Travelling to Namibia with SAA via Johannesburg.

Stoney Creek - Purpose Built Shooting Clothing

AdrianC

Well-Known Member
As per the thread title I will be travelling to Namibia with South African Airways via Johannesburg later this year with a firearm.
Has anyone else done this and if so what was the experience like?
How was Heathrow booking in procedure?
Any issues transiting through South Africa?
Do you need to check your rifle into and then back out of SA when passing through even if you checked it through to Windhoek?
Can anyone provide a list of actual forms and paperwork I will need instead of trying to decipher airport and airline websites?
As this will be my first time I will welcome any advice and suggestions.

Thank you in advance.
 

tusker

Well-Known Member
Just returned from Namibia. SAA no problem at Heathrow. Just double check that all your guns, bags etc. get checked straight through to Windhoek. When you get to Joberg go through international connections. When you get to Windhoek there is just one sheet of paper A4 with about 6 questions. The guy there will check your firearms and away you go. The whole process takes about 2 minutes. Much better than Going to S.A. with the reems of paperwork and useless staff.
I will probably never go back to S.A.
Good luck mate,who are you hunting with? and what is on the menu? You will be gobsmacked at the amount of animals you will see just on the roadside.
Tusker
 

AdrianC

Well-Known Member
Cheers Gents, much appreciated.

Adrian, your site is great. It provides the information I was looking for and none of the jargon. Many thanks for the link.

Tusker, thank you. I will be hunting with Khomas Highland Hunting Safaris.
I hunted there last year for a week and then did a self drive around the country for another week and have been yearning to return ever since I left.
I'm going there for some culling and the odd trophy if the chance presents itself.
I took a Kudu (gold), Hartmann's Zebra, Gemsbock (silver), Red Hartebeest (gold and field game medal) and Jackal on my previous trip and learnt very quickly to discard any preconceived ideas of what I wanted to hunt, relax and take whatever opportunity came along which made the trip so enjoyable.

Really looking forward to returning.
 

tusker

Well-Known Member
Well done mate, you obviously know Namibia well. I have hunted S.A. twice and now I have been to Namibia I cant think why I would go back there (S.A.) We couldn't believe the amount of wild life there. One day we bumped into a small herd of Hartebeest and the guy said blimmy didn't know they were there.you just never know what willturn up next.
Tusker
 

AdrianC

Well-Known Member
I'm far from being knowledgeable on it but learning while you're there is as much fun as hunting, like you say, you never know what's going to appear next or what the day will bring you.
 

RickyC

Well-Known Member
As above and get to Heathrow with plenty of time to transition through the formalities, take FAC and print out of your firearms confirmation
 

AdrianC

Well-Known Member
As above and get to Heathrow with plenty of time to transition through the formalities, take FAC and print out of your firearms confirmation

Thanks for your reply, just to be clear, what exactly are you meaning by firearms confirmation?

Also, reading through other threads, it's advised not to put the bolt from the rifle in with the ammunition. Should this be packed separately in the hold luggage?
 

tusker

Well-Known Member
Thanks for your reply, just to be clear, what exactly are you meaning by firearms confirmation?

Also, reading through other threads, it's advised not to put the bolt from the rifle in with the ammunition. Should this be packed separately in the hold luggage?
Keep the bolt with the rifle.
Tusker
 

AdrianC

Well-Known Member
Thank you. It's one of those conflicting pieces of information when you start looking for the answer. Much better to hear from someone who has been through the process.

Meanwhile, flights are booked!
 

Safari Hunter

Well-Known Member
Lay the bolt next to the rifle in the rifle case. There is an anomally which you need to be aware of. Under Namibian law you are not allowed to import a moderator. You can buy them over there so it is a bit weird. However, I had no problems and neither have my clients but I have heard of others having them confiscated until they leave the country. If you have a problem at customs tell them you need it as you have a hearing issue. I know someone who did this and it was ok. From what I have found out it seems there is one customs guy who is switched on.
Hope all goes well
Adrian
 

AdrianC

Well-Known Member
Cheers Adrian, I won't be taking a moderator so that won't be an issue. Appreciate the advice regarding the bolt.
 

AdrianC

Well-Known Member
So, speaking to SAA today to inform them of my intention to travel with a firearm they tell me my ammunition can go in my checked luggage but I will need to check my rifle into and out of South Africa and it won't get checked directly to Windhoek. :doh:
 

tusker

Well-Known Member
So, speaking to SAA today to inform them of my intention to travel with a firearm they tell me my ammunition can go in my checked luggage but I will need to check my rifle into and out of South Africa and it won't get checked directly to Windhoek. :doh:
Adrian , we did Namibia only last month and all rifles, bags etc. went direct to Windhoek. Same on the way back. If you have to check it through Joberg be prepared for a long wait and take 2 pens cos you will run out of ink filling in the forms in S.A.
Tusker
 
Last edited:

shotguntom

Well-Known Member
When I flew a year or 2 ago, I was told the same by SAA. However, when I got to Heathrow I was asked if I wanted to check it all the way through to the final destination.
 

Safari Hunter

Well-Known Member
Adrian
Do NOT put your ammo in your checked luggage. SAA allow it from the UK to SA but in SA you must remove it. As your bags are being checked through you cannot do that. If you do you may have a major problem in Joburg with bag not being loaded or off loaded. You do not need to check into SA it goes all the way through to Windhoek.
Cheers
Adrian
 

AdrianC

Well-Known Member
Thank you for your continued advice.
I suspect the lady on the phone didn't know precisely what she was talking about and kept having to refer to another person while I was on hold.
I will go by the experience of you all who have travelled that way before.
 

Sika98k

Well-Known Member
Thank you for your continued advice.
I suspect the lady on the phone didn't know precisely what she was talking about and kept having to refer to another person while I was on hold.
I will go by the experience of you all who have travelled that way before.

Imho the SAA staff are somewhat gormless and as much use as a chocolate fire guard. As others have said,Tusker and Adrian, the process is pretty straight forward. Personally the grief over importing a firearm into SA puts me off.
Namibia is a doddle. It really could not be easier. Been twice and itching for the third trip. It is a marvellous country.
BTW if anyone is going in May 2017 there is a Game Fair in Outjo. That could be fun !
 
Last edited:

AdrianC

Well-Known Member
Back from Namibia now more's the pity.

Just a quick thank you to Mark, Adrian, Ricky and Lance for their help and advice as per the subject of the thread. It was much appreciated Gents and thank you all very much.

My experience taking firearms was as follows for anyone interested in the future and if this thread turns up in a search.

Arrived at Heathrow with three hours before my flight left.
I took hand luggage, my suitcase, rifle case and ammunition box.
I had checked in online, so scanned my passport and mentioned to the guy who was helping passengers that I had a firearm to check in.
He pointed me to an empty desk where the young lady took my suitcase and weighed my rifle and ammo.
Another member of staff arrived and said to waive the excess baggage charge.
My suitcase had gone and they slapped 'firearms' labels on my rifle and ammo cases while calling for another member of staff to come and collect me.
I was directed to wait for the person to come which should be about 15-20 minutes.
I stood just away from the check in desks and 20 minutes later a guy arrived and took particulars from my firearms licence and gave me a surrender of weapons form.
He went off with my rifle and ammo and said to go through security and meet him at the Border Force office which was in the departure lounge along a corridor by Dixons.

Security check for myself and hand luggage complete I found Dixons, went up the corridor and met the guy at the end.

We waited for a Border Force officer to arrive at which point I was directed to a small room.
She asked me to open the case and she took the details of the serial number from the rifle and matched it to my licence. She didn't look at the bolt but I invited her to and then she did.
She asked how many rounds of ammunition I was taking and I told her I had 80. She checked against my firearms licence and saw that I was entitled to hold 300 and decided that because I was taking less it was all OK. She didn't even want to look and I had the impression she wasn't entirely sure what she was doing.
I was issued with necessary paperwork and it was all done. Dead easy and the only paperwork I had to produce was my firearms licence.

Everything was checked through to Windhoek but I double checked the labels provided were correct and were marked for transit through Johannesburg.

I arrived in Windhoek the following day after an easy transition through Jo'burg.

Filled in the immigration form and progressed through.

There is a small grilled hole in the wall just as you go through to baggage reclaim with an illuminated 'Firearms' sign. I took a quick look and saw my rifle and ammo cases there so decided to claim them before my suitcase.
After waiting for ages, there were a party of Americans in front of me all with about three firearms each I was able to claim my gun. A quick check of the serial number on the rifle and an import permit issued and I was away. Still hadn't had my ammo checked.

My suitcase hadn't arrived so had to fill out a baggage claim form and left the airport hoping it would turn up soon. It wasn't really a big deal as I had a change of clothes in my hand luggage and was wearing my hunting boots and bush jacket. It arrived the following morning so no major inconvenience.

On my return journey I turned up at Hosea Kutako and joined the queue to check in. My suitcase went on it's way and they issued me with some tags for my rifle and directed me to the Namibian Police office which is easy to find, just on the right as you enter the airport.

After waiting for a while with a couple of Italians an officer eventually turned up and we completed the formalities, a check of the serial number and I sealed my case and he attached the tags which I checked were for transit through Johannesburg and issued my paperwork. I had left my spare bullets with my hosts so didn't have an ammo case on the return journey.

I took the rifle back to the check in queue and waited briefly in line before someone directed me forward and took my rifle off me and it was gone.

At Heathrow after baggage reclaim I headed down the red channel and said I was here to claim a firearm.
As I got my paperwork ready it arrived and after checking the serial number again against my firearms licence I was on my way.

It really couldn't be easier and I had absolutely no problems with the process. The only paperwork I had checked was my firearms licence. No-one asked for a letter of invitation or anything else.
It wasn't as daunting as anticipated and if anyone is considering hunting Africa and wants to take their own rifle I would recommend SAA as they don't charge and it really is so easy.
 
PSE Composites Limited
Top