Planning & Preparation
At Siswati, we pride ourselves on our hunting facilities and team. We offer a wide variety of plains game in the best condition to our client. We cater to both local and overseas hunters and offer bow hunting and rifle hunting facilities. We are dedicated to ethical hunting practices and our key values include weapon safety, respect for nature and respect for the animal being pursued.
When choosing a hunting safari in Africa, you need to know what type of game you wish hunt because not all animals share the same habitat which means that game selection can vary substantially across regions. Siswati sources and breeds the highest quality trophy animals to provide our clients with a wide variety of hunting options with top quality trophies.
Methods of Hunting
- Walk & Stalk: This is one of the most preferred methods of hunting but not the most successful. In winter months this becomes particularly challenging as South Africa becomes very dry going into June and therefore not much cover is provided. This makes it almost impossible to get within bow range of game. When using this method, hunters should be prepared to get within shot distances of 15 – 50 yards. During winter months, rifle hunting is more successful when employing the walk and stalk method.
- Blind (hide) Hunting: This is one of the most successful hunting methods. It allows the hunter to hunt more animals while providing more time to scan a herd and select a preferred trophy. In some cases, pop-up blinds (also known as hides) may be used but most of our hides are permanent enclosed pit blind structures located throughout the concession. These have been designed strategically with regards to size, shape, location and relationship to prevailing winds and the surrounding bush. These simple, low profile hides blend seamlessly with the natural environment, making them highly effective.
Types of Hunting
- Bow hunting
- Rifle hunting
Hitting Your Target:
- Accuracy: Hitting the target on the aimed spot and aiming for the correct position is paramount to the success of any hunt. This means that the hunter must have the ability to shoot with some degree of accuracy and have basic knowledge of the animal’s anatomy and the position of its vital organs.
- Hitting the Right Spot: Most hunters will aim for the heart which can be achieved by aiming at the low, left forward section of the chest cavity – approximately a quarter of the way above the horizontal chest/belly line. Your chance of getting the trophy is much higher when aiming for the heart.
- Know Your Alternatives: If the animal isn’t standing at the right angle, you might need to aim for a different body part, adjust your own position or wait until the animals moves to yield a better shot. You should never take a “hope for the best shot” – especially when hunting more dangerous game. Even though the professional hunter may give the thumbs up, the final decision and responsibility is taken by the hunter. Most good hunters will only take the shot when they have clear visualisation of the animal, standing at a good angle towards the hunter. This is because previous experience of wounding an animal by taking a risky shot informs decision making and tempers idealism. All wounded or lost game will cost you so it is advisable not to take the risk.
Improving Efficacy & Accuracy:
- Never enter the hunting field before you have been to the shooting range.
- Don’t use the telescopic view before you have checked that the line of sight is clear. Small branches or obstacles will deflect the projectile.
- Be patient, silent and do not get anxious.
- Quieten your bow noise as much as possible by using quality, razor sharp bowheads.
- Study the species that you will be hunting and learn where their optimal shot placements are.
After the Hunt:
- Animals are taken back to camp after photographs have been taken.
- As animals come in, you will be required to fill out a form in which you must specify whether you want the animal to be skinned for a shoulder mount, rug, boiled out skull etc. Animals will then be skinned and caped accordingly.
- Your hides and capes will salted and dried while horns and/or skulls will be boiled out.
- We recommend that all US citizens export trophies ‘raw’ for mounting in the US. These trophies would need to be dipped, packed and shipped through import and export authorities with the relevant documentation.
- Our preferred supplier for import/export documentation is Trophy Solutions Africa. You can contact them at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit trophy-care.com.
Travelling with Organic Products:
- You cannot take any trophy, wood, ostrich eggs or animal parts (including bones, horns, hoofs etc.) with you in your luggage.
- These items must all be sent to a taxidermist who will handle all required veterinary and/or export permits on your behalf.
- Please note that a cost will apply for the fumigation of curios made from organic material and a permit fee is payable to the taxidermist.
- For the above reasons, we recommend that you purchase souvenir curios at the airport at Duty Free stores as they will already have the relevant paperwork in place.
- Please note that taking meat, biltong or fresh produce with you in your luggage is strictly prohibited by law.
If you do not wish to travel with your own firearms, you are welcome to make use of our weapons at an additional fee.
Temporarily importing of firearms to South Africa:
- Complete the temporary firearm import permit application (SAP520) in advance if possible and bring it with you.
- It is important to note that the form must be completed in black ink and must remain unsigned until the document is finalized in front of a police official issuing the actual permit at the airport.
- For the issuing of your permit, please ensure that you have the following:
- Valid passport
- Return airline ticket
- Letter of invitation from your hunting outfitter
- Completed and unsigned SAP520 form
- Proof of ownership (CBP Form 4457 – Certificate of Registration for Personal Effects Taken Abroad)
- Letter of motivation (a self-written letter outlining the reasons for your importing of your firearm/s)
- To download the Temporary Firearm Import Application (SAP520) and for more information about temporarily importing a firearm for your hunting safari, please visit the South African Police website
- Any automatic or semi-automatic firearms
- More than one firearm per calibre per person
- More than 200 rounds of ammunition per person per firearm
- Any pistol or revolver (unless specified for hunting)
- Your application may not be approved if you have any of the abovementioned firearms and/or ammunition, if any of the supporting documents as required cannot be produced or if you are under 21 years of age.
- If your application for a temporary import permit is refused, your firearms and ammunition will be confiscated and will only be returned to you when you depart back to your country of residence.
- Please take note that only the Central Firearm Registrar in Pretoria, South Africa can authorize special applications to the above restriction. Please contact the PHASA office for more information.
Bow Hunting Information:
- No paperwork or import permits are required for bringing your bow hunting equipment into South Africa.
- There are some procedures to follow when collecting your bow at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg which we will discuss with you prior to your arrival.
- Feel free to bring a spare bow, extra strings and any additional accessories with you. If you run short, someone at the camp with probably have what you need but it is best to make sure you are fully covered before you arrive. Two dozen bow heads should be sufficient.