Hello from South Texas--A Question

Discussion in 'Introductions & Greets' started by ablviing1, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. ablviing1

    ablviing1 New Member

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    With many of my internet searches regarding African hunting, I have been directed to this forum and found some REALLY good information. I have had a passion for Africa since I was about 12 years old, and always dreamed of going on a big game "safari". Life happened and I spent the next 37 years pursuing career and other things. Now, at the dawn of my 50s, it looks like I actually have an opportunity to pursue the dream, and have spent the last couple of years preparing. Unfortunately, Botswana (and Zim?) appear to be closed for hunting for now, so I am looking at other options. I am always hearing (online) horror stories about ammo being "lost" when a hunter chooses to use his or her own firearm in Africa, or even being charged a bribe to be reunited with ones firearm or ammo upon arrival in Africa. This has been used as reasoning to use a common cartridge such as the .458 WM or Lott, although I suspect this happens very infrequently. I have owned four DG rifles but have settled on the 450 Rigby as my cartridge of choice for elephant or cape buffalo, and I have become quite comfortable and proficient with it. My question is this: If I choose to bring my own rifle, is there a way I could ship it right to my PH a month or so beforehand so I KNOW it is there? Or do I have to be there to claim it myself? Or is it just better to rent one from my PH?
    Thanks in advance for your help!
    Alan
     
  2. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Welcome to AH, Alan, you will be fine bringing your own rifle to Africa. It probably pays to have someone do the paperwork to make sure your paperwork for traveling with a firearm is in order. They can also assist you on arrival in Africa.
     
  3. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Elite

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    Hi Alan,
    First of all welcome to AH. Well, certainly nothing wrong with your choice of weapon. That 450 Rigby is an absolute sledgehammer and will get the job done. Just ensure that the head stamp on your ammunition matches the rifle caliber. Fire forming for the 450 Rigby will only give you difficulties in explaining why you don't have ammo that match your rifle and ultimately lead to confiscation of your ammo.
    I really don't think that you have much to worry about bringing your own rifle. In all my years, its happened once that a hunter's rifle did not arrive. Long story short, it was waiting for him in Johannesburg on his departure day.
    Why not use a gun service in South Africa? I will be happy to point you in the right direction of those who take care of my hunters. They will take care of the paperwork for you, and you will have the benefit of having a local by your side when dealing with the firearms check-in and check-out. They seem to behave themselves whenever there is a local around. Especially if you can curse them in their own language... :)

    All the best for your trip.

    Take Care,
    Marius Goosen
     
  4. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Marius has said it all now...have a PH or gun service when you arrive in Africa is very helpful. :)
     
  5. ablviing1

    ablviing1 New Member

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    Good advice, all. Especially the parts about getting help with the paperwork nad then having a gun service handle receipt on the other end. I didnt realize there was such a thing available. I would hate to get proficient with a rifle and then not ever use it. In the event that the worst would happen as above, do most PH's have rifles available to rent to clients? Good call on the brass as well. I load with Norma .450 Rigby brass, so the headstamp will match up.
     
  6. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    I've gone 5 times ( many here have been over many more times than me!) I've cleared my own rifle 3 times and used a service twice. Both work in South Africa and Namibia and Zim where I have been BUT there is a peace of mind in using a service so things are already done when you get there AND, IF Marius can be there, the sky will turn colors as he chews out the locals in their own language what ever that is, as he I think can swear in several different ones! :) :) :)
    Don't sweat the ammo issue. You will put it in a locked box inside your clothing bag (not rifle case) (I use a cheap plastic handgun case from Cabelas with an external pad lock). This way you check your gun case and one clothing bag. 99 times out of a hundred they both arrive with you. When you go be sure to take pictures and write it up here on the forum.
     
  7. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Welcome to AH.

    As Cliffy noted you can clear your own rifles in SA. The process is very easy and if you do not have a connection you could do it your self. A service is a good move as they will assist you through the lines. If you have to overnight in Joberg i would recommend using a service as they will take you through the check in process in Joberg the next morning on your departure. Joberg is the only place were they wanted to weigh my ammo and 1 time they sent it on it own and the next time i was able to put it back in my luggage and continue on. (i have tags on my ammo case just in case) I think it depend on who you walk up to at the counter in the terminal.

    Zimbabwe it is easy for you to do the paperwork for your rifle and ammo when arriving at the airport. They did check to see that my ammo matched my rifle, just a quick glance to see that the ammo matched and the number i stated were right. We opened 1 box to show them the head stamp matched the rifle and all was good to go. (Zimbabwe uses USD and make sure you have US bill's to cover your entry into the country.
     
  8. ablviing1

    ablviing1 New Member

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    Thanks for the additional advice about firearms and ammo transport, and I will be sure to post pictures for sure. Gonna be a while though. Still deciding whether or not to pay for an elephant hunt straight up or maybe do my first Africa hunt with a game package of some kind that includes a nice bull buff. Coastal brown bear in Alaska and Russian boar in the snow in Michigan are the most exotic hunts I have done to date. The Alaska hunt was miserable--rained all the time, so I want my first Africa trip to be special. Might take my wife as well..........
     
  9. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    gday abliviing 1
    welcome and enjoy the site
    Alaska was miserable ? mate l cant wait to experience that isolated lonliness of Alaska .
    l will be using some locals to bring our firearms in to Africa next time for sure .
    my wife will be coming along this trip aswell , cant wait
     
  10. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Welcome to AH Alan! As has already been stated I don't think you'll have any problems getting your rifle and Ammo there and back. Pick a good outfitter and they will help and advise you all the way for a first timer to Africa I would recommend South Africa there are some Super Outfitters right here on AH that will be more then glad to help you out and point you in the right direction.
     
  11. thi9elsp

    thi9elsp GOLD SUPPORTER AH Member

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    Alan,

    Welcome. I went on my first safari in 2011. I used Gracy Travel who arranged overnight stay in Johannesburg at Africa Sky (I've talked with both Gracy and Africa Sky folks at DSC last year) as well as the service to assist with the rifle and ammunition. I will tell on myself. I thought that the rifle would be outside of security. So, I picked up my other bags, met the service and went to get my paperwork approved. Let's just say, the service guy saved my butt. He told security to go back through with me, get the rifle and solve the problem.

    When I left to go with security to get my rifle, there were two guys starting to have their paperwork reviewed. I was escorted, brought back and had my rifle paperwork signed off on and those guys were still dealing with the officials. It was well worth the service fee.

    The service Ann and I booked also did our transport to Africa Sky and back to the airport the next day for our flight out to Zimbabwe. Another benefit was the guy that took us back to the airport skipped past the entire line for checking in and just walked us up to one of his buddies and got us checked right in.

    Needless to say I tipped the guy well the night before and the guy that next morning too.

    John
     
  12. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Welcome to AH Alan!
     
  13. Wheels

    Wheels GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Welcome to AH. You have been given some great advise. Hope you have a great trip and a great hunt. Planning the trip is part of the experience....enjoy it.
     
  14. ablviing1

    ablviing1 New Member

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    Wow! Friendliest forum on which I've ever been. My kind of people. Thanks again, everybody!
     
  15. Jfet

    Jfet AH Veteran

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    :welcome::welcome::welcome:
     
  16. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    Welcome to AH, Alan !
     
  17. Bushwack

    Bushwack AH Fanatic

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    You bet ya!

    :welcome:
     

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