Rifle Calibre and What To Pack.
Eastcape & Karoo Safaris

When preparing for a hunting expedition in South Africa, it is advisable to bring your own rifles, considering your familiarity with them. However, firearms can be hired by prior arrangement for those who prefer to travel without them.

For larger plains game species such as 270, 30-06, 7 mm, 300 Win Mag, 300 Weatherby, and 338 are recommended. Smaller plains game species are best suited for 222, 223, and 243. Legal requirements in most Southern African countries stipulate a minimum of 375 for all dangerous game. A 375 or larger is recommended for Buffalo or Lion, while hunting Hippo, Elephant, or White Rhino may necessitate a caliber larger than 375.

Choose a reliable multi-purpose expanding bullet such as Barnes X, Trophy Bonded, or Hornady. Soft nose tough expanding bullets are preferred for large plains game, while solids are recommended for smaller plains game. For dangerous game calibers, a 50/50 split in soft noses and solids is advised.

For bird hunting, #6 or #7 shot is suggested for pigeons and doves, while #1 or 2 ¾ shot is recommended for ducks and geese. When using a 12-gauge shotgun for smaller game like Caracal or Blue Duiker, AAA or #2 ¾ shot is suitable.

Ensure you have a sturdy protective rifle case for international travel, with a separate case for ammunition. Strong locks on these cases are essential, and bringing an extra soft case per gun is advised for dust protection and securing rifles in vehicle racks.

Zero all rifles with scopes before departure, as scopes may shift during transit. Opt for scopes with variable power and use scope covers to protect against dust and moisture. South Africa requires a temporary import/export permit for firearms and ammunition; it is recommended to use a clearing agent for assistance.

Bring high-quality binoculars to enhance your hunting experience by observing what your Professional Hunter (PH) is spotting. A camera with a working flash and high resolution is crucial; bring extra batteries, chargers, and an additional USB flash drive or SD card for photo storage.

Note that the standard electricity supply in Southern Africa is 220 V AC, so consider bringing a power and/or plug converter for your trip.