I'm headed to South Africa next spring for my first plains game hunt with a friend of mine who is new to hunting. We'll be hunting for kudu, impala, warthog, blesbok, reedbuck, and zebra. My friend's current rifle is a .270 Ruger M77 Hawkeye and he's trying to decide what to do for his second rifle. He's strongly considering either the Ruger Compact Magnum in .300 RCM or the Ruger African in .375 Ruger. Do you have any experience with either of these cartridges?
My primary rifle is a 9.3x62mm and I can either go lighter with a Ruger No. 1 in 6.5x55 Swede or heavier with a custom Ruger No. 1 in .500/416 NE for my second rifle. What do you recommend? We're putting in the range time before we go and we've started shooting from sticks as well. Is there anything else we should be doing to prepare?
I plan to hunt in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa come August of 2012. I plan on taking warthog, zebra, and black wildebeest with a .30-06 Springfield rifle. Is Hornady 185-grain SP and Hornady 165-grain SST ammo adequate for this type of game? Any suggestions?
The .30-06 Springfield is most certainly adequate for the species you will be hunting in SA’s Northern Cape Province. For warthog and black wildebeest, neither of which are large-bodied animals, either of the two Hornady bullets you mention, 180-grain SP or 165-grain SST, will do just fine if you do your part and place them perfectly.
Zebra are a different matter, especially a big stallion. Granted, many zebra have been taken successfully with .30-caliber 180-grainers, but to be honest, I prefer a bit more bullet weight for these striped equines, especially at what are known as “bushveld” shooting distances--in other words, 100 to 150 paces.
It took him most of a lifetime to get to Africa... but it was worth the wait!
By Sonny Merritt
It was 4:00 a.m. when I pulled on my boots and walked out into the cool night air. Last evening's campfire had been reduced to embers but I welcomed its lingering warmth as I settled into a dew-dampened canvas chair. The unfamiliar calls of unseen birds overhead caught my attention, and when I looked up, I saw that the Southern Cross was right where I had left it just a few short hours before.
"You're not in Texas any more," I said to myself. "And you're not in Kansas, either." I was in the Karoo of South Africa, and I was so stoked by the excitement of a grueling but successful kudu hunt and the taking of a monster steenbok, I could not sleep.
Every sunset is beautiful, but this one over the Karoo was spectacular.
The Professional Hunting Association of South Africa recently warned that foreign hunters who wish to hunt in South Africa should be sure they know the legal requirements for hunting in the country and aren’t fooled by advertisements for unguided hunting opportunities sometimes advertised in South African magazines and association newsletters and on websites. These advertised hunts are aimed at the resident South African hunter, but overseas hunters also have access to this information, especially via websites. South African provincial legislation clearly states that a foreign client may not hunt in South Africa unless the hunt is organized and presented by a registered hunting outfit and the client is guided or escorted by a registered professional hunter.
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.READ MORE