What's the best way to Fly to Zimbabwe with guns

aminkus

AH senior member
Joined
Sep 8, 2022
Messages
64
Reaction score
42
Location
skokie IL
Member of
SCI
Hunted
plains game and dangerous game
I am looking to get some help in planning my next hunt. I will be hunting in Zimbabwe. I have flown Qatar several times on previous safaris to South Africa and they have been wonderful. I am looking into flying Ethiopian airlines and using United Miles. What has been your experience flying them to Zim with Rifles.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
If there is another decent option I wouldn’t fly Ethiopian. It’s ok, but the firearm procedure in Addis Ababa is too much of an unnecessary hassle. It works, but between connections you must be met by an Ethiopian employee and taken to downstairs baggage processing area to verify serial numbers both ends of trip. Going there airport wasn’t busy and was fine. They met me and several other hunters off plane. On way back the airport was extremely busy and I had to find someone who could help me after a long wait. I made plane but not by a lot. I’m flying Qatar this year and considered going through Johannesburg as an alternative option. If you want to use your United points fly to Johannesburg on them then fly to Zimbabwe from there.
 
Which International airport are you flying into?

Victoria Falls, our clients seem happy with Ethiopian and Firearms are a breeze.

Lon
 
If you are European citizen please be aware of the EU firearms embargo, which prohibits to travel directly with weapons.
We booked last year Frankfurt Joburg, for our customs the trip ended in RSA.
Then we took an Airlink to Harare and everything worked well.
 
Ethiopian airlines prices went sky high this year in August. That's another part.
 
I just flew Ethiopian Dulles-ADD-Vic Falls. It worked well. There is certainly a process in Ethiopia, but they are not anti gun so it normally works out good.
 
I do not recommend using miles to book flights with guns. There are too many issues if there is a schedule change etc.
Ethiopian would be my last choice although it should be fine. I will be tracking Qatar prices and may even fly economy next time if the schedule is good enough. The JNB layover and gun hustle is something can’t seem to get away from!
I would enjoy hearing of your choice and certainly a trip report.
 
Concerning the Joburg gun hassle and layover. I guess I have been very lucky (I hope it continues) because my last 7-8 trips using Gracy travel simple. They meet me as I get off plane, handle permits, lead me to City Lodge, come get me next morning, handle things and off I go!
 
I am looking to get some help in planning my next hunt. I will be hunting in Zimbabwe. I have flown Qatar several times on previous safaris to South Africa and they have been wonderful. I am looking into flying Ethiopian airlines and using United Miles. What has been your experience flying them to Zim with Rifles.
Get a Delta ticket and forget it my friend. Delta IMO is the best when it comes to traveling with guns.

I would NEVER fly on United and please for your own sake DO NOT fly through Newark NJ EWR with firearms.

If you're looking for comfort I guess the other airlines are better but I would only fly to Africa on Delta
 
I am looking to get some help in planning my next hunt. I will be hunting in Zimbabwe. I have flown Qatar several times on previous safaris to South Africa and they have been wonderful. I am looking into flying Ethiopian airlines and using United Miles. What has been your experience flying them to Zim with Rifles.
Oh the irony of your question.

By jet plane is the fastest.
But by Ballon would be an adventure.

Ok. Seriously. My experiences.

Delta 200/201 Atlanta to Jo'berg, I won't being doing that again. Too long of a ride cramped in a plane.

South Africa Airways (SAA) DC to (?) I don’t remember, I think 45 minutes for refueling going over to Jo'berg and from Jo'berg to Ghana for 45 minute refueling to DC.

Great flights but for obvious reasons, for those that have been following SAA's troubles, I won't be doing that again either.

Qatar from DC to Doha 4 hour lay over to Jo'berg and return same route. On return flight we barely made our connection flight back to the US. We were scheduled for a 6 hour layover, but we're late arriving to Doha. I don't remember the airlines round trip from Jo'berg to Harare.

I like those layovers, or just the refueling stops, make the long flights from the US to Africa and return much more bearable.

I guess it depends on how much time one likes being cramped inside a plane whether flying business or other than "cattle" class. And what time one wants to arrive at their outfitters.
 
Hell, I guess I’ve flown over there on 5 or 6 different airlines. SAA, Delta, United, Emirates, Qatar. Always in economy or usually an upgraded level of economy. Too damn frugal an upbringing to spend an xtra $3500 to $8000 more for a nice seat and better food for 15 hours. I’ve settled on Delta. Their scheduling just works for me. Easy Houston to ATL. Sufficient layover. One shot to JNB. Arrives at a decent time for dinner and a good nights sleep before outgoing Airlink flight the next morning.
 
I have been hunting Zim annually and had another thought to pass along. I will be plugging in my August 2025 dates into google flights and monitor Qatar business class pricing. My ideal itinerary for my group is Qatar to Harare in QSuite. If the price was right I’d fly economy on this route as well.
 
Get a Delta ticket and forget it my friend. Delta IMO is the best when it comes to traveling with guns.

I would NEVER fly on United and please for your own sake DO NOT fly through Newark NJ EWR with firearms.

If you're looking for comfort I guess the other airlines are better but I would only fly to Africa on Delta
I flew through Newark NJ earlier this year. I was expecting the worst but it was honestly one of the easier experiences I’ve had returning with firearms. Everyone was very helpful and process worked well. Atlanta is more simple though. Washington Dulles was one of the more difficult experiences I’ve had but still not a problem.
 
Not much mention of Emirates so far but if it's they fly from a convenient airport I would recommend them. My experience with Emirates to Zimbabwe is three trips, all of which worked splendidly with no issues at all.
Although my trips started from Auckland, New Zealand, I believe the procedure would be identical from the USA. You would fly to Dubai, and hopefully have a shortish layover ( I usually allow 3 to 4 hours ) before flying on to Harare ( I presume you want to land there and not Bulawayo or Victoris Falls ). En route this flight does stop temporarily in Lusaka, Zambia but if Zimbabwe is your destination you stay on the plane until flying on.
To me, advantages of Emirates / route is you check all luggage straight through to Harare, including firearms, and done need to claim anything in Dubai. In Dubai the Emirates Police take control of your firearm and check in bag containing ammo and ensure it's loaded onto your connecting flight. This has never failed me. Emirates has a system where you apply online for approval to travel with firearms / ammo within 30 days of your flight. You need to submit documents with it but it's a minor inconvenience and usually approval arrives within a week. From what I read this works much better than Qatar's system which sounds hit and miss with issues sometime only resloved by the intervention of travel agents.
Another advantage of Emirates is ( I think this remains current ) there is no additional charge to check in firearms unlike many other airlines that nowadays charge a firearms fee.
Conversely, on Ethiopian, even if flying Ethiopian all the way to Zim, I believe you still have to submit the the firearm check procedure in Addid Ababa ( possibly both ways if you return on Ethiopian ) which can be stressful if time is tight. Also you can avoid doing the bag claim if going through Jo'burg then rechecking for ongoing flights. And maybe avoid overnighting in Jo'burg if necessary, unless you want to of course.
 
Which International airport are you flying into?

Victoria Falls, our clients seem happy with Ethiopian and Firearms are a breeze.

Lon
I am not sure, that is what i am trying to figure out. I am most likely hunting in the Sengwa Area. I have heard great things about the Vic Falls airport
 
I flew through Newark NJ earlier this year. I was expecting the worst but it was honestly one of the easier experiences I’ve had returning with firearms. Everyone was very helpful and process worked well. Atlanta is more simple though. Washington Dulles was one of the more difficult experiences I’ve had but still not a problem.

I have flown through Newark six times and have not experienced any difficulties with my guns.
 
I have flown to different countries in Africa several times using Ethiopian Airlines and never had an issue. Yes the process of checking your guns through Addis Ababa is a bit of a hassle but the folks have always met me at the plane and been very friendly and professional and even when the timing was tight both me and my guns have always made the connecting flight. I have flown with my rifles many times to Africa, Australia and New Zealand including several times with my family over the past 20+ years and I have almost always used my United miles for our tickets and rarely had any issues and when I did have an issue United always took care of us. Maybe I have been lucky but I have been through Newark, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington DC and Houston airports multiple times with my guns and never had any issues. If you fly into Vic Falls with your guns it is a breeze to get them through. Much easier than Harare.

I am taking my family to Africa in July and we are doing some site seeing in Zim, Botswana and Namibia and then hunting in Zim. We are flying through Washington DC and then flying Ethiopian Airlines through Addis to Vic Falls and I used my miles for all 6 tickets.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
55,139
Messages
1,171,477
Members
95,827
Latest member
SommerAshf
 

 

 

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

A.A. wrote on Msprenger!'s profile.
Are you still looking for a 375 H&H?
NRA Life, ASSRA Life, GGCA Life
Sable @ the lodge this morning

Buffalo encounter this morning!

here with available dates for 2024/25

1-13 September 2024
14-31 October 2024
1-7 November 2024
18-24 November 2024

March 2025 is wide open!
12-17 April 2025
24-28 May 2025
15-21 June 2025
7-12 July 2025
22-28 July 2025
13-31 August 2025
15-30 September 2025

October and November 2025 is wide open!
 
Top