The Iconic Safari Boot: Did Your Dad Own A Pair?

Mine did! And I’m not at all ashamed to proclaim that he owned several pairs back then, when safari boots were the in thing for ordinary Kenyans. Just kept replacing them as they aged. But the nature of his job required him to have long lasting shoes. Boy, was he a frequenter of farms! The safari boot served him well. It’s a hardy pair of shoe.

One time, we left our shoes outside on the doorstep as was our usual routine and my father’s safari boots just disappeared! It was so funny because none of us heard a thing and it was around lunch hour. We highly suspected our neighbors though and our suspicion was proven right when a couple of days later, the neighbor’s son emerged in a pair of freshly, dyed, black safari boots.

But you see, the thing with suspicion is that you can’t really confront the person you suspect lest you end up making a fool of yourself. Trust me, this realization was a hard pill for us to swallow. Interestingly, it didn’t seem to bother my father much. He just got another pair as was his habit.

Nowadays, Kenyan men donning safari boots are considered shady. I mean with all the different types of modern shoes in the market for men, why in the world would an urban Kenyan man decide to get a pair of safari boots?!

Of course if you are a male foreign or domestic tourist or modelling safari wear or a tour guide, you can be excused for donning a pair. It works especially well for the tour guides who pair the boots with khaki trousers or shorts. Not so, for the clueless ones who decide to do official trousers with safari boots.

Love to hate them, safari boots remain a Kenyan identity with the Swahili word “safari” loosely translated to mean “journey” in English. So of course if you are a foreign tourist keen on visiting our game parks, be sure to dash into a Bata shop to get yourself a nice pair of safari boots before you embark on your game drive.

I like how describe the shoe;

Made of the finest cowhide, this shoe is a favorite because it evokes the savannas of Kenya. The boot’s rough finish not only feels genuine but also fits “just right”.

Constructed to withstand rugged terrains while providing walking comfort, the safari boot is also easy to clean regardless of the road travelled.

Appreciated for its superior quality, the safari boot is still hand stitched at the Bata factory in Limuru, Kenya and this attention to detail gives the shoe an attractive authentic look that many brands have attempted to imitate.

So there you have it! Did daddy have one of these?



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