Hunting in Africa

Bringing a rifle into South Africa for your safari hunt doesn't have to be difficult.

Bringing hunting firearms into South Africa is relatively easy, but you do need to be prepared before you arrive or you face a long wait.

Make absolutely sure you have the following documents in hand when you arrive (and copies of each just in case): Passport; return tickets to your country of origin (or copy of your itinerary); a letter of invitation from the outfitter with the outfitter's permit number on it; a stamped and endorsed Proof of Ownership for your firearms (for U.S. citizens, that's a U.S. Customs form 4457; for all other citizens, bring a firearms certificate or hunting license with your guns listed); and the SAP 520 form completed in black ink in block letters. (You can download this form at www.saps.gov.za.) The hunter must NOT sign this document at home but rather must do so in the presence of a police officer at the airport in South Africa. This form can be downloaded from the Professional Hunters of South Africa Web site, or your outfitter can arrange to have the form sent to you before you leave.

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By Diana Rupp

When I returned from a seven-day buffalo safari in Tanzania last September, friends who were planning their own safari asked what I'd learned on the trip. Here are a few of the tips I shared with them.

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