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Hunting Rifle Regulations in 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 should you require any more information in this regards.

Perspectives from a Professional Hunter

From a Professional Hunter’s point of view – Hunting at our new area, Karreekloof.

Over the past two years, a lot has been done with regards to making a dream come true for Wiaan van der Linde and Wintershoek Safaris.

This has been done in the form of the famous and historical Karreekloof that has been bought by Wiaan from the Wright family that owned the land since 1882.  What first struck me, was when I realized that Karreekloof was the first and only trading post between Cape Town and Johannesburg (1000 miles apart) before the Boers and English started developing central parts of South Africa. Talking about some history…!!

Over the last couple of years, a lot has been done to recreate what was then a sheep farm into an expansive piece of wilderness area teeming with wildlife. A total of 6300 + head of game has been reintroduced from large game reserves to recreate what it used to be before development took place in 1881.

A state of the art lodge has been recreated out of the original buildings that were on the farm. Because of the great amount of history and the fact that most materials were imported from England by sea, Wiaan decided to renovate the old buildings by keeping the original Dutch Holland style.

From a Professional Hunters point of view, I think we would all agree with the fact that we want to give our clients a “Wild Africa” experience. Unfortunately, that is not always the case with smaller game ranches all over South Africa and Namibia.  That is most certainly not the case at Karreekloof as you’ll have the opportunity to hunt on 112 000 acres, that is teeming with wildlife. (The long-term plan is to expand it to 250000 acres.)  The trophy quality is unsurpassed to most areas I’ve had the privilege of hunting before… by far!!!

The whole idea behind Karreekloof is to create something that is unique! Unique with regards to the size of the hunting grounds as well as trophy quality, overall numbers of game, the quality of lodging, great food, the road infrastructure that’s been put into place and the overall traditions that has been kept since the late 1800’s as well as the total experience one will have whilst on safari at Karreekloof.  From the serious and avid hunter to a Mom and Dad that wants to bring their kids/family on their first safari, I strongly believe that Karreekloof has what it takes to create those special moments and memories.

Combined with what we already had, Linksfontein Lodge, Gamagara Lodge as well as Thuru Lodge, I now believe that we, as a team at Wintershoek Safaris, are running one of the largest, most diverse and highly respected Safari Outfits in South Africa.

To end this letter, I would like to encourage everyone that’s interested in coming on a hunt of a lifetime to make Karreekloof your first choice.

Once again, I walk with my head held high and wear the “W” with pride on my chest.

Yours in hunting and conservation,
Yvan Nieuwoudt (Professional Hunter)

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Hunting with Jack Perrett and his family at Linksfontein

Jack has hunted with Wintershoek Safaris for the last four years and decided to hunt at Linksfontein and Karreekloof this year.  

On the hunt, Jack Perrett, his wife Kristen and daughter, Channing were joined by Kristen’s parents, Roy and Delinda, as well as Kristen’s brother, Robert, his wife Kim and Kim’s son, Chip.  As always, their South African friend, Ashley joined. 

On arrival, spirits were high and although tired, the adrenalin and excitement was flying high.  Three experienced PH’s accompanied the group – John Tinley, Johan Maritz and Phillip from Linksfontein.   Determination soon paid off with the Common Springbuck, Blesbuck, Impala, Roan and Blue Wildebeest in the salt! Jack took a beautiful Sable Trophy with his bow.

During the hunt, Linksfontein celebrated Delinda’s birthday with a visit to the local wine cellar and a surprise sun-downer.  Back at camp, a nice birthday barbecue awaited them.  To end the evening, Delinda was surprised yet again with candles, cake, and singing.

Whilst the men hunted, the ladies relaxed, did game drives, visited the Big Diamond Hole and went gift shopping.  Channing didn’t stand back for the men and got a nice White Springbuck.   Jack returned later for another two days of bowhunting, wherein he managed to take down a Red Lechwe, Warthog and Blue Wildebeest! 

The hunt at Linksfontein wasn’t just a hunt – Friends turned into Family.  Thank you, Jack and Family. Until next time!!

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How to have a Successful Hunt in Economic Challenging Times

What do you do if you are wary of the economic situation, but also in love with hunting?  The answer is simple – Make sure that when you hunt, it is a successful hunt.

Economic Challenging Times

A few global events took place in 2016 that led to a wariness of the economy by the general public.    Uncertainty still seems to be present in both Europe and US.  In Europe, the British vote to leave the European Union in 2016 after years of increasingly ambivalent membership was greeted with a mixture of defiance, fear, and jubilation.  It is likely that this will lead to important implications for global trade in the coming years and has therefore led to a certain amount of uncertainty.

The election of Donald Trump as the US President in 2016 is also another event that came as a surprise to the world.  Trump has made news about his talk of changing foreign policies and to build a wall to separate the United States and Mexico.  It is expected that President Trump’s foreign policy decisions will dominate the news in 2017, and possibly redefine America’s relations with the world.  This might also lead to a certain amount of wariness among the general public.

The Hunter in Economic Challenging Times

Despite these global events, a positive global economic outlook for 2017 is still predicted.  The uncertainty has however resulted in a wariness of hunters to travel internationally.  This is understandable as the impact of the world economy has an impact on our everyday lives.  Perhaps the most easily seen impact is a hunter’s own currency against the currency of the country he/she hunts in.  It is now more important than ever before those hunters get value for their money.

For a lot of people, these economic changes could implicate that their hunting trip is not an annual holiday anymore, but it is now a trip of a lifetime.  It is therefore recommended, that when you hunt, you must ensure that it is a successful hunt.

Successful hunting tips

Here are some ways to have a successful hunt despite economic challenges:

  • Make use of a hunting outfitter with an excellent reputation. Most hunting outfitters provide references and hunters are usually more than willing to provide information about their past hunts.  References should include information about the hunting ethics of the outfitter, professionalism, planning and communication and hunting opportunities.
  • Plan your hunt with precision. Your hunting outfitter should help you with information about rifle licenses, transportation etc.  This will keep you from wasting money on unforeseen circumstances.
  • Make sure you know exactly what is included in the daily rate.   Things like food, drinks, PH, hunting vehicle, trackers, daily laundry, VAT etc must be considered. There is nothing worse than receiving your invoice and seeing that there are a lot of extra costs (hidden costs) included.
  • Find out if your deposit refundable in the case of a cancellation.
  • Consider combining your hunting trip with a sightseeing trip. Some don’t know whether they will visit the country again, so making the most of the time you have, is important.
  • The quality of the lodge. Although there are individual differences, most hunters prefer good quality lodges.  Remember that you spend hard days in the bush and that you do not want to be uncomfortable at night. Make sure that the hunting outfitter and country is able to provide the type of accommodation you prefer.
  • The size of the hunting area. This is important, as it will impact your hunting experience.  You do not want to walk into a fence every few miles.   Make sure that the hunting area is big.  The area must also comprise out of one large hunting area, instead of a few divided areas.
  • Not all lodges have Wi-Fi and it is, therefore, important to find out beforehand the availability and policy of Wi-Fi at the chosen lodge.

Keeping these small, but important things in mind will help you make the most of your safari and will ensure that you have the best hunting experience.