How do you get in shape before your African safari.... Well getting in shape for your African Safari is like getting in shape for any hunt! I am what I would call a very athletic person, knowing the importance of being able to walk that extra mile in search of my prize and just plain go the distance. It has paid off in dividends and being in hunting shape is completely different than being in GYM shape! With that said hunting is just as much a mental game as it is physical so you can be in the best shape of your life but when it comes down to taking the shot its all a mind game and that is where pushing yourself comes into play in my humble opinion. But last year I said to myself I wanted to be a better hunter! I am not a professional in this world of exercise but I can speak from first hand experience and I have hunted with people who thought everything was just going to fall into their laps "on the vehicle" but part of the stalk and fun of hunting is actually hunting. I came across this post from Field and Stream and kinda modified it with some other routines and articles I read about stalking and my own personal experience etc. But I am providing it as a base line for those of you that need a starting point. And for you fellow bowhunters below is also an article for you! Getting Started: http://www.fieldandstream.com/photo...10/get-ready-hunt-big-game-boot-camp/?image=0 For the Bowhunter: http://www.fieldandstream.com/articles/hunting/deer-hunting/2014/05/get-elk-shape-phase-one http://www.fieldandstream.com/articles/hunting/2014/06/get-elk-hunting-shape-phase-2 What I did: For my most recent hunt in 2013 several months in advance on top of my normal workout routine at the gym and daily runs, in the afternoons I started walking 3 miles 5 days a week yeah I hear the nay Sayers of that isn't far to walk and no it is not but this was not just ordinary walking... This was walking and stalking in my little hunting world stalking trees and bushes practicing my walking and yes pushing my body harder and further each day. (I am sure some of the passerby's thought I was crazy leopard crawling putting one mean stalk on a pine tree!!) I did all of this in a nearby state forest so it wasn't so bad but if you have to do it in your neighborhood please take a video and post it to AH!!! Walking very slowly heal to toe watching each step trying not to make any sound on all types of terrain, sand, leaves, rocky ground, dirt, grass etc. is very difficult because it takes total body control since you may not always be standing up practice bent over as well as crouched etc. you don't want to be the reason you got busted. Start on short distances maybe 50 yards and increase your distances the more you get comfortable. (This can be very time consuming but trust me if you are in the field and you see that huge Kudu bull before he sees you and you put on a slow stalk, that takes time and you don't want frustration and fatigue to get the best of you, always end the walk with getting yourself into the best position you feel comfortable to take that shot!!!) On top of walking slowly I worked on my just normal walking at a brisk pace and that was where distances and endurance comes into play. When you walk/stalk take what you would normally take when you are going to hunt, Binos, day pack, water, and something that represents the weight of your rifle. You want to know what all these things feel like when you are actually hunting and how best to control them. (I have had the binos bang on the rifle on more than one occasion and my pack hit me in the back of my head! very laughable) Getting on your hands, knees and bellies and practice your crawls sounds funny but it will pay off you just need to apply the same principals as above when walk/stalking. Especially with a rifle! I don't know about you but my guns and scopes are like my babies and I treat them like that but if you don't know how to control your gun as an extension of your body you will be more worried/focused about it than your trophy! Conclusion: I hope those of you who do not exercise will get out and do so and those of you that already do, push yourselves even further! If you can not physically do the recommended exercises there are many others out there that have the same effect with less strain on the body if in doubt contact your local gym or health club and consult with a professional. Exercise is so important in hunting not just so that you can walk long distances carrying a rifle etc. but also for you to be able to learn to control your bodies reactions within adverse heart thumping conditions! The below pictures are from the Eastern Cape spot and stalking Kudu. Decided to put down the bow and take out the rifle for this hunt. Not the biggest bull ever but sure was lots of fun! You get busted more than anything! Clever Clever animals those Kudu! He know graces the wall of my office! Best of Luck!! SCJagter Here is a little quote from the article: If you never push your body prior to the hunt, how can you expect it to perform at its peak on the mountain?