Safari Shoes: Quick Guide to Safari Footwear

Safari Shoes: Quick Guide to Safari Footwear

Story by:

C. Fraser Claire

Select safari shoes which are suited to your specific type of safari.

If you are planning a safari, it is important to pack light. Shoes are often heavy, bulky travel items. When it comes to safari shoes, clever packing can save invaluable luggage space and weight. Have you thought about what lurks on the ground around camp? Will your shoes stand up to the terrain on a walking safari? These are our quick tips to getting the best shoes for safari.

Which are the best shoes for safari?

If you are going on a game drive safari, the best shoes to take along are trail shoes. These are usually designed to be lightweight (great for keeping the weight of your duffle to a minimum), comfortable, and breathable for outdoor activities. They also usually provide grip for trail conditions, which is great if your guide suggests a short bush walk. Depending on preference, you could also wear these shoes on a walking safari or other active safari. Shop men's safari shoes and women's safari shoes shoes.

Top tip: Check your shoes for snakes, scorpions, and insects - another reason to wear closed shoes.

Steve’s safari shoe quick tip: "Select safari shoes which are the best shoes for your type of safari. For full-on walking safaris, I will only wear our Rufiji™ APU Safari Boots. Their simple tried and tested design means they are comfortable and the boot design works well to keep sand from getting into the boot. For safaris which are 4x4 based but may include a short walk or two, lightweight canvas shoes such as the Merrells we sell will be ideal. Whichever shoe you choose for your safari, make sure they are comfortable and that you have walked them in before you leave for your safari."

What shoes should I pack for a walking safari? Do I need to take hiking boots?

Again, this depends on preference. Your travel conditions will also make a difference to the shoes you take on a walking safari. In many cases, your trail shoes will suffice. If you are looking for ankle protection or if you are worried about insects and reptiles, a boot with a higher rise or a pair of hiking boots is a good idea. If you are walking in muddy forest conditions, sandy terrain, or face river crossings, a medium- to high-rise, waterproof boot with a built-in tongue will keep water and sand out and keep you comfortable.

These boots were made for walking safaris: Our Rufiji™ APU Combat Boots were originally designed for Africa’s anti-poaching units. These boots are proven to be comfortable over many hours of walking across varied terrain, muddy conditions, and river crossings.

Easy-on, easy-off ankle boots: With closed shoes the wise choice for safari-goers, Chelsea boots are a safari camp favourite for slip-on convenience and comfort - and they look great too! The Buffalo Boots are made from genuine leather with a grippy rubber sole - combining grit and good looks for luxury safaris to self drive safaris (and everything in between). From short walks to around-the-safari-lodge style, the Buffalo Boot is an easy choice for every element of camp life.

What shoes should I wear around the lodge?

Slipping your feet into a pair of safari sandals is a very satisfying sensation as the day heats up on safari. A hybrid sandal is a popular choice amongst travellers. Our Rufiji™ Leather Safari Sandals are African-made for African adventures - a shoe women will love on safari and at home.

Safari-styled footwear: Our Rufiji™ Explorer Shoes (thin sole and original sole) and high-top Veldskoen Desert Boots are also made in Africa for Africa – modelled on the traditional veldskoen design. These laced suede leather shoes fit the part on safari (and are set to become some of your favourite shoes back home too).

Are there any safari footwear accessories I should consider?

Blister-free socks Safari shoes are best paired with blister-free socks. A blister can be a real hindrance on safari. Don’t take the risk by investing in a pair of blister-free socks.

Gaiters If you are looking for a bit of added protection from ticks and blackjacks around the ankles, a pair of ankle gaiters will come in handy. If you opt for trail shoes over boots, gaiters will also help to prevent debris going into your shoes. Our gaiters are available in suede leather and canvas.

A woman wearing leather safari shoes with her feet up on a canvas duffel bag.

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