Safari Life Taxidermy - preserving Africa through artistry
Safari Life Taxidermy - preserving Africa through artistry
Safari Life Taxidermy - preserving Africa through artistry
Safari Life Taxidermy - preserving Africa through artistry
Safari Life Taxidermy - preserving Africa through artistry
Safari Life Taxidermy - Water Buffalo


Visitors bringing firearms into South Africa for hunting purposes should try to obtain a copy of the Temporary Firearm Import Application in advance.

• Download Temporary Firearm Importation Application SAPS520.
• Complete this form before arrival in South Africa. This is recommended if possible to help streamline the entry process. The form however can be filled out on arrival.
• The form must be completed in black ink and left unsigned until the document is finalized in front of the police official issuing the actual permit at the airport.

Required along with the SAPS520 will be the following:

1. Passport
2. Airline Tickets
3. Proof of Ownership, i.e. firearm licenses, etc. While the South African Police Service has been lenient up until now regarding proof of ownership, they are now stricter in this regard. To preclude any problems on arrival, please make sure you have proof of ownership by the way of a gun license, customs declaration letter from the country of origin, etc. Proof of ownership is obligatory.
4. Contact Details for Client While in South Africa. Please make sure that you have the company name, and the name of your outfitter, as well as addresses and contact telephone numbers in South Africa of where they will be staying / hunting during the course of your hunt. Both business telephone number and cell number must be supplied. This information is necessary for the actual Temporary Import Permit, as well as if the Police need to get in contact for any reason.
5. A Letter of Invitation from the outfitter addressed to the client with all these details which the client can produce on arrival. Include:dates, Outfitter number, area to be hunted, etc. on a company letterhead.

The police are also truly aware of the nature conservation legislation and the fact that a hunt undertaken by a foreign client legally must be organized by a hunting outfitter, therefore if a client cannot produce who his outfitter is and where he will be hunting, it may be presumed he does not have an outfitter and could be operating illegally in South Africa. In such a case the SAPS may not issue a Temporary Import Permit and hold the client's firearms in safekeeping until that client leaves South Africa.

• Firearms will be physically inspected to ensure the serial numbers match those of the licenses and the application forms, Ammunition will also be inspected, and it is important to note that this ammunition also requires a permit.

Procedure to be followed on arrival at the Johannesburg Airport (O.R. Tambo AIRPORT)

1.Clear passport control in whichever Terminal where the flight arrives.(Generally, SAA and its co-partners at Terminal 2, and all other airlines in Terminal 1).
2.Proceed to baggage claim at the respective carousel. Pick up general baggage, then proceed to the respective airline Help Desk to pick up firearms from the airline company and sign receipt for the firearms.
3.Proceed to the South African Police Firearm Office. Look for the office signage.(N.B. Do not at this stage proceed to customs)
4.On receipt of the temporary import permit at the SAP Firearms Office, proceed to Customs, the Red Zone, where you declare the firearms and finish other custom clearance procedures.
5.For those visitors clearing customs at any of the other international points of entry, please take note of the relevant suggestions made above which relate to documentation, requirements, etc.

• Please ensure sufficient time is allowed to go through the temporary importation permit process and to clear customs. During the busy periods of the hunting season up to seventy clients may be needing permits at the same time.

We would therefore recommend at least three hours should be set aside for this procedure.

• Also, ensure that your firearms arrive on the same flight as you do. This must be done with the airline company on departure.
• Your firearms may only be signed for by you and will not be released to your outfitter or professional hunter should it/they arrive on a separate flight. In this case, the firearms will be held by the SAPS until such time as you claim ownership in person.
• Please do not pay for any service regarding the handling of a firearm at Johannesburg International Airport, or any port of entry. This is a free service and the South African Police Service asks clients not to pay anybody involved in handling firearms from the time of arrival in South Africa right through until you received your firearm and the permit from the SAPS. Clients that are paying the various airline company staff or the security company involved are actually creating a problem.
• Please note however that there is a handling fee charged by airlines and/or security companies for the handling of handguns.
• Temporary Import Permits (SAPS520) are issued to the particular person and are not transferable. Temporary Import permits are issued for a period of 90 or 180 days.
• When the visitor departs from the country, he MUST take all the firearms as stated on the Import Permit with him. He is not allowed to leave any of the firearms mentioned on the SAP520 in South Africa.
• Should a firearm not be declared and a temporary import permit not issued, and you proceed through customs without declaring a firearm, you will face severe penalties and possible arrest on departure from South Africa.
• There is no permit required, nor any charge by the South African Police Service for a bow. Handling fees are charged by airline and/or security companies for bows and handguns, but not for rifles.
• No more than one firearm per caliber and 200 rounds per caliber will be allowed into the country.
• The only exception to this is for shotguns, where more than one shotgun of the same caliber may be allowed for bird hunting purposes if the client produces on arrival at the South African Police Gun Office an acceptable written motivation as to why he/she requires more than one shotgun of the same caliber.
• Permits will only be issued for ammunition which is accompanied by a firearm of the same caliber.
• Temporary Import Permits will not be issued for anyone under the age of 21.

Note: Prohibitions of firearms are: (Section 32 of the Arms and Ammunition Act, 1969) (No 75 of 1969

• Automatic or Semi-Automatic Rifles
• Automatic or Semi-Automatic Shotguns
• Hand Carbines
• Strict controls on automatic and semi-automatic firearms are enforced.
• The SAPS requests applications for semi-automatic shotguns be made well in advance so that the necessary administrative work can be completed authorizing the issuing of the permit before the client arrives in South Africa.No application on arrival will be considered.
• No temporary imports will be issued for semi-automatic or automatic rifles.


South African Airways (SAA) is the only airline carrier that allows firearms on board.

FIREARMS: Passengers that wish to travel with their firearms may do so provided that the follow the policy and procedures as dictated by South African Airways.


Domestic (within and from the Republic of South Africa)

Departure (Inclusive of International departures)

Firearms may NOT be packed inside checked luggage and must therefore be packed in an appropriate lockable firearm container or case, separate from checked luggage.

Ammunition must be separated from weapons and may be packed within checked luggage, but must be properly secured in an ammunition case or solid box. No ammunition may be packed loosely in checked baggage or within the same case as firearms.

All firearms and ammunition must be declared to the airline check-in agent at the time of check-in. Undeclared firearms and ammunition within checked luggage will result in such baggage being rejected during mandatory checked baggage screening, and will result in the passenger being required to open such baggage for further inspection and safe handling, or the confiscation of such items for further processing and forwarding on a subsequent flight.

Check-in agents will issue the relevant baggage tags and will then direct firearm owners to the appropriate firearm desk for inspection and processing of firearms and ammunition for secure handling to the aircraft.

During the acceptance process at the appropriate firearm desk, the following will be conducted:

The owner of the firearm will be required to produce a valid license or temporary import permit for the firearm(s) and ammunition.

The owner of the firearm(s) will be required to make and declare the firearm(s) safe and unloaded for carriage.

Security staff will request the firearm owner to open his/her checked luggage to verify that ammunition is securely packed and that the total weight of ammunition per license holder does not exceed 5kg’s in weight.

The owner of the firearm will be required to complete a firearm register for handover to security staff, who will ensure the secure loading of such items.

The staff at the firearm desk will send a pre-advise notification message to the receiving station, advising them of details and loading positions of firearms.

Checked baggage containing ammunition will be affixed with a special tag, indicating that such bag was already subjected to inspection, to avoid screening authorities from delaying or confiscating such bag for further security controls.

Handguns (Pistols, revolvers, etc)

A R100 handling fee is raised for the carriage of handguns. Payment will only be accepted in the form of credit cards or cash at the firearm desk or allocated firearms acceptance area. These firearms will be processed at the firearm desk for safe carriage in the hold of the aircraft. There will be no charge for handguns carried with hunting equipment if packed in the same case as hunting rifles.

Rifles (in gun case / rifle bags)

Rifles must be processed via the firearm desk for safe carriage and may form part of your free baggage allowance. Thereafter the excess baggage allowance will be raised as applicable


A maximum of 5kg securely boxed ammunition per passenger will be permitted for carriage either as a separate piece of baggage or within checked baggage in the hold of the aircraft. Screening authorities may however delay baggage containing ammunition, if such ammunition was not declared at check-in and is therefore not marked with an appropriate tag indicating that such ammunition was already security inspected.


Upon arrival, passengers are required to proceed to the allocated firearm desk to collect firearms. Checked baggage containing ammunition may be collected at the normal airport baggage carousel. Ammunition handed in separately may be collected at the firearm desk.


(All SAA flights departing from outside the Republic of South Africa, arriving in South Africa)

Standard legislation pertaining to the carriage of weapons and ammunition for each destination will apply. It is therefore the traveler’s responsibility to verify and ensure compliance with local laws on the possession and carriage of weapons.


Passengers should not pack any firearms within checked baggage. Firearms must be packed in suitable lockable firearm cases or bags.

Where possible, declare firearms and request the airline to place a firearm identification tag on such items, as this will assist in the correct loading and delivery handling on SAA flights arriving in South Africa.

Where passengers originate their journey on South African Airways, we request that you declare the firearms and any checked baggage containing ammunition to check-in staff for appropriate handling and labeling.

Ammunition may be carried within checked luggage, provided that it is securely packed in a lockable or secure container, and that the total weight does not exceed 5kg’s of ammunition per passenger carrying a firearm. (In general, most airlines allow the carriage of ammunition in terms of the dictums of ICAO Dangerous Goods Standards and associated airline processes followed in terms of IATA requirements/guidance).

DO NOT pack ammunition loosely in checked baggage.


Upon arrival in South Africa, all declared or identified firearms may be collected directly from the firearm office just after immigration. Any firearms either not declared upon departure, or not identified by an appropriate label will be delivered to the normal baggage carousal for collection.

After collection of checked baggage containing ammunition, you are required to proceed to the SA Police Firearm Office, where all necessary import permits and other documentation will be finalized.

Passengers with onward domestic flights:

Passengers with onward domestic flights must clear firearms and ammunition at the SA Police firearm office before proceeding through customs and will then be required to follow the process as described for Domestic flights above for onward and return journeys

Passengers with onward international flights:

Passengers with onward international flights may have their firearms and ammunition through checked to the final destination. Do however note that such firearms and ammunition may be blocked by airport baggage screening staff for inspection, which will require the airline to page each passenger to proceed to a designated baggage reconciliation area, where you will be required to open any bags containing ammunition for inspection.

We urge passengers to declare baggage containing ammunition to the SAA handling agents at the point where you originally join SAA flights to avoid delays during the transfer process.

Passengers with onward international flights who have not through checked firearms and ammunition will be required to clear all firearms and ammunition through the SA Police firearm office, before proceeding to International check-in for onward connection check-in. The requirements for domestic flight departures as documented above will apply to all firearms and ammunition carried in this manner.

General information and assistance:

Strict legislation on the carriage / importation of hand held firearms exist in almost all countries and heavy fines could be imposed on the passenger and the carrier should such items be landed without the necessary documentation (e.g. import permits / license etc.) It is the RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PASSENGER to consult with the local consulate of the country to which he / she will be traveling (including transit / stopovers where applicable) to establish and comply with all entry requirements of the countries concerned.

Visitors require a Temporary Import Permit. Temporary import permits will only be issued for foreign hunters and participants in an organized sport shooting event.

Temporary import permits can be obtained:

On arrival at the SA Police Firearm Office situated after immigration, or; At least four weeks before arrival in RSA from;

The Registrar
Private bag X 811,
Pretoria, 0001,
Republic of South Africa.


Return airline ticket
Firearm license (or proof of ownership) from country of residence.
Invitation letter from Outfitter or Sport shooting event organizer (on official letterhead)
Letter from owner of firearms stating the reasons why the firearms are needed in South Africa
Address where person will stay in SA
Export permit from country of residence.

No automatic, semi-automatic firearms or military weapons are allowed
Only one firearm per caliber allowed
Only 200 rounds of ammunition allowed per firearm
No handguns may be imported to South Africa without the necessary prior obtained permits
Person must be 21 years and older to enable them to import a firearm to South Africa

Due to changes in legislation, very stringent measures are in place to control ownership, handling, use & transportation of firearms. In brief; persons, other than the licensed owner of a firearm, must undergo statutory training & certification before they may handle & transport firearms. (Firearms Control Act, Act 60 of 2000). Airlink does not have personnel who may legally handle firearms at all their stations. They have also not been able to obtain the services of certified security companies who can carry out this function for them. As result of the above-mentioned, Airlink has been forced to re-evaluate its policy regarding the transportation of firearms. They have decided that it is not viable to continue with the full-scale transportation of firearms to & from all their destinations. With effect from 1 Nov 2007, Airlink will no longer transport firearms other than hunting rifles and shotguns.

Hunting rifles shall only be transported to & from the following destinations:

OR Tambo International, Johannesburg
Cape Town
Port Elizabeth
Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, Nelspruit


Safari Life Taxidermy - preserving Africa through artistry

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Safari Life Taxidermy - preserving Africa through artistry
122 El Mio Dr., San Antonio,TX, 78216
( We are located behind Nagel's Gun Shop on San Pedro Ave. )
Tel: (210) 438-2417