The Safari Hat is most recognizable in two main styles, the pith helmet and the slouch hat. The pith helmet was originally worn by British military troops in their tropical colonies. It first appeared in India in the 1800s and was made of the pith (trunk tissue) from the native Sola tree; it originally had a white cloth covering. Eventually this covering was stained with tea to make the helmets less conspicuous in battle. These khaki helmets became the standard and became popular with civilians as sun hats. In America, President Teddy Roosevelt was perhaps its most famous wearer.
The slouch hat eventually replaced the pith helmet due to a shortage of the helmets during the Boer War. This style was a wide brimmed felt hat with one side of the brim pinned to the crown. It is probably most famous as part of the Australian military uniform, which it has been since the late 1800s and is still worn today. During the 1940s and 1950s the slouch hat became the primary style worn on safari.
Both safari styles have provided inspiration to milliners and hat makers over the years, and Borsalino in particular is well-known for their slouch hats as well as for their fedoras.