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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 info@wintershoeksafaris.com should you require any more information in this regards.


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