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March 29, 2022

What to wear on a luxury walking safari

It’s the most common question I get sliding into my Instagram DMs “I am going on safari, what must I wear?” Well dear safari-traveller, it all depends on what type of safari you’re going on.

Safari travel is an experience for every type of style guru; whether you’re an “only-the-basics” type or love to add accessories to every look, the safari culture can be moulded into the fashion runway you desire. However, there are certain safari activities that require you to stick to a brief…

A Walking Safari is one of them

Simbavati Trails Camp

This month I had the incredible opportunity to visit the newly-opened-for-the-season, Simbavati Trails Camp. Nestled north of the Timbavati Nature Reserve in South Africa’s prime safari destination of the Greater Kruger National Park is a Luxury Tented Camp purely positioned for walking safaris.

Four luxury-unfenced tents, a main central tent with a boma for meals and a beautiful deck with a pool overlooking the Mopane big-five bushveld is your home for however many nights you choose to stay, (I recommend three).

This camp was created as an alternative to big-five game viewer type safaris, in that all your activities are on foot. With two armed guides at the helm, you can be assured you are in safe hands as you take your 2x daily walks into the wild. Morning walks starting at sunrise are around three hours long, and your evening walks depart as soon as the African sun starts to dip, these are about 2-1.5 hours or until it’s too dark to walk and you return to camp.

During the day, between your exhilarating walks tracking big-five game, learning about the flora and fauna and taking in the serenity of being on foot, you’re left at your own leisure to laze by the pool, enjoy an afternoon nap or simply sit a birdwatch. These types of safaris allow you to slow down, take focus on the little things and exercise your senses, which means when it comes to your outfit, keeping it simple is your best bet.

What to Wear

Here is my fashion advice for your walking safari experience:

On the Walk

My top tip for any safari is to dress for the season. And yes that does mean lightweight in summer and layers for winter but it also means dressing to the colours of your surroundings.

● Choose tighter-fitting bottoms – tapered ankles, cycle shorts or long pants with a slight technical stretch are great. You want more coverage on your legs to avoid scratches from bushes and pesky ticks.

● Layer your top – in summer you want to be cool but also covered and in winter you want to be able to de-layer because even though mornings are cold, it does get quite warm during the day. I love a tank top with a linen shirt over it in summer and a linen shirt with a warmer jacket to de-layer in winter.

● Walk in your comfortable shoes – the pace at which you walk on a walking safari is slow. And even though you are on your feet for 3 hours, it’s not the activity to go out and buy hiking boots. Your running shoes, trail boots or any footwear you know is comfortable is key. Just avoid any neon colours.

● Long socks are recommended – it’s not only ticks and bushy scratches but also the flick of sand that finds its way into your shoe. Long socks stop you from bending down and emptying your shoes every 4 steps.

● Wide-brimmed hat – the African sun, no matter the season is harsh. I always make sure I lather on the 50SPF and pop on a hat. Peaks although are great for pony-tails don’t give you enough coverage and if you’re constantly looking through the lens of your binos or camera, switching your cap back and forth can get a bit annoying.

● Avoid white and bright – your job here is to blend into your surroundings, which means that you want to keep your colours neutral. Go for: Khaki, creams, greens, beiges, browns and greys. Try to avoid loud patterns and if you must accessorize like me, go for subtle bushy patterns in your scarves and head gear.

● Try to be hands-free – where you can, add a strap to your gear. Hang your binos around your neck, keep your camera on a strap across your shoulders, add sunglasses strings to your sunnies and always carry a lightweight backpack for your water and snacks. You never know when you’re going to need your hands, especially since anything can happen in the wild.

Back at Camp

This is your time to chill and enjoy your day, and your outfit should reflect that.

● Lightweight Linens – linen shorts, pants and shirts and dresses are your friends on safari.

● Sandals or simple sneakers – for walking around camp at night and lazing by the pool

● Swimming Costume – Africa gets hot, even in winter so you definitely want to pack your swimsuit no matter what.

● Lightweight puffer jacket – evenings can get chilly so always carry a jacket. A lightweight option for summer and a heavier one for winter around the fire.

So there you have it! I would love to know if you followed this wardrobe advice and if you have any questions or need some stylish Qs answered, please pop me an email here

Instagram / @luxurysafarimagazine

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