You will need a passport. If you already have a passport, be sure to check the expiration date. You are required to have at least one entirely blank (unstamped) page in your passport. US and Canadian hunters – for South Africa only a passport is required, no visa. We don’t do anything other than make recommendations concerning airline reservations. Unless you have some sort of frequent flyer miles or other sort of free ticket, an African specialist can probably get you there and back cheaper than your regular travel agent. Don’t wait too long to book your airline reservations. We recommend that you contact Esplanade Tours for airline reservations.
Contact Person: Jill Potash
Contact Number: 1-800-426-5492 or 1-800-628-4893
If you are traveling in a group, it is much more convenient if others in your party arrive about the same time. If everyone arrives on a morning flight and one person comes in on an evening flight, then others must wait around as we use transfer companies to do our transfers and everyone needs to be transferred together. Try to coordinate this. You will be met by a DVS representative when exiting customs.
Cellular reception is available, so bring your cell phone along. Remember to apply for Roaming on your phone to be able to use it outside your country. E-mail is available in camp. Remember time zones; there is a 7 (South Africa) hour time difference to the Eastern Standard Time of the USA. Be sure to leave phone, fax and email numbers with your family.
No special inoculations are required for South Africa. Camps are mainly in malaria-free areas. Your family physician may suggest anti-malaria tablets, although you won’t see many African mosquitoes that time of year. If your hunt includes any side trips to Kruger National Park, then you will be outside the malaria-free areas. Sleeping pills are recommended. With time zone changes and jet lag, your body will require a couple of days in Africa to adapt. Anti-diarrhea medication is always good to have in along.
In recent months we experienced the threat of Ebola in Africa. The focus of the whole world was shifted to the continent, with various devastating effects.
We received an Ebola information kit, from out hunting association PHASA. It contains all the information needed about Ebola, where the main problems are and on the situation in South Africa.
Ebola Information kit can be downloaded here
Many hunters have also inquired about Yellow Fever inoculation. This is not required for visitors from the USA. The people that need to be concerned with Yellow fever shots are those coming from certain specified North and Central African countries that are known for Yellow fever.
Your hunt will take place during Africa’s winter. Weather should be very pleasant. Chilly mornings, warm/sunny days and cool evenings are normal. Rain is possible but very unlikely. Temperature and weather should be about the same as Arizona in February. Bring enough clothing for chilly mornings and outdoor dinners. Hunting vehicles are usually open-air pick-up trucks, so rides to and from blinds or hunting areas can get nippy.Camo clothing is fine for hunting but not necessary. We suggest olive drab, browns, tans or greens. Since laundry is done daily, three or four sets of clothing are usually sufficient.
We can arrange optional side trips and/or pre-hunt trips for those of you who will be bringing your wives or family. Costs of side trips are extra.
Please let us know in advance if you want to go on side trips or a pre-hunt trip.
Most blinds are big enough for three people so wives will be allowed to accompany their spouses to the blinds should they want to. Ladies / observers are welcome to hunt a day or two and will then just be charged the regular hunting fee for those days hunted. Make arrangements with the PH on arrival.
During the sixteenth century, firearms slowly replaced the faithful old bow and arrow as the most effective long range weapon in the military and hunting scene. Although some archery clubs prevailed during the centuries, most of them have faded by the end of the nineteenth century. But early in the twentieth century, it revived as a true sport that gained Olympic status, with clubs all over the world. But the hunting possibilities of archery weren’t utilized until much later in the same century.
Since 1983, bow hunting is legalized in South Africa in terms of prescribed circumstances under the Nature Conservation Ordinance 12.
To many hunters, this is a very sporting way to equalize the hunter’s challenge with the animal’s defences, for one has to work much harder (with your camouflage, hiding and stalking) at distances less than 30 metres to obtain your goal.
But even after this legislation, a lot of restrictions still applied: the risk of closing in on an elephant, a rhino, a buffalo or a hippo, and even a giraffe, with only a bow and arrow in hand was considered too much because of their thick hides. Also, the risks involved in trying to take down predators like a lion, a crocodile, a leopard and a spotted or brown hyena, as well as those animals mentioned earlier, was considered to be too much for any person’s safety. And lastly, it was considered cruel from the outset to plan to take down any animal with too little penetrating power. And naturally, many wounded animals will in the end result in many wounded (or killed) hunters. Therefore, all the above mentioned animals were excluded from the 1983 law.
As was later realized, the bow and arrow industry have produced much improved shooting power since the re-vitalizing of the ancient sport in the early twentieth century. Today, the penetrating power of the bow and arrow are simply fantastic. With new information by local and international role players, attained on invitation of the Chief Directorate of Nature and Environmental Conservation, a new set of standards was formulated and selected after comments for the change of policy was received from
The international office of Safari Club International
The local office of Safari Club International
Professional Hunter’s Association of South Africa
The Confederation of Hunting Associations of South Africa
Dallas Safari Club
This new set of standards then was applied by an Executive Committee ruling in 1992. Now, the law opened up the way, with the result that all animals in South Africa may now, under certain conditions, be hunted with bow and arrow.
The possibilities and use in South African hunting circumstances
Once the experts have it their way, the modern bow and arrow is a most effective hunting weapon. In the USA bow hunting is flourishing to the extent that 2, 6 million people are taking up the bow annually.
If the bow and arrow is used under the professional hunter’s supervision, and if the stipulated conditions of use are adhered to, bowhunting can without doubt be used to hunt literally ALL the South African animals – even the most dangerous of them. The Executive Committee’s ruling in 1992 thus was received much enthusiasm. Archery could once again be utilized in its true original conditions!
Bow hunting is much more difficult that hunting with a rifle. Everyone in the bow hunting field also have to reckon with the history of previously restrictive legislation, which means that no bow hunter outfitter will risk the entire bow hunting sport in South Africa by letting a hunting safari turn into a ugly party of killed and wounded tourists, because of unprofessional conduct. Experience with bow hunting thus is important to the extreme when dangerous animals are to be hunted.
Amount of energy needed for different categories of animals
Category I – III requires 25 mm cutting width
Category IV – V requires 28 mm cutting width
Hunting a dangerous animal with bow and arrow
Dangerous animals can only be hunted if a very good chance exists that the animal will not be wounded, but killed first time round. Danger looms the moment an animal is wounded but still powerful enough to use its natural power.
This well-known hunting tip applies all the more when the hunt is done by bow and arrow. A strict set of hunting conduct, standard routine for the accompanying professional hunter, will be applied for bow hunting:
1) The hunt will not be done if the hunter can’t move in to no more than 25 metres from the dangerous animal
2) When a buffalo is standing sideways, with its tail somewhat to the side of the hunter, no shot can be fired to the side of the buffalo if the angle with which the arrow will penetrate the animal exceeds 25º (compared to an imaginative line from the head to the tail). If it is standing sideways with its head towards the hunter, don’t fire at all at angles! And when the Category V animals are taken on, don’t fire unless you’re using a flat 90º angle with the abovementioned line.
3) If a hide is taken as camouflage, remember that it also restricts movement. Two-way radio communication and good enforcement of the hide(s) may not be such a bad idea.
4) The use of aids is allowed with the idea of both safeguarding the hunter and helping to cut down on the unnecessary wounding (or prolonged wounding) of animals. This may also help with the determining of arrow placing.
Listing of different types of bows
Modifications have resulted in other types of bows that will be discussed below. A highly sophisticated compound crossbow is available which can be as accurate as a rifle.
Combining elements of the American flat bow and the old English longbow resulted in a very deadly bow with a composite of wood and glass fibre, utilizing a heavy arrow – the modern longbow. It’s disadvantages for bushveld hunting is that its handling runs you into trouble once the density of the bush increases, while its propulsion, due to the heavy arrow, isn’t as quick as that of the recurve or compound bow. The longbow will always be the favourite to those that feels that the modern bows’ sophistication level is becoming overkill.
If shooting with a short bow and a light arrow with a flat trajectory is what you have been seeking, you may opt for the recurve bow. In contrast to the longbow, it yields brilliant power over long distances. It is also made of glass fibre and wood, or out of solid glass fibre. But it is a most unforgiving bow as well: errors from the archer will be boldly underlined on the target (if it hits the target at all!). Another disadvantage is that a split second is given to the animal to dodge away, for a slap of the string against the bow’s recurve side may disclose that the race between arrow and sound is still won by sound.
This very sophisticated bow may be called the favourite of the hunting bows in use today. Designed like other bows, but given enhanced leverage, it features cables, pulleys and cams to thrust out the arrow with immense power. To most people, its hunting record is much better than what they achieve with the other bows. It is shorter than the longbow, and much faster and steady than the others. The secret of this one’s popularity may especially be due to the fact that it’s back pull reaches a peak, after which more pull actually isn’t such an effort any more, by still enhances performance. It also results in a much easier aim. So, if a steady aim with very good striking power is what you’re after, this is the one!
Arrows and Arrowheads
Restrictions have been assimilated into legislation that concerns arrows and the devices fitted in front of the arrows. This means:
Category I and II animals may be hunted with any fixed or removable arrowheads. The minimum width should be 2, 8 cm.
Category III animals may only be hunted with a single forged arrowhead with two cutting edges, which starts at the tip, or with fitted double bladed arrowheads with a carbon/steel rod at its centre, also with minimum width of 2,8 cm
All arrowheads must have at least two cutting edges.
Arrowheads are not allowed to have moving parts or barbs.
Wood, glass fibre, carbon fibre or aluminium may be used for the production of arrows.
For bow hunting – use any bow / arrow combination you would hunt elk with. Feel free to bring a spare bow, extra strings and any accessories you might need. If you come up short, someone in camp will probably have what you need. Two dozen broad heads should be sufficient. There is a practice range set up right in camp. Africa is the survival of the fittest. Game is tough and dies harder than similar size game in America. A lung shot is a lung shot, but trust us, these critters are extra tough. The vitals of most African plains game sit further forward in their chest cavity than American big game. Pick a spot several inches forward of where you would on a similar sized North American game animal. Come straight up the front leg on a broadside shot. Trust your PH on this. The shoulder bones angle forward above the leg. Quartering away shots work great too. Pick your shot angles and distance carefully. You haven’t seen “jump the string” yet! Quieten your bow noise as much as possible. Use quality broad heads and have them razor sharp. All wounded or lost game will cost you, so please consider the stress of anxiety, jet lag, stretching your personal range limits, etc. Don’t take a twenty-five yard shot when the animal might come considerably closer. You’ll get plenty of close broadside shots. Many shot opportunities will be around fifteen yards. We trust you will be honest enough to admit to poor hits if/when you are sitting alone. Many poorly hit animals can be found. Avoid awkward situations by confessing the truth of poor hits when you are alone. We want to help. Study species available and know what they look like or order our Best Bowhunt VOL 8 DVD as it focuses on this and shot placement.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Shot placement for Bow Hunting:
Article that covers shot placement for bow hunters
Shot placement books by Cleve Cheney – http://www.africasbowhunter.co.za/index.php/abh-content/2011-05-02-12-32-40/9-articles
Cleve Cheney has written many articles and several books on bow hunting and shot placement for bow hunters.
Rifle hunting is certainly the most popular method employed on hunting safaris in southern Africa. The question of which calibre is best and which rifle to bring on safari can be a topic of endless discussion. Experienced hunters and Professional Hunters alike will surely have their favourites and are more than willing to discuss the subject. The right rifle will, in many instances, largely depend on the bag of trophies you are interested in taking. The “old timers” are still “locking horns” over the pros and cons of the .375 H&H versus the 9.3 X 62 and that debate is sure to go on until the last impala is in the salt. One bottom line here; if it is dangerous game that you are after, the .375 calibre is the minimum prescribed by law in most African countries. For the average hunter coming to Africa for plains game, bring a rifle that you are completely familiar with and comfortable shooting. In other words, your favourite “white tail deer” rifle with the right bullets will (within reason) be adequate for most anything on the plains.
As a guide, while lesser calibres will suffice on the smaller antelope, the .270 Win should be considered the minimum for most medium-sized plains game species. With the proper premium grade bullets and good shot placement, the .270 is fully capable of taking many of the larger plains dwellers. In addition to the .270, the rifle calibres most often brought to Africa by our clients include (in no particular order): the various 7mm’s to include the 7mm Mag, 7mm Ultra Mag, and even the 7 X 57 Mauser; the 30-06 Springfield is extremely popular and has long been a favourite of hunters around the globe; the 300 Win Mag is an excellent all-round choice, especially if your safari will take you to areas where long shots may be necessary. The above-mentioned calibres are merely examples and should in no way be considered as recommendations. BRING A RIFLE THAT YOU SHOOT WELL AND ARE COMFORTABLE WITH!
A word about bullets – as a general rule, premium quality, heavy for calibre bullets are your best choice. Many fine bullets are on the market today; the Nosler Partition, the Swift A-Frame, Woodleigh Weldcore, Barnes X & Triple Shock, just to name a few. Many of these fine bullets are available in factory-loaded ammunition and can also be hand-loaded, if you possess those skills. African game seems to be a bit tougher than game found elsewhere in the world. Perhaps this is due to evolution and the extensive predation to which they are subjected, so do not “skimp” on ammunition.
If you take nothing else away from this discussion, READ AND BELIEVE THIS: You can bring the finest rifles to Africa in just the right calibre, with the perfectly matched heavy for calibre premium quality bullets and all will be for naught if your shots are not placed correctly. SHOT PLACEMENT is the most important aspect of any discussion regarding hunting with a rifle. Put in its most simple terms: “It’s not what you shoot him with, but where you shoot him that matters the most.” A badly placed shot with even the largest of rifles and the finest bullets available will result, at best, in a very long day of tracking and, at worst, a lost trophy. The loss of a fine trophy can be a big disappointment but, in case you have not heard: if you make it bleed, you pay for it.
Your Professional Hunter will guide you in this matter. Trust his judgment and do your best to put your shot where he recommends. If you are unsure or uncomfortable with the shot, do not take it. You can stack the odds in your favour here by doing a bit of homework. An excellent book, “Perfect Shot” by Kevin Robertson, a veterinarian and professional hunter, is available. It details shot placement on just about every species of African game that you might encounter. And by all means, go to the rifle range and practice. Sight your rifle in at the desired distance, usually between 100 and 150 yards using a solid bench rest. Once your rifle is “on target”, get off the bench and shoot from the shooting sticks, off hand, sitting, kneeling and the various other positions, which might be presented during the hunt. Even the most experienced shooter needs to hone his skills with the rifle. Ammunition is cheap compared to the cost of the safari, so practice, practice, practice!
Short Summary of rifles:
A bolt action or a double rifle is recommended.
For Buffalo, Rhino and Elephant—a minimum calibre of 375 or higher is recommended.
For Lions, Leopard, Antelopes and other medium game—a calibre of 300 or 30-06 will be sufficient.
For dangerous game—40 full metal-jacket cartridges as well as 40 soft-point cartridges are required.
For medium game, you will need at least 80 soft-point cartridges.
Fit your rifle with a good quality scope with variable power: 1.5-6 x 42, 2.2-9 x 42 or the like. For transportation of your rifle between hunting areas, a soft case per gun is required.
Dries Visser also offer clients the option to rent rifles from us while on safari. Renting of rifles will be at $ 30 per day and ammunition at cost.
Temporary Importation of Firearms
In advance (if possible) and bring it with you. It is important to note that the form must be completed in black ink and must remain unsigned until the document is finalized in front of the police official issuing the actual permit at the airport.
If you wish not to travel with your own firearms, you are welcome to make use of one of the rifles of the professional hunter accompanying you. They have a selection of appropriate calibres available. There is no cost involved other than the replacement cost of ammunition.
You will need
Return airline ticket
Letter of invitation from your hunting outfitter(s)
Completed SAP 520 Form (Not signed – should be signed in front of the official)
Proof of ownership (CBP Form 4457- Certificate of Registration for personal effects taken abroad)
Proof of export from country of origin (CBP Form 4457- Certificate of Registration for personal effects take abroad)
Letter of motivation (A letter written by yourself to motivate why you wish to import rifles)
The following firearms and ammunition will not be allowed to enter South Africa:
Any automatic or semi-automatic firearms
More than one firearm per calibre per person
More than 200 rounds of ammunition per person per firearm
Any pistol or revolver (unless specified for hunting)
Reasons why your application may not be approved
If you have any of the above-mentioned firearms and/or ammunition
If any of the supporting documents as required cannot be produced
If you are less than 21 years of age
Your application for a temporary import permit will be refused and your firearms and ammunition will be confiscated and will only be handed back to you when you depart back to your country of residence.
Please take note that only the Central Firearm Registrar in Pretoria, South Africa can authorize special applications for the above restrictions. These applications have to be made in advance and must reach them no later than 3 (three) weeks before arrival. You will need a special motivation letter for this. Please contact the PHASA office for more information and assistance.
On arrival at O R Tambo International in Johannesburg
Disembark from aircraft and clear passport control in whichever terminal the flight arrives. (Generally SAA and its co-partners at Terminal 2, and all other airlines at Terminal 1)
Proceed to baggage claim at the respective carousel. Pick up general baggage. Your firearms will be delivered directly to the SAPS firearms office.
For visitors with firearms arriving at Terminal 2:
Proceed to the SAPS Firearms Office. Look for office signs. Location of the SAPS Firearms Office in Terminal 2 – in front of the Post Office.
For visitors with firearms arriving at Terminal 1:
Proceed to the firearm office that is situated in Terminal 2 in front of the Post Office.
On arrival at the SAPS Firearm Office, collect your issued temporary import permit at the PHASA desk or have the necessary documentation available for inspection.
Your firearms and ammunition will be physically inspected to ensure that the serial numbers match those of the licenses and the application forms. You will then be asked to wait while your application is being processed – if you are not already in the possession of an issued temporary importation permit.
When your application has been processed and your permit has been issued, you will have to sign for the permit. If you are connecting to other flights, please make sure that you allow ample time for this process (at least 3 hours).
REMEMBER THE ISSUING OF THE TEMPORARY IMPORT PERMITS AT THE PORT OF ENTRY IS FREE OF CHARGE. DO NOT TIP OR PAY ANY SAPS OFFICER FOR THIS SERVICE. YOU SHOULD KEEP THE PERMIT WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES WHILE IN SOUTH AFRICA AND WHEN THE FIRE ARMS ARE IN YOUR POSSESSION.
If clients would like, we recommend using the following:
ï PHASA website, http://www.professionalhunters.co.za/
Shot placement for Rifle Hunting
There are many books and articles written about shot placement. We have found that this book is very informative and well written. It is also small and compact to fit in a backpack.
This website gives a lot of info on shot placement that you will need. It also gives info on an app that you can download to you mobile or tablet.
We routinely ask for a “Wish List” from each hunter which has to be completed on your safari contract. This list would include the top species you will be looking for on your bowhunt. Please complete your wish list species on the safari contract so that we can plan accordingly. This is helpful. For instance, someone who particularly wants to shoot an eland will be taken into consideration during blind selection when eland are using certain areas. Same with zebra, waterbuck, etc. We also work on quotas at different concessions and therefore it is necessary to know what each hunter would like to harvest.
Although some portable or pop-up blinds might be used, we are heading more and more towards enclosed pit blinds to eliminate human odor drifting to game. They are cooler on sunny days and darker so game won’t spot you. They are built big enough for two, maybe three, people. You will be given food, water, a urine bottle and a radio when you reach the blind, or you can sit with your PH. Note that hunters are NOT allowed to exit a blind at any time – except when mother nature is calling – unless your guide’s hunting vehicle is next to your hide. Game are used to hunting vehicles and each time somebody exits a blind without the vehicle there, the game will become more afraid of the hides which will reduce our success. We need to keep our hides as bowhunting friendly as possible; your co-operation will be appreciated in this matter!
Everything is utilized. Nothing is field-dressed. Animals are taken back to camp intact after photographs. The PH will ask you if you want your trophy skinned for a shoulder mount, rug, boiled out skull, etc. Animals will be skinned and caped accordingly. Your hides and capes will be salted and dried. Horns/skulls will be boiled out. You cannot take any trophies back with you. They must be packed, dipped and shipped thru import/export authorities with the relevant documentation. We recommend all US hunters to export their “raw” trophies for mounting in the US.
Contact Person: Natasha Lotter
Tipping is pretty routine when hunting in Africa and hunters are respectfully requested to leave a tip at their own discretion. Hunters used to leave some sort of equipment such as a bow, arrows, a custom knife, optics, etc. but the PH’s have all the gear they need by now. They appreciate cash more. We’ll leave this decision up to each of you.
The local black people are very poor and appreciate anything. A trip to the Dollar Store or rummage sales is worth the satisfaction of helping those who don’t have much, but again they also appreciate cash more! We ask every hunter to please not give tips directly to the staff, except for your PH, as tips are given to all of them after the season is completed. This way they receive a larger amount of cash at one time and can afford to spend it more wisely. Should you want to bring small gifts and such, we suggest you bring along school materials as the local people really can’t afford much for their children.
Average Tips are as follows:
PH = $70 / day
Staff (chef, cleaners, waiter, skinners) = $40 / day
The above information should answer a lot of questions. If any of you have specific questions which were not answered above, then feel free to contact us or visit our FAQ page. It’s never too early to start getting fired up. We cannot guarantee how many animals you’ll down nor what species, but we promise you’ll see lots of game and have plenty of shooting opportunities. We have done a lot of homework on these hunts. Trophy quality, variety and numbers are exceptional, as are the facilities and the people we’re dealing with. You won’t find a better hunting experience for your dollar anywhere else in the world. By all indications, you should have a great trip with memories that will last a lifetime!