Well, folks, there is fashion here in Africa, too. It is winter in all of southern Africa, so hats are de rigeur for all Jo-berg fashionistas! As are warm, wool coats and the snazzy ankle boots that women around the world can’t seem to get enough of this year…
While in Africa, I spoke to the guides and asked their thoughts on safari fashion. Turns out, they MUST wear khakis, because that is what visitors expect, so it is considered unprofessional to wear jeans, or anything that is not standard-issue safari wear. This is NOT how they dress when out on their own. And this is not an evil corporate plot… the self-employed agree. Sunglasses are highly recommended. The gun, being modeled by our intrepid guide July, is optional and actively discouraged.
Packing for this trip I learned that safari fashion is a tricky affair, with a few key rules and regulations. You bag can not weigh more than 20 pounds, so you must pack light, but it is winter in southern Africa right not, so you must be prepared for the cold. They told us it would go as low as 10°c at night, but we’ve had temps as low as -7° since our arrival!?!
But despite the Antarctic chill, the sun shines brightly and hats are no longer just and accessory, they are a necessity. Scarves help, too, adding warming and protecting against any flying dust, or sand.
Then there are the colors. NO BLACK or dark blue. It attracts tsé tsé flies!!! Whites are discouraged because it may be mistaken for light by insects in the night. Oh, and the dirt. Since you’re packing light, you won’t be changing outfits every day. The lodges offer laundry services, but you’ll still be wearing things more than once, which makes earth-tones the best option. Oh, and those laundry ladies are brutal on clothing, so packing fragile garments is at your own risk.
Of course, the fashion forward Europeans in our crowd simply could not give up their denim, or white t-shirts. Even in the wild, we need a touch of civilization!