Fashionistas on safari: How to slay on your bush getaway

Perfect selfies, outstanding outfits, beauty shortcuts and the best bras for bouncy game drives — experts dish their insider tips

17 October 2021 - 00:00 By Sunday Times Fashion team
Good game reserve portraits are all about the lighting, angles and outfit.
Good game reserve portraits are all about the lighting, angles and outfit.
Image: 123RF/pavlobaliukh

A photo shoot in a Gauteng game reserve gave the Sunday Times Fashion team the perfect excuse to mix business with pleasure.

Here they share their best tips for keeping things stylish on safari:


If you don't have cool snaps of yourself and your loved ones in gorgeous surroundings, did you even go? Try these tips to get the perfect shot:

Photographer Aart Verrips: Light is key. For the best-lit images, take your shots in the early morning or late afternoon, when the light is perfect for pictures. It's also a good idea to play with perspective. Don't take all your pictures from the same angle. Pics taken from low down will create the illusion of height. Wide landscape shots will capture your outfit and the view.

Model Sia Lyimo in a snap from the Sunday Times Fashion team's bush photo shoot.
Model Sia Lyimo in a snap from the Sunday Times Fashion team's bush photo shoot.
Image: Aart Verrips

Model Sia Lyimo: Go for good light, and find the angles that emphasise your best features. Be cool and confident.

Game ranger Lovemore Jack: It is important to always have your camera on silent so there's no chance of spooking animals. For sunset photo ops, find the highest peak with good views of a wide area.

Fashion editor Sahil Harilal: Choose a light outfit that won't stand out too much. Use earth tones or black and white light fabrics for the day and warmer items for the night.



From chasing sunrises to sipping cocktails about a campfire, you need a safari wardrobe that can do it all, says Harilal.

Here are his five must-pack items:

Safari fashion must-haves.
Safari fashion must-haves.
Image: Supplied
  1. Correct footwear is essential on safari. It's best to go for a neutral, sturdy, flat-soled sneaker — perfect for impromptu hiking and exploring. Sneakers R100, MRP.
  2. While the days are typically hot, early mornings and late evenings can be chilly. A down jacket is therefore an integral part of every explorer's arsenal. K-Way Ember Re:Down jacket R1,899, Cape Union Mart.
  3. Aside from being a statement accessory, a hat is also your main protection against sun. Go for one with a wide brim with a contrasting trim or band.Wide-brim hat R100, Foschini. 
  4. The trick to managing multiple seasons in a day is to layer, from heavy outerwear to breezy cottons and scarves (plus you can use the scarf as extra sun protection). Orchid ombre scarf R275, Cape Union Mart. 
  5. No safari look is complete without a trusted pair of sunglasses. Our go-to is a classic wayfarer modernised with a two-tone tortoiseshell print. Ray-Ban sunglasses R2,460 Sunglass Hut. 


Makeup artist Lesley Whitby says less is more when it comes to makeup on safari —  especially if you don't want to wake up extra early before that 5am game drive.

“If it's your style, you can do a glam makeup look, but remember it's dusty out there so don't put on too much. Go for fewer layers,” she says. “You definitely need sunblock. Get one with a little tint, which besides offering sun protection will keep your complexion looking good as the bush can get very dry.”

For a quick look that covers all the beauty bases, Beauty editor Nokubonga Thusi says these five products are a must for your makeup bag:

Five beauty items to pack for a getaway in the bush.
Five beauty items to pack for a getaway in the bush.
Image: Supplied
  1. Boost your skin's defences by applying a vitamin C serum before your moisturiser to combat free radicals and pollutants and help with UV protection. Skoon Wow-Wow Wonder 3 Hyaluron + C Serum, R500.
  2. Protect your skin from sun damage with a face and body broad spectrum sunscreen in a water resistant, spray formula for easy reapplication and a cooling mist. Heliocare 360° Invisible Spray Sunscreen SPF50+, R550.
  3. Keep coverage easy and lightweight by using a tinted powder or moisturiser that will even out skin tone and not feel heavy on the skin. Glowish by Huda Beauty Multidew Skin Tint, R620.
  4. A hint of colour is always encouraged. Pack a multi-use blush stick that can be applied to cheeks, eyelids and even layered over lips for a sun-kissed, youthful finish. WBeauty Cream Blush Stick in Coraline, R219.
  5. The skin on our lips is delicate and most likely to suffer from time spent outdoors. Slather yours with a hydrating lip balm that will keep them chap-free and supple. Bobbi Brown Lip Balm SPF 15, R340.


Busty gals will know the game-drive struggle — bouncing down bumpy roads — is real, so it pays to give some thought to good underwear.

For extra support, Harilal says you should always go for an encapsulation sports bra. These are bras that have a cup for each breast, usually with an underwire, that separates the breasts and holds them firmly in place.

To make sure your bra keeps its fit for longer, look for adjustable straps. Also, favour a bra with proper bands and panels; the bottom band gives extra support and the side panels ensure zero spillage. 

Here are the team's top picks for a smooth ride:

Bras to beat the bounce.
Bras to beat the bounce.
Image: Supplied
  1. Dri Fit Alpha High Support Sports Bra R999, Nike.
  2. Playtex Extreme Impact Run Sports Bra R899, Total Sports.
  3. Playtex Hi Classic Support Sports Bra R300, Total Sports.
  4. Soft Cup Bra R900, Puma.
  5. Stella McCartney Trupace High Impact Sports Bra R1,699, Adidas.


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