When you hear the term tropical vacation you think it’s an easy pack — bathing suits, flip flops and sunscreen — but a trip to a tropical savanna might require a bigger suitcase. Preparing for all the elements, including the hot sun, cool nights, dust and dirt, thunderstorms and wildlife adventures, with any kind of style about you takes some strategic outfit planning.

Dressing for Big Weather and Wild Adventures

The tropical savannas of South Africa and Australia are both vacation hot-spots and have an average temperature of about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. There are two seasons — the wet summer seasons from December to March and the dry winter seasons from May to October. If you are planning your trip to a tropical savanna during their sultry summer months plan on dressing for the high humidity; at times scorching hot sun combines with massive thunderstorms. Wear breathable fabrics such as linen and light cottons. A trip to the savanna during the dry winter months will mean warm, dusty days and cooler evenings so pack with layers in mind: light tanks and tees as well as sweaters and scarves.

Day Attire in the Savanna

Wear outfits that are light and airy to start with and build from there. Good basics are cotton tank tops and tissue light T-shirts. Keep the color palate to neutrals — white, ivory, khaki and earth tones for daytime. These are sun-reflective colors and help to keep your skin cool. Drawstring linen pants, lightweight harem pants, and chinos are comfy and safari chic with a pair of textile espadrilles for the casual days. A sun hat is essential in Africa — in the style of your choice — a Beretta fishing hat or a hand woven raffia sun hat are good examples, just make sure it has a string attached for when the ride gets wild. A pair of dark sunglasses are also a non-negotiable accessory with any daytime outfit.

Active Wear for a Tropical Adventure

If there was ever an excuse to bring out the adventurer in you, it’s a visit to the tropical savanna. If you are an active sort who plans on doing it all — the wildlife safari, a rafting trip, bird-watching and touring the tribal villages — you must suit up. Wear a safari jacket with a pair of cargo shorts, a tagelmust or cheche style scarf — a playful, slightly sheer scarf sometimes used as a turban — and a messenger bag for all the fun toys you’ll be packing such as binoculars and headlamps, as well as your sunscreen and tissues.

Evening Wear in the Great Savanna

Evening is the time you yourself can go a little wild and break out your black and animal print outfits. For a dinner at the hotel or resort, try an on-trend safari style with a long black linen skirt loosely belted and leopard, zebra or python print T-strap sandals or wedge espadrilles. Accessorize with natural materials such as wood in a big statement necklace or carved bangle bracelets. Evening make-up should be kept nude and natural. Wear bronzer on the cheeks, eye shadows in golds and beige and just a swipe of mascara and a nude lipstick.
If your evening event is outside in the savanna be sure to layer up because it gets quite cool in the bush at night. Leather pants and a cardigan sweater with riding boots will keep you protected from the elements and all the while your fashion sense will be as fierce as the animals around you.