Safari Water Bottles

Page Updated: Dec 2021

Keeping well hydrated is very important on an African safari whether you are hunting or game-viewing from a vehicle. You might not realise you are getting dehydrated in the heat which causes increased sweating, so make a point of drinking plenty of water and make a mental note of how often you are urinating and the colour of the urine, compared with normal. Even if you don't feel particularly thirsty, if you are peeing less and it is a darker colour, drink more. Also if you feel light-headed or headachy, up your water intake.

So how much water should a person drink in a day? The Mayo Clinic recommends an adequate intake for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 litres) of total beverages a day. For women it is about 9 cups (2.2 litres) of total beverages a day in a temperate climate. In the hot climate of Africa and doing prolonged intense exercise, such as walking in the bush, you would likely need to double the this recommendation.

When you go out for the day hunting or game-viewing, the vehicle should be well-stocked with bottled water for all on board. If you spend most of the day in the truck there will be no problem keeping a plastic bottle of water handy at all times. The main advice would be checking the seal is unbroken when you open it, so there is no chance the bottle has been used before and refilled with possibly unsterile water. Also, it almost goes without saying, do not throw empty plastic bottles out in the bush.

On a vehicle that is bouncing around the African bush there is every chance plastic water bottles get dropped, roll around the floor and may get mixed up with other people's water bottles. To avoid unintentionally drinking from someone else's bottle, you may prefer to carry your own water bottle. Before you go out just decant bottled water into your own container and keep it in or hanging on your day bag. You may want to carry a few rehydration sachets to add when necessary. Some people may fill their personal water bottles with an energy drink mix which they find helps them on a long bush walk.

However, when you get off the truck to go hunting on foot or walking, it becomes very important to make sure you carry enough water for all eventualities. You may well be out for the whole day on the trail of buffalo or elephant and normal plastic bottles of water are heavy and awkward to carry. You could be separated from the vehicle a long time especially if you are hunting in thick bush with difficult vehicle access. You could, though rarely, even get lost.

How To Choose A Good Water Bottle

  • For an African safari, a water bottle needs to be lightweight and easily portable. So avoid reusable water bottles made of glass which are heavy and easily broken unless they have a shatter-proof cover. How do you prefer to carry your bottle? If you are going to hang it from your day bag or belt look for one with a loop cap so a carabiner or lanyard will easily attach it. Some come with a their own built-in carabiner.
  • A durable reusable water bottle is essential in Africa. It must not crack or break if dropped. Stainless steel water bottles are the most durable when dropped. Aluminium bottles, though generally lighter, dent pretty easily.
  • It is important that your water bottle is easy to clean and hygienic, particularly if it is used for drinks other than plain water. Heat and gunky drink residue make for an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. The worst area for bacteria build up can be the cap mechanism if it can't be taken apart. With no dishwashers in the bush, you will need a Water Bottle Cleaning Set and a detergent.
  • The volume of water that your bottle can take is obviously important. The more the better for hunting in Africa but this needs to balanced against the weight you will need to carry comfortably. The water bottle with the largest capacity will take just over a litre. If more water is needed, a hydration backpack may be preferable.
  • The material the water bottle is made of may influence your choice. Stainless steel is tough and light, more hygienic and the interior, being polished, doesn't taint the drink with smells or taste from previous contents. Some people, however, feel stainless steel gives a 'metallic' taste to a drink. Plastic water bottles are light, durable and very convenient. They are ideal if you don't have issues about any of the 'hazards' of plastics. They may stain with coloured energy drinks and are not as easy to get thoroughly clean. Aluminium water bottles are softer than stainless steel so dent quite easily.
  • The size and style of the water bottle neck may be important. If you want to add ice cubes to your drink in an insulated bottle you will need a wide neck. Also you might want a wider neck to drink more easily without creating an airlock. Too wide though you may spill the contents if you drink while on the go. Alternatively there are designs with spouts and straws.
  • Choose an insulated water bottle if you want to keep your drink cool. Two layers of stainless steel around vacuum is best insulating construction. Insulated bottles are also ideal for taking a hot drink out with you on a cold morning.
  • Plastic foldable water bottles are useful, packing down really small when not in use. They can also be filled and frozen.
  • Cap leakage is an important feature to avoid. Not only because a faulty cap will deplete your water supply, it will also possibly ruin the contents of your day bag if that is where it is carried. Look for one with a sturdy seal and screws down very tightly. On the subject of caps, you may prefer ones that stay attached to the bottle when open in case it gets dropped and lost.

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Stainless Steel Safari Water Bottles

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This Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Bottle is made of food grade stainless steel and doesn't retain or impart flavours so a drink stays fresh. Rounded corners are easy to clean with no hard angles where dirt, germs or other bacteria can stick. The loop cap is made from BPA-free polypropylene and can be clipped onto backpacks, bags or belt loops. Comes in numerous colours, sizes and caps. Buy Now

This Klean Kanteen Insulated Bottle is equipped with a leak-proof Stainless Loop Cap, you can clip it onto your bag or throw it inside. The slim design of the Kanteen Insulated has rounded corners to make the bottle easy to clean and the 100% stainless steel interior won't retain or impart flavours. It keeps contents hot or cold for up to six hours. Buy Now

The Camelbak Chute Mag stainless steel water bottle is vacuum insulated and has a sweat-proof finish. The cap has an easy carry handle and a magnetic top that stows securely out of the way when open and is leak-proof when closed. It comes in a range of capacity, from 12 to 32 oz. Buy Now

This Stanley stainless steel water bottle is made from stainless steel and is vacuum insulated, retaining its temperature for hours without imparting any previous flavors. The water bottle has a 2-stage lid that gives an added layer of protection against leaks and also a connected cap. Buy Now

This 18-ounce hydration bottle has durable stainless steel interior and exterior, flip-top lid with built-in sipping design, button activated lid and additional clasp for secure travel. The double wall vacuum insulation locks in temperature to preserve flavour and freshness. Condensation-free with cold beverages. Buy Now

Hydro Flask's insulated water bottles are made of food grade stainless steel. The bottles have no liner (like most aluminum bottles) and are BPA free. Unlike plastic water bottles or single wall stainless bottles, Hydro Flask will keep your beverage at your preferred temperature for hours. All Hydro Flask products feature a lifetime warranty and are double wall vacuum insulated. Comes in 20, 32 & 40 oz capacity. Buy Now

Plastic Safari Water Bottles

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The Thermos Intak Hydration Bottle is made from BPA free, impact-resistant Tritan copolyester. It has a locking leak-proof lid with one-hand push button operation. There's a flip up loop for easy carrying; ergonomic design for comfortable usage. Monitor your intake with the rotating intake meter. Ideal for water, iced tea, juices and sports drinks - 24-ounce capacity. Buy Now

The CamelBak Peak Fitness water bottle has a tapered design for optimized hand fit and stability. It features a high flow, self-sealing cap which is easy to clean. Capacity in this range of bottles is from 17 oz - 24 oz. Buy Now

This Nalgene water bottle has a wide mouth water which is easy to wash, fill, drink from and adaptable with accessories. Tritan construction is 100 percent BPA-free. Easy to use screw top lid is secure when packed and loop-top can be clipped to bag or harness. It can be adapted to have a smaller outlet with the Nalgene Easy Sipper Buy Now

The Vapur Element water bottle rolls, folds or lies flat when it's empty. When you fill it up it stands by itself. The larger Vapur Element holds more liquid than standard sports bottles and does not include BPA. It has an integrated carabiner to carry easily on your day bag. It is freezable, has a wide and is easy to open with a pop-up cap. Buy Now

This collapsible water bottle is shaped like a hard bottle and compresses like a soft flask. It is topped with a spill-proof twist-cap for grab-and-go hydration, plus a flexible bail handle to keep hydration secure in your hand or on your pack. Buy Now

This Sigg's Total Clear Water Bottle is made of transparent, light, durable Tritan plastic. It holds 0.75 litre (25 oz) and it is spill-proof. You can carry, open, drink, close and seal conveniently with one hand – plus filling and cleaning the bottle is easy. It is free of chemicals and is taste and odour-neutral. Buy Now

Aluminium Safari Water Bottles

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This high-quality, recyclable aluminum bottle is extremely light, robust and can be conveniently carried with one finger. And it is 100% leak-proof, even with carbonated drinks and upside down, whenever you need both hands free. Buy Now

This Glock water bottle is made from durable aluminum and includes a flip up top. Buy Now

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