1998 Backcountry Taxidermy - All Rights Reserved
Hunting & Fishing
Backcountry Taxidermy has compiled necessary & interesting information on what, when and where for successful hunting in AFRICA. Refer to Shipping/Transport section for shipping directions and our Africa Resources for guides / outfitters (PH) / lodges & more.
While Africa is the dream hunting destination, with a range of species / animals that no other continent can offer, there is a range of issues and information that potential visitors need to know. We hope that this website can serve as a starting point & help answer some of those questions.
"I speak of Africa and golden joys" - The joy of wandering through lonely lands; The joy of hunting the mighty lords of the wilderness, the cunning, the wary and the grim....Theodore Roosevelt , 1908
The list (Right) has the most commonly hunted species / animals in Africa. CLICK on the species for pictures, Information about that species, locations where to hunt and tips on hunting that species. * Note: Outfitters / Professional Hunters are refered to as PH*
Click Here - Important information concerning African animals and radio collars
Gear Guide for an African Hunting Safari
Most of your regular hunting gear will see you through but there are a few differences and must haves, even for those who do not like to part with their hard earned dough unless absolutely necessary. Often going out and buying something that you're not familiar with then using it in the field in a country that you've never hunted in is not always the best thing. Stick to your own gear, things that work for you in the field - good optics, a good flashlight, comfortable rifle slings, warm gloves, a practical hat, worn in hunting boots or shoes and most important, a rifle that you know - one you have at least fired beforehand! Ask your outfitter / PH, they do know what the essentials are
Guns and Rifles for Africa Hunting
Seriously, if you are comfortable with your rifle and it falls into the category above a 6mm then it is going to be enough for most of the plains game Africa has to throw at you. There is no need to go out and buy a new rifle specifically for African game, a heavier caliber deer rifle works well on most plains game and some even do for the cats.
It is when you start messing with elephant, rhino and buffalo that you need a true weapon, a big stick so to speak.
The .375 Mag will do the job each an every day for 100 years and is capable of handling everything Africa has to throw at it. The .458 LOTT is the perfect rifle for the big game of Africa because of its size, the knock down power it delivers and because of its availability. The .416 Rigby was one of the first large game nitro calibers and to this day it is a very good all rounder. It is fast, it penetrates and it kicks the shit out of you. A 500 grain bullit might slow it a little and make it more manageable. It is also well suited for Moose, Elk and of course the magnificent brown bears of Kodiak.
DOUBLE DREAMS: The .470 Nitro is the most common, the cheapest and still only gives you 500 grains? BUT you get the image and they make some immaculate guns. Ammunition is also factory produced so, like the .458 LOTT you can make it more economical on your whole pocketbook. If you do buy a double PLEASE make sure it is from a reputable manufacturer and dealer - double nightmares do happen, even with the top brands and manufacturers.
One major consideration is travel with a firearm, which is becoming more complicated and I foresee a day when all hunters would rather use the rifles provided by their PH or outfitter. In fact this is already happening with many of the top outfitters offering a good choice of rifles for use on a safari.
GUN friendly airlines should be your biggest concern when visiting Africa. Most notorious for bad service are British Airways, with hunters consistently having to delay their safaris because of lost rifles or badly damaged cases. SAA, KLM, Lufthansa and Swiss Air all seem to be proficient at handling and accommodating travelers with firearms.
Africa Trophies & CITES Permits
All species in Africa require a CITES permit to import your trophy into the US or Canada. Some species have more requirements than others. Contact Us Prior to your hunt and After your hunt so we know when to expect your trophy. Please refer to our Shipping/Transport section for shipping directions.
* Apply for a permit at least 60 days before your departure date. Generally, less time is needed to process import permit applications for leopards and elephants from countries for which the Service has recent information and that meet our obligations under CITES. These countries currently are:
! Leopard: Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Only 2 leopard trophies may be imported by a hunter in one year.
! African elephant: Tanzania.
! Cheetah is an endangered species (appendix 1) under the endangered species act (CITIES), therefore they CANNOT be imported into the US or Canada.
For other species refer to their LINK above. Each species will tell you about CITES permits. ALWAYS CHECK WITH: US Fish & Game, Your Taxidermist, Guide or Outfitter (PH) BEFORE YOUR HUNT as to what you can bring back to the US.
Before you leave home: Importing your guns
2004 has seen a change in the gun import regulations. Previously, the process was incredibly easy. It is still a simple process but there is quite a bit of documentation you need to have in-hand before you leave home.
1. Fill out the Temporary Import Application form (Form number: SAP 520) - CLICK HERE to download the pdf form. Black ink must be used to fill in the form (non-erasable).
The form must be left unsigned until the document is finalised in front of the police official issuing the actual permit.
Please note that not all sections of the form apply. Visitors bringing their own firearms in for hunting purposes should concentrate on filling in the following:
Section D - (temporary import or export permit)
Section E - 1 - 25.4
Section I - (must fill in all details requested)
Section J - (remember do not sign until in front of police officer at firearm office)
2. Ensure you have the following with you:
Passport (certified copy is preferable)
Return airline ticket
Proof of ownership (certified copy is preferable)
Firearm licenses, documentary proof, etc. For USA Citizens, Customs Declaration Form 4457 (officially stamped) is acceptable.
Proof of export
Documentary proof of export from the country of origin.
Motivation letter from you
This is a letter from the client stating that he is temporarily importing the referred to firearm/s for the purpose of hunting, to include that the firearm/s are required as he will be hunting (list the species to be hunted), etc.
Invitation letter from your hunting outfitter
This is supporting documentation from the hunting outfitter/company with whom the client will be hunting, to include full name of company, full contact details and address, dates and location where the client will be hunting and confirming that the applicant will be using the specific firearms as applied for.
Any other supporting documents
*** It is ultimately the ethics of you, the hunter, that should be strong enough to realise and dictate the methods of hunting any species in Africa. ***
Good Hunting ..... Dan Lewis, Taxidermist
Africa Species Information
Other Important Tips & Information on Hunting in Africa
You may want to take a copy of your permit when you leave on safari as some outfitters (PH) require a client to show that an import permit has been issued before scheduling the hunt. Leave the original permit at home as you will need to present it at the time the trophy is imported into the United States.
* Check Expiration Dates: You could lose your trophy if it enters the United States after your permits have expired. Import permits are valid for one year, and export permits for six months. If the import permit expires before the trophy is imported, you need to apply for a new permit. Return the original unused permit, a newly completed renewal application form, and the processing fee. Allow at least 30 days for processing.
* Import through a United States port designated for wildlife.
Check with Backcountry Taxidermy or your taxidermist of choice and they should know which port to use. This will prevent incurring any other charges.
Elephant & Rhino listing is rather confusing and is concerned more with actual commercial ivory sales (from legal culls) than with hunting trophies. However it states that NO IVORY may be imported from Africa. Again CHECK with your Guide or Outfitter (PH) BEFORE you hunt for elephant or rhino.