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Frequent Asked Questions

will provide you with unlimited communication, assistance and detailed information regarding every aspect of your safari prior to your departure. The following is a general overview of frequent topics regarding safari in South Africa. If there is not an answer to a particular question you have, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us. We will be happy to answer all questions and concerns you may have.


Scheduling your Safari

Reservations are conditional on the timely receipt of all payments including deposits as requested by . To reserve and schedule the dates for a safari a 50% deposit of the total Daily Rate is required for hunters and observers. Deposits are also accepted to confirm the client's position on a list of clients requiring permits for certain animals such as Dangerous Game and rarer species.

If your safari was purchased through one of the many hunting/conservation organizations that supports, please contact us by phone or email within 30 days of your purchase for information regarding scheduling your safari. A Safari Certificate should have been provided to you upon your purchase of the safari and this certificate must be presented upon your arrival in camp. Please note that a nominal deposit is required in order to reserve and secure your exact safari dates. This deposit is of course credited and applied to your safari.

Upon confirmation of your scheduled safari dates, we will provide you with detailed information to assist you in planning each and every detail of your safari.



Airlines

From the USA we recommend flying either South African Airways or Delta Airlines. Your point of arrival in South Africa is O.R. Tambo International Airport (airport code JNB) in Johannesburg, South Africa. South African Airways operates direct flights from Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) and New York (JFK) to Johannesburg. Delta Airlines operates direct flights from Atlanta (ATL) to Johannesburg. Scheduling your flight online is relatively simple through South African Airways or Delta Airlines websites.

If you choose to utilize a travel agent, we recommend choosing a travel agent with experience in scheduling flights to South Africa.

South African Airways • www.flysaa.com
Delta Airlines • www.delta.com



Passport and Entry Requirements

United States passport holders must hold passports valid for 6 months beyond your departure date and the passport must contain at least 2 blank pages for necessary stamps from South African Customs authorities. It is not necessary for United States citizens to obtain a Visa upon entry to South Africa for stays of less than 90 days.



Accommodations for your Safari (before and after)

There are numerous choices for accommodation in Johannesburg ranging from economy overnight stays to luxurious guest houses, bed and breakfasts, as well as world-class casino and hotel establishments.

If your flight arrives in Johannesburg before 3:00 p.m., we will generally schedule shuttle service to your hunting camp on the same day of your arrival. However, if you flight arrives after 3:00 p.m., we recommend an overnight stay in Johannesburg and shuttle service to your hunting camp will be scheduled for the next day.

If your return flight departs Johannesburg before 5:00 p.m., we recommend an overnight stay in Johannesburg in order to provide sufficient time for check in for your international flight. There is much to do prior to your flight as the international terminal is home to several bars, lounges, and restaurants. The international terminal also includes duty free shopping in the large mall area where you will find high-end fashion boutiques, jewelry, books, music, electronics, pharmacy, wines, liquor, cosmetics, fragrances, massage treatments and curio shops containing numerous gifts, souvenirs, and home decor hand crafted in South Africa.

Upon confirmation of your scheduled safari dates, we will assist you in arranging any necessary accommodation before and after your safari.



Currency used in South Africa

The South African Rand (ZAR) is the legal tender and official currency of South Africa. It is not necessary to exchange all of your U.S. Dollars to South African Rand upon your arrival in South Africa. You may, however, wish to exchange a small sum ($200 or less) for purchases of a personal nature while in South Africa upon your arrival at the airport or at various banks upon your transfer to camp. Most bars, restaurants, and hotels in South Africa accept Visa, Mastercard, and American Express as a form of payment.

provides each client with the option of remitting deposits and pre-payment of your safari through our USA Division Office in the form of check, cashier's check, money order, bank wire or electronic transfer prior to your departure. Upon receipt of your deposit or pre-payment, will promptly provide you with a receipt reflecting the amount of deposit or pre-payment. If additional sums are owed upon conclusion of your safari, the balance of payment can be paid cash or travellers checks or with a credit card prior to your departure from South Africa.



Transfer from Airport to Camp

Upon arrival you will be met by a representative who will assist you with your luggage and accompany you to your pre-arranged shuttle and transfer to your hunting camp. Our main lodges/camps is located in the Northwest Province a 3 hour drive, Limpopo Province a 4 hour drive and the Northern Cape province a 5 to 6 hour drive.

You may also choose to schedule a short commuter flight from Johannesburg to the city of Kimberly. After arriving at the Kimberly Airport, there will be an hour commute from Kimberly to the Main Lodge.

Rest assured that from the moment you touch South African soil you will be under our personal supervision to ensure a safe and comfortable transfer to your hunting camp.



Firearms

Popular calibers for South Africa Plains Game are .270, .30-06, .308, .300 Win. Mag., .300 WSM, .300 Weatherby, .338 Win. Mag. and .375 H&H. The .270 should be considered the minimum for most medium sized plains game species and the .375 for hunting dangerous game such as Cape Buffalo, Elephant, Hippo, and Lion. We recommend premium bullets such as Barnes X, Swift A-Frame, Nosler Partition, Winchester Fail Safe and Trophy Bonded Bearclaw.

The amount of ammunition you will need is dictated by the amount of game you will hunt. On a typical 10 day plains game safari, 60 rounds should be sufficient. If you choose to add dangerous game to your safari, 40 rounds for the heavier rifles should be sufficient.

The most important advice is to be comfortable with your rifle. Spend time at the gun range prior to your departure and practice shooting not only from the bench but also from shooting sticks. Typical shots for plains game will be 100 yards or less but it is important to know how your rifle will shoot at intervals of 50, 100, 150 and 200 yards. Regardless of the rifle caliber and bullet that you choose, shot placement is the single most important factor for a successful safari. Choose a rifle that you are comfortable with, one that you consistently shoot well, and practice, practice, practice!

While it is not a difficult task to import your firearms to South Africa, there are certain regulations that must be strictly adhered to. Upon confirmation of your scheduled safari dates, we will provide you with detailed instructions regarding importation of your firearms.

U.S. Customs Form 4457
If you plan on bringing your own firearms, you need to visit a U.S. Customs Office and obtain Customs Form 4457 to register your firearms. Find a U.S. Customs Office location in your state. Form 4457 is a Certificate of Registration for Personal Effects Taken Abroad and you will need this form upon entering South Africa and upon re-entering the USA. The form will contain your name, address, a description of your firearm, and your signature. Once your firearm has been inspected, the Customs Officer will certify the form with an official stamp. You can include more than one firearm on one form if you like.

The description of your firearm should include the: make, model, caliber, firearm serial number, scope, scope serial number. To expedite the process, have all of this information written out before you enter the Customs Office.

You can view, enter your firearm information and print a copy of the Customs Form 4457 to take with you to the Customs Office at the following link: U.S. Customs Form 4457 PDF

SAPS Form 520 Firearm Importation Permit
Visitors entering South Africa with firearms will be required to complete a South African Police Service (SAPS) Form 520, which is a temporary importation permit. You can download the SAPS Form 520 Firearm Importation Permit and Instructions at the following link: SAPS Form 520 Firearm Importation Permit
Follow these instructions when filling out: Permit Instructions

Invitation Letter from Watts Trophy Hunting Safaris
Prior to your arrival in South Africa, will provide you with the required Invitation Letter for your hunting safari. This is supporting documentation that must accompany your SAPS Form 520. If using Hunters Permits Africa for your firearm permits, Adele will have your Watts Trophy Hunting invitation letter ready on your arrival at the airport.

Basic Regulations for a Temporary Firearm Importation Permit:

  • No more than ONE firearm or shotgun per caliber or gauge
  • Only 200 rounds for each permitted firearm or shotgun will be allowed
  • Ammunition must be packed in a lockable box/case and placed in your checked luggage separate from your firearms
  • You may only bring two shotguns if they are different gauges
  • 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
  • Handguns will be allowed into the country, but only for hunting purposes. Any foreign visitor wanting to bring a handgun into the country, needs to produce a letter from a registered association of his/her country of origin, stating that he/she is a registered member of the association and that the handgun will be used exclusively for hunting purposes

Prohibited firearms which may NOT be imported into South Africa include:

  • Any fully automatic weapon
  • Any semi-automatic weapon
  • No semi-automatic shotguns
  • Handgun(s) for self-defense
  • Weapons which fall under military categories

Assistance with importing your firearms
While completing the necessary paperwork for importing your firearms to South Africa is not a difficult task, there is a company located in South Africa “Hunters Permits Africa” that works hand–in–hand with the South African Police services to provide "IMPORT / EXPORT", “in-transit” or “VIP reception & assistance” permits for your firearms before your arrival in South Africa. For a nominal fee of $140.00 per permit or VIP reception assistance fee of $280.00, Hunters Permits Africa will hand deliver your pre–authorized permit to you upon arrival in South Africa and also guide you through the procedures at the SAPS permit office. Firearms assistance can also be found on the following website www.hunterspermitsafrica.co.za or go to FIREARM PERMIT INFO for more information.

As our South African Police services needs the original documentation for your firearm permit, you simply complete the necessary documentation and mail it to Hunters Permits Africa (not rifle permits) at the following mailing address, P.O. Box 1089, O.R Tambo Int. Airport, Gauteng, South Africa, 1627 at least 25 days prior to your arrival in South Africa and Adele Janse van Rensburg and her team will take care of the rest.

All information regarding the services offered by Hunters Permits Africa for importing your firearms and other assistance offered, please e-mail Adele Janse van Rensburg at hunterspermitsafrica@hotmail.co.za and always cc Adele personal email address permits@hotmail.co.za in all your e-mails.

References are available on request for Hunters Permits Africa services.



Some Bow Hunting Questions Asked —

What type of bow should I bring and what draw weight should I use?
  For plains game hunting, you should bring your normal big game set up you would use for whitetail, elk or any other type deer. We have archers who use compound, re-curve, and long bow as well as crossbows. The most important aspect of your hunt will be that you are familiar with your bow and equipment you bring.
   
What type of broad head should I use on African game?
  We recommend a fixed three blade cut on impact. No mechanical broad heads.
   
What kind of blinds do you have?
  Most of our blinds are elevated or pit blinds. They are very roomy inside. You shoot trough vertical slots in the front of the blind. The blinds are very dark inside so you are very concealed. We also use pop up blinds, tree stands and natural brush blinds, pending on what species you hunt and the hunting area.
   
What type of shooting practice should I do?
  Shooting on level ground, from tree stands and from inside pop up blinds would all be very good practice. You need to be very proficient from 50 yards and closer.
   
How long will the shots be?
  Most of the shots will be 25 yards or less. It does not always work that way and longer shots are taken especially when following wounded game.
   
When is the best time to bow hunt in South Africa?
  We prefer our bow hunting clients to come from June to October. This is winter and early spring for us and the weather is quite nice for bow hunting. By this time normally all the scattered waterholes have dried up and animals come to water daily. Also most of the cover is gone from the trees and you can see the game coming in and gives you the chance to study the animals for trophy quality.
   
Can I hunt dangerous game with my bow?
  Yes you can....the requirements is a minimum of 80 foot pounds (kinetic energy) is needed for buffalo, giraffe and lion. A 105 foot pounds (kinetic energy) is needed for elephant, rhino and hippo. You would need a heavy fixed two blade broad head that is sharp to the tip to get maximum penetration. Arrow weight should been between 700 to 900 grain. Some Dangerous game do need the required permit for such a hunt.
   
Do I need to apply for any permits to bring my bow into South Africa?
  Not at all. Unlike fire arms, bows are currently not regulated coming in to South Africa. You simply pick up your bow and proceed through the customs area.


Trophies and Taxidermy

Rest assured that our experienced skinners will take the utmost care in handling your trophy from the field to their final destination. Whether you choose to have your taxidermy completed in South Africa or in the United States, is available to recommend reputable taxidermy studios with vast and intimate knowledge of all facets of African wildlife.



Cellular and Internet Service

The majority of later model cellular phones that operate on a 2G, 3G or 4G network will generally connect with network service in the airports and major cities in South Africa allowing you to make calls, receive calls, and text message. Rental mobile phones are widely available and may be rented from kiosks at major airports, such as upon your arrival in Johannesburg. We do provide internet services where signal allow us to check emails or send an email to friends and family back home while you are on safari.

We suggest contacting your cellular provider to discuss options for international roaming and data plans well in advance of your departure.



Electricity

The South African electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC 50 HZ. All of our camps are fully equipped with electricity; however it will be necessary to bring along a voltage converter for your electrical items and an "H pattern adapter" for the converter. A voltage converter can easily be purchased at major electronics stores in the USA.

Visit www.magellans.com for information on voltage converters and adapters suitable for South Africa electricity.



Packing

Laundry service is provided on a daily basis so it is not necessary to pack a change of clothing for each day of your safari. Upon confirmation of your scheduled safari dates, we will provide you with a suggested packing list to enable you to efficiently pack essential clothing and items of personal nature.



Weather and Climate

Due to its location in the Southern Hemisphere, South Africa's seasons are the reverse of the seasons in the United States and other Northern Hemisphere countries - summer in the U.S. is winter in South Africa. The following chart represents average temperatures and precipitation for the Mpumalanga Province during popular months for scheduling your safari.

South Africa - average temperatures and precipitation for the Mpumalanga Province

Immunizations, Vaccines, and Medication

South Africa is a safe country in terms of health risks as medical facilities are world class, with many capable hospitals, clinics and private practices throughout the country.

Before visiting South Africa, we recommend consulting with your physician or health care provider at least 4-6 weeks prior to your departure to determine if you will require any immunizations, vaccines, or medications prior to your arrival in South Africa.

While the chances of contracting malaria are extremely rare, we do recommend consulting your health care provider regarding a malaria preventative at a minimum. Additional information can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: www.cdc.gov



Additional Attractions, Excursions, and Tours

In addition to exclusive plains game and dangerous game safaris, has extensive knowledge and experience arranging day excursions, sightseeing, golfing, shopping, and exclusive tours for non-hunting guests and companions.

Exclusive private tours can be arranged to Kruger National Park, Pilanesberg Game Reserve, Sun City Resort, Winelands tours, Garden Route tours. Additioanlly, excursions to cultural villages and townships such as: Cape Town, Victoria Falls and countless other extraordinary destinations, can be arranged during your stay or as an additional excursion(s) after your hunting safari had concluded.



Additional Information and Advice
Relax, you are on safari! Each day's itinerary should not be a rigid schedule. Every safari is exclusive and custom tailored to meet your specific desires with your unsurpassed satisfaction being our foremost priority. Great emphasis is placed upon first-class service, superior trophy quality, and attention to every detail to provide an unforgettable experience while on safari.
 

 

At , we take care of everything!

                                
 
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