Use a firearms expediter to clear your rifles in South Africa--saves a lot of time and you get all the paperwork done before you leave the U.S.
Also, treat your U.S. 4457 like your passport. Keep it safe. I had it paper clipped to the back of all the SA police documentation and as I was leaving, the agent kept a lot of that paperwork--including my 4457. Had to get a really nice agent at the Delta gate to go back and get it.
I recommend carrying at least 3 copies of:
Your original documents:
Visa- if required,
Drivers licence- any other IDs-especially government IDs,
Letter(s) of Invitation,
Contract(s) and reciepts between you and your outfitter--Booking Agent if used
Birth Certicate (copy notarized)
Have these items notarized copies of:
Visa if done here in the US,
Birth Certicate (copy)
All copies of SAPS 520 should have your original signature on them, should the original be inopportune time, lost or misplaced.
Keep originals at hand, place 1 copy in check baggage, 1 copy in weapons case, 1 copy in carry-on.
Should you misplace or anything happen to your original paperwork, this information can very well hope you in obtaining replacements through an embassy, or lessen any disruption in your travel, and having copy of your contract, especially if a booking agent is involved, could come in handy should any conflict/dispute arise.
In my experience, birth certificate was needed for my son (minor) to confirm he is actually my son, this was supposed to be accompanyed with statement from my wife - his mother, verified in notary public office, that she is in agreement for me to take my son to Africa for safari.
I travelled only once with my son to Africa, and this is how it was. I am not saying, in other countries and with other outfitters is actually the same, or different, or required, or not required. But this was in my case.
Would you kindly explain what the purpose of having copies of birth certificate is for?