Hunting Safari Firearms and Equipment

Rifle calibers and firearm import procedure in South Africa

We have a variety of rifle calibers suitable for plains game and dangerous game hunting. All our rifles are field tested and accurate and have suitable, high-quality optics. Rifle hire is included in all our safaris – we don’t charge extra for it. Ammunition is charged at cost, normally $2 per round for medium calibers and $4 per round for dangerous game rounds.

We’ll assist you with the paperwork should you wish to bring your own rifle. We can also recommend an agent, Rifle Permits ( who will obtain a pre-issued temporary rifle import permit on your behalf. They’ll meet your flight in Johannesburg and Cape Town and walk you through the process at the SA Police services at the airport. It’s a relatively simple process and the following documentation is required

  • valid passport
  • travel itinerary and return airline ticket
  • letter of invitation from Karoo Wild Safaris
  • proof of ownership (firearm license or completed form CBP 4457 for US hunters)
  • completion of SAP 520 form (unsigned – to be signed at SAPS firearm office in airport)

The following aren’t allowed

  • any automatic or semi-automatic firearm
  • more than one firearm of the same caliber per hunter
  • more than 200 rounds of ammunition per person per firearm

Firearms must be transported in a hard, lockable case. Ammunition must be transported in a separate, lockable case. Please pack a rifle sling.

Please allow a 3-hour layover between the arrival of your international flight in Johannesburg / Cape Town and the departure of your domestic or regional flight.

We have soft gun cases for use during your hunting safari. Shooting sticks are commonly used during African hunting trips, we have a wide selection of modern shooting sticks for your use.

We recommend bringing the rifle that you’re most comfortable shooting in a walk and stalk hunting environment. There are many different opinions regarding suitable calibers for African hunting. In our opinion, bullet choice is the most important aspect of an African hunting safari. Bring quality, bonded soft points or monolithic bullets for plains game and dangerous game hunting. For the sake of simplicity and accuracy, stick to one bullet type and weight for each firearm. 40 rounds per firearm is adequate.

As a rule of thumb

  • a minimum of .270 (130gr soft point or monolithic) is suitable for general plains game hunting.
  • eland are the heaviest plains game and 7mm (160 grain soft point) is recommended.
  • minimum legal caliber for dangerous game hunting is .375 (265 grain soft point or monolithic)
  • elephant and hippo, a minimum .416 is recommended (400 grain monolithic or solid bullets)

Aardwolf, genet, bat eared fox and some of the smaller carnivores are soft skinned and specialized bullets are required to avoid damage to the hides.