Firearms when Hunting in South Africa

Things to consider when planning a hunting safari in South Africa - Temporary Importation of Firearms into South Africa

RIFLE HIRE- Induna Safaris offers rifle hire. We have all required calibres available. We offer rifle hire as part of our hunt; we don’t charge anything extra for rifle hire.

Own Firearms

Information received from South African Police Service.

Visitors bringing firearms into South Africa need to complete a SAP 520 form- which is available on or from the PHASA website at:

Instructions for filling in of SAP520 form.

  • Black ink must be used
  • Form must be left unsigned and must be signed in presence of police official at the airport, issuing the permit.
Additional requirements along with the SAP520 are the following:

1. Identity and Flight Details

a. Passport- and a notarial copy of passport

b. Return Airline ticket or Itinerary- and a copy of one are needed.

2. Other Supporting documents:

a. Proof of ownership – Firearm licenses, documentary proof, etc. For USA citizens – customs declaration form 4457 (Officially stamped) is acceptable.

b. Proof of Export – Documentary proof of extension from country of origin.

c. Motivation letter from client. This must state that he is temporarily importing the referred to firearms for the purpose of hunting, include that the firearms are required as he will be hunting.( then list the species hunted)

d. Invitation letter from hunting outfitter.

Firearms will be physically inspected to ensure the serial numbers match those of the licenses and the application form. Ammunition will also be inspected.

For visitors clearing at customs at the Johannesburg international Airport, the following procedure needs to be followed:

a. Clear passport control at the terminal where your flight arrives.

b. Proceed to baggage claim. Pick up baggage then proceed to the respective airline help desk to collect firearms from the airline company and sign a receipt for the firearms.

c. Ask airline help desk to direct you to the South African Police Firearm Office.

d. Proceed to the South African Police Firearm Office. ( Do not at this point proceed to customs)

e. On receipt of your temporary import permit (SAP312) at the SAPS Firearm Office- proceed to customs, the red zone where you declare the firearms and finish other customs clearance procedures.

Please ensure enough time to go through temporary importation process and to clear customs. Approximately 4-5 hours is recommended, between connecting flights.

General Provisions

1. Temporary Import Permits:

  • May only be issued to a foreign visitor for the purpose of hunting
  • Will be issued subject to requirements of the Act with this regard to the carrying, storage, safe custody and transport of a firearm and ammunition.
  • Subject to the use of the firearms only for the purpose stipulated in the permit.
  • Subject to the fact that no person with a temporary import permit is allowed to transfer the firearm to another person in South Africa without prior written permission having been obtained from the Central Firearm Register.
  • Whenever the holder of a temporary import permit leaves South Africa, the firearm in respect of which the permit is issued must accompany the holder of the permit.
  • Possession of no more than the quantity of cartridges determined by the Registrar and specified on the permit for each firearm in respect of which the temporary import permit applies.
  • A temporary import permit shall not be issued for a period extending six months at a time.
  • Applicant must be over 21 years of age.
  • Should a firearm not be declared on arrival and a temporary import permit not issued, you will face severe penalties and possible arrest on the departure from South Africa.

2. Applications for the Temporary Import Permits can be made in advance to the Central Firearm Register. Ask hunting outfitter to assist you with this.

3. Please ensure that your firearms arrive on the same flight as you do. This may 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 arrive on a separate flight.

4. Please do not pay for any services regarding the handling of firearms at the Johannesburg International Airport. The issuing of the SAP520 is a free service and the South African Police Service asks that clients not pay anybody involved in handling firearms from the time of arrival in South Africa right through until you receive your firearms and the permit from SAPS. Please note however there is a handling fee charged by airlines and/or security companies for the handling of handguns, and some airlines have started charging a handling fee of all firearms. We suggest that you check with the airlines for their official fees that may be required.

5. There is no requirement for bows.

6. Please note that NO firearms will be held for safekeeping by the SAPS. If a client brings in a prohibited firearm, brings in more than is allowed, or lacks necessary documentation and his request for a temporary import permit is denied, the involved firearms must be exported immediately by the client or voluntarily surrendered to the State.