Four Last Minute African DIY Halloween Costumes (That Aren’t Culturally Appropriative)

A Hippopotamus

Hippos: they’re cute and fat, they have a hilarious snort-of-a-laugh and they make an adorable onesie (see here). And yet they’re the most dangerous large animal in Africa. Male hippos actively defend their territories, and if you get in between a mama hippo and her baby you may as well say your prayers to whichever river god is closest (for those on the Zambezi, reach out to the Nyami Nyami, he’s a good friend of ours). There is a reason why people take to the water with guides like ours, locals who know how to pick their way along hippo-streets without upsetting any of our submerged neighbours.

So what better Halloween costume than an animal that is both adorable and a little bit scary? Check out this incredibly easy DIY hippo here or here.


A Conservationist

Let’s look away from Superman and Cat Girl for a bit, forget Wonder Woman and Black Panther, Captain America and all of the Avengers. What about the day to day heroes? The men and women who protect and preserve our world IRL? We’d like to dress up as those people. Heck, we’d like to BE those people.

Plus, we have to admit, their look is a much easier DIY than a full-body cat suit… all you need are some leftover toilet rolls for binoculars, brown clothes and strong boots, and some sort of toy animal to ‘save’ or educate your fellow Halloweeners about.

Seriously, how adorable is this look:




Pin the Tail on the Zebra

So we’re pretty proud of this one. We were going to go simple: zebras are black and white stripes and not much else… what could be easier for a last-minute costume, right? Buy a white shirt and some white leggings, cut up a bunch of black tape, get some super intense face paint going on and you’re solid.

But at Tongabezi we never do anything by halves. Why not take it up a notch, we thought, and have an interactive costume? Hence, pin the tail on the zebra. Make a bunch of basic zebra tails (white cloth, black tape) and attach them to simple crocodile hair clips. Then get your friends to close their eyes and spin around and pin the tail to the first part of you they touch. You’re going to look pretty weird before long, more like a stripy spider than anything else, but isn’t that the point?



Couple costume for lovers of the gory stuff: a leopard and her dinner!

There are always those oddballs who feel that Halloween is not complete without dark eyeliner and buckets of fake blood everywhere. Well, hello weirdos, we’ve got you covered too.

Whilst it’s always sad watching adorable herbivores (such as impala, waterbuck, eland, kudu) being caught and served up rare-rare by our local carnivores (think leopard, lion, cheetah, hyena), it’s a natural part of the ecosystem and time and time again this circle of life has been proven to be beneficial to all species in the long run (check out the Lion King 0:48).

So if you go with a leopard costume like this one and an antelope look like this, then all you need to do is add a dollop of fake blood and the two of you are Halloween ready!