Rifle Hunting in South Africa
Patience, persistence and a little bit of luck is the key to your success when hunting in SA.
With the rifle, we follow a walk and stalk method. Initially we will enable you to cover a wide area by driving you around, and when you have spotted something worth going after, you will get of the car, together with the professional hunter, and stalk the game.
It is important for us that you succeed, hence we will assist you where possible to get a reasonably good shot at your target.
Firearms and ammunition
For rifle hunting in South Africa, specific firearms and calibers are recommended. Please see below.
- .30 caliber or bigger for soft skinned plains game. We recommend good heavy bullets such as Norma, Swift A-Frames and Nosler Partition bullets. Pack at least 40 to 60 rounds.
- A minimum of .375 caliber for thick skinned and dangerous game such as buffalo, elephant and hippo. Pack both solids and soft points, approximately 40 of each.
South Africa requires specific import documentation for any firearms and weaponry for hunting purposes. For details please see the current Import Requirements. Click and download the SAPS 520 application form here.
South African restrictions with regards to entering the country with weaponry and ammunition for hunting purposes:
- Only one firearm of a specific caliber. Two or more firearms of the same caliber are not allowed.
- No fully automatic or semi-automatic weaponry allowed.
- No weaponry that falls under military categories.
- Handguns must be accompanied by pre-approved import permits for handguns. These permits need to be arranged and obtained 60 days prior to arrival and entering the country.
- A maximum of 80 rounds of ammunition.
Airlines have specific requirements with regards to travelling with firearms or any weaponry. In general these requirements include the following:
- Firearms or weaponry to be packed in heavy plastic bags or metal gun cases for transportation.
- A certain maximum of rounds of ammunition. Check with your airline for the stipulation on the limitation of ammunition as well as the packaging thereof.
- Check with your airline on their specific requirements on how ammunition must be transported.
Typical Shot Ranges for Rifles
The African bush is largely dense and thick. With limited bush visibility, the average shooting ranges are as follows:
- Rifle hunting ranges vary between 50 to 120 meters
- Bow hunting ranges vary between 15 to 20 meters
In areas that are more open with better visibility, better rifle shots may vary between 100 to 150 meters.
In the process, it is important that the hunter (you) make the decision on the shot. Your Professional Hunting Guide (Gaspare Spanio) will not urge you to take a near impossible shot. My rule of thumb is if I can make the shot, you can. However, if you are not comfortable with the shot, you can decide not to take it. Together, we will then search for another opportunity. I apply this rule to both rifle and bow hunting. Our aim is to provide you with a real experience and the adventure of it. Where it comes to African hunting, we are not chasing miracle shots.
Rifle Shooting Test
Gaspare Spanio Safaris have our own shooting range where you can clean, inspect and test your rifle for accuracy. It is an important part of your African hunting success, therefore we take time to assist you where needed.