Firearm Permit Information

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.

Nelia from Watts Trophy Hunting 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, we will work 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, we 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.

As our South African Police services needs the original documentation for your firearm permit, you simply complete the necessary documentation and mail it to the following mailing address,

P.O. Box 3668,
South Africa

at least 25 days prior to your arrival in South Africa and Nelia and her team will take care of the rest.