Frequently asked Questions
How do I get there?
- When you arrive in South Africa, at Johannesburg airport, collect you luggage/rifles and pass through customs and immigration.
- From Johannesburg, you will will board a domestic flight to Port Elizabeth (a 90 minute flight).
- At Port Elizabeth airport, you will be met by me, or the professional hunter who will assist you on your safari.
- The lodge is a scenic 1 hour drive from Port Elizabeth.
Which documents do I require?
- Passport and/or visa (USA citizens need a valid passport to enter The Republic of South Africa European citizens need a valid passport and an entry visa).
- Return airline ticket
How do I get my rifle there?
Upon arrival in South Africa, you will be asked to fill in a form requesting weapon and ammunition specifications. For your convenience, an example of this SAPS 520 form has been provided, which you can print and complete in advance.
In addition to the SAPS 520 form, you will need your passport, return airline ticket and proof of ownership of the firearm/s. For USA citizens, an officially stamped Custom Declaration Form 4457 will be acceptable.
You will need a letter of invitation from us which we provide.
Download the following forms:
Firearms & Recommended firearms clearing service
We highly recommend using a firearms clearing service at Johannesburg International Airport. Our clients all say that it was well worth the small amount spent. We will put you in touch with the clearance service, and they will then request the required documentation from you. On receipt of your documentation, the clearance service will arrange the permits and documentation on your behalf. They will meet you at arrivals and assist you through the entire process. Contact us for more information.
BEFORE YOU BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS to South Africa
Airlines are constantly changing their procedures concerning transporting firearms and ammunition. Be sure to check baggage requirements with your airline before you book your flight and be sure to allow plenty of time between flights in case an unforeseen issue comes into play.
AIRLINE TRAVEL INFORMATION
Airline transportation to South Africa is not included with any of our safaris. Your local travel agent can assist you with these arrangements; However, some of them might not be familiar with Southern Africa and travelling with hunting rifles.
For hunters from the USA we highly recommend South African Airways or Delta as they have direct flights daily via Dulles (Washington D.C.), New York (JFK) or Atlanta (Hartsfield) to Johannesburg (O.R. Tambo).
South African Airways is the only airline that carries firearms on domestic flights from in South Africa.
When is the best time to hunt in South Africa?
With a climate that provides moderate year round temperatures, South Africa provides pleasant hunting from March to November. Earlier in the year, from March to May, is autumn with average daytime temperatures around 80°F and cooler evenings. June, July and August are our mild winter months with average daytime temperature around 65°F and cooler night time temperatures around 32°F. Spring is from September to November which is similar to our autumn, but cooler temperature can be expected.
My favourite time of the year to hunt is the last two weeks of April and the first two weeks of May. The weather is very pleasant.
It is the peak of the mating season (Rut) and there is normally a lot of movement and action.
If you consider a buffalo hunt in Mozambique. September and October is normally better because the grass have been burnt and visibility is better.
What do I need to pack?
The following list is a basic recommendation.
Laundry will be done on a daily basis, so light packing is ideal.
Green and dark camo is the best colours to hunt in. Stay away from khaki and faded colours – it stands out in the bush.
- most importantly, good ankle support lace-up hunting boots for undulating terrain
- hunting socks x 3 pairs
- underwear x 3
- long hunting pants (green or camo) x 2-3 pairs
- shorts x 1 pair
- hunting shirts (green or camo) x 3
- T-shirts x 2
- light weight coat x 1
- heavy coat (warm jacket) x 1
- sweater x 1
- sunscreen, sunglasses, lip balm/chapstick
- any medical prescriptions
- mosquito and tick repellant
Which vaccinations do I require?
For South Africa no compulsory shots are required. We recommend a Tetanus shot.
Malaria pills are not necessary if we hunt in the Eastern Cape.
Malaria medication must be taken if you plan to visit Kruger National Park or planning to hunt in Mozambique.
Full medical insurance is recommended.
Choice of weapons
There should be no reason to purchase a new rifle for your South African safari. The most important factor is your knowledge and comfort in your ability to shoot your own rifle accurately. The rifle you use for deer hunting is probably adequate for any type of plains game you may hunt. Being familiar with your rifle and practising in several positions, including using shooting sticks, will go a long way toward a successful safari. Accurate shot placement is much more important than a large calibre rifle.
270 Winchester and bigger are adequate for all your plains game animals. 300 Winchester Magnum is ideal.
Be sure to have a quality scope fitted to your rifle. A 3×9 variable scope is common, but the choice is left to you.
All shots should be in the 100 – 250 yards range with 200 yards the average in the Eastern Cape.
For dangerous game, 375 H+H and bigger is recommended.
Semi automatic and automatic weapons are not allowed.
For those who do not have a weapon, we have a 270 Winchester, 300 Winchester Magnums and a 416 Rigby for rent at $40/day on trophy hunts.
On driven and bird hunts, ammunition will be charged additionally.
How much ammunition is enough?
We recommend 60+ rounds.
How do I get my trophy home?
There are 2 methods to do this:
- Have the trophy mounted in South Africa Once done, it can be crated and shipped directly back to you in the USA.
- Have only the capes and skulls dipped and packed here It can then be shipped back to your own taxidermist in the USA We apply for CITES animals export permits in South Africa, but when you arrive in the USA you’ll have to apply at your local Fish & Wildlife for import permits.
Climate & Weather
The climate in the Eastern Cape is referred to as a local steppe climate. In Eastern Cape, there is little rainfall throughout the year. According to Köppen and Geiger, this climate is classified as BSk. In the Eastern Cape, the average annual temperature is 17.9°C. About 299 mm of precipitation falls annually. The least amount of rainfall occurs in June. The average in this month is 11 mm. With an average of 43 mm, the most precipitation falls in March.The temperatures are highest on average in February, at around 23.1°C. July has the lowest average temperature of the year. It is 12.1°C. The variation in the precipitation between the driest and wettest months is 32 mm. During the year, the average temperatures vary by 11.0°C.
South Africa is basically a safe place for international travellers. However, it’s sensible to take normal precautions while travelling, particularly when spending some time in built-up urban areas. Avoid the unnecessary display of valuables, such as jewellery, cash or audio/visual equipment. The use of travellers’ checks or credit cards is more advisable than large amounts of cash.
South African Currency
The unit of currency in South Africa is the Rand (R), which is divided into 100 cents. Notes are in R200, R100, R50, R20 and R10.
The Currency is approximately ZAR 14 to US$ 1.
South African Dialling Code
The international code for South Africa is +27, which should be preceded by the international prefix of 011 if calling from the U.S.
Exchange codes must be dialled when calling outside metropolitan areas. A zero always precedes dialling codes but falls away when calling from overseas. For example, locally, the dialling code for Tootabi is 082, but calling from outside South Africa, it would be +2782.
- Directory Information -1023
- International operator -0009
- Police emergencies -10111
- Ambulance -10117
Standard time in South Africa is 7 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time in the winter and 6 hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time in the summer.
Europe experiences a one-to-two hour time difference.
South Africa has no daylight saving time changes.
Voltage in South Africa is 230 – 240 Volts.
If you need a specific converter for some of your items, please bring one with.
There are enough converter plugs at the lodge.
South Africa has 11 official languages.
English is the language of administration and is spoken throughout the country.
The other official languages are: Afrikaans, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsongo, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, and Zulu.
Insurance is an important item that you should consider prior to your safari. Among the different kinds of insurances to consider are Baggage Insurance, Travel Insurance, Trip Cancellation Insurance and Medical Evacuation Insurance. Your local insurance agent or travel agent can assist you with these.
Global Rescue is the premier medical evacuation service for travelling hunters. If you want to protect your health while travelling, then become a Global Rescue member. Global Rescue is the only medical evacuation provider that provides field rescue to their members. Global Rescue will evacuate you from the point of injury using helicopters, aeroplanes, land vehicles and whatever else is necessary. Their rescue teams are composed of former U.S Special Operation’s medics and commandos including Navy SEALs and Army Rangers. Global Rescue has performed evacuations from the world’s deepest canyon in Peru to Mt. Everest and everywhere in between. If you can get there, Global Rescue can get you back.
Why Global Rescue?
- Worldwide emergency evacuation and field rescue
- Choice of destination hospital should a medical evacuation occur
- Crisis response services for individuals, families and corporations
Medical emergencies can happen anywhere and at any time. When you’re away from home, how will you get to the life saving medical treatment you or a family member needs? In an emergency, you need reliable advice to make the right medical decision, and an evacuation to a medical facility you can trust. Global Rescue provides both.
A Global Rescue medical evacuation membership provides:
- 24/7 medical advice and support from world-class physicians at Johns Hopkins Medicine.
- Medical evacuations from anywhere in the world to your choice of home-country hospital, any time you are more than 160 miles from home and need hospitalization.
- Field rescues for medical emergencies requiring hospitalization in the event you are in a remote location and cannot get to a hospital on your own.
- Lost medication, visa and passport assistance, legal referrals, and more.