Back to Africa!!!!! Its been too damn long - Damn you COVID-19!!!

kidogo

New member
Joined
Mar 27, 2021
Messages
8
Reaction score
10
Location
Houston, Texas
Member of
Dallas Safari Club
Hunted
Namibia, Tanzania
Postponed a trip for two years due to changing firms and another year due to COVID. Fully vaccinated now. Looking forward to Lukwati in August.
 

DGGardner

AH member
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
16
Reaction score
22
Location
Southern California
Member of
SCI
I just returned from the same trip. Last minute deal with Umngane Safari in the Limpopo region and had two weeks to plan.
Here are a couple things we encountered or witnessed with other hunters that might help the group.
1. It wasn‘t nearly as difficult as I had planned.
2. Getting guns cleared with Qatar Air was the most complicated portion of the trip. Contact a customer service agent and submit a Declaration of Surrender of Firearm, copy of passport, SAP 520, 4457 and your flight plans Qatar email address for declaration
pfcdoh@qatar.com.qa
We met 6 other hunters on the way out that had time to have Lori and the team from @TRAVEL EXPRESS book their trip. They had one issue with customs and someone from the agency handled it immediately. They were very satisfied.
3. 2 weeks is not enough time to receive traditional rifle permits from the SAP. No worries, the team from @riflepermits.com met us at the airport at 0400 and walked us through SAP and completed the 520. The team from rifle permits made the process see less and fast. Well worth the money.
4. US Custom and Border Patrol Form 4457 has an expiration date in the upper right hand corner. Make sure yours isn’t expired.
5. COVID test
Must be a PCR test and not a rapid antigen test. It has to say PCR.
It must be issued by an actual health clinic with a Dr signature.
It must be 72 hours before departure
You need one on the US side and the SA side when you return.
A lot of passengers got jammed up with missing one of these.
6. COVID test in RSA was as easy as test in US. Our outfitter drove us to a Lancet lab and we had SMS and email results in less than 24 hours for less then 80$ US.
7. You need COVID results when checking in so if you get a test at the airport plan on the extra hours of waiting.
8. Qatar was as easy if not easier then my past experiences with Delta and Virgin. The planes were nice, staff was polite and 15 1/2 hours from LAX to Doha is a really really long flight.
9. The lounges at Doha are very nice. There is also a hotel and sleeping pods.
10. Check in for our return flight at JNB was a pain in the ass. There were four of us on the same flight and it took a little more then three hours to get through check in. JNB was a ghost town and everything was being done from the same SAP office you visit when you arrive. Plan on extra time.

Seven days with no mask, no talk of COVID, no news, limited data and great hunting was more than worth any extra headaches COVID test and Qatar caused.
Dawyn and the team from Umngane Safaris made everything on the SA easy as can be and provided an excellent PG safari. The animals were plentiful and after a year with no pressure were fun as hell to hunt.
Im sure I left off details you may need or want. Please feel free to PM me or I will respond back to this post.
Get your vaccine, get your test and get back to Africa.
 

Travis Dove

AH member
Joined
Jun 29, 2019
Messages
20
Reaction score
66
Media
5
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Just got through immigration!! Not a problem at all!! Passport. Signed Covid test. a temperature check!!! forehead (not bunghole) and through the line. Super fast and easy. It did sound like the overnight flight from Doha has less folks. I was talking to a Qatar pilot. So if you want some legroom I recommend....sure feels to get off of that flight!! But it is so going to be worth it!!!!
 

Milo

AH senior member
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
82
Reaction score
87
Location
Alaska
Media
4
Member of
Ducks Unlimited, Safari Club International, Alaska Waterfowl Association
Hunted
Alaska, Canada, USA, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina
Just got through immigration!! Not a problem at all!! Passport. Signed Covid test. a temperature check!!! forehead (not bunghole) and through the line. Super fast and easy. It did sound like the overnight flight from Doha has less folks. I was talking to a Qatar pilot. So if you want some legroom I recommend....sure feels to get off of that flight!! But it is so going to be worth it!!!!
Any idea if covid test can be electronic?
 

DGGardner

AH member
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
16
Reaction score
22
Location
Southern California
Member of
SCI
Any idea if covid test can be electronic?

We had to show proof of negative test when we checked in stateside, going through customs in RSA, checking back in at JNB, boarding at JNB,boarding second flight at Doha and was told to have it ready at US customs upon return but did not have to show it. Having multiple printed copies made it easier.
 

Kevin Peacocke

AH elite
Joined
Feb 10, 2018
Messages
1,488
Reaction score
3,552
Location
Harare Zimbabwe
Media
57
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
Cleveland Gun Club
Hunted
Zimbabwe, SouthAfrica
Just got through immigration!! Not a problem at all!! Passport. Signed Covid test. a temperature check!!! forehead (not bunghole) and through the line. Super fast and easy. It did sound like the overnight flight from Doha has less folks. I was talking to a Qatar pilot. So if you want some legroom I recommend....sure feels to get off of that flight!! But it is so going to be worth it!!!!
Exciting, please keep the updates coming Travis.
 

Travis Dove

AH member
Joined
Jun 29, 2019
Messages
20
Reaction score
66
Media
5
Hunting reports
Africa
2
We had to show proof of negative test when we checked in stateside, going through customs in RSA, checking back in at JNB, boarding at JNB,boarding second flight at Doha and was told to have it ready at US customs upon return but did not have to show it. Having multiple printed copies made it easier.
Yep I did see a guy have a screen shot of a neg test. And they let him through... but that might have been lucky. I wouldn’t risk it.
 

Milo

AH senior member
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
82
Reaction score
87
Location
Alaska
Media
4
Member of
Ducks Unlimited, Safari Club International, Alaska Waterfowl Association
Hunted
Alaska, Canada, USA, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina
Yep I did see a guy have a screen shot of a neg test. And they let him through... but that might have been lucky. I wouldn’t risk it.
As Frank Drebin says "You take a chance getting up in the morning, crossing the street, or sticking your face in a fan."
 

Milo

AH senior member
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
82
Reaction score
87
Location
Alaska
Media
4
Member of
Ducks Unlimited, Safari Club International, Alaska Waterfowl Association
Hunted
Alaska, Canada, USA, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina
Yep I did see a guy have a screen shot of a neg test. And they let him through... but that might have been lucky. I wouldn’t risk it.
Electronic copy is fine per my PH's contact at Gracy Travel. I went thru airport this am and multiple people had it on phones. I was able to get it printed by Qatar Airways customer service in Doha, so I was good either way.
Overall, very positive experience with Qatar.
 

Travis Dove

AH member
Joined
Jun 29, 2019
Messages
20
Reaction score
66
Media
5
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Good morning everyone!!! So I wanted to give everyone a quick update on the traveling to South Africa and how EASY it was!!! First off the flights are extremely under booked. the only flight that was packed was the one from Dallas to Doha. The flight from Doha to South Africa was about 30% Capacity. The Flight back to US... Jo-berg to Doha ~33% capacity, and Doha to Dallas was about 30% possibly lower. I had all three seats to myself!!! on three of the four long flights... Could not ask for anything better!!
QATAR Airways is by the best I have been on!! Their team is amazing!!! More Leg room and amazing service!! I had only one meal on the whole trip that was not the best...outside of that it was all very good!! COVID Travel: Get your PCR test... has to be PCR test... if you have an option to (free testing) test three days before your trip and test on day two and one. Its a fail safe to make sure you will get on the plane and get through immigration. Easy-peasy... SA immigration barely looked at it but... definitely do not want to get hung up there... especially after a long flight.... Also make sure there is a doctor signature on the COVID test... That was a requirement that I overlooked... You can only imagine how that was remedied. :).

Now the Good stuff!!

I had an absolute blast!!! Kuche Safari knows how to take care of their guests. I felt like I was at home. (less yardwork and house cleaning) Low stress environment, very low key and relaxing. The food was amazing!! And Yes ZEBRA is AWESOME!! Try it.. Of course Robert will not tell you what you are eating till you are done... But make sure you make the request to try it when you are there... Everything else that I ate was amazing as well!! What can I say the food was great...

Koos, his family, and staff are amazing!! They made sure I was very comfortable and satisfied with my hunts. The rooms were wonderful and the animal Quality was by-far the best I have seen. Lots of game and lots of opportunities... Get your COVID Test, and go... you will have a absolute blast and another life experience that not everyone gets to have... ( I will add more to the Kuche Safari Hunt Report, if you want to read that as well...) Take care my friends, and enjoy the hunt we are only here once....

IMG_3927.JPG
IMG_3939.PNG
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Travis Dove

AH member
Joined
Jun 29, 2019
Messages
20
Reaction score
66
Media
5
Hunting reports
Africa
2
It is Finally time to Get back to Africa!!! I had Covid-19 back in February and yes it kicked my ass but I am not down for the count!! I just recently got the COVID-19 J&J Vaccination and that kicked my ass too!! But I am ready to get on that flight!! If you look now, flights out of the states are extremely reasonable and there is no reason not to make this move!! Especially if you got the vaccination!! When I was booking the flight I practically had the whole back end of the Plane to pick from. The Lock-Down has made me CRAZY (along with COVID) and I am so ready for another adventure! I just booked a solid week of hunting with my good friends at Kuche Safari and I can't wait!! It might have been a spur of the moment, and my wife might be a tad bit annoyed... .but honestly I think she is more annoyed that I am home all of the time now anyways... So this might be a way of marriage counseling... or a very effective way of compromising... depends on how you look at it... See ya on the flight!!!! I will keep everyone posted on how the airports are along the way and of course pictures of pre-WallPorn when they hit the dirt... Flying Qatar Airways to Dallas, to Doha and then to Jo-berg.

Good morning everyone!!! So I wanted to give everyone a quick update on the traveling to South Africa and how EASY it was!!! First off the flights are extremely under booked. the only flight that was packed was the one from Dallas to Doha. The flight from Doha to South Africa was about 30% Capacity. The Flight back to US... Jo-berg to Doha ~33% capacity, and Doha to Dallas was about 30% possibly lower. I had all three seats to myself!!! on three of the four long flights... Could not ask for anything better!!
QATAR Airways is by the best I have been on!! Their team is amazing!!! More Leg room and amazing service!! I had only one meal on the whole trip that was not the best...outside of that it was all very good!! COVID Travel: Get your PCR test... has to be PCR test... if you have an option to (free testing) test three days before your trip and test on day two and one. Its a fail safe to make sure you will get on the plane and get through immigration. Easy-peasy... SA immigration barely looked at it but... definitely do not want to get hung up there... especially after a long flight.... Also make sure there is a doctor signature on the COVID test... That was a requirement that I overlooked... You can only imagine how that was remedied. :).

Now the Good stuff!!

I had an absolute blast!!! Kuche Safari knows how to take care of their guests. I felt like I was at home. (less yardwork and house cleaning) Low stress environment, very low key and relaxing. The food was amazing!! And Yes ZEBRA is AWESOME!! Try it.. Of course Robert will not tell you what you are eating till you are done... But make sure you make the request to try it when you are there... Everything else that I ate was amazing as well!! What can I say the food was great...

Koos, his family, and staff are amazing!! They made sure I was very comfortable and satisfied with my hunts. The rooms were wonderful and the animal Quality was by-far the best I have seen. Lots of game and lots of opportunities... Get your COVID Test, and go... you will have a absolute blast and another life experience that not everyone gets to have... ( I will add more to the Kuche Safari Hunt Report, if you want to read that as well...) Take care my friends, and enjoy the hunt we are only here once....

IMG_3865.PNG
IMG_3927.JPG
IMG_3939.PNG
Bush Buck.jpg
IMG_3836_Moment.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Milo

AH senior member
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
82
Reaction score
87
Location
Alaska
Media
4
Member of
Ducks Unlimited, Safari Club International, Alaska Waterfowl Association
Hunted
Alaska, Canada, USA, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina
That was my experience as well on Qatar this week. Very good airline overall. Plane had noticeably more people on the return flight but still pretty empty. I had whole row to myself on all 4 Qatar segments. Only weirdness is when we arrived in Jo-burg, there was nobody inside to meet the plane, or even any signs for that matter. Everybody wandered around the closed part of the airport until a cleaning lady directed us.
Covid test in South Africa was easier and faster than here. Cost $82 with same day results.
 

Rare Breed

AH enthusiast
Joined
Dec 23, 2018
Messages
367
Reaction score
514
Location
Atlanta GA
Media
21
Hunting reports
Africa
2
I just returned from the same trip. Last minute deal with Umngane Safari in the Limpopo region and had two weeks to plan.
Here are a couple things we encountered or witnessed with other hunters that might help the group.
1. It wasn‘t nearly as difficult as I had planned.
2. Getting guns cleared with Qatar Air was the most complicated portion of the trip. Contact a customer service agent and submit a Declaration of Surrender of Firearm, copy of passport, SAP 520, 4457 and your flight plans Qatar email address for declaration
pfcdoh@qatar.com.qa
We met 6 other hunters on the way out that had time to have Lori and the team from @TRAVEL EXPRESS book their trip. They had one issue with customs and someone from the agency handled it immediately. They were very satisfied.
3. 2 weeks is not enough time to receive traditional rifle permits from the SAP. No worries, the team from @riflepermits.com met us at the airport at 0400 and walked us through SAP and completed the 520. The team from rifle permits made the process see less and fast. Well worth the money.
4. US Custom and Border Patrol Form 4457 has an expiration date in the upper right hand corner. Make sure yours isn’t expired.
5. COVID test
Must be a PCR test and not a rapid antigen test. It has to say PCR.
It must be issued by an actual health clinic with a Dr signature.
It must be 72 hours before departure
You need one on the US side and the SA side when you return.
A lot of passengers got jammed up with missing one of these.
6. COVID test in RSA was as easy as test in US. Our outfitter drove us to a Lancet lab and we had SMS and email results in less than 24 hours for less then 80$ US.
7. You need COVID results when checking in so if you get a test at the airport plan on the extra hours of waiting.
8. Qatar was as easy if not easier then my past experiences with Delta and Virgin. The planes were nice, staff was polite and 15 1/2 hours from LAX to Doha is a really really long flight.
9. The lounges at Doha are very nice. There is also a hotel and sleeping pods.
10. Check in for our return flight at JNB was a pain in the ass. There were four of us on the same flight and it took a little more then three hours to get through check in. JNB was a ghost town and everything was being done from the same SAP office you visit when you arrive. Plan on extra time.

Seven days with no mask, no talk of COVID, no news, limited data and great hunting was more than worth any extra headaches COVID test and Qatar caused.
Dawyn and the team from Umngane Safaris made everything on the SA easy as can be and provided an excellent PG safari. The animals were plentiful and after a year with no pressure were fun as hell to hunt.
Im sure I left off details you may need or want. Please feel free to PM me or I will respond back to this post.
Get your vaccine, get your test and get back to Africa.
Thanks so much! I don’t understand the Qatar surrender of firearm requirements. I booked through Lori at Travel Express and heard nothing about this. Help please
 

Beretta391

AH enthusiast
Joined
Jul 25, 2017
Messages
254
Reaction score
530
Location
Marshall, tx
Media
3
Member of
Dsc,nsca
Hunted
Namibia, USA , Argentina
Thanks so much! I don’t understand the Qatar surrender of firearm requirements. I booked through Lori at Travel Express and heard nothing about this. Help please

That’s why you hire a travel agent that’s experienced with firearms. They take care of that for you!! We have flown with Qatar with firearms and no problems at all.
 

DGGardner

AH member
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
16
Reaction score
22
Location
Southern California
Member of
SCI
@Rare Breed Maybe you don’t have to sign one when you work through an agent. We had six hunters from Utah on our same flight that booked with Lori. One of the six had issues but that was with US Customs and Lori quickly cleared it up for him. I reached out to Lori last week about assisting with a trip to Mozambique I will ask her. If you would like to PM me I will send you the email link and forms I received from Qatar.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
37,625
Messages
718,920
Members
67,243
Latest member
SerukaMile
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

Cervus elaphus wrote on Bob Nelson 35Whelen's profile.
Hi Bob, how's things going in Wyong?. Down your way a couple of years back but haven't been in NSW since Ebor for the fishing. just getting over some nasty storms up here in Qld, seeing the sun for the first time in a few days. I'm going to NZ in the spring and hope to clean up a few buns while there and perhaps shake the spiders out of my old .303LE (currently owned by my BIL). Cheers Brian
A couple pictures of the sable i chased for miles in Mozambique, Coutada 9!! We finally caught up to him and I had the trophy of a lifetime. Mokore Safaris, Doug Duckworth PH
sable Coutada 9.JPG
sable 2 - Coutada 9.JPG
Safari Dave wrote on egrmpty507's profile.
Did you purchase your hunt at a US SCI fundraiser?
uplander01 wrote on colorado's profile.
Heard you may have load data for the 500 Jeffery,.....any info would be appreciated. Was thinking 535gr, but already had a response that the 570gr would be a better way to go, not sure why.
Rickmt wrote on Leica Sport Optics's profile.
will Leica Amplus 6-2.5x15x50 fit on a pro success Blaser with low mount?
 
Top