What To Wear In Kenya – 10 Things You Should Not Wear In Kenya

If you will be going to Kenya on safari Nairobi is one of the places that you will go through. From the National Museum to hiking Ngong Hills Nature preserve, there are a number of activities that are worth checking out in Nairobi so one of the things you may have wondered about is what you should wear in Nairobi Kenya. I have lived in Thika town (50 Kilometres from Nairobi) since 2002 and I thought it would be useful if shared about what you should wear on your first day in Nairobi.

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When visiting Nairobi, you should wear loose-fitting comfortable clothes in dark or neutral colors. The clothes should be in layers to account for the changes in temperature throughout the day since it can be mildly cold in the morning and quite hot during the day. In this article, I will give you a few tips on how to dress in the city of Nairobi Kenya and some of the reasons why some wardrobe choices may not be the most appropriate.

Here is what we wore to Nairobi’s Karura Forest Nature Trail

Things to consider when choosing clothes for Nairobi

1. Nairobi can be dusty or dirty.

Some places in Nairobi can get dusty and sometimes when it rains, the puddles can have dirty water. If you are planning to walk around Nairobi, I would advise that you wear closed shoes with a moderately thick sole. This will ensure that you do not get your feet dirty or wet when walking on the streets of Nairobi. Though not all of Nairobi is like this, it’s important to put the dust into consideration when planning your visit.

2. It can get cold

The daily temperature can vary from 18°C to 28°C in one day. Dressing in several layers will help you manage this change.

3. You do not want to draw attention to yourself

You want to avoid anything that makes you stand out from the crowd as a tourist. Unwanted attention in Nairobi can range from the slightly annoying stranger who might try to say hi too eagerly to pickpockets who just found a soft target in you.

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Keeping a low profile will allow you to enjoy your holiday without any security challenges and how you dress will greatly determine the kind of profile you keep.

4. Safety should come first

Wearing shoes with a thick enough sole will help protect your feet from getting hurt as you walk on Nairobi streets. Having a safety bag will also help keep your stuff safe as well.

Avoid white and Camo


Avoid white clothing and white shoes. You will find it difficult to keep them clean and white. Kenya has a lot of dust and it tends to turn the color of most white clothes.


You need to avoid anything that makes you look like the military. African governments are wary of anything that looks like military and you might get in trouble with the law because of it. Here is a news article published in 2019 where the government warns that they will arrest anyone wearing military clothing.

What Colors Should I wear in Nairobi

When going to Nairobi, you should wear neutral or dark colors that don’t stain easily. The colors I usually wear when going to Nairobi are

BlackBrown/khaki,Dark bluePastel colors.

Clothing for men

Below is what I would wear if I was leaving for the Nairobi early in the morning and would be spending most of my day outdoors.


Here is what I wore on a cold August Day.Dark or Khaki pantsT-shirt or PoloA light jumper with a hoodieA light sweaterLightweight sneakersSocks that breathe wellPair of sunglassesA scarf (if it’s cold out )A small over the shoulder bag to put extra clothing once it gets hot. Or else wrap them around your waist

The main emphasis with this is layering the clothes to allow me to remove some of the extra clothing go keep cool.

Clothing for women

I asked my lady friends about what they would wear when going out for the day in Nairobi and here is the summary of what you should wear:

Clothes Ladies Should Wear

Pair of Jeans: make sure they are comfortableSneakers or flats shoesComfortable Tshirt, polo or tunicFleece jacketWide-brimmed hatSunglassesShawl and scarf

Clothes Ladies May Want to Avoid

Skirts: Unless you are going to a formal meeting, a skirt will feel formal and restricting.Sandals: The dust and hitting your foot on something hard are a few of the reasons to avoid these.

Clothing for kids

When dressing children for a day in Nairobi, the two biggest factors you will need to put into consideration will be the dirt and cold.

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Dark colors for Kids

Since your kids are likely to be playing in the dirt, choose clothes that don’t stain easily. Dark colors will help with this. You are the one who will have to clean the clothes so give yourself an easy time and allow the kids to enjoy themselves.

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Dress your kids in Layers

It will be cold in the morning and evening but quite hot during the day. Your choice of clothes for your kids will need to reflect these changes.

Dress your children in layers of light clothing. These can be the following

Two light t-shirtsA light sweaterA light jumper with a hoodieA beanie hat

The reason these clothes need to be light is that the many layers can make everything really warm and you don’t want to make your child uncomfortable. They will also be a hassle to carry if they are thick and heavy.

Shoes/Footwear for Nairobi

The kind of shoes you choose when going around Nairobi will greatly affect whether your experience will be great or not. Here are the considerations you need to have when choosing a pair of shoes for Nairobi.

Strong sole: some of the places you may walk on may have shards of glass or nails. A strong sole on your shoes will prevent any mishaps. The sole doesn’t need to be industrial strong though since this scenario is generally unlikely.Breath well: It’s likely that will be walking a lot when in and around Nairobi. This, combined with the hot weather means that you need to wear shoes that will deal with sweaty feet.


Some of the accessories that you need when visiting Nairobi are:

Sunglasses: It does get really bright out and sunglasses will come handy. Scarf or shawl: as I indicated earlier, it will be cold in the mornings and evenings. If you will be hiking in a place like Ngong Hills, it will also be windy. A scarf or shawl will really help with this.Beanie hat: Same reason as the scarf and shawl.

A Final Word

As you prepare for your trip to Africa, I would like to recommend a few products that would help make your life easier.

Consulting Session: If you have any questions you would like to ask me about Kenya, I would invite you to contact me for a 30-minute consultation session where I will share my knowledge about East Africa and share experiences that will help you make your trip easier. Reach out to me on email – antonynjoro

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Antony Njoroge

Hi, I”m Antony & I”m from Kenya. I love traveling around Kenya when I get off from work and this website is a great way for me to share my local knowledge and tips that will help you travel well in East Africa.Having lived in East Africa my whole life, I share my personal experiences and knowledge with the goal of helping you optimize your East African Safari and make it an unforgettable expereince.

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