What to Wear in Zimbabwe

Top style tips for Zimbabwe

  • It's hot, so our advice is to pack lightweight, loose-fitting clothes in natural fabrics such as linen, silk, bamboo and cotton that will keep you cool and are easy to wash and dry.
  • If you are going on safari, neutral colours such as khaki or stone are advisable. Avoid white as it will get dirty and dusty very quickly.
  • And avoid blue or black clothing – the tsetse flies are drawn to these colours, and their bite can give you African Sleeping Sickness.
  • It is also worth being aware that it is illegal to have army/combat type clothing or print.
  • A wide-brimmed safari hat is really useful at any time of year, as even the winter sun is hot.
  • Wear plenty of sunscreen (we love the Riemann P20 range for 10 hour protection) and sunglasses, and don't forget your insect/mosquito repellent.
  • Long trousers and long-sleeved tops are best, to protect you from the harsh sun by day and mosquitoes at night.
  • There is a very relaxed dress code in restaurants – shorts or trousers are acceptable for men and women, even at the smart Victoria Falls Hotel.
  • It would be a good idea to pack a lightweight and versatile travel jacket. We like the SCOTTeVEST range because they have been specifically designed with travel in mind, offer plenty of storage pockets and have awesome additional features like RFID security and Personal Area Network connectivity.

Shoes to pack for Zimbabwe

  • Flip-flops are fine for walking in towns, but when travelling between towns or in the bush then trainers or lightweight boots are advisable. Try Hotter shoes, they are really light and comfortable.
  • And we like Thorlos hiking socks too – they keep your feet dry and comfortable in all climates.
  • If you're packing some sandals, try the Lindsay Phillips Switch Flops range; using interchangeable shoe and flip-flop bases with snap-on decorations, you can change your look from day to evening in an instant whilst still packing light.

Clothing tips for women

  • Leave your valuables and expensive jewellery at home, you really won't need them. A few pieces of costume jewellery can dress up any outfit.
  • A pashmina or sarong is a versatile item that you can use for modesty, sun protection or to ‘glam' up in the evening.

Clothing tips for men

  • There are no specific things to bring to your attention, check out our packing list for our suggested capsule wardrobe.

Pack for the weather

  • Opt for cotton blends in summer time (November, December, Janaury and February) – you will find them more comfortable as the days and nights are hot.
  • May, June, July and August can be cool in the evenings so pack a lightweight jumper, fleece or pashmina.
  • We love the Weather+ app – it gives an accurate 6 day forecast for day and night, which when you're planning from home is really helpful. You can keep all the places you've been to too – a nice way to remember your trip 🙂 Download for iPad/iPhone or Android

Regions of Zimbabwe

  • Lake Kariba is a popular destination – but insect/mosquito repellent is a must to pack if you are going there.
  • When visiting the Matopos Hills where Cecil Rhodes is buried in Bulawayo, sturdy walking shoes are advisable.
  • If you plan on visiting Victoria Falls themselves it is good to wear trainers or good walking shoes as the paths can get wet – especially between November and February. The falls are very misty at this time of year and in places you get wet – it is not cold but a very lightweight raincoat is a good idea at these times. A small travel umbrella will also be useful – particularly when you want to take photos, or you may like to take a waterproof phone case.
  • In some tourist areas including Victoria Falls the market stall holders will want to “trade” and barter a deal for clothes plus money for their goods. Beware as they drive hard bargains and will want “designer” labels.

Travel essentials for Zimbabwe

  • A soft-sided rucksack is more practical than a hard suitcase for safari holidays – it's easier to fit into the small planes or transfer vehicles. Using packing cubes can help to keep your belongings tidy whilst compressing the volume too.
  • Internal flights often have much lower baggage limits than your international carrier. Use an accurate luggage scale to ensure you keep within the weight allowance.
  • Combine your rucksack with a sling bag or lightweight day sack for sightseeing trips and game drives.
  • You may like to carry a solar powered charger too, to boost your battery when out and about – you don't want to miss that great photo opportunity!
  • To use electrical gadgets you may need a travel adapter plug, and also a step down voltage converter if your devices are not designed for the local voltage (240V).
  • Don’t drink or even brush your teeth in tap water. Consider taking a LifeStraw Filtration Water Bottle.
  • And don't forget to leave room for souvenirs on the way home! Vibrant textiles, wood carvings and basket work are all popular buys.