Taking your own rifle: Is it worth the hassle?

MizzouAg

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So with extra permits, import restrictions fewer options for connecting flights, added cost, etc. I'm beginnings to wonder if it's worth the extra cost and hassle to take your own rifle to south Africa. Thoughts?
 

Pheroze

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I have been once, and flew through Amsterdam from Canada. The most stressful part was my own insecurity:D. The entire experience was actually fairly easy. I use a service too, and will do so again as I am an overthinking type of fellow. I love the fact that the rifle I developed a load for, and trained with, is the one in my pictures! Check out Travel with Guns, or Riflepermits. There are others, but I have enjoyed working with both of these companies. Good luck!
 

Shootist43

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Dittos on Pheroze's use of a firearm that you have a deep connection with. Its' use is just simply more satisfying. I used riflepermits.com on my first trip and will do so again.
 

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Personal choice depending on where your trip originates. For me absolutely worthy the hassle.
 

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If you fly Delta 200 ATL to OR Tambo as we did I think the biggest hassle may be the Delta ticket agents who never seem to handle the check-in procedure the same way twice or know their own regulations. We used a service, had pre-approved permits, and only took a couple minutes with SAPS. I would recommend it if traveling a simple route as we did.
 

blacks

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Definitely worth it in my opinion, if you have a rifle that's like an extension of your arm. Nothing like it to inspire confidence, and another level of satisfaction, particularly with one's own loads. Agreed on the recommendation for a permit meet & greet service, money well spent IMHO.

However on my next trip I'll be touring with the family afterwards so begrudgingly leaving the rifle at home.
 

Pheroze

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However on my next trip I'll be touring with the family afterwards so begrudgingly leaving the rifle at home.

I stored my rifle with Riflepermits.com while we went to Sun City for a few days. They collected it from me at the airport and delivered it back. I believe the guesthouse such as Africa Sun will store as well. Don't lose the faith!
 

blacks

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I stored my rifle with Riflepermits.com while we went to Sun City for a few days. They collected it from me at the airport and delivered it back. I believe the guesthouse such as Africa Sun will store as well. Don't lose the faith!

Cheers, I did consider that option, but our itenerary just make it difficult, as we are flying Australia>Joburg>Port Elizabeth>Cape Town>Joburg (Sun City)>Home. So there's no real place to drop it and collect it again on the way back through afterwards!

My hunting mate from Australia who is going on the hunt part of the trip has kindly offered to take a second rifle so that we can share the two, he has very nice gear and loads etc that I'm familiar with so it's a very generous offer that I'll probably take up!
 

JMM

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I think it is worth it. I have used Travel With Guns for J'burg and Namibia and have never had an issue. Flown Delta and Emirates. If I could not take my own rifles, I don't think I would go to Africa anymore.
 

Custom

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For me, yes, but it is a personal decision. My outfitter actually handles all of the paperwork, so it is pretty painless. I enjoy the satisfaction of hunting with the same rifle I am familiar with and have practiced with. Instills confidence, too. Curious, MizzouAg, who you are planning to hunt with?
 
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Philip Glass

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Don’t take this wrong but this is my response.... Why would you go on the trip of a lifetime, a trip most only dream about, and not take your own gun? It’s not that hard to do RSA paperwork and Namibia and Zimbabwe are even easier.
Philip
 

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Depends. The couple times I flew to South Africa it wasn't an issue. I enjoyed the fact that I could hunt with my own firearms. However if you are required to make a couple connections the issues that can arise start to add up. On my last trip to Zambia had to make 4 connections so decided to leave the rifles at home. One of my friends who traveled with his firearms through the same connections ended up spending 30 hrs in Ethiopia trying to sort out his paperwork, not a fun time.
Just my 2 bits.
 

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If you're just going hunting and possibly a tour within easy drive of your hunting locale I agree with most, take it. I did it both times to Namibia and don't regret it. Just make sure you cover all the bases. That said, next year in South Africa I am renting my outfitters rifle because I'm taking off after the hunt for a week of touring all over the Cape. Securing it, or even having it in some places is not always possible. I've already talked to my outfitter to find out what he has available so I can practice with the same model that a friend here has and be familiar with the rifle and it's safety.
 

slam8031

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Good advice already given--three trips, three times thru ATL and JNB--we have never spent more than 5 min with check in or check back in thru ATL (though the line in ATL coming back in is often 20 minutes to be seen) and no more than 10 min with SAPS in RSA.
 

SETH RINGER

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For me, nothing like going into the safe and reliving the moments arm by arm. This is the gun I got my first Kudu with, the scratch on this stock came while making a stalk in the Arizona mountains, etc. That and I am a lefty which makes using loaner a bit awkward. Have gun, will travel!
 

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To South Africa I can't comment because I go to Namibia where it is the easiest and simplest process.
Because of that, there no reason not to take my own.

I love to be able to hunt with my rifle in Africa and as others have said, it's part of the memory and experience.
I like to see my rifle in the photos and have it over my shoulder when I hunt.
 

TTundra

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Echo what @Philip Glass said above and then some. Your rifle really is an extension of you on a trip like this, and while some people find it easier to rent, knowing every inch of that rifle makes each shot more sure. Quite frankly, even know looking and handling my rifle that went to Africa brings a sense of joy to me like being a kid all over again. Very much worth the time and effort to travel with one.
 

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I've been to SA twice. The first time, I used the PH'a rifle. The second time, I brought rifles. I liked having the comfort of shooting a rifle that I know the door for, know the trigger, know it's quirks, and have hours of time using. I flew Ethiopian Air and both coming and going was asked to go into the bowels of the airport so they could inspect the rifles and paperwork. It can be a bit uncomfortable when they take your passport and walk away with it. And, I spent some some having to explain the meaning of a "certified copy." While annoying, it didn't result in any delays and I was able to proceed on my way. The rifles arrived safely at both ends of the trip. Riflepermits.com was helpful while in SA.

My preference would be to bring them if at all possible for the comfort factor and the history that is then attached to that rifle when you get home.
 

Pondoro

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For me, using my own rifle(s) is an important part of the fun.... a gun nut I am..
 

Denvir Tire

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Well I'm going to be "that guy" and buck the take your own rifle parade. In my safe is the Mossberg .22 that my grandfather gave me after shooting my very first game, a racoon treed by hounds.
That rifle has the most important memories because he gave it to me.
Three trips to Africa and rentals from two different PH have been seamless and uneventful.
Stainless bolt rifles with Leupold glass and big suppressors, 30-06, .300 Win Mag, and .270 WSM all were available.
It is a completly personal choice of course, but if you like to travel light and carefree, just rent. The PH will not judge you.
 
 

 

 

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