About hunting in South Africa
We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to assist you in planning your hunting trip to Africa. Should you have any additional questions that are not addressed, please do not hesitate to reach out to us, and one of our friendly staff members will be happy to assist you.
Which documents do I require to hunt at Thorndale Safari?
- A valid passport
- American (USA) citizens need a valid passport to enter the Republic of South Africa
- European citizens need a valid passport and an entry visa for the Republic of South Africa
- If you plan to bring your own rifle, you will also need a SAPS permit for the import and export of your own rifle to and from South Africa (Download SAPS 520 application form)
- Importation of firearms documentation
- Firearm license or proof of ownership
- Proof of export from your country of origin
- A return airline ticket
When is the best time to hunt in South Africa?
The regional climate is moderate throughout the year and our hunting season is open all year round. For hunters specifically seeking to visit during our cooler months, it is recommended that safari be planned between March and October. Winter temperatures average between 7°C and 22°C. Summer months range between 18°C and 36°C.
What should I pack?
Clothing for the Hunt:
- A good pair of worn-in walking boots
- A hunting jacket in a neutral color (dark khaki, olive green, camo)
- A cap or hat
- Sunglasses, sunblock with SPF 50 & lip balm
- Any other items that will make your hunting experience more comfortable
Clothing for the Lodge:
- Casual wear for before and after hunts or during additional activities
- A pair of comfortable camp shoes
- Good quality binoculars
- Shooting sticks (if you prefer your own, your Professional Hunter will also have a set available)
- Camera and related equipment (flash, extra batteries, charger)
- USB flash drive or SD card for copying your Professional Hunter’s pictures
- Flash-light or headlamp
- Pocket or hunting knife
- Small backpack for daily equipment
- International plug set for conversion to South Africa’s 220 V
- Insect repellent & tick repellent (containing DEET)
Please note: First aid is available at our lodge and all 4×4 hunting vehicles, but it’s wise to bring any special medical requirements.
Final Checklist Before Leaving Home:
- Passport (with valid pages and at least 6 months of validity before expiration)
- Air tickets
- Rifle import permit application and relevant documentation (if required, unless hiring)
- Taxidermy tags (if you have your own
- Taxidermist/Shipping Instructions)
- Any CITES permits you may require.
Which vaccinations do I require?
No compulsory vaccinations (shots) are required. As Thorndale Safari is situated in a malaria-free zone of South Africa, malaria pills are not necessary. Although every care is taken to ensure your safety, hunting in the African bushveld does have its dangers, so full medical insurance is also recommended.
How do I get to Thorndale?
Most travellers landing in South Africa, arrive at either OR Tambo (Johannesburg) International Airport or Cape Town International Aiport. There you collect your luggage/rifles and pass through customs and immigration. Once you have cleared through, you will need to board a domestic departures flight to Port Elizabeth – where our team will meet you.
South Africa works on 220v, if you have any appliances that require 110v please bring an inverter.
The client is liable to pay all wounded animals in full.
A 10% to 15% gratuity is the norm but at the end of the day, it is entirely up to the client.
What weapon(s) should I bring for my hunting trip?
- A .243 rifle is suitable for small to medium game
- A .270 rifle is suitable as an all-round weapon
- Up to a .300 WIN MAG rifle is suitable for larger animals
- For those who do not have a weapon, please check our pricelist for rifle hire rates.
Traveling with Rifles & Ammunition to South Africa
When travelling to South Africa, it is mandatory to have a temporary import/export permit for firearms and ammunition. These permits can be obtained at both Johannesburg and Cape Town International airports upon arrival or can be applied for in advance.
Rules & Regulations for the import/export/transit of Firearm/s to/from South Africa
- When temporarily importing firearms into South Africa, you are allowed to bring a maximum of four firearms per person. However, you may not bring more than one firearm of the same caliber.
- You are only permitted to bring ammunition that corresponds to the firearms you are carrying.
- No person under the age of 21 may bring firearm/s into South Africa or apply for a temporary import permit in his / her name.
- Rifles and shotguns cannot be accepted as checked baggage unless approval is given at least three working days before departure. Rifles must be unloaded, with the safety on, and properly packed and accompanied by all necessary documents as required by the countries of departure, destination, and any stopovers.
- The barrel, frame or action is to be marked with the same serial number.
- No self-protection firearm/s allowed.
Rules & Regulations for travelling with ammunition for your fiream/s to/from South Africa
- Ammunition is never allowed to be carried in the cabin or flight deck of the aircraft. It must be packed separately and securely from the firearm case, and not in the checked bag, for the final destination (Port Elizabeth/Home). This applies to all flights in and out of South Africa and within the region of Southern Africa.
- It’s important to note that there is a maximum of 200 rounds of ammunition allowed per firearm and per calibre when travelling. Additionally, most airlines have a weight limit of 5KG/11 LBS for ammunition, which is roughly equivalent to 140 rounds of .243, 120 rounds of .300 Win Mag, or 100 rounds of .375. Based on experience, it is recommended to not exceed 80 rounds per calibre to avoid any issues with weight limitations.
Travelling & Visa Requirements
South Africa is a stable country with excellent infrastructure, making travel easy and enjoyable. The main entry points into South Africa are Johannesburg (OR Tambo) and Cape Town international airports. From there, you can take connecting flights to Port Elizabeth.
A valid passport is required for travel to South Africa. It is recommended to check if a visa is required for South Africa or any other African countries you plan to visit during your trip.
Visas may be required for those countries. Please double-check with your local Embassy about Visas well before your safari.
Children/Minors Under the Age of 18
Effective June 1, 2015, the South African Department of Home Affairs has implemented new documentation requirements for individuals under 18 years of age travelling to and from South Africa. These include a full birth certificate displaying the child’s name and both parents’ information, passports for both parents, and a valid visa if required.
If only one parent is travelling with the child, they must present an unabridged birth certificate, an affidavit from the non-travelling parent granting permission for the child to travel, a court order granting full parental responsibility to the travelling parent, certified copies of both parents’ passports, and a 24-hour telephone number. It is important to note that any traveller under 18 who does not have the required documentation will be denied entry or exit from South Africa.