SOUTH AFRICA Hunting Information

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Oct 1, 2007
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SOUTH AFRICA Hunting Information


Hunting South Africa
South Africa shares a special place in the hearts and minds of many hunters and non-hunters alike. In addition to the world famous Kruger National Park, South Africa is home to nearly 150 other national parks and reserves including those dedicated to nature, marine life, forestry, botany as well as other unique interests. For decades these parks have welcomed millions of visitors each year. The film and television industries have produced hundreds of movies and documentaries on African wildlife which have often been filmed within the parks and reserves of South Africa. All the above has done well to promote South Africa as a kind of Eden where it's possible to tour comfortably in a 4x4 amid abundant and exotic wildlife, to be able to safely watch predators as they dine on their prey, to observe the big cats in the tall grass or to follow the migration of herbivores…


South Africa has long been the most popular hunting destination in Africa especially as a first time hunting safari destination. Well over 6,000 international hunters visit annually for plains game and big game hunting on the more than 9,000 registered game ranches in South Africa. Hunting properties range in size from a few thousand to over 250,000 acres where hunters can discover a country and its wildlife that are among the most beautiful and richest that Africa has to offer.

Safari hunting is available on private game ranches and within controlled hunting areas in some provincial game reserves. Much of the hunting in South Africa takes place on enclosed private land. The amount of game on private land is estimated to be two and a half times greater than the game populations found on public lands.

There are nine provinces in South Africa. However more than half of the most popular plains game species are taken in just two provinces, the Limpopo and Eastern Cape. The species taken in these provinces that top the list are Impala (Aepyceros Melampus), Warthog (Phacochoerus Aethiopicus), Greater Kudu (Tragelaphus Strepsiceros), Blesbok (Damaliscus), Gemsbok (Oryx Gazella), Blue Wildebeest (Connochaetes Taurinus), Burchell's Zebra (Equus Quagga Burchellii), Black Wildebeest (Conochaetes Gnou), Southern Bushbuck (Tragelaphus Scriptus Sylvaticus), Common Waterbuck (Kobus Ellipsiprymnus) and Springbok (Antidorca Marsupialis) predominantly in Eastern Cape province.

While hunting in South Africa one can take the big five; Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Elephant and Rhino. The big five species are dispersed all over South Africa with most being harvested in a couple of provinces. About 60% of all Leopards are taken in the Limpopo province with another 25% being hunted in the North West province. Approximately 65% of all Buffalo are harvested in the Gauteng province and an additional 20% are taken in the KwaZulu Natal and Free State provinces combined. Lion are overwhelmingly taken, 70%, in the North West province with 20% being taken in the Limpopo province. More than half of all Elephants are harvested in the Limpopo and an additional 30% are taken in the North West province. Nearly 70% of White Rhino are hunted in KwaZulu Natal and the North West provinces, the two provinces being equally productive. The Mpumalanga province produces 90% of Hippos taken in South Africa if you are interested in hunting the big six.

In addition to these prestigious trophies, hunters, whether beginners or not, can enrich their trophy room with many other species as well. The abundance of species allowed to be hunted in South Africa is unparalleled with up to thirty species of antelope alone; Cape Eland (Taurotragus Oryx), Sable Antelope (Hippotragus Niger), Roan Antelope (Hippotragus Equinus), Greater Kudu (Tragelaphus Strepsiceros) Lesser Kudu (Tragelaphus Imberbis), Nyala (Tragelaphus Angasi), Lichtenstein's Hartebeest (Alcelaphus Lichtensteinii), Blesbok (Damaliscus Pygargus Phillipsi), Bontebok (Damaliscus Pygargus Pygargus), Gemsbok (Oryx gazella), Blue Wildebeest (Connochaetes Taurinus), Black Wildebeest (Conochaetes Gnou), Common Waterbuck (Kobus Ellipsiprymnus), Bushbuck (Tragelaphus Scriptus), Southern Bushbuck (Tragelaphus Scriptus Sylvaticus), Common Reedbuck (Redunca Arundinum), Impala (Aepyceros Melampus), Springbok (Antidorca Marsupialis), Red Flanked Duiker (Cephalophus Rufilatus), Klipspringer (Oreotragus Oreotragus), Oribi (Ourebia Ourebi), Bushpig (Potamochoerus Porcus), Warthog (Phacochoerus Aethiopicus)

Hunting in South Africa also offers the opportunity to hunt exotic species, not indigenous to South Africa or sometimes Africa at all, most of which is conducted in the Eastern Cape Province.

In South Africa the majority of professional hunters are South Africans however there are also Zimbabwean, Namibian and European professional hunters. In South Africa hunting is most often done on foot, sometimes directly from the camp, but more often by driving a 4x4 from the lodge to the hunting area, then tracking on foot once in the bush. Hunting South Africa in more rugged terrain makes approaches or stalking the animals much shorter in duration than in open territory as there is more landscape to facilitate the approach.

In South Africa, the hunting areas are spread out over the entire country. It is often necessary to fly from Johannesburg to a secondary location where one travels to the hunting area either by road or by small aircraft.

The habitat is mostly savanna shrub, dry, grassy plains, thorn and acacia. The hunting areas in the province of the Kalahari are semi-desert and the soil is often sandy which can make walking challenging and tiresome.

South African hunting areas very often do not have hunting camps such as those found in other countries in Africa. In most cases hunters stay in comfortable lodges which look and feel more like a four star hotel.

There is no set hunting season in South Africa so one can hunt throughout the year. Keep in mind when traveling south of the equator that the seasons are reversed; June, July and August are South Africa's winter months and therefore the coldest months as well as the most popular among hunters. In some areas the frost setting in by early morning can feel like December in Europe or northern United States but without the snow. The winters in South Africa are not to be taken lightly, the temperature range between day and night can be rather extreme, typically varying 30DF to 40DF between daily highs and lows.

Finding a Hunting Outfitter in South Africa

The single most important thing you need to do to ensure that you are booking with a good hunting outfitter is check their references. The outfitter should provide you with more than a few references, especially clients who have hunted with them within the last year and you should call many of them.

Click here to check out our South Africa Hunting Reports, a section where you can find or post more detailed Hunting Reports. Or visit our forums where you can interact with other hunters and industry professionals, post questions or read what others are discussing about hunting in South Africa by clicking here.

We are all empowered by learning from each other and we encourage you to make educated decisions based upon honest information and real experience.

South Africa Hunting Areas Map and Satellite Imagery
Click here for South Africa hunting areas map, country and satellite imagery maps.

Climate in South Africa
Johannesburg and the surrounding highlands region enjoy a very pleasant climate, dry and sunny all year round. Between October and April the region can experience heavy afternoon thunderstorms with downpours of rain that disappear as quickly as they arrive. Winter days are only slightly cooler than the summer average temperatures, but it can become frosty on winter nights.

Cape Town, on the Cape Peninsula, has a Mediterranean climate with dry summers and wet winters. Seasons are well defined, with winter, between May and August, being influenced by a series of cold fronts that cross the Peninsula from the Atlantic Ocean. Winters are characterized by heavy rain, particularly on the mountain slopes, strong north-westerly winds, and low temperatures. In summer the weather in Cape Town is warm and typically dry, but the idyllic sunny weather is often punctuated with strong south easterly winds. Along the Cape south coast, rain can fall during both seasons.

Port Elizabeth enjoys a moderate climate, known to have the most sunshine and fewest rainy days of any of South Africa's seaside cities. There is little difference in average temperature between summer and winter, the Indian Ocean remaining warm enough for swimming all year round.

Durban enjoys a subtropical climate, with very hot, humid summers and mild to warm winters. Rain is frequent during the summer months, but comes in the form of thunderstorms in the afternoons, so the sunny holiday weather is not badly affected. In winter temperatures are more comfortable but still warm.

Weather Underground provides a very detailed look at current weather conditions, weather forecasts, a history and almanac for predicting average weather conditions during the time while you will be traveling in that part of the world. Click here for South Africa's climate and temperature forecast.

South Africa Hunting Season & When Hunting is Allowed
- Hunting Season - January 1st to December 31st (all year round)
- Trophy hunting is allowed throughout the year however some species may be restricted in certain provinces during particular times of the year. Also due to the summer heat and rains, most hunting is conducted between March and October, with June, July and August being the most popular months for hunting safaris.
- Trophy hunting may take place at night in all provinces and is allowed with artificial light, provided that the hunter was granted a night hunting permit. Unless the landowner has an exemption, this night hunting permit is only given on special request, after the hunter has clearly stipulated the reason for night hunting, in most instance Leopard hunting over bait at night. Rarely will they grant you the right to hunt at night for other reasons.
- There are no regulations controlling the number of days for a hunting safari. If a minimum number of days is required, it is set by the hunting outfitter.
- Hunting from a vehicle is permitted in some provinces.

You will find information about the bird hunting season in South Africa near the bottom of this page.

Species to Hunt in South Africa
South Africa offers the greatest diversity of species available for hunting than in any other country in Africa; with over 70 species for trophy hunting, including many exotic species not indigenous to South Africa or Africa. Hunters can also hunt all of the big five which consists of Elephant, Rhino, Lion, Leopard and Buffalo as well. The most commonly hunted species in South Africa are plains game; Impala, Warthog, Greater Kudu, Springbok, Blesbok, Gemsbok and Blue Wildebeest top the list.

Click here to visit complete list of species available to hunt in South Africa.

Shot Placement Guide for the Perfect Shot
Click here to visit our shot placement guide, the most comprehensive shot placement guide of African game online.

Bow Hunting in South Africa
The number of bow hunters entering South Africa in recent years has been increasing and more hunting outfitters are catering to their specific needs; some exclusively offering hunting safaris to bow hunters. The overall hunting conditions in South Africa are well suited for bow hunting. South Africa possesses high populations of plains game and a wide variety of African trophy hunting species which makes it alluring for any hunter, but the climate and terrain are what makes it so good for bow hunting.

Bow hunting is legal in most of South Africa's provinces, although restrictions may be imposed according to species. Requirements may also be imposed for the standard of equipment to be used. Bow hunting in most provinces must be done under special permit which needs to be arranged in advance by your hunting outfitter. Also provinces have different regulations regarding bow hunting dangerous game. Because there is no central location where all of the provinces rules and regulations are posted, you should ask your hunting outfitter to supply you with the latest regulations before booking a bow hunting safari.

Bow hunting big five and/or dangerous game, such as bow hunting Elephant, bow hunting Rhino, bow hunting Cape Buffalo, bow hunting Lion and bow hunting Leopard is legal in some provinces of South Africa.

For bow hunting in South Africa, I recommend the later part of the season as it is more suited to bow hunting because it is drier June through September in most parts of the country.

Importation of Bows & Arrows into South Africa
It is legal for hunters to import bows for bow hunting purposes into South Africa and no import permit is required. The following are acceptable types of bows for bow hunting: longbow, recurve bow and compound bow.

Minimum Equipment Requirements for Bow hunting in South Africa
- Big Game
Bow Kinetic Energy 80 ft/lbs
Arrow Weight 700 grain
(Elephant, Rhino, Hippo, Buffalo)
- Medium Game
Bow Kinetic Energy 70 ft/lbs
Arrow Weight 550 grain
(Kudu, Eland, Oryx / Gemsbok, Hartebeest, Wildebeest, Zebra, Giraffe, Sable Antelope, Roan Antelope, Waterbuck, Tsessebe, etc.)
- Small Game
Bow Kinetic Energy 40 ft/lbs
Arrow Weight 400 grain
(Warthog, Nyala, Springbok, Impala, Blesbok, Duiker, Steenbok, Ostrich, Caracal, Black-Backed Jackal, Game Birds, etc.)

Minimum Equipment Requirements for Rifle Hunting in South Africa
- Most provinces do not have a minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting and rely on common sense.
- Some provinces require a minimum of .375 caliber for dangerous or big game hunting.
- No provinces require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

Traveling with Firearms & Ammunition
Traveling to Africa usually requires taking at least a couple of different airlines as well as departing from several countries whose laws and regulations are constantly changing. And they all have their own rules, regulations and laws for which it is your responsibility to be aware and in compliance with all of them. For this reason you should read the Africa Hunting article on Laws & Regulations for Hunters Traveling with Weapons by clicking here.

Permits & Importation of Firearms & Ammunition into South Africa
The following section contains the basic information you will need to know, for more detailed information you should read Africa Hunting article on Importation or Transiting Procedures Through Countries with Weapons by clicking here, especially if you are transiting through or traveling to another country.

- Expect some delay at the South African Police Services (SAPS) office at the airport especially if there are a large number of hunters getting their temporary firearm import permits, which is likely the case during the peak of the hunting season (June through August). The process is bureaucracy at its' best and can take anywhere from 20 minutes to well over an hour or even two. The most important thing you can do to expedite the process is to be well prepared to help avoid prolonging the time it takes or the possibility of fines. Should your application for a temporary import permit is denied; your firearms and ammunition will be confiscated and returned to you upon your departure to your country of residence. Should a firearm not be declared and a temporary import permit not issued, and you proceed through customs with a firearm anyway, you will face severe penalties and possible arrest.

- Temporary importation of firearms and ammunition into South Africa is free of charge. Should you be traveling with bows and arrows to and/or through South Africa, there is no required permit or charges. You can find up to date information on importation of firearm into South Africa by going directly to the South African government web site of the South African Police Service (SAPS) by clicking here.

- The South Africa Firearms Permit Application Form (SAPS 520 Form, application for a multiple import or export permit / temporary import or export permit / permanent import or export permit / in-transit permit for personal use) must be submitted to the designated firearms officer upon entry while declaring your firearm(s) and ammunition where your temporary import/export permit will be issued.

- Hunters entering South Africa with firearm(s) and ammunition must complete the South Africa Firearms Permit Application Form (SAPS 520 Form) for all firearm(s) and/or ammunition in their possession. Click here to get a copy of this form, we would strongly recommend that you fill out the form beforehand, leaving it unsigned and carry it with you to South Africa, along with a second copy for yourself. Your hunting outfitter does not need to receive a copy of this form. You can also download the South Africa Firearms Permit Application Form, SAPS 520 directly from the South African government SAPS web site by clicking here.

- Please make sure to complete the form and all sections as instructed otherwise your application will not be approved. You can download the instructions for how to complete the SAPS 520 Form by clicking here. You can find up-to-date information on importation of firearm(s) into South Africa by going directly to the government web site of the South African Police Service (SAPS) by clicking here. You can also download the instruction on how to complete the South Africa Firearms Permit Form, SAPS 520 directly from the South African government SAPS web site by clicking here.

- You can find all the forms and instruction files from the South African Police Service on their web site by clicking here.

- Should the links to these SAPS pages no longer exist please visit the home page of SAPS at and just simply browse through their web site to find the link to the page on "information on importation of firearm into South Africa".

- At the time of declaration of firearm(s) at the SAPS office, you will be required to supply a "Letter of Invitation" from each hunting outfitter(s) you will be hunting with as well. It is a supporting document from the hunting outfitter(s) that you are visiting for the purpose of hunting. If you will be hunting with several hunting outfitters in South Africa or other countries, you will need a "Letter of Invitation" from each one of them. Request from your hunting outfitter(s) a signed "Letter of Invitation" on company letterhead for the Central Firearms Register, click here to view a sample of this document in Word format.

- There is a limit of four firearms per hunter that may be imported into South Africa for trophy hunting purposes, however hunters cannot bring in more than one firearm per caliber. An exception to this may apply for shotguns where more than one of the same caliber may be allowed for bird hunting. The client must provide an acceptable written motivation as to why they require more than one shotgun to the SAPS office upon declaration of firearms.

- A maximum of two hundred (200) rounds of ammunition may be imported per firearm, however you may encounter greater restrictions from the airline(s) you are traveling on or country you are departing from or other countries you may be visiting or transiting through. For more information on this topic, read the Africa Hunting article, Laws & Regulations for Hunters Traveling with Weapons by clicking here.

- Only ammunition for the specific caliber(s) you are bringing may be imported.

- Black powder rifles are allowed for hunting purposes in some provinces of South Africa, however it is illegal to transport on commercial airlines black powder and percussion caps. These may be purchased in South Africa but it is best to contact your hunting outfitter to organize for it well prior to your hunt as it may need to be special ordered.

- Handguns are allowed for hunting purposes in some provinces of South Africa, check with your hunting outfitter.

Any hunter wanting to bring in a handgun in this regard must submit a letter of intent with their SAPS 520 Form stating the handgun will be used only for hunting purposes. Hunter also needs to produce a letter from a registered association of his/her country of origin, stating that he/she is a registered member of the association and that the handgun will be used exclusively for hunting purposes. The application has to be submitted to the Central Firearms Control Register before arriving in South Africa as it needs to be pre-approved. Your application must be logged by the Central Firearms Control Register at least 21 days prior to your arrival in South Africa to enable the South African Police Service sufficient time to process the application and to submit the permit to the applicant to an address outside the borders of the Republic of South Africa.

- It is legal for hunters to travel with bows and arrows to and/or through South Africa, there is no required permit or charges.

- Crossbows are allowed for hunting purposes in some provinces of South Africa, check with your hunting outfitter.

- No automatic, semi-automatic, lever action or slide action firearms are allowed. A semi-automatic shotgun for hunting purposes may be allowed if an application is made and granted through the Central Firearms Register at least 21 days prior to your arrival.

- A person must be 21 years of age to import firearm(s) and ammunition. It is possible for someone under the age of 21 to do a hunting safari in South Africa, however another hunter over the age limit must import a firearm for their use or they can rent/borrow one from the hunting outfitter.

- Please note that only the Central Firearms Control Register in Pretoria South Africa can authorize special applications for example a second rifle or shotgun of the same caliber or a semi-automatic shotgun. These applications must be made and granted through the Central Firearms Register at least 21 days prior to your arrival.

- Contact information for the Central Firearms Control Register:
The Head
Central Firearms Register
Private Bag X 811
Pretoria, South Africa 0001
fax (27) 012.3536041

Special Notice: The issuing of the SAPS 520 is a free service and the South African Police Service in an effort to control bribery asks hunters NOT to pay anybody involved in handling firearms from the time of arrival in South Africa right through until you receive your firearms and permit from the SAPS. Clients that are paying the various airline staff, security staff, or porters involved are actually perpetuating this problem. Please note however that there may be a handling fee charged by airlines and/or security companies for the handling of handguns, and some airlines have started charging a handling fee for all firearms. We suggest checking with your airline with regard to any official fees that may be required.

- The Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (PHASA) recommends that when ever possible that the actual temporary import permits for firearms be obtained prior to your arrival.

- Your firearm(s) may only be signed for by you and only you, and will not be released to your hunting outfitter or professional hunter should it arrive on a separate flight. In this case, the firearm(s) will be held by the SAPS until such time as you claim ownership in person.

- The temporary import permit serves as your firearm license in South Africa and enables you to buy ammunition in South Africa for the calibers noted on the permit only.

- At all times while you are in possession of your firearm(s), you must have the temporary import permit on your person.

- When your firearm(s) is not in use, it must be locked in a safe.

- The Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (PHASA) recommends a minimum of 3 hours of time between domestic flight connections at Johannesburg International Airport.

- For passengers transiting in South Africa, it is critical that you check with and confirm with the airline(s) involved before departure to make sure what their procedures are for the transfer of baggage and/or firearm(s).

tip If traveling in a group get temporary importation permits in advance, everyone in the group can expect to be delayed at Johannesburg International Airport for up to 3 hours.

If the airline does transfer your baggage/firearms, and you have booked them through to the final destination, and you stay in the in-transit area and do not clear South African customs, then you do not need to go through the temporary import process.

If your airline company will not transfer your baggage/guns to your connecting airline/flight, then you must collect your baggage/firearm/s and go through the entire entry process. If this is the case, all of the South African limitations and requirements will apply to you. This also applies if you overnight in South Africa before flying on to your country of destination.

South Africa Firearms Permit Application SAPS 520 Form

South Africa Firearms Permit Information SAPS 520

South Africa Letter Of Motivation

South Africa Letter Of Invitation Form


Need help traveling to or through South Africa with your guns?
South Africa is the number one hunting destination in Africa and most safari hunters will at least transit through South Africa even if they are not staying in the country to hunt. That's why the services of are so valuable. They can help you navigate the stressful and cumbersome process of transiting or importing your guns into South Africa making it easy and less time consuming. work hand in hand-in-hand with the South African Police Services (SAPS) to provide import/export or in-transit permits for your firearms before you even arrive in South Africa. They will hand deliver your pre-authorized permit to you on arrival and also guide you through the procedure at the SAPS Permit Office making it as hassle free as possible.

They also have rifle storage facilities for those who just want to do a bit of traveling or sight seeing in South Africa as well. They can help make your hunting safari a great experience from start to finish!

For more information visit their website!

Henry Durrheim
- QUICK & EASY arrival with your firearm in South Africa! We'll meet you and escort you through it...

Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (PHASA)
Founded in 1978, The Professional Hunters Association of South Africa (PHASA) is the largest hunting organization in the country and the largest professional hunting organization in the world, with over 1,200 members. PHASA works closely, and has a strong relationship, with the various South African Nature Conservation provincial agencies including the Government Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism, the governing authority for the hunting industry in South Africa. However it is important to mention that South Africa's hunting outfitters and professional hunters are not required to be members of PHASA to conduct hunting safaris, they are required to belong as a member to a recognized Professional Hunters' Association. Click here to visit PHASA web site for more information regarding basic hunting laws and regulations in South Africa and more.

South African Government Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism
To visit the South African Government Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism web site click here. Sport hunting in South Africa is also regulated by the different Provincial Nature Conservation Authorities which are listed below.

Provincial Authorities
- KwaZulu-Natal Tourism Authority
- Mpumalanga Tourism Authority
- North West Parks and Tourism Board
- Eastern Cape Tourism Authority
- Western Cape Tourism Authority
- Limpopo Tourism Authority
- Gauteng Tourism Authority
- Northern Cape Tourism Authority
- Free State Tourism Authority

Provincial Government
- Eastern Cape Province
Department of Economic Affairs, Environment and Tourism
- Free State Province
Department of Tourism,Environmental & Economic Affairs
- Gauteng Province
Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment
- KwaZulu Natal Province
Economic Development, Tourism & Environment
- Limpopo Province
Department of Finance, Economic Affairs, Tourism and Environment
- Mpumalanga Province
Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment
- Northern Cape Province
Department of Agriculture, Land Reform, Conservation and Environment
- North West Province
Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment
- Western Cape Province
Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning

South Africa Hunting Permits & Licenses
The wildlife authorities and the government of South Africa allocates quotas by species to each hunting concession or hunting block on an individual basis. On privately owned land for the most part, the owner decides based upon his own conservation practices the quota for each species.

Your hunting license and permit will be applied for and obtained by your hunting outfitter well prior to your arrival, please check with your outfitter as to the current charges or if the cost of this paperwork is already included in the price of your hunt.

The following is required for trophy hunting in South Africa:
- No hunting permits or licenses are provided to the hunter/client by the government, instead a legal agreement/contract needs to be provided by the hunting outfitter to the client/hunter and the agreement entered into between the two parties prior to the client leaving his country of origin for the hunting safari.
- Professional hunters and hunting outfitters must be licensed in each South African province where they operate. It is important that the hunter/client verifies that the professional hunter and hunting outfitter are licensed in the province where the proposed hunt is to take place.
- The hunting outfitter must have written permission from the landowner, if it is not their own land or the Nature Conservation provincial office in order to offer a hunt on that land.
- For a dangerous game hunting safari, the professional hunter must be in possession of an unlimited professional hunter permit.
- There is no limit as to the number of species a hunter may harvest as long as the hunting outfitter has the hunting rights.
- Government taxes are applicable on daily rates, currently the government tax is 15% (VAT).
- No government taxes are applicable on exported trophies.
- Trophies that are not exported from South Africa, not taken in a package hunt or wounded game not recovered, are subject to a government tax of 15% (VAT) based upon the trophy fee paid by the hunting client.
- While trophy fees are not subject to government tax of 15% (VAT) if the trophies are exported, no VAT is levied on the dipping and shipping services and/or for the tanning of skins done. Should the trophies be processed in South Africa, VAT is levied at 15% on 30% of the taxidermy value, as agreed between the taxidermy industry and the Receiver of Revenue.

South African Professional Hunting Register and Trophy Export Application Form
Hunting clients will be presented with this PH register form by their hunting outfitter or professional hunter for them to sign at the end of the hunt. Most probably the most important document that you, your hunting outfitter and professional hunter will sign during your hunt as it also proves that the professional hunter is fully licensed to conduct the hunt in South Africa.

CITIES Permits & U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
The importation of some individual sport hunted trophies requires a CITES permit (i.e. African Elephant, White Rhinoceros and Leopard to name a few), you will need to submit an application to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service if you are planning to import any of the species on their list. You can download the CITIES permit application forms by clicking here. CITES stands for Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, visit their web site at


Shipping & Importing Your Hunting Trophies Back
I highly recommend that when it come to the intricacies of importing your hunting trophies do yourself a favor and hire experts to facilitate the process. Allan Zarach from TROPHY SHIPPERS ( offers an incredible service at a great price.

TROPHY SHIPPERS is a family owned company and have been in business since 1981. They are a customs brokerage and freight forwarding company that is dedicated to helping hunters quickly and efficiently get their hunting trophies home. They know what your hunting trophies mean to you, because they are a family of hunters themselves. If you have trophies that you need brought back to the United States or are planning a trip to Africa to hunt or anywhere in the world, let TROPHY SHIPPERS handle all of the paperwork, clearances, and shipments for you!

They truly provide an invaluable full service for managing an increasingly more detailed and complex process for the importation of your trophies from start to finish. If you would like to contact them, TROPHY SHIPPERS can be reached at Cell/WhatsApp +1 (847) 927-0101 / Office +1 (630) 595-7300, or via their website, click here.

The Safari Planning Guide
Click here to visit the Africa Hunting Safari Planning Guide, or click the direct links below to visit the individual articles in this section with many useful resources to help you plan and prepare for your African hunting safari:
- Hunting Safari Preparation Timeline
- Safari Planning Resource Guide
- Why You Should Always Use A Hunting Travel Agent!
- Travel, Medical & Evacuation Insurance
- Why You Should Use A Hunting Trophy Shipping & Importation Specialist!
- What You Need to Know About Packing
- Clothing & Footwear List
- Personal Items & Toiletries List
- Hunting Gear List for Rifle Hunters
- Hunting Gear List for Bow Hunters
- Travel Documents & Money
- Tipping Guide

Camouflage clothing is allowed in South Africa during the actual hunt. I would advise that it only be worn during the hunt and not in town or for travel.

How to Get There
A majority of international hunting clients will fly directly from their country of origin into South Africa on a major international airline, many of which offer a route to Johannesburg (Tambo International Airport - JNB). A less traveled, although still popular route, is through any major European city to Johannesburg. Some international flights also service Cape Town however the main hub remains Johannesburg.


Travel Agent Specializing in Hunting Clientele
You may wish to consider using a travel agent that specializes in hunting worldwide or in Africa as they may be familiar with these routes and used to working with these airlines. 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. Jennifer 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

International Airport in South Africa
- City: Johannesburg
OR Tambo International Airport
Airport Code JNB
Located 14 miles (22km) east of the city of Johannesburg

- City: Cape Town
Cape Town International Airport
Airport Code CPT
Located 14 miles (22km) of the city of Cape Town

South African Airports

South African Airport Shopping

Major Airline Flying into South Africa

South African Airways

Delta Airlines

Lufthansa (Germany)

Travel Information
Click here to view the Africa Hunting travel information section, or the direct links below, with many useful articles and resources to help you plan your travel for your African hunting safari, including:
- Importation or Transiting Procedures Through Countries with Weapons
- Laws & Regulations for Hunters Traveling with Weapons
- Airports & Airlines
- Value Added Tax (VAT) Refunds
- Embassies & Consulates

Visa & Travel Documents
All foreigners must be in possession of a passport that will remain valid for at least 30 days after the intended date of departure from South Africa as well as a round trip airline ticket.

Citizens of the Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States of America planning to spend no more than 90 days in South Africa will be issued a temporary entry visa at the airport upon arrival. For a complete list of countries please click here to the South African Embassy web site. As the list changes from time to time, it is important to verify if you need to obtain a visa based upon your country of citizenship.

Persons possessing passports from other countries may be required to obtain an entry visa prior to departure from their country of origin. This should be done well in advance as it can take some time to complete the process which may require sending your passport to their Embassy or Consulate.

Make sure you have at least two blank pages in your passport for visa stamps, more if you are adding stops to other countries in your itinerary.

To find out if you need to apply for a Visa in advance, a great resource with free information is Travel Document System (TDS) at If you are in need of a visa, Travel Document System is nationally recognized as a leading authority in the field of international Travel Documents. Travelers are quite often not sure of the specific requirements or documentation required to enter into a foreign country. TDS helps international travelers easily understand what is specifically required of them in order to gain passage into another country and provides visa services for U.S. citizens to most countries for which an entry visa is required

Traveler's Health & Immunizations
No vaccinations or International Health Certificate are required to enter South Africa, however we suggest that you visit the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) for their recommendations for travel in South Africa.

CDC recommends that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. Find a travel medicine clinic near you by clicking here. If you have a medical condition, you should also share your travel plans with any doctors you are currently seeing for other medical reasons.

Recommended Vaccinations Include:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Typhoid
- Rabies
- Routine vaccination if you are not up-to-date including Influenza, Polio, MMR (measles/mumps/rubella) and DPT (diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus)

Malaria prophylactics medication is recommended for visitors to some parts of the country, ask your hunting outfitter and we suggest that you visit the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) for their recommendations for travel in South Africa as mosquitoes in this country are resistant to some antimalarial drugs.

The CDC is most credible online resource for up to date health information. Click here to visit the section dedicated to Traveler's Health specific to South Africa. Information about vaccinations, diseases, prevention, tips and much more can be found here.

South Africa Regulation for Traveling with Children
(See also New South African Regulations for Traveling With Children:


Affidavit of Consent for Children Traveling Abroad Form

Malaria Map of South Africa
Click here to enlarge South Africa malaria map.

Malaria Maps of Africa
Click here for Africa malaria maps, distribution model, endemic / epidemic risk areas, duration of malaria transmission season and duration of malaria transmission season.

Emergency Evacuation and Field Rescue Membership

No matter if it's your first or fifth time hunting in Africa, unavoidable accidents do happen. Whether a medical or security emergency, an evacuation from a remote part of South Africa could cost well over $100,000. I strongly recommend that anyone traveling to South Africa purchase a membership with Global Rescue, the only crisis response company that provides hunters with medical and security evacuation and consultation services anywhere in the world, even the most remote areas. Their deployable teams of paramedics and special operations veterans, backed by on-staff physicians and the specialists at Johns Hopkins Medicine, will get to you wherever you are, by any means necessary, and evacuate you all the way to your home country hospital of choice.
Member benefits include:
- 24hr medical advisory services from critical care paramedics and in-house physicians
- Specialists at Johns Hopkins Medicine available in real-time
- Field Rescue from the point of illness or injury
- Evacuation back to the member's home hospital of choice
- Global network of medical Centers Of Excellence
- Deployable medical and security teams
- Evacuation services provided up to $500,000

Memberships start at $119

If you would like to purchase a membership or have additional questions, Global Rescue can be reached anytime at +1 (617) 459-4200, or via, click here.

Travel Advisory from The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs

What you should know before you go. You may obtain international travel information by country, warnings for travelers about crime and public announcements about travel abroad in addition to so much other valuable information

Embassies & Consulates
- South African Embassy in the USA
- South African Missions in New York

Click here for a complete searchable database of all embassies and consulates from every country in the world including South Africa.

Bird Hunting Season in South Africa
Bird Hunting Season - varies from province to province in South Africa, check with your outfitter. The better time of the year for a wing shooting experience in combination with your hunting safari would be between May and September.

There is a limit as to the number of birds of each species that a hunter can take in a day, these quotas vary from province to province and depend upon the bird species as well. Your hunting outfitter will be able to easily provide you with specific information for their province.

When it comes to wing shooting, 14 species of Duck, 2 species of Geese, 10 species of Partridge also referred to as Francolin, 2 species of Guineafowl, several species of Pigeon, numerous species of Dove and Quail are available for hunting.

Click here to visit AfricaHuntingcom complete list of bird species available to hunt in South Africa.

Tourism in South Africa
South Africa Official Government Tourism web site is a good place to explore what options are available for travel outside of your hunting safari, Your hunting safari outfitter may also offer short excursions up to extensive touring through their company as well.

General Information about South Africa
- Republic of South Africa
- Population 43,700,000
- Capital City Pretoria (administrative capital), Cape Town (legislative capital), Bloemfontein (judicial capital)
- Eleven official languages English 9%, Afrikaans 14%, IsiZulu 24% and numerous tribal dialects
- Official Currency South African Rand (ZAR). Denominations in 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 2 ZAR bank notes. 1 ZAR only in coin form. To view images of these banknotes, click here.
- Electricity, the South African standard is 220/230 volts AC 50 Hz, three-pin 15 amp outlets however Standard European 220 volts, two-pin outlets are sometimes used as well. Most lodges/camps have generator(s) to power the electricity through rechargeable batteries therefore it is recommended to bring a small power inverter that plugs into a cigarette lighter to invert 12V DC Power to 110V AC for recharging in the hunting vehicle. Generator(s) in most camps are only run during the morning and evening hours and sometimes can be run at other times by special request. Be sure to check with your hunting outfitter in South Africa what they are using. Click here for more info.
- Country Dialing Code 27

Click here for more information about South Africa from the CIA World Factbook which supplies a multitude of facts about South Africa.

Official Government Web Site Of The Republic Of South Africa - South Africa Government Online
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SOUTH AFRICA Species to Hunt

These species may be available on the hunting license in the country; however they may not be available on quota anywhere in the country. Also individual hunting outfitters may or may not be given any quota or have any remaining licenses left for some species.

Some of these species may not be able to be imported back into your country of residence. You can find information on the importation of sport hunted trophies at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service at Permits or the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) at

Big Five Species
(click on animal name for detailed info and pictures)
Buffalo Cape
Rhinoceros Black
Rhinoceros White Southern

Animal Species
(click on animal name for detailed info and pictures)
African Wild Cat
African Wild Dog
Baboon Chacma
Bat-Eared Fox
Blesbok White

Bushbuck Cape
Cape Fox
Duiker Common
Duiker Blue
Duiker Red Flanked
Eland Cape
Eland Livingstone

Gemsbok Kalahari
Genet Cat
Grysbok Cape
Grysbok Sharpe
Hartebeest Lichtenstein
Hartebeest Red/Cape
Hyena Brown
Hyena Spotted
Hyrax Cape/Rock
Impala Southern/Common
Jackal Black-Backed
Jackal Side-Striped
Kudu Greater/Southern
Lechwe Red
Monkey Vervet
Nyala Common
Porcupine Cape
Reedbuck Common
Reedbuck Mountain
Rhebok Grey/Vaal
Roan Antelope Southern
Sable Antelope Common
Springbok South African
Springbok White
Springbok Black
Springbok Copper

Waterbuck Common
Wildebeest Black
Wildebeest Blue
Zebra Burchell/Plain
Zebra Cape/Mountain
Zebra Hartmann/Mountain

Bird Species
(click on bird name for detailed info and pictures)
Dove African Mourning
Dove Laughing
Dove Namaqua
Dove Redeyed
Dove Ringnecked
Dove Turtle
Duck Comb
Duck Cape Shoveler
Duck Nothern Shoveler
Duck Redbilled
Duck Tufted
Duck Yellowbilled
Duck White Faced Whistling
Francolin Cape
Francolin Natal
Francolin Orange River
Francolin Redbilled
Francolin Swainson
Goose African Pygmy
Goose Egyptian
Goose Spurwinged
Guineafowl Helmeted
Guineafowl Crested
Quail African Blue
Quail Button Small

Quail Common
Quail Harlequin
Pigeon Speckled
Sandgrouse Burchell
Sandgrouse Boublebanded
Sandgrouse Namaqua
Sandgrouse Yellow Throated
Shelduck Common
Shelduck Cape
Teal Cape
Teal Redbilled
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SOUTH AFRICA Hunting Areas Map

Located south of the Equator, South Africa is in both the eastern and southern hemispheres. This Atlantic and Indian coast country is positioned at the southern tip of the continent of Africa, and bordered by the countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.


Satellite Imagery of South Africa
(click on thumbnails to explore satellite imagery)

Latitude/Longitude 25D 73'S, 28D 22'E Pretoria Capital of South Africa
Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on earth to view map, satellite and hybrid imagery. You can explore rich geographical content by zooming in and out and moving the image by using the arrow buttons in the upper left corner or by clicking on the image and dragging it in the direction you wish to explore. Click here to explore South Africa.

South Africa Hunting Areas

South Africa Major Cities

Detailed Map of South Africa
(click on thumbnail to enlarge map)

Detailed Map of Swaziland
(click on thumbnail to enlarge map)

Detailed Map of Lesotho
(click on thumbnail to enlarge map)

Provinces of South Africa
Land divisions 9 provinces Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North-West, Northern Cape and Western Cape.

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Gradient Map of Distribution of Endemic Malaria
(click on thumbnails to view larger pictures)

Malaria Maps
Malaria prophylactics medication is recommended for visitors to some parts of Africa, ask your hunting outfitter and we suggest that you visit the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) for their recommendations for travel to your specific destination as mosquitoes in some African countries are resistant to certain antimalarial drugs.

Distribution Model

Background: This map is a theoretical model based on available long-term climate data. It has a resolution of about 5x5 km. Although it is reasonably accurate, it is not based on actual malaria data and may not reflect the real malaria status. It shows the theoretical suitability of local climatic, and therefore the potential distribution of stable malaria transmission in the average year. Please note that climatic conditions, and therefore malaria transmission, vary substantially from one year to the next. Malaria control activities can also dramatically alter the malaria transmission situation.
Meaning: Where climate is "suitable" (red = 1), malaria is likely endemic (hypo-, meso-, hyper- or holoendemic). "Suitable" areas may have little or no malaria because of malaria control. Where climate is "unsuitable" (white = 0), malaria is likely epidemic or absent. Some "unsuitable" areas may actually have endemic malaria because of the presence of surface water in an area where there is little or no rain. In the marginally suitable areas (0.1 - 0.9) transmission may occur at steady but low levels (eg eastern Africa), or in strongly seasonal cycles with great inter-annual variation (eg western & southern Africa).
Source: MARA/ARMA (Mapping Malaria Risk in Africa / Atlas du Risque de la Malaria en Afrique)

Endemic / Epidemic Risk Areas

Background: The malaria distribution model has been re-classified into endemic and epidemic areas. These risk areas have then been used to calculate the number of people living in endemic and epidemic conditions. In Southern Africa (Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa) "endemic" encompasses regions where the climate is 50-100% suitable, whereas in the rest of Africa "endemic" refers to regions where climate is 20-100% suitable. Different cut-offs were used, because in southern Africa malaria is at the limit of its distribution and has been largely reduced through malaria control. Otherwise, all comments on the malaria distribution model apply to this map also.
Meaning: Endemic areas are defined as "areas with significant annual transmission, be it seasonal or perennial". Epidemic areas are defined as "areas prone to distinct inter-annual variation, in some years with no transmission taking place at all". Since this is a theoretical model, areas defined as "endemic" may be "epidemic" in reality, or v.v.
Source: MARA/ARMA (Mapping Malaria Risk in Africa / Atlas du Risque de la Malaria en Afrique)

Duration of Malaria Transmission Season

Background: These maps are also theoretical models based on available long-term climate data. They have a resolution of about 5x5 km. Although they are reasonably accurate, they are not based on actual malaria data and may not reflect the real malaria status. They are based on the theoretical suitability of local climatic, and therefore the potential duration, onset and end of the malaria transmission season, in the average year. Please note that climatic conditions, and therefore malaria transmission, vary substantially from one year to the next. Malaria control activities can also dramatically alter the malaria transmission situation. More work is ongoing to refine these models.
Meaning: In the Months of Risk model, malaria transmission is strongly seasonal to epidemic (yellow = 1-3 months), seasonal and endemic (light green = 4-6 months) or perennial and endemic (dark green = 7-12 months). Some areas shown as "No transmission" (white) may actually have endemic malaria because of the presence of surface water in an area where there is little or no rain.
Source: MARA/ARMA (Mapping Malaria Risk in Africa / Atlas du Risque de la Malaria en Afrique)

Duration of Malaria Transmission Season

Background: Based on the seasonality model, these maps simply reflect the first and last month of the average transmission season. All comments on the seasonality model apply to these maps too.
Meaning: The colors indicate the month in which the transmission season starts and ends, in the average year. In a few areas there are two transmission season, so that there are two start and two end of season maps.
Source: MARA/ARMA (Mapping Malaria Risk in Africa / Atlas du Risque de la Malaria en Afrique)
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I heard that since my last stay in SA in 2014, an additional document is required to import weapons.
Can you help me ?
Thank you.
Where are you coming from?

I hunted SA in May of 2015 and didn't need anything other that the normal forums SAP's 520 and such.
Excellent information!
What ? JimP's reply or the information I heard ?



You need the SAP520, proof of ownership of the firearm from your country and an invitation letter from your outfitter.
Several questions for the SA PHs here;

I hear a lot of PHs talking about hunting at night. Here's what this site has listed on the subject:- "Trophy hunting may take place at night in all provinces and is allowed with artificial light, provided that the hunter was granted a night hunting permit. Unless the landowner has an exemption, this night hunting permit is only given on special request, after the hunter has clearly stipulated the reason for night hunting, in most instance Leopard hunting over bait at night. Rarely will they grant you the right to hunt at night for other reasons."
I have also seen elsewhere that night hunting is prohibited unless you have an exempt license and are cull hunting.
Can anyone clarify?

Also- I had a PH tell me that African wildcats were protected in SA, but I see where they are listed available on price lists. Anyone know?

And lastly, I read somewhere, not here, shooting within 200 meters of a vehicle is prohibited. I have seen a few times folks on hunting shows shoot from vehicles. Anyone?
And lastly, I read somewhere, not here, shooting within 200 meters of a vehicle is prohibited. I have seen a few times folks on hunting shows shoot from vehicles. Anyone?

In KZN it is illegal to hunt within 200 metres of a vehicle.
Also- I had a PH tell me that African wildcats were protected in SA, but I see where they are listed available on price lists. Anyone know? ..............

TOPS legislation. One example of legislation about protected species.
Many species are Protected. Some provinces species are vermin in others they are protected. There are multiple jurisdictions in RSA.

There are multiple statutes that apply. Just like the USA.

Is it legal to hunt Cougar in LA?
It is in Montana.
night hunting is prohibited unless you have an exempt license ........

Exempted property that has a CAE.
No doubt there are other alternatives.
Brickburn has said it all.
Is there a list anywhere of species native to SA?

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