South Africa has long been the most popular hunting destination in Africa especially as a first time hunting safari destination. Safari hunting is available on private game ranches and within controlled hunting areas in some provincial game reserves.

Once your hunt has been booked and confirmed, you will receive a letter of invitation from Gamka Safaris, which will be required for your rifle and ammunition importation process. Firstly, it is important to note that all persons must be 21 years and older to import rifles. Clients are allowed to import a maximum of four firearms per hunter of different calibres, and strictly no semi- or automatic weapons are allowed. You may only bring ammunition applicable to the firearms that you will be carrying. The barrel, frame or action is to be marked with the same serial number. Naturally, the client must have a gun license or affidavit proving ownership of the firearm.

Secondly, ONLY South African Airways allow the transportation of firearms. Ensure your flight/s you are booked, and indicate it is an SAA flight AND NOT an SAA SHARED CARRIER flight.

These flights also no longer allow for ammunition to be checked in with your checked luggage. It must travel alongside the firearm in a separate locked hard metal/plastic ammunition case.

The client must then submit a motivation letter to the SAPS (South African Police Service) stating why firearms are needed (in this case, to hunt). All firearms must be declared with Customs before leaving your country of residence and needs to be done well in advance. Some countries, for example the US do not issue gun licenses. In this event the USA form 4457 is accepted by the SAPS for USA citizens.

The client must complete the SAPS 520 form (Application for Temporary Permit) when he arrives at the airport. You will require the serial numbers, model and calibre off the weapons for this document. The SAPS will check your documents and stamp the permit which will be valid until the date of departure. The clients must declare all weapons on arrival at the SAPS office located at the airport to submit SAPS 520 form to obtain SAPS 525 (Temporary Permit). Clients must declare all weapons at Customs when leaving South Africa and it is recommended that all our clients do a pre-permit application for their firearms.

We've put together a convenient document checklist to ensure all documents you need are on your person before you leave. We recommend making Certified Copies of all original documents on this list for application:

  • Gun Licence/affidavit of ownership for each firearm
  • Invitation from Hunting Outfitter
  • Motivation letter to SAPS (why firearm is needed - hunting)
  • Declarations Form from Customs in your country of residence (proof of export)
  • SAPS 520 form
  • Client's international flight ticket
  • Client's passport and certified copy of passport
  • Client is required to give fingerprints on arrival

Declarations Form (proof of export)

This is your proof that your firearms have been legally exported from your country of residence. If your country does not have an official export permit the SAPS require a letter from a government agency of your country of residence stating this. For USA citizens the 4457 form is acceptable.

Travelling and Visa Requirements

Passports are required for travel to South Africa, but for the most part no Visas are required. American and European Union passports are sufficient for entries into South Africa. It is important to confirm the latest regulations with regards to visa requirements prior to departure, especially if you're planning on visiting neighbouring countries during your trip.

Although we take every possible precaution to safeguard you and your property, Gamka Safaris accepts no liability for any accidental injury or illness that you may incur or loss or damage to your property during or after your safari. Ensure that you have medical insurance to cover any medical assistance you may require while on safari with Gamka Safaris.

Travelling with minors:

From 1 June 2015 new requirements were introduced by the South African Department of Home Affairs for additional documentation requirements to travel to and from South Africa with persons under the age of 18 years. Please see a full breakdown below:

Travelling with both parents:

  • All minors (children younger than 18 years) must travel with a full birth certificate with the child's full name, as printed on the passport, and both parent's details need to be displayed on the certificate
  • Passports of both parents and also a valid visa if required.

Travelling with one parent:

  • An unabridged certificate
  • An affidavit from the other parent registered on the birth certificate authorising the child's entry/exit to and from the Republic of South Africa with the parent travelling.
  • A court order granting full parental responsibility to the parent travelling
  • Certified copies of both parent's passport and a 24-hour telephone number.

*Please be aware that all travellers under the age of 18 years and not in possession of the required documentation will not be allowed to travel to and from South Africa.

If you have any queries or questions about travelling to South Africa or Mozambique on Safari, please just email us and we will gladly assist.