How to Find Food in the African Wilderness

How to Find Food in the African Wilderness
Africa offers thousands of wildlife destinations. Plan your trip to allow opportunities to find and capture your own food. Wild plants offer their unique flavors, and game can be delicious and flavorful prepared at the campsite. You'll want to take a slow-but-steady approach to ensure you choose edible plants and easy-to-trap game.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Trail map
  • Knife
  • Field guide
  • Thread or fishing line
  • Hook
  • Umbrella drop net
  • African night crawler or other bait
  • Camping cook set
Step 1
Identify the nearest flat meadow, which may be dispersed between various landforms, ideally by using a trail map. Proceed by foot to a low-lying area of soft, waterlogged ground, most likely situated near a river. Cover the area by foot until you find a game trail, which is a channel within the grass that function as pathways for small animals such as the African ground squirrel.
Step 2
Observe the width of the trail to estimate the size of the game. Search for a trail with a width of about 4 to 6 inches, indicative of traveling squirrels; quail, which prefer to run rather than fly; and African olive pigeons, which travel by foot and feed on land and fallen sticks.
Step 3
Set a snare over a bed of sticks, which you can collect from the area. Using a long, thin nylon rope snare, tie it to a nearby tree or standing post. This rudimentary hunting tool offers an effective way to find small African game.
Step 4
Locate edible plant life near a riverbank where wild grass is plentiful and in most cases nutritious. Consult a field guide to determine whether the plant is safe to eat. Check the leaf, stem, or root of the plant for parasites and worms, which are indicative of decay; discard the plant and continue looking if it decayed. Crush the plant and then rub it on a small area of your elbow. Wait 15 minutes. If redness, irritation or burning do not occur, it may be safe to consume.
Step 5
Find a small stream or other water source using a map. If you do not have a map, search by foot along valleys, canyons and mountains, where rivers may be hidden.
Step 6
Rig a throw line, which is a basic piece of fishing line, with a worm or other type of available bait. Tie a hook on one end of the line and then tie the other end to a tree. Wet the tag end of the line with saliva. Pass the wet tip through the eye of the hook. Tie a fishing knot to secure the hook. Thread an African night crawler or other bait onto the hook; pierce the top of the worm with the hook and pass the rest of the body through.
Step 7
Throw the line into the stream near rocks, sticks or other obstructions. Wait for a fish to strike your line. You can also go net fishing using a mesh umbrella drop net, which is not attached to a pole and folds for easy carrying while traveling in the African wilderness. Pull the throw line from the water by hand when you see tension on the line.
Step 8
Climb a tree in search of a bird's nest. Watch the nest for several minutes before ascending the tree. If a bird is inside the nest, do not proceed. If the nest is not protected by an adult bird, look inside for eggs. Fry the eggs over an open fire using a metal camping skillet.

Tips & Warnings

Boil water over an open flame for several minutes to disinfect contaminated water.
Gut the animal with a pocket knife and cook it on an open fire using aluminum camping equipment. Alternatively, you can store the animal(s) in a hunting bag and cook it at your accommodation.
You can also use thread if you do not have fishing line.
Always beware of poisonous snakes that can hide under brush or sticks.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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