Currently the Safari Hat is flagged as a toy on the beta, and it cannot be worn (placed in your helm slot). However, it can be added to the Toy Box and players can still "equip" the hat to receive the pet experience buff. Graphically, it still looks as though you're wearing the hat even though it's not actually replacing your helm slot.
Not only will this free up an inventory slot, it also means players can keep on their main head piece and still utilize the Safari Hat at the same time. You can even drag the Safari Hat icon onto your action bars and keybind it for fast/quick access.
Some additional notes:
- Logging in and out and loading a new zone does not remove the Safari Hat and buff.
- Toggling the "Show Helm" option in the Interface options has no effect on the Safari Hat. This is likely because you're not actually wearing the hat anymore. This might be a slight annoyance for those that don't want to view any helm of any kind.
- I have yet to test if the bonus pet experience is still applied in the same way, but I don't see why it wouldn't be unless there's a bug.
- The Safari Hat can't be toggled on/off without manually clicking off the buff. At the moment selecting the hat icon (either in the Toy Box or on your action bar) just re-applies the hat to your character. If an on/off feature is added this new setup for the Safari Hat will be as close to ideal as a pet battler could hope for! :)