If you follow The Block on Instagram, you might know that I was on a South African safari for a good chunk of May. It was amazing! If you ever get the chance to go, I urge you to do so! But the undeniable allure of Africa is not what I’m here to talk about. For months leading up to my departure, I had all sorts of things to deal with – getting vaccines, updating my passport, saving money! But the most stressful thing of all was figuring out what in the world to pack! All I really knew was that it was supposed to be the end of their fall and that it gets chilly on safari jeeps because of the wind. Thanks to, what I’m confident was, every “South African Safari Packing Guide” online, I also had the idea in my head that I was only allowed to wear khaki and green. (Let me tell you, this wasn’t the case. You can wear just about any color on a jeep safari. I mean I wouldn’t like TRY to bring all red, but you know…a walking safari, that is another story, you’re going to want to blend in.) Plus, I was spending all my money on going to Africa and I needed to keep the costs of clothes down (AND PACK LIGHT BECAUSE OF THE FREQUENT PLANE RIDES – SO MANY HOOPS TO JUMP THROUGH)!
So the number one thing keeping me up at night was what the heck pants do I want to be stuck in on a jeep for 6 hours a day? Comfort is my main concern, always. I am not even down with wearing jeans for 6 hours a day in a jeep (plus, I thought BLUE was supposed to attract tsetse flies – we saw none…). I absolutely refuse to wear khaki pants, so I basically searched the ENTIRE internet for comfortable, non-dorky, green pants. Here’s what I found:
I stand by both of these pairs of pants, and I plan to wear them for days to come! Both are lightweight and you can fit leggings underneath if you’re trying to layer. I’ll spend more on pants than shirts, because I have a weird body and it’s hard to find pants that fit me 2nd hand!
So after I had secured several pairs of pants, I was like, obviously I’m just going to thrift as many khaki, light gray and green shirts as possible. Which I did.
Other essential safari items (that go along with my comfort is key attitude) that I am being paid NOTHING to promote:
- Dad Cap – Got this one for $11 on Amazon
- Duffel Bag that has backpack straps – This is the exact bag I got, because it was $45.00 cheaper than a cuter solid color. I had tons of room in it, and could wear it on my back – which was super nice, because we were traveling from location to location a lot!
- Comfy Sports/Yoga Bra – nobody wants to wear a real bra all day.
- Travel Wallet – I wanted a cute one that was functional and wouldn’t break the bank – this one was $9.99 and perfect. AND I got green because I liked it – not because I thought it needed to blend in…
- A Buff – The multi functional head-wear that is great for keeping the sun off your neck and the cold wind out of your face!
- Leggings – I got the softest ever GREEN leggings from Lou & Grey (not the ones pictured, as they’re not online anymore).
- Tip for Lou & Grey – never go to their actual website or store. Buy Lou & Grey on Loft.com and only when they’re doing a sale!
- Sunglasses – Obviously
- Crewneck Sweatshirts – I found two Columbia sweatshirts at the thrift store for $1.50 each – one in green AND one in khaki (I couldn’t believe my luck).
- Jogger Sweatpants – Also from Lou & Grey – they are my go to for joggers – I wear them as if they are not sweatpants but actual pants. It’s a personal preference. (also not the ones pictured)
- Flip Flops – For wearing around camp.
- Piko Tops – basic as hell, but these are my travel go to – they are comfortable, go with everything and cover your butt in leggings! You can find these for discounted prices on Poshmark.
- Sneakers – Pretty much wore these for everything.
- Day Bag – decent size bag to take on the vehicle with your camera, water, etc. This is the exact bag I got – which is technically a camera bag, but had tons of room for all my other stuff. I used this as my “personal item” on the plane. It was only $27 and very good quality!
- Kenneth Cole Carry-On Suitcase – this was the PERFECT size for the overhead bins and held SO MUCH more than it looked like it would. It was only $79 on Amazon, and I will use it until the end of time. I got blue, but they only have red left.
- A Button Down Utility Shirt – use it like a light jacket.
Things I do not think you will need for a basic photo safari where you are just riding in a car:
- Hiking Boots – don’t waste the bag space.
- Dressy Outfits – we went right from the safari to dinner without changing clothes almost everyday, so “dressing for dinner” was not a thing.
- Make-Up – I was so tired from getting up at 5am everyday, I just didn’t wear it!
Although I had all these essential items, I did not have everything I needed. I was insanely cold when the car was moving in the morning and night. People told me the wind would be chilly but I was straight freezing. My warmest jacket was a brown fleece I got on Poshmark and a fake leather jacket from JCP that wouldn’t even fit over all my layers… I should have brought one of those puffer jackets that are real lightweight and can fold up really small. My brother-in-law’s girlfriend had one, and I was envious.
Here are some examples of my safari outfits (keep in mind this is a packing guide for comfortable and inexpensive clothes to merely cover your body – not for looking like Taylor Swift in the Wildest Dreams video, which I thought about constantly while I was there…):
Columbia Sweatshirt: Thrift Store $1.50
Leggings: Lou & Grey via Loft on sale
Hat: Amazon – $11
Fleece: Columbia via Poshmark – $5
Leggings: TJ Maxx – $16
Shirt: Thrift Store
Scarf: Vestique (from forever ago)
Buff as a headband: Amazon
Shirt: Thrift Store
Green Utility Shirt: Express (from years ago)
Piko Top: Poshmark – $12
Joggers: Lou & Grey via Loft of sale
So there’s my 2 cents. Or maybe it’s more like a dollar at this point, because that post went on for days.
I’m going to just share some pictures of Africa now, because that’s much more interesting than photos of me in cheap clothes: