SOUTHERN AFRICA:  HUNTING CHECKLIST:

A list of all the things you'll need to do before, know about and take with you on your African safari.

CLOTHING:

If this is your first time on Safari, remember that in Africa laundry is done daily.  You need to pack 6 shirts, 6 pairs of pants, etc. 3 changes of hunting clothes will be enough.  Africa can be cold during winter (May - August), days are in the mid 60's and evenings average in the 40's.  During spring and fall day temperatures reach mid 80's and the evenings mid 60's.  You will need a warm jacket, a sweater, and a pair of gloves, ski mask and a warm hat.  Pocketed vests are especially handy.

For your hunting clothes, CAMO is legal in South Africa.  In every other African country outside of South Africa CAMO is ILLEGAL.  Camo is associated with rebel armies and mercenaries, so do not take it.  The best color for night leopard hunting is a green khaki, brown khaki and olive or drab green any other time.

  • 3 shirts, long or short sleeved (take cotton or a blend with a large % of cotton, it breathes and dries quickly).  Long sleeves are not a bad idea, even in warm weather.  Sleeves help to cut down on thorn scratches and can easily be rolled up when it is too hot.
  • 3 pairs of shorts or long hunting pants.  Shorts are quieter for stalking and cooler in the heat, but long pants protect your legs.  It's your call.
  • 3 or 4 pairs underwear.
  • 3 or 4 pairs of socks.  NOTE:  Many of us do not wear socks at all as they have a tendency to bunch up and collect seeds that scratch.  Again it's your call.
  • 1  pair of hunting shoes or boots.  Tennis shoes, high or low top, work well.  The desert boots, called "Vellies" in Africa, are great and are the footwear of choice of many of Africa's professional hunters.  Whatever you take, make sure they're light, easy to dry and well worn.  The bushveld is no place to break in new boots!
  • 1 pair of thongs to use to/from the shower.
  • 1 light rainproof windbreaker.  During the hunting season there is rarely rain in the hunting areas, but you never know and this jacket will also be good for riding in the open jeep.
  • 1 light to medium weight sweater.
  • 1 good hat of cap.  The sun is a hammer in Africa.  You will need the cover.

MISCELLANEOUS GEAR:

  • 2 or 3 bandanas or handkerchiefs.
  • 1 pocketknife or Leatherman - you won't need a regular hunting knife.  (These items also make great tips for the guide or staff).
  • Camera, extra batteries, plenty of film (low speed is preferable) and plastic bags to keep everything dust free.  Also take a disposable camera with panoramic film and a lead bag to protect your film.
  • An adapter with 3 prongs will keep the 220-volt electricity from frying your razor or hair dryer.
  • A spare pair of eye glasses/spectacles if you wear them.
  • Sunglasses, with a strap to let them hang around your neck.
  • 2 ammunition holders that fit on your belt, the simpler and tougher the better, NO VELCRO, please!
  • 1 pair of good, medium-sized binoculars, 7 to 10 power.  You won't need big, heavy field glasses.
  • Flashlight and batteries.
  • Toilet kit.
  • Sturdy shoulder strap for your rifle, preferably a strong durable leather-type.
  • Fanny packs are useful when hunting or taking a day trip.

You will need an excellent, lockable hard gun case.  A company called Americase (1-800-972-2737) makes them as good or better than any.  They also make a great little case for carrying ammunition which must be packed separately from your gun.

SUGGESTED MEDICAL SUPPLIES AND VACCINATIONS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE:

The Center for Disease Control has reported that there is no risk of Yellow Fever in Southern Africa.  Risk levels fluctuate from region to region with regard to Malaria, however, and it is strongly suggested that you defend yourself by taking a physician recommended Malaria preventative drug at least 1 week prior to departure.  Speak to your physician about which drug is best for you.  Smallpox and tetanus vaccinations are not required to Southern Africa, but again it is recommended that you get these too.  Otherwise, here is a list of necessary health/medicinal items you should take along with you:

  • Eyedrops
  • Sunscreen lotion and moisturizer
  • Chapstick or Lip Balm
  • Personal prescription drugs (Be sure to have enough of your medicine so you don't run out of it!)
  • Lomotil  for possible diarrhea
  • Insect repellent loaded with DEET
  • Antihistamines for possible allergies to indigenous pollens or furs

BAGGAGE:

Use lockable duffel bags and stick to the weight/size guidelines below.  We recommend Night Train Luggage for sturdy bags in many sizes.  Call 713-782-0046 for information.  Suitcases are not practical on safari.  If you plan any side trips, suitcases can be locked in a hotel safe and reclaimed when you return from safari.  Airlines charge for additional bags and/or excess weight and remember that chartered flights during your safari allow 33lbs. of baggage per person.  Your baggage will be your responsibility so baggage insurance is highly recommended.

First Class and Business Class:  2 checked bags - the sum of the three dimensions of each bag cannot exceed 62" or 70 lbs.  1 carry-on bag must fit under your seat and its dimensions cannot exceed a total of 45".

Economy Class:  2 checked bags - the sum of the three dimensions of one bag cannot exceed 62" or 70 lbs.  The total dimensions of the second bag cannot exceed 55" or 70 lbs.  1 carry-on bag must fit under the seat and its dimensions cannot exceed a total of 45".

Remember:  Your gun case counts as 1 piece of luggage and is calculated against the total allowance.  Anything over the total allowance is subject to weight charges which are set by the airline and are subject to change.  International Airline regulations strictly limit the weight of ammunition to about 11 lbs. per person.

EXTRAS:

These often come in handy to share with guides, trackers, camp staff, etc.

  • Small inexpensive pocket knives.
  • Cigarettes and lighters - no light brands.  A pack of smokes can go a long way in terms of help from locals.
  • Small inexpensive toys like balloons, rubberband airplanes, matchbox cars, etc. for the staff children.
  • Pens and pencils.
  • Any small and inexpensive objects that can be given as token for your gratitude.

OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER:

  • Get receipts from curio shops for declaring duty.
  • When sending items back to USA, ship as unsolicited gifts.  Do not send all too only one address.
  • Do not joke with Customs Agents - they have power to detain you.
  • DOCUMENTS:  Valid Passport, Visa - where required, Travelers Checks, Credit Cards (American Express & Visa are best).  Try to memorize or keep a backup copy of your passport number in case of  loss or theft.
  • The U.S. forbids the import of products made from endangered species.  DO NOT purchase ivory, tortoise shell or elephant skin products.

We want you to have a memorable, trouble free safari and following these guidelines will make your trip a little easier.  If you have any trouble understanding any of these guidelines, please don't hesitate to call our offices.  We will be glad to explain anything you may not find clear or coherent.  E-mail:  ken@lantic.net