African Hunting Gaiters

Page Updated: Feb 2024

As with your choice of African hunting boot tread and safari clothes colour, check with your outfitter or PH about the terrain and vegetation you are likely to encounter at the time of year of your trip. This will help you determine if gaiters are really necessary and if so, which type of gaiter to choose. At certain times of year, particularly in grassland country like the eastern Cape of South Africa, the grass seeds can be a nightmare, pricking your skin through your socks, boot lace holes or any mesh panels of hiking shoes or boots, sometimes causing a skin infection.

Most hunters choose to wear gaiters all the time in Africa, whether with short or long pants, at any time of year. They are no big deal to pull on and don't get in the way.

A precursor to todays light ankle gaiters for African hunting, were the puttees wore by most of the African hunters of old. Originally puttees (from the Hindu, word patti) were a strip of cloth or leather wound tightly round the lower leg to provide support and protection. They were adopted as part of the service uniform of foot and mounted soldiers serving in British India during the second half of the nineteenth century. They then remained part of the British army uniform until 1938. Consequently as many early hunters served in the forces, puttees found their way into the African and Indian big game hunting fields.

Percy Madeira Puttees
1907 Percy Madeira wearing his puttees on a 100 day East African hunt

Choosing African Hunting Gaiters

  • Gaiters are very useful particularly if you wear short hunting boots or trainers and shorts when hunting in Africa.
  • Boot gaiters prevent thorns, grass seeds and burrs, sand or any debris from getting into your shoes or boots.
  • For hunting in Africa, make sure gaiters are made of sturdy canvas/cotton, hook securely in place and are quiet when walking. Some stiff synthetic gaiters tend to make an annoying swishing noise with every step.
  • The heavy duty, long, snake-proof gaiters are likely to be unnecessary in Africa and may be too hot to wear. Short ankle gaiters will usually suffice.
  • You may want gaiters that come with a removable instep cord that can be replaced separately if it wears out.
  • Gaiters that are easy to get on and off with Velcro closure are preferable.
  • Gaiters which are water repellent will be useful when hunting in the early mornings through a heavy dew.
  • Most gaiters come in various sizes which are related to boot size so it is important to get this right. You need a snug, sealed fit round the leg but not too tight that it cuts in and causes discomfort.
  • Do not rely on gaiters to keep ticks out. Ticks can easily get access to you under the gaiter, so keep examining yourself from head to toe each day.

African Hunting Gaiters

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(Click on images or links for full details & colour options)

These gaiters are made of durable stretch nylon which provides ample articulation. They will keep debris out of low and mid-height boots. The arch strap is coated for longer life. Buy Now

First Lite Traverse 2.0 Gaiter

These heavy-duty gaiters have an adjustable calf strap, snap reinforced Velcro closure and the stirrup has a black metal buckle adjustment. Buy Now

First Light Brambler Hunting Boot Gaiter - Durable Waterproof Hunting Gaiters - Dry Earth - Medium

These durable lightweight gaiters are made of Oxford cloth and are beathable, tear resistant and will protect your legs against snake bites, animal bites and thorns. They have a coated footband and a stainless steel wire strap. Buy Now

Apkaf Snake Gaiters, Snake Bite Protection for Lower Legs, Outdoor Leg Gaiters Hiking Hunting Snow Boot Gaiters Sand Waterproof Boots Cover Legging Gaiters Fit for Men & Women, Adjustable Size

These gaiters are made of tough, lightweight material which is treated with Permethrin to repel insects. They are adjustable for a custom fit with stirrups, zippers and a liner that prevents them slippping down. Buy Now


These lightweight gaiters are made of pack cloth construction with a no bulk, low top design which will prevent debris getting into your footwear. As well as being breathable and abrasion-resistant, these gaiters offer Insect Shield bug protection Buy Now

Outdoor Research Bugout Rocky Mountain Low Gaiters

These Tag gaiters are made from medium weight cotton canvas. The elastic tops keep grass burs from sticking to your shoe laces and making your skin itch. Velcro in the back makes them easy to put on and take off. Buy Now

Tag Safari Canvas Gaiters with Hook & Loop Fastener for Hiking, Walking, Hunting and Mountain Climbing, Made in Africa - Khaki - Large
These gaiters also come in a buffalo leather version.

These fitted front opening gaiters come with a full-length hook and loop enclosure, secure snaps, adjustable top web strap with secure cam lock buckle and reinforced boot section. They are waterproof with a breathable membrane keeps water out of your boots. Buy Now

Kenetrek Hunting Gaiters, Loden, Medium

These gaiters are treated with microencapsulated long-lasting permethrin insect repellent which is released through friction of use. The repellency effectiveness remains for 50 washess. They provide effective protection from ticks - the 3D mesh prevents them moving very fast so exposes the tick to repellent for longer. Buy Now

LYMEEZ 3D Mesh Tick Repelling Leg Gaiters

This anti-tick gaiter system is also available as low Tick Repelling Cuff Gaiters and Stretch Mesh Leg Gaiters which you pull on like socks over your pants.

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