Dave Williams

In which countries worldwide is it forbidden to wear camouflage clothing?

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I'm heading to Namibia next year and wondered if it's permissible to wear camouflage there? The only country I have visited so far that doesn't allow, at least as far as I'm aware, is Barbados but perhaps there are more to add to the list.

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You can wear everything you like in Namibia.

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You have orange and white (Etosha) outfits? .

 

Hmmm... actually I am pretty sure camouflage is probably still illegal in a number of countries in Africa. How far the law is enforced is another matter. It certainly used to be strongly discouraged or illegal in a lot of African countries. Nowadays some sources say/said it is illegal for country X but then I know people wear it and have no issues. Others refer to "known" issues and "trouble at borders" but I can't say I know of anything really specific that wasn't set back in cold war times. It's definitely unusual to see anyone except actual paramilirtary people wearing camouflage in e.g.Kenya, but it's not unknown.

 

In other words, I am pretty sure there is a grey area around this in a lot of countries. Peopel will say different things and they may both actually be right. Personally, unless I was sure in the positive, I'd consider the risk of sticking out like a sore thumb and unintentionally looking like white paramilitary (or British military in parts of Kenya) that is not necessarily a good look to have. I'd wear something ellse.. But yes, I would imagine you can out in the bush - maybe just avoid it on the roads or near towns to be safe?

 

Of course if it was desert camo trousers with a pink t-shirt and yellow suspenders that'd be a different story. That's a look!

 

One thing you might want to consider (and if you want to rise above it I kind of admire that) is that a number of fellow tourists (percentage depending on location) will believe that it is illegal and therefore will think not very well of you for "dissing the culture". You may get virtual hisses and boos. Or maybe they'll think you're white paramiliatary too and ask you when the coup is so they can get out before.

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Posted (edited)

It's not encouraged in Botswana ........... @@pault is correct - I think I read something along those lines.......... I've seldom seen anyone on safari in Africa wearing camo gear (In India, it's common practice tho)

Edited by madaboutcheetah

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It's illegal in Zimbabwe apparently

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And if we're talking something like faux-camo ladies shorts from from Esprit, I really think it's not an issue. I am guessing we are talking something like a special pair of camo trousers with lots of handy pockets for photo gear.....but perhaps I shoulod not assume.

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it is not a good look regardless of the law

 

I don't want to look like I am a poacher ,armed rebel, military and no more recently terrorist

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It is illegal to wear camouflage clothes in pretty much all African countries, I highly recommend that you don not do this as you are risking arrest and in many cases imprisonment.

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@@Dave Williams Why would you want to wear camouflage attire anyway?

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Sorry, I confused camouflage with khaki (it´s not my language)

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Posted (edited)

@@Dave Williams Why would you want to wear camouflage attire anyway?

So I can't be quite so noticeable !

 

Camouflage isn't a look I have ever been totally comfortable with in public places but it helps hugely if you want to try and get wildlife to approach closer to enable better photographs. I'm thinking birds mainly. I wouldn't see much point in wearing typical camouflage patterns if I am sat in a car.

My camouflage jacket is lightweight, rainproof and very tear resistant as well as inexpensive

Edited by Dave Williams

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@@Dave Williams I do a lot of bird photography and never wear camouflage gear.

 

Years ago in Zimbabwe I was chatting to a Ndbele tracker when I guy got out of a vehicle wearing full camouflage gear. I asked the tracker what he thought and his response was enlightening.

 

The tracker said "That guy looks like a village idiot and I should know as I live in a village. Humans think birds and animals see as we do but that is not true and they also use other senses to look out for trouble. To use clothing like that successfully you have to lie in wait but if you're moving around it is a waste of time."

 

The tracker used to be a subsistence poacher (b4 becoming a tracker) and his family's lives depended on what he could bring home for food.

 

I'd add from my experience that urbanised humans are the most unobservant & unaware creatures on the planet and your camouflage gear probably works quite well with them.

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I'm not sure if it is technically illegal to wear camouflage in Zambia (because I sometimes see people wearing the occasional one piece of cammo clothing), but I would not recommend that adults deck themselves out in full camouflage in Zambia. One it is unnecessary for game viewing, and two you may get a soldier or policeman take offence and cause you some totally avoidable trouble.

 

It is probably ok for kids to get away with cammo cap or shorts, but I wouldn't advise it for adults (especially not in towns or near anything strategic or linked to the president).

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@@Dave Williams Why would you want to wear camouflage attire anyway?

So I can't be quite so noticeable !

Camouflage isn't a look I have ever been totally comfortable with in public places but it helps hugely if you want to try and get wildlife to approach closer to enable better photographs. I'm thinking birds mainly. I wouldn't see much point in wearing typical camouflage patterns if I am sat in a car.

My camouflage jacket is lightweight, rainproof and very tear resistant as well as inexpensive

My experience is similar to Geoff's but you'd need desert camo for most of Namibia anyway, and even then you'd stick out against the red earth in many places (unless you rolled in it first). Generally speaking, I think you'll find you can get closer to birds in a vehicle than you ever could on foot and water and food is so scarce in Namibia in the dry that all you really need to do is sit quietly by a waterhole or bird bath or tree with food on it and they'll come to you. Hiding in plain sight can work quite well. Camps and lodges are usually great for fairly habituated birds.

 

@@Wild Dogger. I wondered but your English is so good I didn't dare ask.

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Some interesting responses to a simple question, and some that haven't it seems read mine.

I said I wasn't comfortable wearing camouflage in public places, I wear it while waiting for birds to approach me not to stalk them. It is effective in breaking up your out line if you are in an appropriate environment. Good point about the red sand but I'm not heading there anyway though I don't know what the places I will be going to are like either.I am going Rhino tracking and I have read that dark clothing is better. That too is a form of camouflage gear.

In the park I am obviously going to be sat in a vehicle but other places not so. There probably won't be any water holes and in actual fact My first trip will be in the wet season. How wet I'm not sure as I have yet to experience it.

I won't take my camouflage gear with me, I wouldn't want to upset anyone in Namibia and I'm obviously aware of the activity of poachers and terrorists in many parts of Africa. Wouldn't want anyone to think that I am one.

Now, as an aside, here,s another question.

Can I wear Lycra if I hire a bike?

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Posted (edited)

  • dark coloured clothing is a good way to not stand out without giving the messages that military camof patterns could imply

Lycra would ok, but it could make you much hotter if it is already warm, so do an online search for temperature

camof is something definitely to avoid for Kenya unless you want to get possibly a whole lot more security checks

camof gear gives added meanings that is best to avoid

it is reasonably common to wear green, brown etc, guides wear it, it is sometimes called safari dress code

Edited by COSMIC RHINO

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@@Dave Williams the only thing that a Welshman could do to really upset the natives in Africa is to put on a scarlet tunic and start singing "Men of Harlech" ;)

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@Dace Williams Lycra? Can we start another thread for that? I would like to see "Lycra on safari?" as a topic. Nothing wrong with it for cycling though - would be a really nice country for cycling actually

.

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Posted (edited)

  • the only people who should be in camof are security staff or UN peace keeping forces

 

 

  • lycra ,the practical considerations are if it will be comfortable in the temperature and if thorns will damage it
Edited by COSMIC RHINO

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I was thinking of wearing Lycra in case I have to make a run for it whilst on the Rhino tracking too. Should enable me to cover 100m in 5 minutes less. :)

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@@Dave Williams the only thing that a Welshman could do to really upset the natives in Africa is to put on a scarlet tunic and start singing "Men of Harlech" ;)

One of the best films ever !

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having done walking safaris , you will not be asked to run away , you can't outrun any angry wild animal

 

the approach is to lie low ,still and quiet whilst your guide takes care of things

 

wear lycra on a walking safari is not a good idea , it could easily get spiked on thorns

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having done walking safaris , you will not be asked to run away , you can't outrun any angry wild animal

 

the approach is to lie low ,still and quiet whilst your guide takes care of things

 

wear lycra on a walking safari is not a good idea , it could easily get spiked on thorns

 

Aussie humour isn't in touch with mine. Apologies if I don't take everything on the forum seriously.

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Talking of which. To be honest I don't see camo as a problem. I am about as far from hipster as you can get, but I can't help but notice that camo seems totally fine in the malls of Lusaka.... In short a sort of gillie suit clad white guy walking around here in Zambia is more likely to be ridiculed than arrested. But from what I understand of fashion, a few choice bits of camo gear might actually provoke admiration.

 

 

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I hate to disagree with @@Geoff but I wear camo clothing all the time in the field and it REALLY HELPS my wildlife photography. It's like wearing a portable hide - stop moving and the birds and some other types of wildlife cannot see you!

 

I am talking about here in the USA - not necessarily on safari. Because even on a walking safari, unless all the other people with you are wearing camo and keeping still - not much point to wearing it...

 

I have gotten a lot of good wildlife photos I am convinced I could not have obtained without wearing camo matched to the background.

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