South Africa requires a temporary import/export permit for firearms and ammunition when traveling to South Africa.
The following are rules & regulations for the import/export/transit of firearms to South Africa;
- You may temporarily import a maximum of four firearms per hunter, but not more than one of the same caliber.
- You may only bring ammunition applicable to the firearms that you will be carrying.
- No person under the age of 21 may bring firearms into South Africa or apply for a temporary import permit in his / her name.
- The barrel, frame or action is to be marked with the same serial number.
- Semi automatic shotguns for bird hunting or a custom made handgun can be bought into South Africa for hunting purposes only.
- No self protection firearms allowed.
- If in transit, permits are required by any passenger spending the night in South Africa while in transit to a third country. The same pre-requisites apply as to obtain the normal temporary import permit.
Firearm Import/Export permits can be issued at both our international ports of entry, Johannesburg and Cape Town International airports, or applied for before your arrival in South Africa. We strongly recommend using Air 2000 / Hunters Support to assist you through this process. Follow the link, for all documentation and requirements. By sending Air 2000/Hunters Support the required details, they will apply for the permit on your behalf; meet you at the airport and walking you through customs onto your connecting flight. Please note Air 2000 Hunters Support does charge a minimal fee for this service – be sure to double check rates with them at the time of the service.
If you will be using the Air 2000 Hunters Support service to assist in the clearance of your rifle/s upon arrival and departure, then please take note of the following.
- All applications must be completed in black ink and in the original form, no Photostats or emailed copies will be accepted.
- The copy of the signature and photo page of the passport must be notarized by a notary with a notation specifying : I hereby confirm this is a true copy of the original document signed and stamped.
- The copy of the proof of ownership i.e. copy of the firearm license or US Customs form 4457 must also be notarized with the notation specifying: I hereby confirm this is a true copy of the original document signed and stamped.
Very Important : No applications will be accepted by Air 2000 Hunters Support if the lead time is less than 4-6 weeks prior to your arrival in South Africa.
Permits for semi-automatic shotguns must be submitted to Central Firearms 90 days prior to arrival into South Africa, and the letter of motivation must be in the original format as per the requirements of the Firearms Control Act.
Don’t forget to send off your Hunters Support paperwork sooner rather than later, not forgetting we need all of the following:
- Hunters Support form
- SAPS 520
- Notarized copy of the passport
- Notarized copy of the US Customs form 4457 or License (which ever is applicable)
- Hard copy of your flight itinerary
If you have any queries or questions please just email Air 2000 on firstname.lastname@example.org and they will gladly assist.
Lastly - When dealing with Air 2000 Hunters Support and acquiring their custom clearing service/s, be sure to specify if you would like to be met upon international arrival only OR upon arrival and departure into/from South Africa.
Traveling with Ammunition for your Rifle/s
ALL ammunition you are traveling with, within South Africa and regionally within Southern Africa on South African Airways, SA Air link and SA Express must be in a separate locked hard ammunition case.
At this time there is no problem arriving into South Africa with your ammunition in your checked bag but you will need to place it in its very own hard case, SEPARATE from either your checked luggage or Rifle hard case, before catching your connection to your final destination. All ammunition in its own hard case will travel with the firearm but separate from the firearm/s hard case from your port of entry into South Africa onto final destination.
Also note a maximum of 200 rounds of ammunition is allowed per firearm/per caliber. Most airlines have a weight limit on ammunition of +-11 lbs, which is approximately 140 rounds of 243 / 120 rounds of 300 Win Mag / 100 rounds of 375. From past experience we would recommend no more than 80 rounds per caliber.
To make this as hassle free process as possible, for the benefit of our clients, John X Safaris has installed links for both the required application forms.
SAP 520 Application for the temporary import/export of firearms to South Africa.
US Customs Form 4457 for proof of ownership of the rifle/s from the USA.
For additional questions regarding traveling to South Africa with rifles or for a safari review this resource.
Lastly, hunters traveling with rifles will require a Letter of Invitation from John X Safaris. Hit the link and complete the required fields prior to submitting your Letter of Invitation to Air 2000 Hunters Support or arriving at either of our international airports.
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What People Are Saying
Thank you to Carl and the entire staff at John X Safaris. The accommodations and overall experience in the camps were exceptional. A special thanks to my friend and PH Rusty. The trophy quality and fun we had hunting together in the coastal areas and the Karoo was second to none.
Thanks for a truly unforgettable safari. See you in the future.
"Great Hunt. Great Time. Carl is very accommodating. The patience & diligence in selecting trophy animals speaks loudly of the quality hunt that John X & Staff are known for."~ Paul & Sandra Dellva '13 from
Our John X Safaris experience was outstanding. The food was perfect and our accommodations were superb. Ed Wilson our PH went above and beyond our expectations to make sure our hunts were memorable. I would be honoured to recommend John X Safaris and our PH Ed Wilson to anyone considering a safari in South Africa. We cant wait to return!
Thanks again to everyone especially Carl, Ed and Stix.
"We had a wonderful time and staff was awesome! Our stay was amazing and made lots of special memories. We will certainly recommend this place to others! Everyone was always friendly and courteous and so willing to make our stay perfect. The food was amazing, we never went hungry. The game drives were exciting, seeing all the different animals & getting our photos!
Thank you again!"
"Carl another excellent Safari my friend! I had a wonderful time and can't wait to get back. Everything was done very professionally, and I would like to thank you very much."~ Jeff Edland '12 from USA
"This was the hunt of a lifetime and something I will never forget. I have never been treated so nicely and had so much fun. The folks at John X Safaris are the most professional I have dealt with.
You are all the BEST!!!"