The fashion essentials for a Safari
Are you finally heading to Serengeti? Congratulations, it will be the trip of your life! Even more so if you keep your luggage light in terms of weight and colours
Being in the African bush can be tempting. Tempting to want to play a little bit Karen Blixen aka Meryl Streep in the epic movie Out of Africa. You should though consider the fact that you are not a colonial mistress with a coffee farm, but a respectful visitor of a foreign country. Times have changed, thank god! Just remember Melania Trump in Kenya, wearing a ridiculous colonial style costume with knee-high boots and tropical helmet, and you know what I am talking about. In short, a good safari look merges effortlessly with its surroundings but does not try too hard. So in case of doubt, the jacket you usually wear when walking in the park is better than to look too moviestar-like.
When it comes to the perfect luggage, instead of a hard shell suitcase bring a soft shell version that you can quickly open and close at the top - also because in case you travel from lodge to lodge and don´t undo your luggage every time, it should be kept closed at all times. You never know who wants to crawl into your bag and travel back home with you, after all!
And this is what you should pack:
A Sun hat
Two things will be your most essential accessories: insect repellent - and a hat. One, because you should never underestimate the African sun, even if it is cold. Any fancy attempts to look like Meryl Streep in Out of Africa will fail the moment your guide puts the pedal to the metal to get a glimpse of a leopard: your hat will go with the wind. Opt for something more practical with a string around your neck. Two: in many bush areas, water is rare, and you are not supposed to wash your hair every day. That´s when you will really love your hat.
A Safari jacket
Don´t rack your brains over what you should pack for dinnertimes - anything silky, sparkling or colourful will make you feel terribly out of place. You are in the bush! And nobody is even thinking about changing after the game drive. But you still want to feel put together and contribute to the beauty of the romantic scene under the trillion stars - so everything that reminds of that famous Yves Saint Laurent safari dress Verushka once wore is a good investment. So search for a great Safari jacket - pair it with shorts or cargo pants in the same beige or khaki during your trip and with jeans when you are back home.
Spare the suitcase space for some nice souvenirs (you will never wear again, but who cares) and leave your favourite summer sandals at home. You may want to bring one pair of uncomplicated slides for your free time between the game drives - but for the rest of your stay, you will feel the most comfortable - and safe, mind the snakes - in some solid, ankle-high trekking shoes. You can add some colour here with your socks!
White and khaki shirts
Ever wondered why nobody is wearing flower prints in those safari movies? Well, some creatures in the bush do love bright colours! No, you would not attract lions or cheetahs (consider yourself lucky if you meet one), but insects. So, instead of dressing up like a colourful spring tree, concentrate on white and khaki when it comes to tops. A white men´s shirt will look classy and feel breezy at any time.
We assume you are not heading to the bush for being lazy at the pool - so be prepared for very early wake-up calls at 5am, so you can see as many predators as possible (yes, they are night owls and love to hunt in the dark). These beautiful mornings will still be chilly - so always have a thin puffer jacket with you. In the bush, temperatures can fall and rise rather quickly, so it is all about the onion look: wear as many layers as possible to keep it flexible. Perfect add-on: a large cashmere-silk scarf, why not in some kind of animal print.