15 November 2010 by Kate Turkington

Gucci or Walmart?

You’ve planned the trip, got the travel documents and cancelled the newspapers. Now you’re almost ready to set off for Deepest Darkest Africa. But what are you going to wear?

Once at Mala Mala Game Reserve next to Kruger Park, I fell in with a Russian couple on their first safari. They were memorable for two reasons: 1) the amount of vodka they downed on the evening game drive, and 2) her outfits. Normally one wouldn’t expect to find someone wearing gold lamé skin-tight leggings, a sequin strappy top and stilettos when you go looking for the Big 5. She did - but for only one night.

The next evening saw pink velvet jeans, a purple satin blouse and cowboy boots which might have looked good on Charlize Theron, but not on a traditionally built middle-aged babe from Bella Russe. And every day there was a new pair of designer sunglasses twinkling with faux diamonds.

My advice would be to sling the bling and stick to khaki shirts and slacks, comfortable walking shoes (you never know when you might have to flee a charging elephant), sunblock at all times and a hat. The hat should fit tightly or have strings otherwise it will blow off (especially if your game vehicle is fleeing the same charging elephant).

Abandon the heady perfumes and sexy after-shave. You’ll put the wildlife off as well as your fellow passengers. If you’ve bought new khaki bush gear be sure to wash and wear it before you set foot on safari. Shiny, perfectly creased pants and unscuffed boots will give the game away - that you’re bush novices.

Remember, you’re not here to be looked at, not by humans anyway. Hyenas can’t tell the difference between Gucci and Walmart. And you wouldn’t want a baboon laughing at you.

Category: Adventure, Wildlife

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