
Helpful Tip: If you’re heading off for a safari in Tanzania during the rainy season then bring a lightweight waterproof poncho with you. They’re so easy to get on and off and they pack away really small. I’ve also found they’re far better than raincoats or umbrellas for keeping the rain off.
BOTTOMS TO WEAR ON SAFARI IN TANZANIA
Shorts. Loose shorts are definitely the way to go. Make sure the fabric is breathable!
Comfy Trousers / Leggings. When you’re sitting around in the jeep for long periods at a time you’re going to be thankful you bought some loose, comfy trousers to wear. Make sure they’re made out of a lightweight material, and that you’re really comfortable in them. Leggings are another great option as you can layer them under a skirt or dress for when it’s cold and whip them off in the midday heat.
DRESSES FOR THE EVENING
Dinner Dress. Bring something nice to wear in the evening. You’ll be thankful for it when you get back from safari and all your clothes are covered in dust!
Maxi Dress. Something long and floaty like this is great for if you’re outdoors for longer periods of time. You can wear it for your safari with boots and a jacket, or save it for lounging by the pool or having dinner.
SHOES FOR YOUR SAFARI IN TANZANIA
Boots. You will probably only need one pair of shoes while you’re on safari. There isn’t much walking involved, but when there is you will want your feet covered up from the dust, dirt and creatures! Bring a pair of boots that you can wear during the day and with your evening dress, that way you can save room in bag for more camera equipment!
Flip flops. These aren’t essential, but quite nice to have for when you’re lazing around by the pool.
BIKINI FOR POOL TIME
Bikini. Your lodge or camp will most likely have a pool area. We chose the cheapest safari on offer and every place we stayed still had the most gorgeous pool looking over incredible views. You won’t want to miss out on taking a dip!
DAY BAG/CAMERA BAG FOR YOUR SAFARI TRIP
You’re going to need something to carry around essentials while you’re on your safari in Tanzania. Something durable and easy to carry is best for a safari, and something with lots of pockets so that you can get to things quickly and easily while you’re in a bumpy jeep.
OUTFITS TO WEAR ON SAFARI IN TANZANIA
Your outfit choices will probably look a little like this.
Safari-Vest top/ T-shirt with some comfy trousers and boots, layered with a long sleeved blouse, jacket and scarf. Don’t forget your sunglasses and hat!
Evening-Cute midi dress, boots and your long sleeved blouse or scarf to keep off the chill!
You will want a few different t-shirts and long layers so you don’t have to wash them, and you might like a couple of dresses or skirts/tops to wear between your safari and dinner, but you can see how it’s pretty easy to keep packing to a minimum. Your jacket, blouse and scarf can all double up for evening or daytime, as can lightweight dresses. If you take clothing that is versatile it will be much easier to pack!
HANDY PACKING LIST FOR WHAT TO WEAR ON SAFARI IN TANZANIA
- Socks and underwear (bring enough for every day, your socks will get covered in dust!)
- T-shirts/vest tops
- Lightweight, comfy trousers
- Long sleeved blouse
- Long sleeved tops/jumper
- Evening dress
- Maxi/midi dress
- Flip flops
- Sun hat
- Day bag/camera bag
Anything we’ve missed off? Let us know in the comments below!