What is appropriate to wear in Africa?by Tom Drake 20/01/2014 20:40:00 0 comments 1555 Views
African culture is generally quite modest when it comes to clothing. To avoid offending those around you it is best to avoid overly tight-fitting and revealing clothing throughout your stay. For women this means skirts or pants below the knee and tops that cover the shoulders, midriff, and are not too low-cut. Men should also wear pants that fall below the knee and cover the shoulders. Women who dress too provocatively (by African standards) will often receive quite a lot of unwanted attention.
The cultural equivalent to a woman walking through an African market in a mini-skirt would basically be a woman walking through Times Square in lingerie. You can imagine how scandalized some people would feel by this, especially elders. In order to ensure that you have a pleasant stay and are treated with respect by a country's residents, take some time to research their clothing customs before you pack. If you are traveling to a coastal area, it is generally accepted for women to wear bikinis on the beach (especially in resort towns).
It is advisable to bring a sarong or cover-up to offer some sun protection and also for your transit to and from the beach. The clothing requirements for safari travel vary depending on the time of year and county you will be visiting. Generally though, you should consider packing light, loose-fitting long sleeve shirts to help protect you in the sun while you are out all-day on a safari vehicle. The same goes for light, long, and loose-fitting pants. Closed-toed shoes are generally advisable to help you avoid creepy-crawlies and scorching hot sand.
Make sure to bring a hat too! If you have further concerns about what is appropriate to pack, most travel guides have excellent and accurate information on the clothing that is both culturally appropriate and practical for the area you will be visiting. The embassy you speak to when arranging your visa can also offer helpful tips and advice. Respecting local culture and tradition will go a long way to ensure your warm reception and you'll be thankful that you took the time to do your research. You'll also help contribute to a positive reception of future foreign visitors in the area.