Hunting in Africa frequently asked questions
There are many frequently asked questions about hunting in Africa. If this is your first time hunt in Africa, we will never stop answering your questions.
Mkulu African Hunting Safaris hopes to provide you with as much useful information when hunting in Africa as possible with regards to your South Africa hunting safari. Please use the information to your advantage and remember to ask as many questions as possible before your arrival, no matter how trivial you may think your question is.
The information we offer is free and comes from years of practical, first-hand field experience. Before starting our own business we worked at other companies gaining
experience in what to do, and specifically, what NOT to do. At Mkulu African Hunting Safaris we can now say with confidence which routes work, and more important, which routes are a waste of time.
The importation process of your firearms to South Africa and filling out the dreaded SAP 520 is comprehensively discussed in the SAPS 520 section of this website.
Children under the age of 18 travelling with you
This is a critical piece of information you need to adhere to BEFORE you even leave for the airport. Recently it became law in South Africa that any children travelling with you who are under the age of 18, need to have an unabridged birth certificate with them. If the unabridged birth certificate of the minor cannot be produced the minor will not be allowed entry to South Africa.
Also make sure you have at least two open pages in the back of everyones passport. Your passport needs to be valid for at least six (6) months after your departure date from South Africa.
First time Tips for beginners
First Time Safari – Tips for Beginners
Safaris offer amazing trips into natural lands, and hunting safaris offer a more primal and often more satisfying version of that. They allow people to contend with wild beasts, practice their skills, and bring trophies back that are much more gratifying than a gift shop trinket.
If you are planning your first hunting safari, then here are some tips to enhance the experience.
The Animals Won’t Attack You
The wild animals that live on these National Parks and along safari trails tend to be used to the presence of trucks and humans. When in a safari, you’re keeping your distance which generally keeps you safe. Of course, you still need to be cautious, but think of it more as respecting how dangerous they can be.
On the rare occasion where an animal charges someone and their guides, they are usually scared off or neutralized by gunshots. Even making a lot of noise can turn many animals away.
Trust Your Guides
The guides and park rangers that work these safaris are there for a reason. They understand both the layout and the nature of these areas. They know where to take you, and perhaps more importantly, how to keep you safe.
They also know the laws in their areas. There is often drama surrounding hunting safaris that can make people uneasy when embarking on their first trip. They know where it is ok to hunt and where it is not. This is crucial to staying out of unnecessary trouble.
Find Lodging that Offers an Experience of Its Own
When you travel out to go on your first safari, where you stay can be special as well. Firstly, do research on the area. Make sure that the accommodations suit your needs. This is something any travel advisor will tell you.
What you may not be aware of is that you can find lodging that may allow you to view wildlife from there as well. While you aren’t guaranteed to see anything specific, having a place to sleep where you are still immersed among the wilderness can sort of be a mini safari of its own.
Don’t Set Your Expectations Too High
No, it’s not because you’ll have a bad time. One issue people have is watching videos or images of amazing events. Maybe a pride of lions on the hunt, or maybe a crazy fight between an elephant and a rhino. The reason these videos get shared around the internet is because they are rare.
Try not to anticipate what’s going to happen. You will experience beautiful scenery and breathtaking wildlife. Don’t let expectations hurt a wonderful experience. The nature will be there, the animals will be there, and the hunt will be there. Let yourself enjoy the trip.
Practice Your Aim
One of the most satisfying aspects of a hunting safari comes from the skills of marksmanship. There is something tactile about firing a rifle, satisfying about becoming skilled, and primal about hunting wild beasts. In order for this to come together, you should hone your skills before embarking on the journey.
This doesn’t mean you must become the most skilled marksman of all time. Find a range that offers long distance shooting, and practice. Learn how to control your breathing, hold your aim, how to use your scope, and all the other aspects of marksmanship. Your tour guides should have a range to get in some pre-hunt practice and scope adjustments.
If possible, practice with the specific rifle you’ll be using on the hunt. This way you can become familiar with its unique attributes. Don’t worry if this isn’t an option though. The fundamental skills you will gain will transfer to another rifle.
Find a Rifle That Suits You
In addition to practicing, figure what kind of rifle you need.
There are more traditional rifles, with beautiful wood stocks and simple controls. There are more modern rifles with adjustable stocks and picatinny rails for attachments. None of them are objectively better than another. Getting geared up for your excursions means finding what suits you best for what you want to accomplish.
Also keep in mind the different calibers of rifle cartridges. While this is simplifying the topic a bit, the differences between calibers largely boil down to stopping power and recoil. The best caliber will depend on the game that you are hunting, so do a little research into calibers, but don’t stress over it. Whatever you choose, it will probably be plenty sufficient.
Familiarize Yourself with the Laws of the Land
Every country has different requirements and forms needed for hunters. In South Africa, anyone planning to bring a rifle in from a foreign country must fill out what is called a SAPS 520 form. It can be frustrating, but it has to be done.
For one, it will detail the kinds of firearms that you are allowed to bring. Read it carefully so that you know how to go about arranging your trip. Make sure you have whatever proof you need. This commonly means proof of ownership for your firearms and copies of other legal documents. Just make sure you are educated about the requirements so that you stay out of legal trouble and don’t have interferences with your hunting.
You’re first African hunting safari will undoubtably be a memorable experience. Follow these tips, and make sure you have a great time. As a final tip, remember to experience all the sights and sounds that come from visiting Africa.
A few suggestions
From practical experience here are a few suggestions with regards to your intended visit to South Africa:
- Make 5 color copies of your passport along with any other important documentation (US Customs form 4457) you are bringing along on your hunt. Have the copies notarised by a person entitled to notarise true copies.
- Make 5 color copies of the passports of everyone else travelling with you and have them notarised by a person entitled to notarise true copies.
- Have one copy in different places of your luggage, rifle case, camera bag and carry-on luggage. this will assit tremendously in the event you happen to lose your passport while hunting with us.
- Have a name tag on each piece of luggage so you can be traced in the event your luggage ends up in a different place. Please add my contact details on the name tag so I can be reached by the local authorities. Specify my name as the contact person in South Africa.
- Have at least an extra set of clothes in your carry-on luggage in the event your bags end up in a different country. This will allow you at least a days extra clean clothes before your luggage arrives.
- Have a tooth brush and your personal medication in your carry-on for the same reasons as above. Pay special attention to having prescribed medication in your carry-on.
- Have fun.
What type of clothes to bring to Africa
Bring at least one thick padded jacket as it can become very cold during the winter evenings and early mornings. Additional clothing requirements are in the Gear Guide section of the website.
Is it legal to wear camouflage hunting clothing when hunting in Africa
Please note that it is permissible to wear camo hunting clothes when hunting in South Africa. When hunting in Zimbabwe OR Mozambique you may NOT make use of camouflage clothing. The most commonly used hunting clothes for both Zimbabwe and Mozambique is khaki.
What food do they eat on an African hunting safari in South Africa
What will your African hosts feed you? What can we expect to eat on an African hunting safari? What food will be served on an African safari hunting trip? These are questions potential hunters initially feel uncomfortable asking. Prior to your hunt commencing a hunting questionnaire is completed where you indicate what your food preferences are as well as any food allergies. The following pictures will hopefully answer a number of your concerns with regards to African food.
What will the weather be like on an African hunting safari trip
It seldom rains during mid-April to September, but it has happened on occasion. If it does happen to rain during the hunt the ambient temperatures drop dramatically to the mid-40’s (F). At other times it will be in the high 30’s to 40’s during the mornings, late afternoons and evenings. During the day it will warm up to the mid-60’s range. If you are here during our summer time (October-March) the daily temperatures can exceed 85ºF on a daily basis. Rain can also occur every other day depending on the region you are in.
Health issues when hunting in Africa
During our winter months (May-August) you will hardly see any bugs. All of the plains game hunting on our package deals take place in regions within South Africa that are malaria free. Some of the dangerous game hunts can take place in malaria regions in which case it is recommended that the required precautions be taken. Consult your doctor about malaria precautions prior to leaving. Locally we rely on bug spray a lot.
It is recommended that you purchase health insurance with a reputable, internationally known company before leaving your country of origin.
Safety issues when hunting in Africa
As is the case with most big cities all over the world there are certain parts of every city one should avoid visiting. Such is the case in South Africa. However, from the moment you are picked up at the airport till one of our qualified and experienced Professional Hunters drop you off at the airport at the end of your hunting safari, you will be in our presence. We know where not to go to.
The rest of the time you will be as safe as houses, often only seeing and talking to camp staff and your guide. In 19 years we have never had a safety issue and plan on keeping it that way.
Inoculations for your South African hunting safari
You do not need any special innoculations prior to your hunting safari. If you intend on visiting Zambia you will need proof of a yellow fever innoculation. If your tetanus shot is questionable and a new one is due, it will be a good adea to have another one.
Visa requirements for hunting in South Africa
Hunters from the USA and some European countries do not need to apply for a visa for your Africa hunting safari.
Frequently asked questions about prices calibers and trophies
Our African hunting safaris prices have been adjusted for the first time in four years. In most cases prices were adjusted DOWN. The best affordable South African hunting safari prices for what you get – and more!
The best caliber for hunting big game in Africa will be debated for many years to come. In the end the decision for which hunting rifle and caliber to bring to Africa for a South African hunting safari will lie with you.
After 24 years in the safari hunting and safari vacation business environment we know we offer some the best value for money South African safari hunting packages available in the South African hunting safari industry.