The Return to ....
It is under two years since my last step onto African soil.
This return needed a completely different route.
Different Route, Why?, you say.
Coming from Canada you have only so many choices, not really very dissimilar to the USA.
One way or the other you have to get across that Ocean, but for us there are a few more issues cutting through US airspace. That 4 hour wait in Toronto to even get near a Customs officer. Breaking through the lineup when there is only a half hour left to departure, the rules for jumping the que at YYZ. ( What does that tell you when they have a policy in place for jumping the que)
Then of course you have to break into the security line to get through after that.
Never mind the fun of changing planes in Washington, or New York or whatever other connection.
That's all on the way there while your excited so you brush it off.
The return trip was punctuated with delays; Apparently a bomb threat against the plane.
Three passenger screenings before getting on the plane, then the planes luggage was completely unloaded in Dakar, the passenger compartment was searched (any seat where someone had just deplaned).
Fair enough, the baggage count was now correct, but the stone was cast for the trip now.
There would be no hope of connecting to anything previously scheduled.
Entering the US on the return was the first time I ever noticed that countries provide special treatment to their own citizens. Why I noticed was the fact that although I lined up third in line to speak to an Customs officer I was the LAST person to be attended to from an entire plane load. The citizens were processed first.
I was still in denial about getting a connection. (Sleep deprivation from being bumped by the ample flight attendant all night long.)
You have heard the term puff of smoke. Well the connection dream went up just like one.
A star alliance partner managed to get me on the next flight "away from him" but proceeded to make sure I had another "recreational break" at my next connection.
With delays and cancellation on the return trip it was 46 HOURS straight in transit.
I used to love flying, now, not so much.
Thankfully, humans must have an innate amnesia that allows us to slough those horrible feelings into some recess where they are not easily accessible. The research started as soon as the memories started to fade.
The trophies came home, some so quickly I was shocked.
issues with the wrong trophies being shipped to me. Kudu hiding out in bars enroute, you know the usual stuff.
Three sets for me in all. Christmas
Other buddies trophies soon followed. The last of the groups trophies just arrived a month ago!
The flights are already booked for the RETURN!
FRANKFURT DIRECT. One plane, one country.
See a chunk of Europe for the first time. Ok, I will have a few beer and a schnitzel in an attempt to cross over the time zones in a day.
Then FRANKFURT to WINDHOEK DIRECT over night.
Ready to roll in the morning upon arrival.
Namibia was my first touch down point and my first hunt. Wide open spaces, not crowded.
If I was not so tired after my first arrival I would have had pictures.
What helps you forget the air travel:
This was my first sunset in Africa near Otavi, Namibia.
My first Kudu materializing out of the bush.
Eland Bull tracks, what would be my first African animal. Why start small !
Brickburn Now you're getting smart! Less stops mean less problems. 1 stop, spend some time to catch up then in for your hunt Sounds like a perfect plan to me. Do you need to do anyhting special for your gun if you layover in Frankfurt? Good luck on the hunt.
I am a quick learner.
Originally Posted by Cliffy
To answer your question Cliffy.
The Germans have a lovely system for storing your guns for you in between flights.
I have found the very pleasant and helpful officer in charge of the Firearms Process in Frankfurt.
Waffe und Munition Genehmigungen für Transit Frankfurt von Air / Gun and Ammunition Permits for Transiting Frankfurt by Air
The reply to my query about Firearms Permits:
"I am sending attached a form. Please fill out the based form with your data. Send me the completed form back by e-mail. I will approve the application and return again.
Please ask the Customs for the storage of weapons for a day - that's no problem I think.
Explain on the form not only your travel times to Namibia but also the travel time from Namibia to home.
I wish you much joy in completing the form. I await your early reply."
Hans is absolutely great to deal with.
I obtained one of my Invitation letters this morning to start the process of permitting my firearms to accompany me to Africa.
I reviewed my information form the last gathering, updated some information and then visited the online site to get my Canadian permit for exporting my firearms, Optical Weapon Sights and Ammunition.
I like that little form the USA has, fill out your CBP Form 4457. Fill it out and your good.
Up here, to be legal when taking your firearms with you to another country other than the USA, you have to have an export permit.
A cover letter explaining what you are up to and why, a contract, invitation letter, your firearms license, used to have to have your registration certificates as well.
There is now an federal online system for entering the data.
There is even a spot where they appear to understand lots of people export (temporarily) firearms for hunting and shooting competitions. I was excited to get the ball rolling.
Both Optical Weapons Sights (Scope)
Drop down menus and everything.
Not being scared of technology I'm in.
Get four items added (two rifles, two scopes), put the right Export Control List Codes in (ECL)
After inputing the information for fifteen minutes I hit a snag.
Apparently, the "Firearms" tab where I have been inputing all this information does not have the option of inputing the ECL for ammunition. Not making sense to me.
WTF? Not happy. Try again, assuming I am an idiot. No, its the system.
Of course the office is in Ottawa. To late to call. Tomorrow.
Just about got to the point of filling in a paper form. I'll hold off and give it one more try tomorrow with some assistance or it will be paper and pen.
The SAPS 520 is filled in (save the signature to be witnessed in OR TAMBO) , The Namibian Police form is completed, the Botswana form is on its way to completion to. German forms are completed.
All done except the inputing of the number of rounds for each gun.
TBD by the weigh scale in the near future.
The App on the phone says 154 more sleeps. :)
That's interesting. Never thought of Frankfurt. It's nice down here with only the 4457. I wanna go back and its only been 9 months since I was there!
Brick, good luck on your journey, may it be unforgettable (in a good way).
It is going to be great.
Originally Posted by 35bore
Always some work before you get to the treasure.
I had it explained today that there are THREE forms that are required to be filled out for the three parts of my shooting system.
Rifle, Scope and Ammo.
We'll see how it goes.
The next invitation letter made it to my computer today. Yippie!
brick having heard on here that you can get guns through the post, you seem to have a lot of paper work and aggro trying to get them out of the country........, and how come you have to put your scopes on a form as well?
I did the Frankfurt to Windhoek flight last year and it worked out great. Until we went to get our boarding passes in Frankfurt for the return flight home. We were told originally that there was an agreement between airlines to honor each others baggage allowances and that our bags would be tagged so that we wouldn't have to worry about them until we arrived back in the states. Wrong! When we went to the desk to get our boarding passes in Frankfurt we were directed to the airline office and were told that we would have to pay for our now excess bags and an extra fee for our gun case. I tried very cooly and calmly to explain what we were told but after what seemed like an eternity of back and forth the clerks forgot how to speak english and more or less told us to pay up or the bags were staying in Germany. Upon arriving home I called my travel agent to let him know what had happened and he told me that sometimes they do that and to try to forget about it, which I have done pretty successfully until now. Other then paying twice for bags the rest of the trip was great. I hope you have a wonderful trip!
As soon as you cross a border you have to address all those firearms non-proliferation treaties. You know, someone could take over a country with a .270 and a .300WM. and 100 rounds of ammo.
Originally Posted by spike.t
Now, onto the scopes. "Optical Weapons Sights"
Same issue with the treaties. If a product is manufactured in the USA, those treaties seem to kick in.
The US State Department sees all of these things as Implements of War.
There is a lot of agro when you do it right.
I shared my opinion with the folks at Export controls Canada about the process and the three forms and fact that Canada was behind every Third world country on the planet that manages to get it all on one form. even though some are a few pages more than others.
EXCOL is in the midst of reworking the process. I look forward to that revamped system.
I know that the "Star Alliance" will somehow make things interesting for me.
Originally Posted by jduckhunter
Air Canada dings you for firearms fees all the time. But, they have you going and coming. I am resigned to it.
Thanks I will have a great trip.
good luck on your rifle paper work.
My 78 years young trapshooting buddy in Calgary had his paper work denied 3 times to bring his trap gun into the states in 2012.
To bad for your buddy.
Originally Posted by James.Grage
I know the ladies in the ATF office on a first name basis. I can get my permits for US entry in minutes.
At least the ATF forms makes sense to me.
Firearms, Ammunition, hunting license or invitation letter you're in.
FAX it in January and it will be in the mail in days. Wait until hunting season starts and uh oh!
Hope he has better luck next time.
I believe you were saying a while back that you try to keep a current US import permit all the time. How do you go about that? With all the hubbub right now I would feel better if transiting the US with an import permit just in case things get sticky plus I will need one next Feb anyway so maybe I could get one good until then?
Originally Posted by BRICKBURN
Go to this ATF page. Download the noted form.
Originally Posted by Diamondhitch
ATF Online - Forms - Firearms
ATF F 5330.3D (Form 6 NIA) Application and Permit for Temporary Importation of Firearms and Ammunition by Nonimmigrant Aliens
Obtain a hunting license.
One of the cheap ones is One day Small Game at CDOW.
I do it online. Register - Have your Hunter Education/Safety Number ready when you register.
Total Licensing | Colorado Parks and Wildlife
The ATF will not accept a receipt although it is legal to hunt with it until the proper one comes in the mail.
When the original license comes. Scan it.
Fill out the ATF form.
List all your firearms and details, You'll need your Firearms License.
I do not worry about ammunition on the form. If you are taking a load of ammunition list it.
FAX it to the office.
It is good for 1 Year from the date of issues.
Keep a pdf copy, change the dates and resubmit as required.
I managed to get the application completed and submitted online.
Not one form but two. As instructed.
I got the WARNING notification upon exiting that I may have to get further clearances.
The US content of my Optical Weapons Sights being rather high. Ammunition components as well.
In the warning I was provided TWO phone numbers I may have to call to address the issue.
Here is the screen shot.
I sense more phone calls in my future. Glad I started this early.
The Adventure continues. I had Africa reach out and bite me in the butt today.
There has to be some aggravation in a day right?
Just in a lark I decided to stop by the travel agents office to ask a simple question and get confirmation of my understanding of the fees I would be encountering when I took my flight.
I did get it confirmed I would be soaked $50.00 for the pleasure of taking my Firearms along on each leg.
During this process of information confirmation, assuming everything was set, as I was ticketed I got a surprise.
Agent: "Did you confirm your date sir?"
B: "Yes, it was ticketed"
Agent: "Well, it says here the flight is cancelled. They no longer fly on that date!"
B: Incredulous look on my face. Thinking; I just booked this a week ago. "Pardon?"
Agent: "It appears they have moved you to the day before. There is an another option the day after."
B: "Interesting as I will not be in Frankfurt a day early." "Any explanation?"
Agent: "They no longer fly on the date you booked, so you have to change to the dates suggested."
B: "When were you made aware of this?" (All the time wondering why I got this surprise now)
Agent: "January 14"
B: "It's the 20th!!!" "When was someone going to let me know about this?"
Agent: "Someone would have made you aware!"
B: "No one called me"
Agent: " Someone would call you!"
B: Incredulous look again. "When would that be?"
Agent: "Someone will call you tomorrow."
B: "Thank you, have a nice day." (Recognizing I was about to shoot the messenger I left)
Good thing I did not send the other Firearms applications in that require proper dates.
1. Phone calls tomorrow.
2. Correcting all the forms after the new bookings are made.
All this practice will make perfect.
3. Getting my email address added to the airline for notification directly since the travel agent appears to think they can call me when its convenient for them. (Remember that for future reference)
Now I am either staying in FRA for an extra night or changing my flights (again) and making it a day earlier.
Significant begging to be involved in avoiding the change fees, fare increases, etc involved on the first leg of my journey.
(This does not happen when you book the entire journey with one agent by the way, which I could not do on this occasion due to circumstances)
Wonder how Customs in FRA is with holding guns for 36 hours while I drink a few more beer?
Air Namibia is famous for this actually. Every flight I have had on Air Namibia has been changed. Most were commuter flights though and a bump of a few hours was not that inconvenient.
Cancelling a date completely on an international schedule? A new one for me.
Oh, the adventure. :)
Oh, they know you like the paperwork and agrivation.(lol)
Sounds like a great travel agency :-(
Hello Lori from Travel Express? Thank you for all you've done for me in the past! See you soon.
Circumstances, but it does say something about having a good agent.
Originally Posted by Cliffy