Because safariing in Africa can be more challenging for ladies than it is for gents, a safari guide for women can be very helpful. That’s right, men generally fare better in the wild and tend to have certain advantages on outdoor adventures. These advantages enhance comfort and convenience. Fortunately, with some research and planning, women can navigate the African bush more easily and significantly improve their safari experience. This basic, easy-to-follow guide provides information and tips on how to do that.
African Safari Guide for Women
What to Wear
Pack in practical clothes such as T-shirts, shorts and trousers for your safari in Africa. Greys, greens, browns and khaki are best, as you will blend in with nature. Note that many African cultures consider the thighs and hips extremely private. Then, you’ll need at least one warm pullover (Africa can get cold) and a raincoat.
When it comes to footwear, avoid heels and uncomfortable shoes. Remember, you will be in the bush and could be doing a fair amount of walking. Rather, opt for lightweight and protective mid-ankle sneakers or hiking boots. You may also want to bring some comfy flip-flops or sandals. See what to wear on safari.
Hair and Make-up
Luxury lodges and safari destinations in Africa have sufficient electricity but budget safari camps often don’t, so leave your hairdryer. It’s fine, you won’t need it anyway. Between mid-morning and mid-afternoon, the majority of Africa is warm, even during the winter. This is a great time to kick back and let your hair dry in the sun.
Don’t worry too much about your appearance on safari – A top tip in our safari guide for women! Remember, this is a holiday/vacation, where you get to take a break from your usual grooming regimen, among other things. Wash your hair and put on some mascara and lip gloss if you want to. That’s enough.
On wildlife safaris, safety is paramount and everybody is responsible. Listen carefully to your guide or ranger. Follow their instructions at all times. Safari professionals have years of training and experience in dealing with wild animals in nature. Their training and experience won’t make up for reckless behaviour, though.
Safari safety tips for Africa: Never take food back to your tent or leave it lying around. This will attract animals. When leaving your tent, always zip it up. If you leave the tent open, then you could return to find food/possessions missing (baboons commonly ransack tents) or animals inside enjoying its shade or warmth.
Toilet Stops on Safari
Where do you pee on safari? This is one of the most common safari questions that we receive. Going to the bathroom while on safari is a little different from going at home. Actually, it’s a lot different. Park entrances, picnic areas and lodges usually have bathrooms but on game drives and walks, you ‘go’ in the bush.
There’s good news in this safari guide for women. Guides understand that people must relieve themselves and most are happy to make toilet stops upon request. Oftentimes, they will explain what you need to do before the trip. Simply ask your guide to “find a bush” if you need to go. He or she will know what you mean.
If your ‘time of the month’ is due on safari, then take the necessary supplies from home. You could be hours away from a shop that sells sanitary products. Additionally, pack in brown paper bags to dispose of soiled items. Never flush these. Instead, wrap it all up in toilet paper and throw in the bathroom bin.
Another thing that women should know about menstruation while on safari is that it’s a bad idea to leave soiled items in the bush. Animals have an acute sense of smell and could end up eating what you left behind. The best thing to do is to put everything in a Ziploc bag and get rid of it at your safari camp or lodge.
For cultural reasons, the staff at safari camps do not wash women’s underwear (panties or bras). You will need to wash these yourself. Many camps keep washing powder next to the bathroom basin for washing undergarments. Some even have washing lines where you can hang your undies up to dry.
In general, on game drives and around camps in Africa, you will want to dress modestly, covering up from your lower thighs to your shoulders. This conveys respect. Other ways to show respect (and gratitude – important) include greeting the accommodation staff, practicing good manners and accepting help graciously.
We hope that you have found this safari guide for women helpful. If you still have questions or would like more information on Africa safaris, particularly South African safaris, then please contact us here.