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Got a Trip Planned to Botswana? Here’s What to Wear

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Got a trip planned to Botswana? Botswana can be fun to visit any time of year, but you'll want to make sure you're dressed right. The weather is hot and dry year-round, with temperatures averaging around 83°F (that's 28°C). So what should you wear so you can stay comfy and fit in with the local vibe?

To stay cool in the heat, it's important to wear light and airy clothing. Cotton, linen, and technical fabrics are all good choices. And don't forget to pack a pair of sandals or lightweight sneakers. With a comfortable pair of shoes, you'll be able to explore everything Botswana has to offer without foot fatigue.

In just a second, I'll share my specific recommendations for exactly what to wear in Botswana—whether you're going on a safari, visiting the Okavango Delta, or exploring the Chobe National Park.

Editor's note: Botswana is in the tropics, which means seasons like summer, winter, spring, and fall don't apply. Most tropical destinations do have a wet and a dry season, but temperatures are typically warm year round.

What to wear for a trip to Botswana

What should women wear in Botswana?

Botswana is generally hot, and there are a few key items you'll want to pack. Here's what I definitely wouldn't go without: cute sundresses, sandals, sneakers or loafers, loose-fitting clothing, and lightweight pants. With these essentials, you’ll be all set to experience everything Botswana has to offer.

Cute sundresses

Packing for a trip can be tricky, especially if you're trying to pack light. However, one item that is always worth packing is a cute sundress. Sundresses are not only incredibly versatile, but they also tend to be very comfortable in hot weather. For instance, you can wear a sundress to the beach as a coverup, or dress it up with some jewelry for a nice dinner out. Plus, sundresses come in such a wide range of styles, so it's easy to find one that flatters your figure. When shopping for a sundress, look for one that is made from breathable fabric and has a flattering cut. And don't forget to pack a cardigan or shawl to go with it in case it gets chilly in the evening.

These are some of my favorites:

Sandals

While many people think of sandals as nothing more than summertime shoes, they can actually be a versatile and practical option for year-round travel to warmer destinations. For one thing, they're comfortable and easy to wear, which is ideal for exploring Botswana. They also offer good ventilation, which is important in hot weather. Just bear in mind that sandals should provide good support for your feet and ankles, which you need to help to prevent injuries.

I found these which would all work great:

Sneakers or loafers

Sneakers or loafers are essential for visiting Botswana. They're comfortable, versatile, and easy to pack. And, when you're on your feet all day, they can help prevent aches and pains. But how do you know which sneakers or loafers to pack? If you'll be doing a lot of walking, opt for a sneaker with good arch support and cushioning. And don't forget style! Sneakers and loafers come in countless colors and designs, so pick something that goes with the rest of your outfits.

Here are some of my favorites:

Loose-fitting clothing

When packing for Botswana, it's important to choose clothing that will keep you cool and comfortable. Loose-fitting clothes are ideal, as they allow air to circulate around your body and help to regulate your temperature. Look for lightweight fabrics such as cotton or linen, which will help you to stay cool even in the hottest weather. When choosing colors, stick to light shades which will reflect rather than absorb heat. And don't forget to pack a few items that can be mixed and matched to create different looks. With a little planning, you can ensure that you'll be comfortable and stylish no matter what the weather is like on your trip.

These would be perfect:

Lightweight pants

If you're planning a trip to Botswana that involves any sort of physical activity—hiking, climbing, biking, etc.—you'll want to pack a pair or two of lightweight pants. They're much more comfortable than jeans or khakis when you're sweating, and they'll dry much faster if you get caught in a rain shower. You can also roll them up and stuff them into your backpack or suitcase without taking up too much space.

Here's a few ideas to get you started:

What should men wear in Botswana?

For guys, here's the list of essentials I recommend you start with: cargo shorts, sneakers or loafers, linen trousers, loose-fitting clothing, and button-down shirts or polos. With these in your suitcase, I guarantee you will enjoy your trip to Botswana in comfort and style.

Cargo shorts

Cargo shorts are comfortable, have plenty of pockets for storing all your essentials, and they can be easily dressed up or down. They are also extremely versatile—wear them on the beach, on a hike, or even out to dinner. Having ample storage for your passport, your phone, and your wallet is very useful in Botswana. Also, pick a pair that comes in a neutral color. This will ensure they can be easily paired with any top or sneaker.

Here are a few of my top picks:

Sneakers or loafers

Sneakers or loafers are essential for visiting Botswana. They're comfortable, versatile, and easy to pack. And, when you're on your feet all day, they can help prevent aches and pains. But how do you know which sneakers or loafers to pack? If you'll be doing a lot of walking, opt for a sneaker with good arch support and cushioning. And don't forget style! Sneakers and loafers come in countless colors and designs, so pick something that goes with the rest of your outfits.

This is the kind of thing I mean:

Linen trousers

Linen trousers might just be the perfect staple for a warm-weather vacation. You already know they are made from a light, breathable fabric. Plus, they can be paired with a variety of tops to create both casual and dressy looks. When choosing linen trousers, it's important to look for a pair that fits well and complements your overall look. This will help you feel your best when exploring Botswana (and taking all those vacation photos).

If you're stuck for ideas, here are some of my favorites:

Loose-fitting clothing

When packing for Botswana, it's important to choose clothing that will keep you cool and comfortable. Loose-fitting clothes are ideal, as they allow air to circulate around your body and help to regulate your temperature. Look for lightweight fabrics such as cotton or linen, which will help you to stay cool even in the hottest weather. When choosing colors, stick to light shades which will reflect rather than absorb heat. And don't forget to pack a few items that can be mixed and matched to create different looks. With a little planning, you can ensure that you'll be comfortable and stylish no matter what the weather is like on your trip.

I found these which would all work great:

Button-down shirts or polos

Button-down shirts or polos are always a good idea to pack. They don't wrinkle easily and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. They're also perfect for layering when the weather gets cooler at night. Pick ones that are comfortable and breathable, and ideally lightweight too. It's also a good idea to choose neutral colors like white, black, or blue as they can be easily teamed with other pieces in your wardrobe.

These would be perfect:

FAQs

When is the best time to go to Botswana?

The best time to go to Botswana is during the country's dry season, which runs from roughly April to September. During this period, the weather is generally dry and sunny, making it ideal for exploring everything Botswana has to offer. That said, you can often avoid the crowds and find a great bargain on hotels and airfares outside of the peak season—the only real downside is getting caught in the occasional monsoon downpour.

How do people typically dress in Botswana?

The way people dress in Botswana varies widely depending on the region and the cultural influences present. In some areas, traditional dress is still widely worn, while in others, more modern styles have become popular. However, there are some commonalities when it comes to fashion in Botswana. Bright colors are often abundant, as are patterns and prints. Fabrics such as cotton and linen are very common, as they are both comfortable and practical in the hot climate.

What should you NOT wear in Botswana?

There are no specific restrictions on what you should wear in Botswana. It's fine to dress casually when out and about, although it's still important to be respectful of cultural norms—especially when visiting sites of historical or religious significance. Some places may have their own dress code, so be sure to follow any local guidelines.

I hope these recommendations for what to wear in Botswana will help make your visit unforgettable. Now that you have a better idea of what clothing to take, it's time to pack your suitcase—and then go ahead and enjoy everything Botswana has to offer!