Moments In Africa

a personal quest

101 Uses for a Bandana on Safari

Field Advice, GeneralFelicia McRee1 Comment

Safari essentials include a hat, binoculars, sunscreen, flashlight and your bandanas.  The worst part of safari life (depending on location and season) is the dust and the heat.  So the most obvious uses for bandanas are to keep your neck warm on frigid morning drives, to protect you from the midday sun and dust, and to become the perfect accessory on bad hair days.

Whether you spell it “bandana” or “bandanna”, it is the most important ounce of clothing you'll ever pack for safari. Our list below will show why you shouldn’t leave home without a few thrown into your suitcase. She Travel’s Well has chosen attractive bandanas that are easy to clean, absorbent, dry quickly and maintain their softness. 

Our list may not include 101 uses for a bandana, but it does provide 41 very practical, as well as a few whimsical, suggestions.  Please send Moments in Africa a note and let us know your favorite bandana use.

  1. Tie it bandit or western style over your nose & mouth to escape the dust and grit.
  2. Good as a fashion accessory to brighten up your khaki outfit.  It’s ok to look stylish on safari. Certainly Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn would sport some stunning accessory if they were on safari!
  3. Tie it to the strap of your day bag for a jaunty flash of color.
  4. Sanitary head rest cover for the long –haul flight (airlines don’t provides those anymore.
  5. Tray-table cover during in-flight meals and snacks
  6. Cool your entire body by saturating it in water and tying it around your neck.
  7. Wear it as an ascot. It offers protection on those early morning game drives in the mist and cold.
  8. Tie onto your water bottle for personal identification.
  9. Try the French Riviera look by wearing it under your wide-brimmed hat. (There’s Grace Kelly, again.).
  10. Fill it with ice and use as a cold compress.
  11. Create an instant hobo-style handbag that you can use during dinner at the lodge or while dining under the stars in camp.  (Vogue may be intrigued by this one!).
  12. While moving between camp locations, tie to your luggage handle for instant identification.
  13. Use it as a hat wrap for a pretty look, especially when it covers the hat’s crown.
  14. Provides smell protection when the scent of Africa gets a little too close.
  15. Tie it around the neck after sunset for another layer of protection from mosquito bites.
  16. Wear it Foreign Legion style (under your hat) for sun protection to the back of the neck.
  17. All terrain sitting cloth when you stop for at tea time in the bush.
  18. Use as an emergency hankie, when your allergies unexpectedly act up.
  19. Use a portable bookmark when using the field guides for animal identification.
  20. Turn it into a window shade.  Imagine sitting on the sunny side of the vehicle, and waiting patiently wait for that herd of zebra to slowly make its way to the lions, who are waiting for them at the watering hole.  In order to escape the late afternoon sun, just place two small suction cups on the vehicle window and attach your bandana.  Voilá - instant window shade!
  21. Since all tents look alike, tie a bandana on the tent frame so you’ll never enter the wrong tent.
  22. Twist it into a headband to help keep the hair and sweat out of your eyes.
  23. Wrap around a pony tail.
  24. Clean your sunglasses.
  25. Wear as ear muffs on bitterly cold mornings.
  26. Turns into a sleep blindfold for a noon siesta at camp.
  27. Emergency fly swatter, “Shoo bugs, Shoo!”
  28. Washcloth.
  29. Napkin at picnic stops.
  30. Wipe away your tears when moved by an incredible vista or at the wonderment of nature.
  31. Wrap a surprise gift for a new or old friend.
  32. Combination bookmark and/or protective wrap for your journal.
  33. Tick and insect protection.
  34. Protect your hair from smelling like smoke from the campfire.
  35.  Makes a dashing hat band.
  36. Holds your hair back when washing your face, brushing your teeth or applying your make-up.
  37. Becomes an old-fashioned flirtation prop when you see that handsome guy across the room, and are suddenly overcome with khaki fever. We’ll let you figure that one out!
  38. Neck protection from the sun on collarless tees and shirts.
  39. Lets you secure or hang a flashlight in the tent.
  40. Becomes a preliminary coarse water filter if you’re every in survival mode.
  41. Break into improvisational dance and twirl your bandana in the sultry night air!

Chime in; what would you add to the list?