General Hunting Travel Info

Preparing for a safari is almost as much fun as the trip itself.

by Diana Rupp


The anticipation has been building for months, and at last the day is almost here. I’m getting ready to leave for a safari in Namibia, via a flight to Washington, DC, where I’ll connect with South African Airways to Johannesburg, and then on to Windhoek. My duffel is stuffed with safari clothes and soft-soled leather boots and lots of additional stuff I probably won’t really need; my rifle is sighted in and ready to be locked in its case; three boxes of ammo are locked in a hard-sided pistol case inside the duffel; and my carry-on contains my passport and a sheaf of other paperwork as well as cameras, reading material, and a variety of sleep aids for that 16-hour ordeal in coach.

They're big planes, but they seem awfully tiny when you've been wedged in a coach seat for hours and hours.

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A successful hunt begins well before you take that first step out of a vehicle, lodge, tent, or your back door. It pays to plan ahead, and this goes double when you are heading out of the country.

Keith Atcheson with a Botswana elephant.

“Staying well organized and knowing what to expect requires guidance by an experienced booking agent or professional hunter,” says Keith Atcheson, who is a representative with booking agency Jack Atcheson & Sons, based in Butte, Montana. Your PH or outfitter will provide you with the basics, but when it comes to making sure you have remembered everything and know what to expect, Atcheson says, “A good agent here in the States is usually more practical and effective."

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An overview of the TSA rules for flying with your hunting firearms, ammunition, and other hunting equipment

By Ron Spomer

They took my Swiss Army knife. They took my mini screwdriver repair kit. They even took my tweezers once. But they haven’t taken my guns yet, and if I pay attention and follow the rules, they hopefully never will.

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Tips and tricks to ensure your hunting guns arrive when you do.

By Ron Spomer

To my knowledge, firearms have not been used in the hijacking of an airliner in decades Sportsmen’s firearms checked as legal baggage have not been involved in any airline hijackings since—well, ever.

Nevertheless, traveling hunters face ever more strict regulations for flying with the tools of their trade. The rules continue to vary from airline to airline, country to country, check-in agent to check-in agent. As suggested before in this column, one is best prepared to fly firearms by getting complete, written rules and regulations that apply to one’s destination country/airline. One’s outfitter ought to provide this. For in-country flights, one should scour his/her airline’s website for its latest baggage rules/restrictions. Print out those rules in case you need backup at the check-in counter.

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It just takes some planning.

You’ve been dreaming about doing a big hunt--a trip to Alaska, your first African safari--but pesky necessities like mortgage payments and utility bills keep getting in the way. Despite the rising cost of guided hunts today, determined hunters of modest means need not despair of participating in a far-flung adventure. Here are a few ways to start working toward that dream hunt:

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