Planning on taking a safari? If so, you should be aware of just how useful and important a proper safari jacket is. In this article, we discuss why you really do need a safari jacket and give you some options on finding the perfect safari jacket for your trip.
Safari jackets are sometimes mistakenly considered as just a fashion trend, so wearing ‘just’ a normal jacket on your safari might cross your mind – perhaps one a bit thicker than usual with a few more pockets. Whilst this might just about work for a short trip, you should bear in mind that safari jackets have a very specific use, hence they have a certain design. Colour, pockets, material, weight, protection and where you’re travelling to are all things you should consider when looking at safari jackets.
Two other important considerations when choosing a safari jacket are comfort and weather:
- Wearing clothes that you are most comfortable in will enhance your safari experience. Whilst some people may be more interested in their Instagram wall than their own comfort, on safari you’ll be out in vehicles or walking for many hours each day, so feeling comfortable in your safari jacket is an important factor.
- Where and when you’re going on safari will determine the weather – wet or dry season – which will likely have an impact on the style of safari jacket you go for. Does it need to be waterproof, or provide maximum coverage?
Traditionally, safari jackets are khaki, tan, brown or beige, though many are also now offered in neutral shades of grey. The colour of a safari jacket is important for several reasons, not least because it may impact the amount of wildlife you see on a game drive or when on a walking safari. Any bright colours will cause you to stand out from your environment, and likely scare away any animals, whilst very dark or blue will attract insects and mosquitos, which can carry malaria, yellow fever and dengue fever amongst other things.
Styles of safari jacket
Thankfully there are plenty of choices when it comes to choosing a safari jacket. Here are some of the key styles of safari jacket to help you differentiate the options on offer:
Standard safari jacket
A lightweight, hip-length and cotton-blend fabric, the standard safari jacket has an oversized collar with four patch pockets, and four buttons to enclose it.
Mid-length safari jacket
The name says it all. A mid-length safari jacket offers more warmth for those early morning game drives or walks, it also comes with four pockets large enough to stash everything you’ll want to take out with you.
This similar to a standard/mid-length safari jacket, with the difference being that a bush jacket usually has a belt around the waist.
Safari bomber jacket
Unlike a traditional bomber jacket a safari bomber jacket is lightweight, made up of polyester fabric, has four patch pockets, an inside pocket, and a zippered front.
A twist on the tradition safari jacket is a safari vest, which gives you an extra layer of protection and warmth (and gives you those all important extra pockets!), but has no arms.
We’re keen to hear your thoughts and tips on taking a safari jacket on safari with you. Please join in the conversation in the comments section below!
What to wear with a safari jacket
Now that you have a bit of a background about safari jackets, you’ll need to consider what to wear with it. Clothing combinations on safari are a personal preference, but there are some critical items (think sunglasses and safari hat) and best practices when packing for your safari. We have an in-depth article on safari clothing here and run over the basics of what clothes you might want to take on safari below
• Wearing a shirt under your safari jacket is comfortable
• Some people prefer sleeveless as an option, given that you are already on your jacket, it will be less hot.
• Long sleeves are also an option, and this is also good if you want to take off your safari jacket for a moment.
• Wearing khaki trousers or shorts are the common option
• Leggings can be very comfortable for ladies.
• You can also consider wearing long skirts, as you’ll probably find yourself squatting whilst game viewing at points on your safari, making a long skirt useful and comfortable to wear
• Putting on your safari boots always complement, this is go-to wear for this kind of trip so consider having a pair of it
• Hiking shoe is the best alternative option that you can wear when you don’t have other options, it is comfortable and light
• You can wear slip-on shoes or closed shoes, or you can consider bringing this as an extra shoe because you will not always be on a hike or a trek, and would probably stay most of your time on your vehicle so this will help you feel more comfortable.