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Best Colors to Wear on Safari

Best Colors to Wear on Safari

Did you know that there are best colors to wear on safari? Before we heading off on our safari vacation in South Africa and Uganda I had no idea how or indeed why the color of clothes your wear on a safari is important but it really is. In this guide we will tell you the worst and best colors to wear on safari and why you should stick to a restricted color palette whether you are going on a safari in Tanzania, South africa or indeed anywhere in Africa.

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Why Does the Color of Safari Clothes Matter?

The truth is that color is a really important factor when putting together your safari capsule wardrobe. But why does the color of safari clothes matter?

Blending in With your surroundings

The point of being on safari is seeing the amazing wildlife. If you are wearing neon clothes you will definitely stand out from your bush surroundings.

If you want to see more animals we recommend wearing colors that will help you blend in to the surroundings.

This is important no matter whether you are doing a safari by car, by boat but especially important if you are doing a walking safari.

Keeping clean

It shouldn’t come as a shock that going on a safari isn’t a sterile experience. Chances are you will get dusty and dirty even doing a safari in a car but certainly if you are doing a walking safari.

So you don’t look filthy in your photographs you want to be wearing colors that will not show the dirt so much.

So now you know why it is important to wear and not to wear certain colors on safari we will look in more detail color by color to help you when packing

Packing a Capsule Wardrobe

Keeping to this limited color palette will also help you create and stick to a safari capsule wardrobe which will help you pack light which is an essential for those who are using light aircraft to get to their safari lodges.

While this safari guide is applicable for anywhere in Africa, if you want a country specific packing list check out our dedicated guides:

Best Colors to Wear on Safari

Best Colors to Wear on Safari
Best Colors to Wear on Safari

In our opinion the best colors to wear on a safari are:

  • Khaki
  • Brown
  • Green
  • Tan
  • Beige

The reason we recommend these colors over all others is that these are the colors that will help you blend in most with the African landscape be that forests, savannahs or plains.

By blending in you will have a much better chance of seeing wildlife and not drawing attention to yourself in a negative way.

Also we found Khaki shirts the best for not showing up dust while tan, beige and brown were the best in our opinion for hiding the mud when doing gorilla trekking and other muddy activities.

What Colors Not to Wear on Safari

what colors not to wear on safari
what colors not to wear on safari

We recommend adding the colors below to your what not to wear on safari list. While it is probably more important for those on walking safaris to adhere to this most strictly we recommend following it whether you are in a car, on foot or on a boat. This is especially important when relating to health and safety.

Blue and Black

Blue and Black tend to be go to in my wardrobes, particularly in my outdoors wardrobes however in my opinion these are the colors that you should most avoid on safari.

This isn’t because they will make you stand up or show up dirt but for a very serious health and safety reason.

Africa unfortunately is home to the Tsete Fly. They are particularly abundant in East and Central Africa and we did see them when we were on safari in Uganda. Tsete Flies are known to cause Sleeping Sickness which is a horrible disease and you should try at all costs to prevent getting bitten by a Tsete Fly to avoid this.

Tsete Flies are attracted to two colors above any other. And you guessed it those colors are Blue and Black. although this is especially important when visiting Central and Eastern Africa I would follow this advice wherever you are going on safari just in case.

Can you Wear White on Safari?

We often get asked whether you can wear white on safari. I think most people have a romantic notion of what a safari wardrobe looks like from watching films and movies where women wear pristine white linen tops while out in the bush and savannah.

However this really isn’t a good or practical idea. Out of all the colors you could wear on a safari white is the color that will make you stand out the most. Also white will absolutely show up dust and dirt more than any other color.

If you have to have a white linen shirt in your safari wardrobe I would personally recommend you wearing this just for dinner in your lodge rather than out on safari drives and walks.

Can you wear bright colors on safari?

It is not recommend that you wear bright colors on safari. Neutral colors, such as tans and khakis are a much better choice. Bright colors will make you stand out which could prevent animals coming out or even attract some that you don’t want to be too interested in you especially on the walking safaris.

We therefore leaving bright colors out of your safari capsule wardrobes.

Is grey ok to wear on safari?

Grey is not the worst color to wear on safari however I would definitely prefer to keep khakis and neutral tones in your wardrobe instead.

Can I wear pink on a safari?

Pink is not as bad as white, blue or black on safari and it doesn’t attract anything in particularly depending on the shade but I personally would still not add pink to my safari wardrobe.

Light pink, similar to white will show up all the dirt and dust and won’t look great in pictures and darker or brighter pinks will make you stand out too much.

Can you wear red on a safari?

Red is not known to attract Tsete Flies however red will make you very conspicuous to the animals and therefore isn’t a recommended color to wear on safari.

Can I wear orange on safari?

Orange no matter the shade is considered a bright color and as such is not recommended to wear on safari. Not only because it will make you stand out to animals but also because insects love orange and you really don’t want to attract more insects towards you on a safari.

Can you wear Camo on Safari?

Although Khaki is a great color for safari you should NEVER wear khaki on a safari. This isn’t anything to do with the Animals but in Africa came or camouflage is almost exclusively used by soldiers and the army. And in fact it is in some places illegal to wear camouflage if you aren’t in the army.

Therefore we recommend leaving anything came behind.

Is it OK to wear black on safari?

No black is a color that you shouldn’t wear on safari. As we mentioned above black attracts Tsete Flies and therefore should be avoided at all costs.


Saturday 1st of July 2023

On what to wear, second to last paragraph, you mention camo, but in the paragraph below, you insert "Khaki" and "came". Not sure if "came" is a different invocation of "camo" or just a typo.

"Although Khaki is a great color for safari you should NEVER wear khaki on a safari." ???


Friday 28th of July 2023

Thanks for pointing this out Bob and I will get this edited. Camo i.e. military camouflage isn't great on safaris as depending on the country you are in it is illegal to wear camouflage outside of the military.

I hope you have a great trip