How much ammunition for plains game hunting trip to South Africa?

Ridge Runner

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Having only been on 2 SA safaris, both using my 30-06 for plains game. I brought 11 pounds limit of ammo with me on each trip.

My next trip I will be taking 2 rifles; 375 H&H and 30-06, and a 44 mag revolver. My plan is spending 27 days in Africa, hunting in 2 different countries for DG and PG. Since most of the PG I will be hunting are the smaller animals I will take 60 rounds of 30-06. For the 375 Buff, eland, gemsbuck and just to check scope 40 rounds should be more than enough. I'll round out the balance of 11 pounds with 44 mag ammo.

(Wink, wink), when going through SAPS, any left over ammo will be declared as expended. (a.k.a. gifted to my PH).
 
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Ed Lally

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The limit is 5kg (or just over 11lbs) of AMMUNITION per passenger bringing a firearm, not ammunition plus boxes plus case plus locks. The ammunition MUST match the firearm, so be careful that your ammo headstamps match the caliber barrel marking (reloaded reformed brass or re-chambered barrels can create major problems).
 

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Just as a suggestion on the outside of the locked ammo box. I put on masking tape. the weight of the ammunition, the weight of the box separately. The standard is 5kg-11lb of ammo, sometimes the airline gets cute and try to tell you it is 11lb total. I believe listing on the outside helps.
 

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180 rounds will be well over 11 lbs and is excessive. I and I think most people on here will advise you to only bring one rifle. Your 3006 and 375 aren’t that much different trajectories. I wouldn’t hesitate to only take my 375, I’m very confident with mine out to 300 yards. If something goes wrong, your PH will have a rifle to use. What bullets are you using?
I have a few different choices of bullets. Right now the majority of my 375 ammo is loaded with Barnes tsx 235 gr. My 30-06 I pretty much only use hornady 180gr SST but I also have a few other bullet choices and weights to play with if ever needed
 

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The answer is "It all depends", on how long a hunt, how many animals desired, what ranges to be expected, how many rifles, what cartridge and last but not least, the 5 kilo limit. I've taken a hundred of one cartridge when I was doing a lot of varmint and night hunting and as much as eighty for my long range open plains, four week hunt. For a ten day package PG hunt, as long as it makes the weight limit, forty rounds per rifle should be more than enough.
 

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Just as a suggestion on the outside of the locked ammo box. I put on masking tape. the weight of the ammunition, the weight of the box separately. The standard is 5kg-11lb of ammo, sometimes the airline gets cute and try to tell you it is 11lb total. I believe listing on the outside helps.
That's ICAO protocol. Not all airlines delineate the ammo and the box. Air France is one of them. BTDT.

Ammunition
  • Ammunition must be packed in a single container (fiberboard, wood or metal box) weighing up to 5 kg / 11 lb (including container) per passenger.
  • The rifle and ammunition may be transported in the same baggage item but must be packed in separate bags within that baggage item.
 

Gatorhunter1313

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The answer is "It all depends", on how long a hunt, how many animals desired, what ranges to be expected, how many rifles, what cartridge and last but not least, the 5 kilo limit. I've taken a hundred of one cartridge when I was doing a lot of varmint and night hunting and as much as eighty for my long range open plains, four week hunt. For a ten day package PG hunt, as long as it makes the weight limit, forty rounds per rifle should be more than enough.

my goal is a 7-10 day hunt and 10 animals for 2 people. It will all depend who I go with when I book a trip. That’s still the biggest question.
 

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Most of the folks will tell you to take a second rifle. I personally believe that is an anachronism left over from the days of 30-60 day full bag safaris where a battery of firearms was actually needed. Unless you need a really long range specialty caliber for a particular animal like a Vaal Rehbok, just grab 40 rounds of either the 30-06 or .375 and go hunting. If you are hunting PG in Namibia or SA make it the '06 with a premium 180 gr bullet. If you are going to a wilderness area where larger more hostile critters roam, then take the .375.

On my first safari (PG and leopard), I took a .270 and a .338. Other than sight in, the .270 never left the case. Subsequently, I have taken virtually everything from tiny suni to several cape buffalo with 300 gr bullets from a .375. This summer, I am headed to Zambia for two weeks for just PG and will bring a .275 Rigby (7x57) and 40 rounds of ammunition. And every PH I know has great stories about the wrong rifle or the right rifle and wrong ammunition when the world class whatever stepped out during the impala stalk.

As a rule, we don't take back-up rifles to Canada, Asia, Europe or South America and there is little practical reason to take one on our relatively short modern trips to Africa. If two of you are going, then certainly take two rifles, but in that case, one ought to be dedicated to him and the other to you.
 

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I forgot to add to "it depends". How are your rifleman skills, do you get buck fever, how much practice off of sticks, all come in to play. If one is a bad shot, didn't practice off of sticks with desired rifle, or didn't practice much at all, there'll be a need for more ammo.
What Red Leg said is good advice, one rifle that suits the game is enough. I take two because shooting crows, hyrax and springhares with a PG cartridge doesn't work for me. I leave that to the .17 Fireball.
 

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I see no reason to travel that far and spend that much money on a trip to not take WAY too much ammo. I've had weird gun issues over the years that have burned up a box or two to get found and back zeroed. They're odd, rare, and usually related to platforms/calibers not common for safari but what if one happens in Africa and you bring 40 or 60 rounds?

I'll be taking my 11lbs or the max allowed (I believe Namibia is 80 rounds per gun off the top of my head?) And see no reason not to.
 

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I have a few different choices of bullets. Right now the majority of my 375 ammo is loaded with Barnes tsx 235 gr. My 30-06 I pretty much only use hornady 180gr SST but I also have a few other bullet choices and weights to play with if ever needed
You should really consider a more heavily constructed bonded bullet designed for penetration instead of an SST. Remember African game has vitals further forward so you are aiming on the shoulder not behind the shoulder like in North America. If you hit a zebra or kudu on shoulder with SST results may not be as good as you would like. Myself and a lot of others on here really like Barnes and Swift A frames, but there are a lot of other good choices.
 
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375Fox

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I see no reason to travel that far and spend that much money on a trip to not take WAY too much ammo. I've had weird gun issues over the years that have burned up a box or two to get found and back zeroed. They're odd, rare, and usually related to platforms/calibers not common for safari but what if one happens in Africa and you bring 40 or 60 rounds?

I'll be taking my 11lbs or the max allowed (I believe Namibia is 80 rounds per gun off the top of my head?) And see no reason not to.
I’m really surprised everyone is recommending 40 instead of 80 rounds/11 lbs. I didn’t think we would be the exceptions. I’d rather have too much like you, you just take it home at the end, it didn’t cost anymore to bring it home.
 

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You should really consider a more heavily constructed bonded bullet designed for penetration instead of an SST. Remember African game has vitals further forward so you are aiming on the shoulder not behind the shoulder like in North America. If you hit a zebra or kudu on shoulder with SST results may not be as good as you would like. Myself and a lot of others on here really like Barnes and Swift A frames, but there are a lot of other good choices.

what about the Barnes 180gr ttsx? I have about 300 of those I could start loading and shooting
 

Gatorhunter1313

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I forgot to add to "it depends". How are your rifleman skills, do you get buck fever, how much practice off of sticks, all come in to play. If one is a bad shot, didn't practice off of sticks with desired rifle, or didn't practice much at all, there'll be a need for more ammo.
What Red Leg said is good advice, one rifle that suits the game is enough. I take two because shooting crows, hyrax and springhares with a PG cartridge doesn't work for me. I leave that to the .17 Fireball.

I have been practicing off sticks a lot. I have about 20 steel targets set up around our property in Georgia and any time I go up there I take my 308 and 30-06 with me for practice. I do a lot of walking around the property and when I see a big orange dot I stop and take a shot. I always take friends with me and have them move the steel targets so I never know where they will be. I also practice off fallen trees and dirt hills.
 

Gatorhunter1313

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I’m really surprised everyone is recommending 40 instead of 80 rounds/11 lbs. I didn’t think we would be the exceptions. I’d rather have too much like you, you just take it home at the end, it didn’t cost anymore to bring it home.

without changing my ammo box I could take 100 rounds of 30-06 and 80 rounds of 375. Only issue will be weight. I have to load up more 375 ammo and see what it all weighs
 

Gatorhunter1313

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So another question would be if only taking one gun...... is the 30-06 better or would my 338 win mag be better. I shoot both just as well. I have a lot of 180gr and 200gr inter bonds from hornady that my rifle loves and are super accurate
 

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So another question would be if only taking one gun...... is the 30-06 better or would my 338 win mag be better. I shoot both just as well. I have a lot of 180gr and 200gr inter bonds from hornady that my rifle loves and are super accurate
Take the rifle with which you are the most comfortable and accurate.
 

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Just as a suggestion on the outside of the locked ammo box. I put on masking tape. the weight of the ammunition, the weight of the box separately. The standard is 5kg-11lb of ammo, sometimes the airline gets cute and try to tell you it is 11lb total. I believe listing on the outside helps.
Great advice... write quantity too. eg Weight 4.3kg.. (40 rounds of 416Rigby).
Last trip in Namibia, 2 guys pulled out the 2 packets of ammo to try count it 7or 8 times,,, we could see it was 40..!! In the end they asked us... 40.
We took 3 rifles, between 2 people 500, 416 and 375 (1 spare).
 

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I hunt with a .300 Win Mag and take 80 rounds with me, even if I'm hunting 3 animals. My lock boxes hold 2 boxes of ammo, each. I put one box in my luggage and one box in my wife's luggage. If a suitcase becomes lost along the way, hopefully, the other will make it through and I'll still have 40 rounds of ammo to hunt with.
 

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