Will it be safe for me and my family to travel to Africa?
South Africa is a safe place for international travellers. However, it is sensible to take normal precautions while travelling, particular while in the city. Our hunting guests and their families are normally only in a large city when we meet you at the Customs exit at the Oliver Tambo International airport. It is recommended that you use traveller’s checks and credit cards rather than large amounts of cash. Every one of the Motswedi Staff is committed to the health and safety of you and your family while in our care. We will be with you and your family the entire time of your safari, from picking you up at Oliver Tambo Airport until dropping you off at the airport for departure. The areas where we will be hunting are typically countryside and/or quite rural areas and crime is not a significant problem at all. During your safari your professional hunter will see to it that you don’t get into any questionable situations. No visiting hunters or their families have ever been harmed while in the care of Motswedi Safari’s. Join us for the most relaxing feeling, natures beautiful sound and sights. Magnificence only Africa can offer you!
How do I get there?
From the US, we use and highly recommend Custom Travel Africa (Debbie), our preferred travel agent. If you have frequent flyer miles, you will need to deal directly with your specific airline. Plan ahead at least 6 months for this as the frequent flyer seats go very quickly. Click here to visit Custom Travel Africa website
What do I need to enter South Africa?
You and your family members will need a passport that is valid for 6 months beyond your departure date. Make sure you have at least 2 blank pages in each passport for visa stamps, more if you are adding stops to other countries in your itinerary. In 2004, the South African Passport control required you to have a front and back page blank that is titled Visa. Don’t check when you are on the airplane filling out your immigration form. Citizens from the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany and Spain do not require a Visa.
Click here to find a US Passport Office near to you.
Make a copy of your passport and put it in a bag that is separate from where you keep your passport. It is much easier to obtain a new passport if you have a copy of your passport. If you lose your passport, contact the US Embassy.
What types of guns and how many guns should I bring?
You don’t need to run out and buy new rifles unless you really want to. Plan on bringing a maximum of 2 sporting rifles into South Africa. The rifles that you use for hunting any deer species and other large game will work very well here. We recommend any of the following: 270, 308, 30-06, 300-Magnum, 7MM Magnum. These calibers are used with success frequently.
How much and what type of ammunition should I bring?
The airlines restrict how much ammunition you can carry by weight. You are allowed by South African law to bring in 200 rounds. We don’t plan on you shooting that much. Most hunters bring 40 to 60 rounds of ammunition. The best bullets we have seen are Premium type ammunition loaded with Barnes X, Swift A Frame or Nosler Partition bullets. We recommend you shoot a 150-180 grain bullet, whichever your rifle shoots most accurately.
What type of shooting practice should I do to get ready for my safari?
Make sure your rifle is shooting consistently and accurately with the ammunition you choose. If it’s not, get different ammunition. The number one rule for practicing is: GET OFF THE BENCH! Go to your deer lease or find a rifle range that will allow you to practice OFF THE BENCH. Shoot from the sitting and kneeling positions. Shoot off a tree limb or a tree trunk. Get a good pair of shooting sticks and shoot from those. The biggest challenge is getting your scope on the target and getting the shot off quickly. Many trophies have gotten away because a hunter waits more than 2 to 3 seconds getting everything perfect before they shoot. These trophies don’t get big and old by standing around looking at you aim at them. The best way to help yourself is make sure your rifle fits well; your rifle is shooting accurately and learn to shoot very quickly after the crosshairs are in place.
What kind of gun case should I ship my gun in?
Your gun should be packed in a crash resistant or metal case that locks. Don’t use the plastic case that’s on sale at the end of the hunting season for $19.95. In the US, you will need to make sure you get to the airport early enough to have you gun inspected by the TSA before it is placed on the airplane. Call your airline about the details of packing guns and bullets. They are the final word.
How do I ship my ammunition?
Your ammunition needs to be packed in a lock-box. The lock-box and the ammunition together cannot exceed 11 pounds/5 kilograms. You can only import 100 rounds of ammunition for the caliber of rifle you are importing and mostly importantly, your ammunition AND lock-box cannot exceed 11 pounds/5 kilograms. You are NOT ALLOWED to import ammunition that does not match the caliber of the rifle you are importing.
How do I import my gun into South Africa?
We highly recommend that you use a rifle permit import service called Riflepermits.com. This service is very inexpensive compared to the time and hassle that this service saves you. They will save you anywhere from 1-4 hours of waiting for you gun in the police office. You usually obtain your rifle within 5-10 minutes when using their service.
To use their service please visit their website at: Riflepermits.com
How do I get my US Customs Form 4457?
You will need to go by a US Customs office and fill out a Customs Form 4457 before you go on your trip. The US Customs Service has offices at any large international airport. Check you government pages in the phone book to find the phone number for your local Customs office. Do not wait until the day of your departure to get this form at the airport. Get it at least 6 months ahead of time.
Click here to download the US Customs Form 4457
How do I pick up my rifle once I arrive in South Africa?
Upon arrival, after passing through passport control, you will pick up your checked baggage. You then pass through customs and proceed to the meeting area. You will be met there by a Riflepermits.com representative who will provide you with your paperwork and escort you to the South African Police Services (SAPS) firearm control office. When your firearm arrives, you will then complete your import of your rifle into South Africa with the help of the Riflepermits.com representative. Make sure you don’t lose your rifle permit. Remember, if you bring a firearm in, you must take it back out with you. It is illegal to leave your firearm in South Africa. If you book you hunt with us, we will provide you with more details on what is required. Once again for instructions and forms go to: Riflepermits.com
How long will the shots be?
Most of your shots will be 150 yards or less. It doesn’t always work that way, and longer shots are taken, but typically, 150 yards or less is the normal shot. It’s best if you know where your bullet will strike at 50, 100, 150 and 200 yards. We work very hard to keep all shots to 100 yards or less as we don’t want to spend your valuable hunting time chasing a wounded animal through the bush. The most important part of shooting here is many of the shots come quickly so it’s important to be able to put your face on your rifle, look down the scope and acquire the target and shoot accurately within 2 to 3 seconds. The trophy animals her haven’t survived by standing around watching intruders in their world. The survive by fleeing and will not stand and look at you all day.
When is the best time to go hunting in South Africa?
We prefer our guests to come between May 1′st and September 30th. This is late fall, winter and early spring for us, so our weather is quite nice. If you schedule doesn’t allow for those dates, we will be happy to accommodate you when your schedule allows.
How long does it take to get my heads, hides and horns back?
Sometimes between four and eight months depending on how fast the South African Parks officials will issue an export permit after it is requested. It also depends on when you go. Typically, if you hunt later in the season, it takes longer to get your trophies back. The one definite answer is there are no concrete answers when it comes to your trophies. Once we deliver your trophies to the taxidermist, this issue is now in their hands. We will do frequent follow-up to ensure a successful process.
What does daily rates include
- Services of Professional Hunter
- Trackers and Skinners
- Camp Personnel and 4 x 4 Hunting Vehicle
- Meals and Beverages
- Daily Laundry Service
- Field Preparation of Trophies
- Transportation of Trophies to Local Taxidermist
What does daily rates exclude?
- Daily Rate Excludes:
- Trophy fees for Game taken or wounded
- Taxidermy fees; Dipping, Packing and Shipping to final destination
- Hotel charges before and after contracted safari period
- Non-Hunting activities: Sun City, Pilanesberg National Park, Kruger National Park
Who do I pay for the dipping, packing and shipping?
You will pay the shipping company in South Africa and the receiving company/broker here in the US. It will be two different payments as they are not the same company. You will usually receive a fax, email or phone call from the shipping company in South Africa telling you your order is ready to be shipped. Once you pay them, either by credit card or bank transfer, your trophies will be shipped. The receiving company in the US will contact you when your trophies have arrived. They will hold your trophies until you pay for them. You can either pick them up personally, have your taxidermist pick them up or ship them to you taxidermist for mounting.
What is the weather like?
It is almost always sunny and dry from May through September. Temperatures range from low 30s F (0 C) and can warm up to the 70s F (20 C) during the day. Some days will be cooler than that. It can rain occasionally so make sure your jacket is water resistant.
What type of clothing should I bring?
The most important thing for this hunt is good footwear. We highly recommend leather boots that are well broken in as well as high quality hiking socks. This is not the trip to break in a new pair of boots or to wear cheap socks. You may be walking a great deal, and blisters on a safari are no fun. An extra pair of boot laces is nice to have just in case one breaks. You may want to bring camps shoes co you can get out of you boots if you like.
Long pants or shorts are both good while hunting. Pants with legs that zip out and convert to shorts can be quite handy.
Think layered clothing for hunt. It will be quite cool in the morning but usually will warm up during the day. Having a nice warm jacket, a pull over fleece or a sweater you can take off later in the day works well. You will want to bring a pair of warm gloves for the cold mornings as well. A light rain jacket is also a great idea in case you encounter an extremely rare wet day on your hunt.
As far as color of clothing, camouflage is great if you prefer. Dark clothing such as olive, dark green and dark tan also works well. It’s best to avoid light colored khaki clothing if at all possible.
Don’t forget a hat or cap of your choosing for skin protection.
Belt and a cartridge holder can make life much easier for you during the hunt.
Your laundry is done every day except Sunday so we recommend four pair of undergarments, 4 pair of socks, 3 shirts and three pants/shorts for your stay.
Most of our hunting guests and their families wear their hunting clothes for dinner as we retire to the fire before and after dinner on most nights. If you wish to have some other comfortable clothes to wear to dinner, a sweat suit, or jeans and a sweater or sweatshirt would be fine.
Can I drink the water there without getting sick?
Our water supply is completely safe to drink from the tap. We also keep an abundant supply of bottled water on hand for our guests if they prefer.
Do I need immunization before I come to South Africa?
No immunizations are required to enter South Africa. A tetanus booster and Hepatitis A vaccines are recommended by the Center for Disease control. We recommend you look at the CDC web site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel/safrica.html to learn more about health issues in South Africa. It’s a good idea to consult with your personal physician about travelling to Africa well before you leave.
The primary hunting area for Motswedi Safari’s is malaria free. If your hunt takes you to other provinces, we will inform you if a malaria medicine is needed. You will need to start taking the medicines at least a week before you come. Again, consult your doctor and pharmacist for instructions.
What happens if I need to fill a prescription or see a doctor?
Your prescription can be refilled here in South Africa. It would be best if you bring enough of your medication to last for the entire trip so de don’t take away from important hunting time. If you’re concerned about running out, have your doctor write a prescription for you and bring it with you.
South Africa has excellent medical facilities and medical care.
What about special insurance cover?
You may purchase several types of insurance for you safari. Baggage insurance, firearm insurance, trip cancellation insurance, travel insurance and medical evacuation insurance are all areas of consider to make yourself more financially secure before you leave on your trip. Your travel agent can help you with trip cancellation, travel and medical evacuation.
The best firearm insurance for the money is with Sportsmanís Insurance Agency. You can reach them at 0800-5-7767 or visit them on the web at www.siai.net. Motswedi Safari’s highly recommends you insure your rifle for this long trek.
You have multiple choices for medical evacuation companies. You can buy a year policy or a policy to covers just your individual trip. Here are a few companies you can check with.
Wilderness Medical Systems – http://www.wildernessmedical.com
Med Jet - http://www.mejetassistance.com
Medex – http://www.medexassist.com
What kind of personal items should I bring?
What you bring is up to you, but here are items that at least one hunting guest or family member has said, ‘I wish I had brought_______________’ or ‘I forgot my ____________’.
Camera and more film than you think you need
Video camera, tapes battery charger and extra battery.
Any medical prescription and allergy medicines
Insect repellent with at least 35% DEET
Eyeglasses, contacts, sunglasses
Band aids and mole skin
Flashlight and batteries
Lip balm with sunscreen
220 to 110 voltage converter and adapter plug
Personal toiletries, shaving or cosmetic kit
Good reading material. It’s a long plane trip
Camera and Video camera!
Warm jacket and gloves
Pocket knife or scissors ’96
Diary and writing pen
Small sewing kit with buttons
The sun is very intense here even though it may not be summer time. Make sure you pack sunscreen and lip balm with sunscreen to protect yourself while you are in sunny South Africa.
What currency is used in South Africa?
The South African Rand is used in South Africa for all purchases. You can see how your currency converts by linking to the following web site:http://www.xe.com/ucc/
You may exchange your currency for Rand at the airport when you arrive or at a bank on the way to the hunting area. Travellers checks and all major currencies can be exchanged at banks and various exchange companies. Banks are open Monday ’96 Friday 9am ’96 3:pm and Saturday 8:30am ’96 11am. Most ATM machines support the Cirrus network cards. You can check with you bank before you leave and find out if your ATM card will be accepted in South Africa.
Most shops, hotels and restaurants accept Visa, Master Card and American Express. Keep your passport available as you may need picture id when you use a credit card.
What about tipping?
Tipping is never required but is greatly appreciated. Please use you own discretion according to the level of service that you were provided throughout your safari. Feel free to ask your outfitter if you have questions on tipping. They can give you great guidance in that area. We prefer that you bring US$ cash for tips to you guide and staff.
How do I pay for the balance of my safari?
We accept US$ cash. You can also make special arrangements with us to pay the balance of your safari with a personal check if you have more than 50%of you safari paid in advance. Please bring US$ cash for tips to your guide and staff.
Do I need an electrical converter or adapter?
You will need both a converter to plug your items into and an adapter to plug into the outlet. The converter will change the voltage from 230-240 Volts, 50HZ to 120Volts. You can find converters and adapters at any electronics store like Radio Shack or department stores like Wal-Mart or Target. Motswedi does have a few converter and adapters in camp, but it’s best to bring you own to insure you have one. For our lady guests who need a hair dryer, we will have hairdryers that are designed for South African electrical outlets. No need to bring along the big hair dryer.
To make sure you are getting the correct adapter, please click here.
What kind of phone service can I get on my safari?
You can rent a cell phone at Johannesburg Int airport that will work well in the safari erea. Also, if you have a GMS enables US cell phone, you may make international calls ONLY if you have the international calls feature turned on. In most cases, this requires a visit to your carrier’s store or a phone call to their customer service department. Once you have enabled international calling, you will be able to make calls in most areas of the country, depending on your carrier and the agreements they have in place with local carriers to provide service to their clients. (Cingular works well in camp.) Another option would be a satellite phone. If you desire one of these services, please let us know. We can connect you with a company who can serve your needs in this area.
Can I get internet access while I am on safari?
We do not have the capability at this time to allow you to connect to the internet. Whatever family you don’t bring with you will have all appropriate emergency phone numbers for Motswedi Safari’s as well as an email address for emergency contact. In an emergency situation, we will insure you have communication capability. We just cannot provide it as a standard service at this time due to our remote location and limited service.
What is the time difference between the US and South Africa?
In summer in the US, South Africa is 6 hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time, 7 hours ahead of Central Daylight Time, 8 hours ahead of Mountain Daylight Time and 9 hours ahead of Pacific Daylight Time. See table below for explanation.