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To some, hunting is second nature. But if you haven’t hunted before, it might feel a little overwhelming. And even if you have hunted before, there will always be something new you can learn. All of us have to start somewhere. Here is a couple of pointers and tips to help you keep ahead of the game!
Firstly, you need to prepare well in advance for your first hunting trip. When you do go out into the bush for the first time, you will need to be educated and familiar with your chosen equipment.
Find a Mentor / Be an Apprentice
Find someone to go on a hunt with. Go without your gun and simply watch them hunt, and learn from them. This will let you get a feel for it and see what it’s like. If you respect the hunter and nature well enough, he might even let you in on some of his secrets.
Check the Law and Regulations
Ensure that you are up to date with the latest hunting and rifle laws in your area/country and that you understand them. Also, ensure that you have the right licenses.
Gun Safety Rules
Before you handle a gun, make sure you read and understand the rules of basic firearms safety. It’s always a good idea to review these rules from time to time, even if you are experienced with guns. Depending on where you live, there might even be some hunter’s safety courses available.
You need to practice shooting to become proficient. It is important to get comfortable with your choice of rifle or bow. Head to the range and get started.
Don’t hurry out to buy a gun. You can practice with borrowed guns. If you have friends and family who will go to the range with you and let you shoot their guns, that’s great. If not, try calling some local ranges. Tell them you don’t have a gun but you would like to try shooting. Many ranges and farms offer guns for rent.
Gear for beginners
You will need some basic gear in order to begin hunting, including comfortable clothing, a strong sharp knife, good footwear, etc. But you absolutely do not need to go out and spend lots of money on the latest camouflage or equipment. Expensive gear simply is not necessary. Make sure you can stay warm and dry and comfortable, and that you can perform all the tasks you need to do.
Small game hunting is often a great way for a beginner hunter to learn because it usually offers more opportunities and a greater chance for success. It also provides a successful hunter with a taste of what’s to come, should he or she keep on hunting and move on to larger animals in the future.
Enjoy every moment
The most important is to get out there and enjoy yourself. Hunting is one of the very best ways to spend time. It will provide you with a better understanding of (and a greater appreciation for) wildlife and how animals live in the wild and a deeper appreciation for all types of life.
A trip to South Africa must be on every person’s bucket list. Nowhere else in the world, will you get to see the same magnificent wildlife, breathtaking landscapes, and a variety of cultures rich in art and history.
Enjoying your visit to South Africa is paramount and your safety is therefore a priority to us.
Luckily, the Northern Cape Province, where the four areas of Wintershoek Safaris are situated, is a malaria free area. This means that you do not have to worry about extra medication that might make you feel bad on your safari trip.
When touching down at OR Tambo Airport, remember that you are now in Africa. Here are some general safety tips to help you ensure an enjoyable trip.
General Safety Tips
Like many places in today’s world, crime may be a problem. By taking the necessary precautions and following some basic safety guidelines, you can make your trip hassle free and super special. You can decrease your chances of becoming a target by not being flashy. It is advisable to leave your jewelry and valuables at home. Try to avoid walking alone, especially at night. Some people have a dummy wallet, with only a small amount of cash. Be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts!
As a driver, be on the alert when coming to a halt at traffic lights or stop streets, as well as when arriving at or leaving any premises. Car doors should always be locked, and valuables are better kept in the boot or under the seats. Plan your route beforehand. Make sure the map you consult, is a current one.
When parking at night, choose well-lit or security-patrolled parking areas. Street security guards will usually ask whether they can watch over your car, and in return should be paid a small fee – anything from R5 upwards.
Travelling to the Wintershoek Hunting Areas
O.R. Tambo International Airport is Africa’s biggest and busiest airport, facilitating approximately 19 million passengers a year. More than 50 percent of South Africa’s air traveling passengers are facilitated through the airport.
Kimberley Airport lies at the heart of the Northern Cape, in a town most famous for the ‘Big Hole’, a landmark carved into the earth by early diamond prospectors. When your safari starts at Karreekloof or Linksfontein, you need to take a domestic flight from OR Tambo International airport to Kimberley airport.
Upington airport has three runways, the primary one measuring 4,900 meters (the longest civilian runway in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the few able to land a space shuttle).
When your safari starts at either Thuru or Gamagara, you will need to take a domestic flight from OR Tambo International Airport to Upington Airport.
When your safari starts at Gamagara and you are not traveling with rifles, you can take a domestic flight to Sishen Airport. Sishen airport is a mere 10-minute drive from Gamagara.
There are landing strips at Thuru, as well as Karreekloof. If you take a private charter from OR Tambo Airport, you can fly directly to these areas.
It is recommended that you do not travel without travel/medical insurance. One never knows when an accident can happen. It is better to be prepared than not!!
When planning the traveling part of your next Safari, we recommend Jill Potash of Esplanade Travel from Boston USA. Wintershoek Safaris have been using Jill Potash & Jacky Keith for many years and find them to be the best when it comes to traveling to Africa.
Wintershoek Safaris will help you every step of the way to tailor-make your safari to suit your needs, meet your trophy requirements, your preferred length of stay and most importantly, your budget! So take a deep breath, relax and enjoy South Africa!
Every hunter who has travelled to South Africa will tell you that it can be quite a task to import your rifles. If you follow the correct steps and know what the firearm regulations in South Africa are, then this process can be a lot less daunting. Here follow some of the most important regulations that you should be aware of:
Firstly, if you decide not to hassle with the exportation and importation of your own firearms in and out of countries, Wintershoek Safaris has a battery of firearms available to hunters to rent. The firearms available to rent are of good quality and under the personal care of the Professional Hunters (PH’s).
It is highly recommended that you apply for your temporary importation permit or in-transit permit prior to your arrival. This will not only save you time, but your arrival will be much more hassle free. There are various service providers that you can use to assist you with this process.
The most important regulations that you should be aware of:
- You may only import a maximum of four firearms or shotguns per applicant.
- You may not import more than one of the same caliber or gauge.
- Only 200 rounds for each permitted firearm or shotgun will be allowed.
- No ammunition for other firearms (not accompanying you) is permitted.
- Firearms must bear the manufacturer’s serial number or any other mark by which the firearm can be identified.
- The identification number must be stamped and the mark affixed in the prescribed manner on the barrel, the frame or the receiver of the firearm.
By law, a minimum calibre of .375 is to be used to hunt any of the Big 5 (Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Rhino and Elephant). A .375 is also a very versatile calibre and can also be used on every plains game species. Good soft-nose ammunition is always recommended, but especially for Big Five species. As recommended for all plains game species, calibres such as .300 Win mag, 338, 7mm, 30-06 and similar are best suited for African antelope.
We strongly recommend the pre-arranged firearm import service that Africa Sky Guesthouse offers. Africa SkyGuest house will pre-arrange your rifle permit. They will also meet you in the arrivals hall with your pre-arranged permit and assist you with the collection of your rifles.
Most importantly, bring the rifle that you shoot with the best and feel most comfortable with. Professional Hunters prefer good shot placement over and above any high power firearms. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org should you require any more information in this regards.