Dress Codes whilst Travelling
When you're out in-country taking part in your challenge, it's always important to be aware of your surroundings. In many parts of the world, it can be considered inappropriate or offensive to wear certain types of clothing whilst in public. Whilst travelling, you may find that local people have views on clothing which are more conservative than your own, and this means that you are likely to be more respectful of the local religion and culture - but also safer - if you are dressed appropriately.
Unfortunately, many of the stricter dress codes apply more heavily to women than to men - but there are still occasions where men will be required to dress appropriately as well. We've tried to compile a list here of the common mistakes that people make in our destinations - and how best to stay on top of being appropriately dressed whilst enjoying your trip.
If you're taking part in our High Atlas trek, you'll have the opportunity to spend some time in one of Morocco's most popular tourist cities - Marrakech. With more than 99% of the population of Morocco self-identifying as Muslim, it's important to respect the local emphasis on modesty. This means:
Women: long skirts/dresses which cover the knee. Jeans or trousers are also fine, but consider the heat! Light, breathable and airy fabrics are best - but wear what you're comfortable with. Cover your shoulders and legs. Be aware that wearing clothing considered inappropriate in Marrakech can, unfortunately, sometimes lead to inappropriate and unwanted comments.
Men: it's very unusual for adult men in Morocco to wear shorts. Long trousers, with a button-down shirt, are best. Avoid jeans.
With its plentiful sacred and holy sites, Kathmandu is an incredible, eye-opening city and a wonderful place to explore whilst taking part in our Everest Base Camp challenge. Throughout its many lavish temples and more tucked-away treasures, keep in mind that although some of these sites are very popular tourist spots, many (such as the Swayambhunath Stupa, or 'Monkey Temple') are considered sacred places of worship or pilgrimage.
You are unlikely to run into trouble if you 'under-dress', but it would be disrespectful and discourteous to neglect to wear appropriate clothes when visiting the more significant sites around the city.
Women: try not to wear anything too tight or 'skimpy'. This includes swimwear if you are visiting any local baths or swimming pools. Try to cover shoulders and knees whilst visiting the temples if you can.
Men: avoid wearing tank-tops and flip-flops in holy sites. Shorts are okay, but try not to wear short-shorts or anything too tight. In the evenings, wear long trousers instead of shorts.
On a lighter note: make sure you pack waterproofs! The weather can change very quickly in the Kathmandu valley, so whatever you're wearing, don't get caught short if there's a sudden downpour.
Whilst taking part in our Kilimanjaro trek, you will have the opportunity to explore some of Moshi town, including the food markets, where local people will sell fruit, vegetables, crafts and more. It's an exciting and illuminating experience - but you will need to dress appropriately whilst walking through the markets.
Women: you may wish to cover your shoulders and legs to avoid disapproval from local people in the markets and around Moshi town. Generally tourists in inappropriate dress will be tolerated but not liked, and strappy tops and bare legs may be met with comments or disapproving looks.
Men: wear t-shirts over the shoulder (no tank-tops) and appropriate footwear whilst walking through the markets. Long trousers are desirable but not essential.
It's also considered rude to take photographs of local market sellers and their products in the markets, and the local people may become offended if you try to take photos - especially with large DSLR cameras. Remember, these are normal people just trying to go about their day!
The golden beaches of Zanzibar are a fantastic place to relax after your Kilimanjaro trek. Of course, you'll probably want to go for a dip in the Indian Ocean, so you'll be keen to strip off at some point! Whilst Zanzibar is a very popular tourist destination, and therefore the local people are accustomed to Western and non-Western tourists alike, you should still be aware of what you're wearing and how it is perceived. The clothes you should pack and wear in Zanzibar are heavily dependent on the activities you'll be doing out there - which are up to you!
Women: keep swimwear to the beach or poolside areas and don't try to venture into the towns wearing bikinis - even if covered with a pashmina/sarong. If you're visiting Stone Town, do not wear shorts or short skirts, and cover your shoulders, knees and belly.
Men: long trousers in the evenings. If you're visiting Stone Town, do not wear shorts or tank-tops. Button-down shirts and trousers are important here (but again, consider the heat!)
If you have any concerns or worries about what (not) to wear in-country, don't panic! Just pop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and our team will be happy to help!