Lion Hunting

Take a tour.

Trophy Animals

Find more bird species under our trophy animals

Wildebeest Hunting

The wildebeest or gnu, as it is also known, is one tough antelope when it comes to absorbing lead.

Bubye Valley

One of the Largest in Africa.

South Africa Hunting Season

South Africa tops the list for most Bio diverse country in Africa, ranking 13th in the world. Ranging from dessert to marshland, savannah to forest, and mountain to coastal. Populated by a huge collection of wildlife species from the Big 5, Leopard, Lion, Rhino, Buffalo and the majestic Elephant to the littlest of the Small 5 in the Buffalo weaver, Leopard Spot Tortoise, Elephant Shrew, The Rhino Beetle and the tiny Ant Lion. This Rainbow Nation Eden of National Parks and Reserves, both private and commercial, such as The Kruger National Park, including those dedicated to our oceans, attracts millions of tourists from all around the world onto it’s door step.

South Africa Info Map

So too for the Hunter. Each lending a hand in more ways imaginable into the conservation of not only its wildlife, but also the habitats that each and every animal depends on. South Africa has been a very popular destination for the Hunter, Fisherman and Bird enthusiast alike. With over an abundance of Operators, registered for plains and big game hunting on properties averaging a couple of thousand acres to bigger than 250 000 acres. The Hunter can get to experience a Safari on some of the most beautiful and richest country that Africa has to offer.

One can hunt throughout the year in South Africa, as there is no set Hunting Season. The seasons on the Southern Hemisphere are reversed so keep in mind; June, July and August are South Africa's winter months and are the coldest months. Not only is it cooler, but there are less bugs and the bush is not as thick making it a the most popular months among hunters. With the early morning frost in some areas, it can feel like a snow free December in Europe or northern United States. It is not uncommon to wake in the morning to find ice formed over some of the smaller pockets of water. The winters in South Africa should not to be taken lightly, with average temperatures ranging from between day maximums of 17º F to night minimums of 4º F and averaging 14º F in The Eastern Cape and average temperatures ranging from between day maximums of 21º F to night minimums of 10º F and averaging 17º F in the Limpopo. Summer on the other hand can see highs of 30º F to lows of 23º F. For a more detailed Weather Forecast for your preferred season for hunting refer to here link to South Africa Climate.

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.

World Weather On Line 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.

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 www.cites.org.

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 complete list of bird species available to hunt in South Africa.

Big Five Species

(click on animal name for detailed info and pictures)
Buffalo Cape
Elephant - CITES II & TOPS
Leopard - CITES I & TOPS
Lion - CITES II
Rhinoceros Black - CITES I & TOPS
Rhinoceros White - CITES II & TOPS

Animal Species

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

Bontebok - CITES II & TOPS
Bushbuck Cape
Bushpig
Cape Fox - TOPS
Caracal - CITES II
Cheetah
Civet
Crocodile - CITES II & TOPS
Duiker Common
Duiker Blue - CITES II & TOPS
Duiker Natal Red
Eland Cape
Eland Livingstone

Gemsbok Kalahari
Genet Cat
Giraffe
Grysbok Cape - TOPS
Grysbok Sharpe - TOPS
Hartebeest Lichtenstein

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.

Permits & Importation of Firearms & Ammunition into South Africa

The following section contains the basic information you will need to know.

  • 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 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 www.saps.gov.za 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.
  • 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
    email cfr.imports@saps.org.za

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.

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 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 14% (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 14% (VAT) based upon the trophy fee paid by the hunting client.
  • While trophy fees are not subject to government tax of 14% (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 14% on 30% of the taxidermy value, as agreed between the taxidermy industry and the Receiver of Revenue.

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 www.cites.org.

Camouflage

The use of Camouflage clothing is allowed in South Africa during the actual hunt. However we would advise that it only be worn during your hunt and not in town or for travel. For excellent quality camouflage, you need look no further than KUIU

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.

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
www.airports.co.za

South African Airport Shopping
www.airportshopping.co.za

Major Airline Flying into South Africa

South African Airways - Logo
Delta - Logo
Lufthansa (Germany) - Logo

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 www.traveldocs.com. 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 www.traveldocs.com.

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.

hunting-south-africa

Malaria Map of South Africa

Click HERE to enlarge South Africa malaria map.

Malaria Maps Of Africa

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.

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, Click here. 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

Clothing

This extensive packing list is very complete and should be used as a guide to help you with your preparation. Adapt this list according to your preferences, weather and length of your trip, etc.

Safari hunting wear should be comfortably fitting and made of a sturdy fabric. Laundry is done on a daily basis so packing should be done with this in mind. The color of your hunting clothes from hats to boots including your backpack should be green, brown, khaki, olive, or neutral. Avoid light shades of any color and clothing that makes noise. Depending upon the time of the year, darker colored clothing might be recommended.

Because South Africa is so big with a huge diversity of hunting areas we recommend layering clothing since temperature changes from dawn to dusk can be significant year round, relevant to the area you are hunting in. You should test your layers before your trip, your outer layer should fit easily over the inside one(s) without binding and bunching up. Do not bring clothing items that you are very fond of, the African bush is unforgiving. Should you be traveling during the rainy season it is best to have at least some fast drying synthetic clothing that maintains its warmth when wet.

  • Long pants, pants should be comfortably fitting and made of a sturdy fabric, the thicker and tighter the weave the stronger and more impenetrable to thorns and insects. I suggest the Attack or Tiburon pants as they are great in the warmer weather. Alpine or Chinook pants with lots of pockets are a great functional piece of clothing.
  • Shorts, some hunters are comfortable wearing shorts for hunting in warm climates which is fine but there can be drawbacks. I usually advise against wearing shorts for hunting due to the abundance of sharp thorns, twigs and nasty grass which can be hard on your legs. A pair of shorts for camp or travel may be good to bring if the weather is hot, but the choice to wear them while hunting is yours. The Tiburon Shorts are a super lightweight and breathable short that’s great for hot weather hunting.
  • Shirts, long sleeved shirts for hunting will protect you from the sun and the bush to some degree.
  • T-shirts
  • A light waterproof, breathable jacket, for wind or rain
  • Underwear
  • Sleepwear
  • Casual clothing for relaxing at camp and traveling
  • Swimsuit if it’s a warm time of the year

Cold Weather Clothing

  • Warm jacket or heavy weight fleece
  • Warm wool sweater(s) or mid weight fleece
  • Mid weight long underwear
  • Warm headwear, one that covers your ears can serve a dual purpose
  • Warm gloves

Footwear

  • Hunting boots, you should bring two pairs of well broken-in hunting boots or one pair of hunting boots and one pair of trail shoes. Your footwear should be comfortable, light weight, preferably leather, darker in color and have the advantage of a quiet sole for stalking or tracking.
  • Extra shoe laces for your hunting boots
  • Casual shoes for relaxing in camp and traveling
  • Sandals, for wearing around camp when the weather is suitable
  • Socks, high quality socks are a good idea and will help minimize the risk of blisters.

Accessories

  • Gloves, that are functional for hunting, preferably leather and dark in color. Fingerless gloves used for biking or weightlifting are ideally suited for shooting and reloading and at the same time they will protect you hands if crawling through the bush.
  • Headwear, a suitably colored baseball cap and/or wide brimmed safari hat for added sun protection for your neck and ears.
  • Belt(s)
  • Bandana/Neck Gaiter, a great multi-purpose item, sun protection (head or neck), wet it will cool you off, handkerchieve, dust mask, etc.
  • Gaiters, above the ankle to keep your boots and socks free of nuisances such as sand, prickly seeds and sharp grass or to the knee to offer added protection from nuisances, such as bush, sharp weeds, snakes, etc.

Toiletries

  • Hairbrush/comb
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental floss
  • Q-tips
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Razor and blades
  • Shaving cream (Non-aerosol for carry on)
  • Deodorant (Non-aerosol for carry on)
  • Cologne
  • Moisturizing lotion
  • Nail scissors or clippers
  • Tweezers
  • Lip balm with high SPF
  • Sun block with high SPF, We recommend waterproof sunscreen as it lasts longer. Even if sweating. Depending on the area you are hunting, repellant sunblock is an option but unscented is always a good idea.
  • Ziplock bags, useful and versatile. A good way to contain items that may leak in your luggage.

Travel Accessories

  • Flashlight, we suggest Ledlenser, their brilliant design and easy-use functionality insures great pleasure for your every need.
  • Camera, lenses, flash, a second memory stick, charger and/or extra batteries.
  • Video camera, tapes or memory card/stick, charger and/or extra batteries. Ask your PH to take pictures with his own camera too, it’s a great back up
  • Lens cleaning kit
  • Electric converters
  • Plug adapters

Your Prescription Medication and First Aid

Bruce Watson Safaris has a first aid kit and basic medications are available such as aspirin, ibuprofen, anti-diarrhea pills and band aids.

If you bring prescription medication they should be packed in your carry on luggage and you should have enough to last you through your trip. Your medication must be prescribed in your name and be in their original prescription bottles to avoid problems at customs. If you are carrying liquid medication, be sure to place them in a zip lock bag for airport security.

  • Your regular prescription medications
  • Copies of prescriptions for medications that you are carrying
  • Bee allergy shot or Epipen for those with severe allergies

For your personal needs you may wish to consider bringing some of the following:

  • Treatments for jet lag
  • Insect repellent
  • Itch cream with cortisone
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Moleskin or Band Aid blister block or Band Aid cushions
  • Laxative
  • Antacid
  • Eye drops
  • Motion sickness remedies
  • Decongestant
  • Allergy medication

Personal Items

  • Prescription glasses and/or clear shooting glasses. Theese will help protect your eyes, day or night, against sand, thorns and insects.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Contact lenses and solution if preferred. (Glasses are more practical and provide added protection)
  • Earplugs (for hunting, travel or sleeping)
  • Cell phone and/or satellite phone (Most hunting areas/camps have wifi access and/or local network; check with your telephone service provider to see if your phone has the capability to be activated.)
  • Watch
  • Field guide
  • Shot placement guide, or click here for the App.
  • Small notebook and pen to keep journal or take notes
  • List of addresses or pre-printed mailing labels for sending postcards back home
  • Something to read
  • Reminder list of things that you wanted to do or buy