It is difficult to get enough of Africa’s diversity and versatility. This is a continent with quite a lot to offer. Be it the game parks, physical features, cultural practices, music and entertainment and last but not least, mode of grooming.
The below-mentioned clothing form part of the tourist attractions that the continent prides itself on. Some of the best African clothing tourists love that you will come across in the article, resonate well with most Africans irrespective of them coming from different countries.
The mode of dressing in the continent, over time has gone through a revolution, which has beckoned us to go modern. But despite all this, most of the cloth designs we have, as well as the clothes made in Africa still maintain the African feel and concept in them. Below are some of the best African clothes that tourists really identify with.
List of the Best African Clothing Tourists Love
- The Sarong
- The Khanga
- The Dashiki
- Kaba and Slit
- Ghanaian Smock
- Head gear/gele
- Kalimama dresses
- Crotchet dresses, scarves, and caps
This is a very versatile piece of clothing. Many female tourists can bear witness that it comes quite in handy. This is because it can be used as a scarf, a skirt, a beach wrap around and it could also be used as a shawl or a cover up in communities where modesty is the norm, especially in Muslim communities.
The sarong is a simple piece of clothing. It is not designed in any way. It is actually a piece of clothing that Africans, especially women tie around their waists down to their ankles whenever they want to perform house chores. They come in a variety of colors and prints.
Khangas are colorful, traditional clothes made of cotton, worn by African women. Many tourists visiting the continent always make a point of buying this garment. The khanga has been in existence for quite some time, thus its unchallenged popularity.
Khanga is the Swahili word for guinea fowl. It is called as such because the first designs had a striking resemblance to the plumage of guinea fowls. However, in recent times, the designs have evolved, leaving khanga lovers spoilt for choice.
Most of the modern khanga designs are rectangular in shape and have a riddle or proverb written on them in the Swahili language. The khanga is one of the most loved African outfits by tourists. Saying this would be an understatement because khanga shops are always frequented by tourists who buy the merchandise to wear or even take back to their countries as relics.
As a result of the fashion revolution that has been taking place, tailors have been designing and creating very fashionable clothes and accessories such head gear and earrings from the khanga fabric. This trend has been spreading like a brushfire across the world. The khanga is locally produced in Kenya and Tanzania.
Among African clothing for tourists, the dashiki would not miss. Reason being, dashikis can be worn by both male and females and children alike. Dashikis are multi-colored garments worn mostly by African men. It covers the top half of the body and flows down below the rear area.
This garment comes in various designs. There are those that are just plain round necked while others are tastefully embroidered around the neck region. Tourists love this attire because it is classy, easy to accessorize, it is quite decent and children designs are also readily available.
The Kaftan is only worn by women. It is a loose-fitting pullover attire. Its designs vary depending on the country in which it is made. There are those with round collars and those with V-shaped collars. Some also have embroidered neck regions, while some are actually beaded on the neck and sleeves.
Many female tourists love this attire because it is quite simple, easy to maintain and helps them identify and blend in with the locals. It is mostly made of silk or kanga fabric.
Kaba and Slit
These attires are a preserve of the West African women. Female tourists visiting these countries have often been mesmerized by these clothes which comprise of a long wrap around skirt and a matching blouse. They are usually made from African wax print fabric.
These garments are worn by women, female children, and young adults as well.
It is also known to the locals of Ghana as ‘batakari’. In these modern times, many designers refer to it as Nkurumah’s special embroidery shirts. The smock is a plaid shirt specially designed for men. Among the popular African clothes that male tourists really love, the batakari carries the day.
It is made of hand woven Kente fabric strips, with a lot of attention having been paid to detail to come up with its unique design. Kente fabric is made of cotton and silk, skillfully interwoven together. The good thing about the smock is, there are so many designs available such that tourists are spoilt for choice. It is also available for young male adults and children alike.
It is common among South and West African women. They are usually made of layers of clothing. It is usually tied on the head to complete various African outfits. Tourists like it because it is quite unique and helps them blend with the locals.
The gele is quite portable, for those who might be thinking that it is heavy and tiresome for the wearer. It is made of very light weight fabric and it is held into place using safety pins.
These are free flowing long dresses, which are fitted with an elastic band to hold it in place above the bosom as it is designed to leave the shoulders bare. Many female tourists love it because of its strapless nature. The weather can be a bit extreme, therefore having it strapless helps the body cool better than when it is wrapped up in layers of fabric.
Crotchet dresses, scarves, and caps
The crochet trend is very popular in Africa, and especially Jamaica. Many attires such as dresses, tops, caps, scarves, and sweaters are often sewn using red, green and yellow wool or any other color.
These garments are tourists’ favorite due to their popping colors and simplicity. We can, therefore, agree that African clothing for tourists does not have to be artistically designed for it to catch the tourist’s eyes. All it has to do is fit perfectly and look good on the wearer.
When it comes to variety, be sure to find it in Africa. From the food to the traditional practices we have, to the music we play and last but not least, the clothes we wear.
Most of the clothes that Africans wear form part of the tourist attractions that we have in the continent. Many tourists buy the garments for fun, some to wear them so as to identify with the locals and some keep them as relics.
To sum it up, it can be seen from the above foregoing, that the best African clothing tourists love seem quite affordable and decent. African culture abhors nudity, therefore tourists coming into the continent have to avoid it at all costs or else be faced with hostility or mockery from some communities.