Equipment And Travel

There are countless web sites, books and other resources filled with tips for travelers. This site is not an authority and does not claim to be. When we prepare for a trip we seek out authorities on the subject just as anyone should who is planning an overseas adventure. Firearm caliber and ammo selection questions should be referred to your PH or safari operator as there are country-specific and airline-specific considerations regarding number of firearms per hunter, ammo weight/quantity, and dangerous game-specific rifle caliber requirements.

HUNTER AND FIREARMS ASSISTANCE SERVICES There are a number of firearms assistance services available. They charge for their services but we feel that they are worth the cost and many hunters use one. Another popular service is riflepermits.com. It helps avoid the hassle of getting through the Jo'Burg airport, and yes, sometimes it can be a real hassle. One year we ended up with an officer whose main interest was lining his pockets with US currency.

Zim Cape Buffalo

TRAVELING WITH FIREARMS Even in the security conscious post 9/11 world, you can take a hunting firearm into an airport BUT there are guidelines to be followed. A call to the individual airport security office should get any firearms transport questions answered. It has been our experience that the gun needs to be unloaded and locked inside a sturdy transport case like those available at Wal-Mart, Cabela's or at online retailers such as www.gunaccessories.com.

AMMUNITION Your hunting ammunition needs to be stowed in your checked baggage, not in your carry-on bag as that will create quite a stir with the TSA screeners. Check with your airline for their requirements. Also we verify the allowable ammunition quantity of the various countries we will be visiting. Some countries may add a weight constraint on the amount of ammo that can be brought in. Now, on the matter of luggage, it stands to reason that if your luggage gets lost en route to your destination and is still not available at the start of the hunt, then you have no ammo. It is at this time that you will be grateful to have brought a standard gun such as the .30-06, .300 Win Mag or .458 Win Mag since ammunition is generally available for such common calibers. The hunt will produce no results if you have a gun and no rounds to put in it. If you borrow or rent a firearm from the outfitter, you will be carrying out your hunt with an unfamiliar gun. Stick with a standard caliber, but be sure the caliber you choose if sufficient to take down the game you are hunting. Your PH can make a recommendation.

Zim Watering Hole

RULES AND REGULATIONS Check with your destination country regarding firearms rules and regulations. Be sure you know the limits on how many guns and how many rounds per gun. Determine if your destination country assesses ammo per round, or by weight. While most countries allow two rifles per hunter (some more), they don't allow a single hunter to import two rifles of the same caliber. Each time we fly to Africa, we go through O.R.Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa. The South African Police office requires the form SAPS 520 to get import and/or in-transit firearms permits. Your booking agent should provide you with any requirements you'll be expected to meet, including having that form among other things. You can download the SAPS 520 yourself at this link. When you fill it out, be sure to use BLACK ink and don't sign it until you are in front of the officers at the time of import. If you purchase the Afton House's "VIP Meet and Assist" service, then at least three weeks ahead of time you will need to send that service your already-signed SAPS 520 form as well as various copies of other paperwork. More information is available on that valuable firearms service on The Afton House web site.

CLOTHING (Dress the part.) Because most safari operators run a daily laundry service, packing two of everything (i.e.: two hunting shirts, two hunting pants, etc.) should be enough for the hunt. One is worn while the other is laundered. We like to take four of each. Two long sleeved and two short sleeved shirts. Two long pants and two shorts. We prefer to include a few extra of everything just so we are prepared in the unlikely event that the washing service is down for a day. Our outer wear for the hunt is usually light to medium green. We also wear khaki but it doesn't blend as well in the trees and brush of areas like South Africa's Eastern Cape. Camouflage is illegal on government lands and some other areas. So rather than make a mistake, some hunters Zim Elephantavoid wearing it altogether. Your PH and outfitter can advise you on the best outer wear to bring. Hunting boots are a good choice in footwear, but so are sturdy tennis shoes. Sometimes safaris can involve a great deal of walking so comfortable shoes are a must. And we never take new shoes or boots with us. Blisters and sore feet early in the hunt can make the remainder of the trip rather uncomfortable. Of course we pack other clothes as well. If the hunt is wildly successful and we have taken the allotted number of animals early on, then we'll need proper clothes if we decide to spend any remaining days sightseeing. The heat of the African day fades early in the evening and the nights can get chilly. We take light hunting jackets. We also take light raincoats, just in case. And we always take our wide brimmed safari hats. The African sun is intense and we like to keep our faces and necks shielded as much as possible.

CAMERAS (Go digital - eliminate the extra cargo.) We used to take a 35 mm Canon camera that consumed roll after roll of film. When you are on safari, whether traversing the plain in a Land Rover or crawling through the mopane scrub on your belly, who needs the extra bulk of multiple rolls of film. 

We made the switch to digital so no more rolls of film to keep up with or feed inside the back of the camera. Now we carry tiny little memory cards. We always make sure to calculate how many images a card will hold (based on image size and quality) and how many images we are likely to take in a day, then multiply that number by how many days we will be in Africa. Then we make sure we take enough memory cards to cover that and a few extra. We take about 100 or more pictures per day. If you have never been to Africa, be prepared to take a lot of pictures. Everything is suddenly picture-worthy. Enjoy it!

Addo Park Lion Pair

ELECTRICAL OUTLET ADAPTERS (Getting hooked up!) American appliances require voltage converters and plug adapters to be plugged into the 220 outlets in Africa. There are some available at stores like Target and Wal-Mart but the plug adapters we have purchased at each are too small even though they say right on them "Africa" and "South Africa." I did however find a store that sells the correct plug adapter that we need when we are in Africa. You can order it online. The one I use in South Africa and Namibia and South Africa is Magellan's World Grounding Adapter Plug Set. In most cases, African outfitters who cater to American clients already have the proper adapter available, but don't assume this. Either ask the outfitter, or bring your own.

Plan a trip

Interested in booking a hunting trip or a photo safari and don't know where to start? 


While we aren't currently booking hunts, we'll gladly point you in the right direction whether you are interested in plains game hunting, dangerous game hunting, a photo safari, or general sightseeing.


Contact us and we can connect you with a US booking agent, a travel agent knowledgable in Africa travel, or directly with safari operators in Africa that we personally have used and can recommend.


land of Contrasts

Africa is a continent of contrasts. You can follow the historic and beautiful Garden Route along the southern tip of the continent or opt for the vibrant activities of a thriving metropolis. You may desire to trek into the bushveld (with an experienced guide, of course) or luxuriate poolside in one of South Africa's lavish resorts. Whatever your taste, Africa satisfies.

trip of a lifetime

We love Africa - the land, the people, and the wildlife. We always find ourselves planning the next trip to Africa while still on our return flight to the US - as the memories, the sights and the sounds still resonate in our heads.

Resource guide

Click here for a resource guide listing forums, airlines, currency converter, etc. You can also download free pdf planning and packing checklists from the guide.

News

News: Kenya May Lose All of its Lions in 20 Years. ↑click here


Note: Kenya banned sport hunting in 1977. Sportsman are not taking the rap for this. Something else for sure. 


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