Laws & Regulations for Hunters Traveling with Firearms and Ammunition or Bows and Arrows

Discussion in 'Safari Planning Guide' started by AfricaHunting.com, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Laws & Regulations for Hunters Traveling with Firearms and Ammunition or Bows and Arrows

    Laws and regulations from countries and airlines pertaining to traveling with weapons are constantly changing, therefore this article is full of links to send you directly to the source rather than supply you with information that could be out of date.

    Traveling to Africa usually requires taking at least a couple of different airlines as well as departing from several countries. All having their own rules, regulations and laws for which it is your responsibility to be aware and in compliance with all of them.

    Travel agents specializing in sending hunters to Africa
    Using a travel agent who specializes in sending hunters to Africa and other remote international destinations can alleviate a lot of the burdens you will encounter when it comes to travel. They should be familiar with routes and used to working with these airlines and have knowledge of the particular laws and regulations you will face. Additionally, specialty travel agents can often get better deals than you can find on major websites or through regular travel agents. I highly recommend Travel Express, hunting travel specialists, they are the company that I personally use. Lori Ginn can help you, she is very knowledgeable and a hunter herself. She can assist you with all aspects of your hunting travel planning from airfare, lodging and car rentals to entry visa's, firearm permits, etc... Click here to visit Travel Express website www.travelexpressagency.com.

    Airline regulations concerning luggage
    Luggage regulations and rules vary from airline to airline so it is a necessity that you check with each airline you will be using, or your travel agent, to know what is allowed and required of you especially regarding traveling with firearms.

    You need to find out about total weight limitations, per bag weight limitations and size limitations, gun case regulations as well as the number of bags allowed. Many airlines allow hunters to check a rifle or bow case for free and do not count it as a piece of luggage, but may impose maximum weight limitations. However, you will still need to check to see if the airline(s) you will be traveling with counts the weight of your weapon(s), if they have weight limitations for weapons and if the airline(s) counts it as a piece of luggage. Below you will find direct links to the rules and regulations page for most of the major airlines that travel to or inside of Africa.

    tip Should you be traveling as a couple, it is a good idea to take two smaller bags rather that one larger piece of luggage and to split your belongings evenly, including ammo, between the two bags in case of delayed or lost luggage and to distribute the weight of the ammunition so as not to go over weight.

    Luggage on small/short commercial flight
    If you will be taking a small/short commercial flight to or between hunting areas check with the airline what type of aircraft that it is and if you are allowed to check in your firearm(s). Aircraft types that allow access between cabin and hold whilst the aircraft is in flight are forbidden to carry firearms.

    Luggage on charter flight
    If you will be taking a charter flight by light aircraft to or between hunting areas, check with the charter company first as their luggage rules and allowances are usually much more strict and limiting than those of the major airlines. A soft bag, such as a duffel bag, will usually be required as small luggage compartments require flexible baggage, hard sided luggage may not be allowed for safety reasons as well.

    You may be required to leave your airline approved hard rifle case and large or inflexible luggage in storage (most hotels or air charter companies can store these bags for you). You may have to transport your gun in a soft case or sleeve when taking it on a light aircraft, so it is important to be aware of what is required by the charter company prior to your departure from home so you can be prepared. An additional seat may sometimes be purchased in advance to accommodate extra luggage.

    Most light aircraft in Africa restrict each passenger to approximately 26 to 33 pounds (12 to 15 kg) these guidelines vary, so please check with the company you decide to go with.

    tip Be aware that some air charter companies in Africa do not transport firearms at all, so you may wish to ask your hunting outfitter for air charter company recommendations as they are usually quite familiar with the local companies.

    Luggage weight limits when departing from Africa
    When departing from Africa, airlines are more likely to make you pay for overweight luggage or enforce other rule violations (this is their last opportunity to squeeze a few more dollars out of you and it can be very costly). Be aware that what may have been acceptable luggage weight or size when departing from the US or Europe may be unacceptable on the exact same airline when departing from Africa. If you intend to bring souvenirs or gifts back with you, it's a good idea to plan for space and weight prior to leaving on your trip.

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    TSA guidelines for hunters traveling with weapons

    Your travel agent may be able to assist you concerning your regular baggage; however I feel that it is important to familiarize yourself with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines for hunters who plan to travel with weapons.

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    TSA carry-on baggage guidelines for hunters

    You may only transport firearms, ammunition, firearm parts (such as rifle bolts) and bows and arrows in your checked baggage. Those items are prohibited from carry-on baggage. Click here to go directly to the TSA page with the regulatory requirements for carry-on baggage regarding transport of firearms, firearm parts, ammunition and bows and arrows.

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    TSA prohibited item guidelines for hunters

    Hunters should carefully prepare and pack to avoid having to surrender prohibited items at the security checkpoint. To find a specific list of permitted and prohibited items and information for those traveling in pursuit of outdoor activities, please click here to visit this page directly.

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    TSA guidelines for traveling with special items

    Special items include alcohol, currency, medication, camping items, hunting, fishing and sporting equipment, etc. Click here to visit this page directly.

    Firearm importation and transit procedures
    The topic of firearm importation into the country you will be hunting in as well as transit procedures for countries you may be passing through or be visiting but not hunting in can be complex and deserves it's own page. Click here to visit our Importation or Transiting Procedures Through Countries with Weapons & Ammunition page.

    Laws for hunters entering foreign countries
    All countries have their own laws and regulation regarding transportation and possession of firearms and ammunition or bows and arrows as well as other items hunters may bring in. To check with the authorities at your destination about their laws and requirements call or email their embassy or consulate. Click here to find a complete list of Embassies & Consulates with contact information.

    Airline regulations for hunters
    Certain airline regulations go further than TSA regulations, for example some airlines won't even allow you to take your rifle scope in your carry on luggage. It is important to know that airlines have their own requirements or restrictions on the carriage of firearms and the amount of ammunition or bows and arrows as well as other items a hunter may carry. You should always check with your airline(s) for information regarding their firearms and ammunition and bows and arrows carriage policies.

    Some regional airlines, as well as air charter companies in Africa do not transport firearms at all, for example Nationwide Airlines in South Africa, so if you are connecting to a different airline, ensure that they will transport your firearms.


    Airlines in U.S., Canada & Europe

    For your convenience, below you will find a list of direct links, where possible, to the individual airline rules and regulations page regarding transportation of firearms and ammunition or bows and arrows. As well as a link to the airlines home page, should there be no direct link or it be broken. It is also wise to contact the airline(s) by phone and speak to a representative in person to cover your bases as some smaller airlines might not update their web site information frequently.

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    Air Canada
    - http://www.aircanada.com/en/travelinfo/airport/baggage/hunting_equip.html
    or www.aircanada.com

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    Air France
    - http://www.airfrance.us/US/en/common/...airfrance.htm
    or www.airfrance.us

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    Alaska Airlines And Horizon Air
    - http://www.alaskaair.com/as/www2/hel...latedItems.asp
    or www.alaskaair.com

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    American Airlines
    - http://www.aa.com/content/travelInfo...firearms.jhtml
    or www.aa.com

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    British Airways
    - http://www.britishairways.com/travel...t/public/en_us
    or www.britishairways.com

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    Continental Airlines
    - http://www.continental.com/web/en-US...FCE4318C2AA589
    or www.continental.com

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    Delta Airlines
    - http://www.delta.com/traveling_check...oods/index.jsp
    or www.delta.com

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    KLM, Royal Dutch Airlines (Holland)
    - http://www.klm.com/travel/nl_en/trav...gage/index.htm
    or www.klm.com

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    Lufthansa (Germany)
    - http://www.lufthansa.com/online/port...nodeid=1769649
    or www.lufthansa.com

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    Northwest Airlines
    - http://www.nwa.com/travel/luggage/specialitems.html
    or www.nwa.com

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    Southwest Airlines
    - http://www.southwest.com/travel_center/guns.html
    or www.southwest.com

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    Swiss International Air Lines
    - http://www.swiss.com/web/EN/services...g_weapons.aspx
    www.swiss.com

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    United Airlines
    - http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6722,1035,00.html
    or www.united.com

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    US Airways
    - http://www2.usairways.com/awa/conten...cialitems.aspx
    or /www.usairways.com


    Airlines in Africa

    For your convenience, below you will find a list of direct links, where possible, to the individual airline rules and regulations page regarding transportation of firearms and ammunition or bows and arrows. As well as a link to the airlines home page, should there be no direct link or it be broken. It is also wise to contact the airline(s) by phone and speak to a representative in person to cover your bases as some smaller airlines might not update their web site information frequently.

    Namibia
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    Air Namibia
    - http://www.airnamibia.com.na/cargo
    or www.airnamibia.com.na

    Benin
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    Benin Golf Air
    www.benin-golf-air.com

    Botswana
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    Air Botswana
    www.airbotswana.co.bw

    Burkina Faso
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    Air Burkina
    www.air-burkina.com

    Cameroon
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    CamAir
    www.camair.com

    Ethiopia
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    Ethiopian Airlines
    www.ethiopianairlines.com

    Mozambique
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    LAM Airlines
    www.lam.co.mz

    South Africa
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    South African Airways
    - http://www.flysaa.com/za/en/flyingSAA/baggage/firearms_new.html
    or www.flysaa.com

    Tanzania
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    Air Tanzania
    www.airtanzania.com

    Zambia
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    Zambian Airways
    www.zambianairways.com

    Zimbabwe
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    Air Zimbabwe
    www.airzimbabwe.com
     
  2. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    Awesome information.
     

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