Women's Safari Pants

Page Updated: Sept 2022

Women's safari pants include a range of capris and convertibles. Most are lightweight, wrinkle-resistant and some come with insect repellent and sun screen...all ideal features for an African safari, whether you are hunting or game viewing.

Though worn before for war work, women wearing trousers or pants for adventurous or sporting activities only really became generally acceptable in the 1930s when the pioneer aviatrixes such as Amelia Earhart, Amy Johnson and Beryl Markham were photographed wearing split skirts, jodphur style trousers or overalls. Photographs of Hollywood stars wearing trousers, such as Katherine Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich, meant pants were here to stay in an active woman's wardrobe.

Beryl Markham
Beryl Markham Wearing Overalls

Choosing Good Women's Safari Pants

The features of good women's safari pants and shorts are much the same as for men. However, if you are not hunting or walking in the African bush, your choice of colour is not too important.

  • More than anything, your safari pants need to be comfortable for hunting Africa. You will lots of time walking and sitting in a bumpy hunting truck so loose-fitting pants are a must, especially in the crotch area.
  • Preferably lightweight cotton or hi-tech synthetic material that is wicks moisture away and is quiet when walking. Safari pants fabric needs to be light for the heat but needs to be tough enough not to rip when leopard crawling or hunting through dense thorn bush.
  • Pants made with insect repellent impregnated synthetic fabric might be useful especially in the evenings when mosquitoes are at their worse. If you want cotton pants that are insect repellent, you will need to spray them yourself with permethrin.
  • Extra cooling features include zip-off legs which create shorts. Zip-off legs sound quite a good idea until you try to zip them on again while still wearing them!
  • Long trousers or shorts? Most women prefer to hunt or walk in the bush wearing long trousers which offer better protection against thorns, insects and the sun. Shorts are obviously cooler and quieter to walk in.
  • Pockets - better to have a button closure rather than velcro which can be noisy to use.
  • Try to minimise other optional features like cargo-pants loops or flares as you will just get caught up on branches and thorns.
  • Wide-legged, baggy pants are not really unsuitable for hunting in Africa - go for more narrow-legs but not too tight.
  • Khaki, green, brown colours rather than white or any bright colour

The Right Women's Safari Pants For Your Shape

Cargo and other khaki pants can be a bit fiddly to fit if you have a less than perfect figure.

  • If you have a slim, straight figure you can wear most styles of safari pants with all the cargo and patch pockets.
  • If you have a bit of a tummy, avoid pants with a low rise pants, pleats and belts which will all emphasise a tummy. Go for a medium rise with a wide waistband which will hold your tummy in and give a flatter outline. If you also have a slim bottom and legs, a straight leg cut will lessen the appearance of a thick middle.
  • If you have full hips and thighs avoid pants that are too tapering or too wide in the leg. Also avoid cargo pockets which may make your legs look bulky. Go for flat front pants with a straight leg which are generously cut in the seat. Check that there are no creases across the back of your thighs which means the pants are too tight and will be uncomfortable.
  • If you have full hips and a narrow waist avoid low rise pants which may expose your bottom when bending down. Go for medium or high rise cuts with a nipped in waist or drawstring belt.

Safari Pants For Women

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(Click on images for full details & different colours)

These women's ultralight pants will dry almost instantly due to a durable water-repellent treatment on the fabric. They also offer UPF 50 sun protection. There are knee darts and elasticized waist for comfort and mobility. Two zippered back pockets and two front pockets all lined with mesh for even faster drying and lighter weight. Adjustable leg opening gusset allows you to customize your fit over different types of footwear. Scuff guard at back leg opening for extra durability. Buy Now

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These chino straight-Leg ankle pants are prewashed for softness and the stretch twill allows easy movement. The L-shaped pockets lie flat and the rear pockets are big enough to fit your phone. You can roll the leg for a more casual look. Buy Now

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These straight-leg pants convert from full-length to ankle length - just pull the cord at the hem and tuck it into the hidden pocket. The lightweight stretch fabric wicks away moisture and dries quickly to promote evaporative cooling, and allows for a full range of motion and excellent shape retention, while the odour control keeps you fresh. They are finished with a drawstring elastic-back waist, pockets on front and two zip pockets on back. Buy Now

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These pants have a shell made from tough cotton with stretch for mobility. The front is reinforced with rugged cotton canvas for thorn protection. They have a classic fit, mid rise, reinforced back welt pocket openings, metal shank button closure and strong double-stitch construction all over. Buy Now

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***NEW*** These pull-on pants are made of a pre-washed Tencel/cotton blend. They come with a bit of stretch which makes them ideal for walking and travelling. The stretch waist offers unrestricted comfort. Buy Now

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***NEW*** These women's cotton twill pants have a full stretch waist for complete ease and comfort. They have odour control for multiple wearings between laundering, plus two hidden-zip back pockets for small essentials. Buy Now

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These women's pants have just a bit of spandex for stretch and an elastic-back drawstring waist. The naturally breathable blend of Tencel and cotton feels soft and comfortable. They are finished with patch pockets on front and back. Buy Now

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These ankle pants are made of tough stretch fabric which resists tears and abrasions. Backed with cotton, the knit feels soft against your skin. There is a discreet zip pocket in the stretch waist and the leg is finished with seaming details and a small slit at the ankle for both a better fit and freedom of movement. They are finished with a side zip closure. Buy Now

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These women's lightweight safari pants are made of textured fabric to promote wicking, venting and temperature control. The tight weave resists most brush and sheds light moisture. The durable stretch and articulated design lets you move and reach. The pockets are made of ventilating mesh - front right pocket is reinforced to resist wear when carrying kit. A hidden drawstring in the cuff keeps out branches and seeds. There are two back pockets - the right is zippered. Buy Now

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These classic cord pants have 5-pocket styling with built-in stretch and hidden elastic in the waist for comfort. They have a slim leg with a mid rise. Buy Now

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These versatile, sun-and-stain-repelling convertible pants are built to keep you comfortable in a wide variety of conditions and activities. The easy straight-leg cut combines with 2-way stretch for comfort, UPF 50 shields you from harmful UV rays and zip-off legs convert the pant to a 10" inseam short. Buy Now

These ExOfficio Women's Explorista pants offer UPF 50 sun protection, are lightweight and quick-drying. There is a zip pocket on the right thigh and buttoned roll-up leg tabs. Buy Now

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