Hunters considering a hunting safari in South Africa may have questions about the medical care, hospitals, facilities and physicians available in the country.

The medical care of South Africa can be described as excellent, provided, as in all countries, that the payment of medical bills is guaranteed. If no payments can be made, you probably will be refer to a state hospital. Most state hospitals have fair to good facilities and you will get all basic treatment there. However, private clinics and hospitals have some of the finest facilities anyone could wish for. Their rates will be higher, but their services will be excellent. Most tourists coming from abroad won't experience the medical fees of private hospitals as expensive, but it still may be the best to take out medical insurance for each member of the hunting safari. The outfitter will be willing to assist his hunters in finding the right clinic or hospital, but he cannot be held responsible for the billing due to injury or illnesses that may occur during or after the safari. The best hunting fields may be found in the remote parts of the country, but about anywhere in the country, a hospital will be available within an hour or two (driving at normal speeds) from the hunting ground. All outfitters and professional hunters are by law due to have knowledge of emergency care and all bush camps will have a fair and clean medical emergency kit available.

Rescue by Helicopter or Airplane

South Africa has quite a number of professional aviation ambulances that facilitates doctors as part of the crew and operates all over the country. Patients that are critically ill or injured severely can be rescued by air anytime of the day or night if needed. Usually, some guarantee of payment is needed before the flight will be okay-ed. Your medical broker may be able to give you more information about this and it may be a good idea to enquire about the insurance rates that includes this kind of services.

Diseases of the bush and precautionary protections

Although some 150 parasitic infestations and diseases are known to be transmissible between man and animals, very few of these cause a serious threat to humans. Almost all of the dangerous ones, like rabies, malaria, bilharzia, cholera, etc. can also be treated successfully if the right medical procedures are followed. Let us examine these potentially dangerous diseases and see what can be done to prevent infection or treat the ailment itself


Endemic rabies areas are found, but it may occur in other regions as well. When bitten by a rabid animal, this virus can be contracted. Potentially, it can be fatal to humans. Animals that could be the source of the disease include stray cats, dogs, jackals, and some of the smaller mammals as well. But even Kudus have been found with it. Bats are seldom bearers of it. Be cautious when a wild animal turns into an unnatural tame one, or if a domestic animal turns into an unnatural aggressive one. Convulsions or paralysis of the throat muscles may occur in the animal (and dropping of the lower jaw) may be signs of it.

Prevent a suspicious animal to come near any human. If an animal that is suspect bites a person, consult a doctor immediately. An injection against rabies may be all that is needed. If needed, the animal's brain can be examined at a veterinary laboratory. Do not take a chance with this one, for rabies is a horrible and fatal disease to humans.


Although by far the most parts of South Africa is free of malaria, some of the best hunting areas does pose a malaria threat. Malaria are transmitted by certain types of mosquitoes (Anopheles spp.) Malaria isn't necessarily a fatal disease, but it can just as well infect the body in a deadly kind of cerebral or brain malaria. Most of the time, it is associates with the summer climate in the warmest lowlands of the country, although it sometimes occurs in wintertime as well. After a good rainy season, more of these mosquitoes may be active, causing a greater risk. In this case, prevention is better than cure. Different kinds of preventive measures are effective against malaria: first, preventive malaria tablets are to be taken BEFORE one sets of to a malaria area. It should be taken during and after the visit as well. But it isn't effective after the illness have started. Sleeping under mosquito nets, using one or a combination of mosquito repellents or aerosol insecticides will be quite effective against it. Wearing only thick clothes isn't a solid solution. Each mosquito bite doesn't mean malaria is to be feared! But malaria starts of as a typical case of influenza, developing into a grave sickness with symptoms such as high fever and heavy sweating. It can, most of the time, be cured, even if it is full blown malaria, but the doctor should be consulted if any suspicious symptoms occur after a visit to a known malaria area.


Bilharzia is a slow sickness, less dangerous but it can cause the body to become quite weak over a period of months. Bilharzia is transmitted through infected water. Don't swim or wash in pools or even streams in bilharzia regions. One can prevent the disease to take effect by drying yourself after you've been into the water, as it take a minute or two for the parasites to penetrate through the skin. But drinking bilharzia water, or going into the water with an open wound in your body, will leave you unguarded. Purified or boiled water should be taken if thirsty in the bush. Normally, the water at the bush camp will not be infected at all. Chronic tiredness of unusual nature will be the clearest sign of this illness. Consult a doctor, for it can be treated medically.


Contaminated water may house this disease in its depths. Cholera doesn't have the same effect in each person and can be transmitted from one to another person. Even healthy looking people may be bearers of the disease. Usually, the poorest people, who don't have access to purified water, are the most vulnerable to this disease. Symptoms like diarrhea, dehydration, weakness and muscular pain may be signs of cholera. The dehydration itself is a most dangerous aspect of the illness. Infected areas can be avoided, water can be boiled or purified and food can be prepared only in healthy water. Most hunters will be met with circumstances that don't pose a threat of any cholera infection.

TICK-BITE FEVER (Afrikaans: Bosluiskoors)

The African savanna is full of a tick-bite lesion that may spoil a first-time hunter's fun somewhat. Although not dangerous, a solid bite from this little creature causes pain after about eight days when your glands starts to swell, you experience some fever, headaches and nausea for a couple of days. Tetracycline treatment against tick-bite fever is effective, but you don't need to suffer in the first instance. It can be avoided by dusting your socks and lower legs, as well as your trousers with a carbaryl-containing tickside or repellant. Once you spot the brown little fellow on your body, removal in time may still save you the disease. But after a solid bite, you may be vulnerable to the disease. The good news then may be that you will experience immunity after the fist round of ailment. Your precious fun-time will be shortened somewhat, however.


Thorough washing of your hands may save your live, once you've handled an infected carnivore, infected by the worm eggs of the Echinococcus species or by the tongue worm (Linguatula sp.). Or, as someone has rightly put it, a dead lion may be more deadly than a live one. This tape worm eggs stick to the coat of a carnivore and if you touches your mouth before washing your hands, even through a cigarette, the microscopic eggs can be ingested. After this, development of huge, fluid-containing cysts will occur in most organs, with great danger of their failure. Even surgery may not be successful. Therefore, wash your hands with care afterwards or use gloves if a carnivore, even one that is alive, is handled. Hunters of carnivores, posing for a photo with their pride lion or leopard trophy animal, game capturers, veterinarians or biologists are in danger of being infected. Even domestic dogs can be the bearer of it.

So, go and wash that hands after the flash have clicked!

Of course, many other diseases like tuberculosis, Q-fever, trichinosis, yellow fever, amoebiases and others exist. Some countries may prescribe injections before entering other infected countries. But none of these poses a real danger if one is well prepared and informed.

Snakes and the treatment of a snake-bite

The danger of snakes is over-exposed in mans instinctive spirit. In practise, very few confrontations between man and snake turns out in favour of the snake. And all snakes isn't poisonous indiscriminately. In fact, only a few are outright deadly. Amoured with knowledge, one isn't as vulnerable against the unseen snake as some might think.Which, of course isn't to say that a snake-bite can simply be ignored! The following useful tips may help you to stay out of the snake's way (and may be helpful for the prevention of infection by spiders or scorpions as well):

  • People bitten by highly poisonous snakes often survives because the bite wasn't very solid, the treatment was given in time and/or the right emergency measures was applied
  • Few dangers in the bush is as preventable as snake-bites: simply by looking where you are treading, you can minimize the danger considerably.
  • Don't roll over a rock or tree trunk without caution of a possible snake underneath
  • Never put a hand or foot into a hollow trunk, rock, hole or nest unless you've double check it for possible snakes inside.
  • Don't collect firewood at night, and be very cautious when throwing firewood on the fire
  • Use a good torch when walking at nights and keep to a trail that exist already
  • Use footwear that covers you up to the ankles and good, long trousers. Most bites can't be effective through these
  • Don't try to catch the snake. A bite to the hands is nearer to your vital organs. And some snakes that have the most dangerous venom may look like a non-dangerous one.
  • Most snakes take flight when people arrive nearby. The pounding of feet on the ground may indicate to the snake that danger is coming. A good idea may be to take along a long wandering stick (kierie), which can be heard by the snake, and which can also be helpful to prevent the snake from biting someone.
  • Polyvalent antivenom kits are available, but should only be use with very accurate knowledge of both the snakes and medical information. If you do have both, it is one of the best packages to take along! The sera are very effective, but if it is used incorrectly, it may be compared to being bit by ANOTHER snake! To take care of a snakebite in this way, you have to be sure what type of snake bit you.
  • Try to identify the snake that you see as closely as possible. Although it isn't as critical as earlier (once you are at the physicians quarters) to know what type of snake it was, it still saves critical minutes to identify it beforehand. If you don't know, the doctor will only be able to react and can't work as pro-active as he would have wanted.
  • Reading a good book or two about South African snakes will bring you in the picture of what kind of snakes you most likely may encounter. Your outfitter will, in all probability, have some of these.
  • People affected severely after a snake-bite, amounts to only 10 % of instances.
  • Over against the more than 140 species of snakes in South Africa, only 14 are poisonous. And snake-bites in South Africa is survived by 98 % of all instances! So there is some hope in the dark tunnel.

What to do in case of a snake-bite?

Useful information about prevention is good. But some information about emergency procedures may also be worth while. Treatment doctrines have chanced over the years and it may be best to consult a doctor or well-informed medical person for the youngest theories in this regard. Here is some useful information:

  • Most importantly: stay calm. This by far outweighs all other measures, for it will slow down absorption of the venom, cool down things and helps calculated decision making. Rather spend a moment relaxing, than jumping up and down in haste. Help the person to a shade, reassures him/her and see that panic don't sets in. Don't walk or moves far at all! Remember that the chances of survival, even if no medical help is given for quite some time, may be good to excellent. You do have reason not to panic.
  • Look at where the pain is: maybe the snake's fangs haven't cut open the skin, in which case no problem exists other than keeping out of reach of the snake's second attack.
  • To remove excess venom, clean the area of the surrounding the bite
  • Call for help if a phone or an assistant (who can go back to the base camp) is available
  • Let the limb be stretched out in a relaxed way and keep it cool.
  • If you have serum, knows exactly what kind of snake it was and knows how to use the serum, use it now. If not, and you know that help was called in, wait for help in the following way:

    -Don't bind a tourniquet around the leg to prevent any flow of blood as was advocated earlier. It may aggravate necrotic poisons. And don't cut the wound! Don't smear it with any chemicals or alcohol on it and don't apply suction on the wound. No fluids should no be taken, for vomiting may later cause him/her to choke seriously. DON'T USE OLD FASHIONED ADVICE!

    -If you do have a bandage available (pieces of clothing can also be used in case of a extremely poisonous snake), you are allowed to apply this firmly, but not too tightly, around a bigger area of the limb, starting from above and binding it down to the bitten area, if the venom came from a mamba or cobra. If, however, the bite came from an adder, do not pressurize the area of the wound.

    -Do throw some cold water or ice on the leg (and use something to blow it cold with if you can). This will also slow down the effect of the venom.

    -Mamba bites will start effecting the person within minutes, cobra bites within half an hour to a hour, etc. Therefore, only if there is no view of any help by a qualified medical person, and if the brochure of the serum was studied, a decision may be taken to give anti-serum by an unqualified person. (We mean live and death situations, amounting in great difficulty to breath, being totally alone in a far off place, etc.) The right serum may then be injected in the muscular part of the buttocks. Dosage for children or people of small build isn't smaller than for adult men. Don't give serum at all if there is any danger of serum shock (this is people treated previously with anti-toxins like horse serum), or only give it if antihistamine (Phenergan or Chlortrimeton) is available. A very slow injection of 0,2 to 0,5 ml adrenaline (1 in 1000) into the muscle may combat serum shock. Here, dosage for adults and children do differs).

    -After the serum was given, the patient still have to be hospitalized if bitten by a very poisonous snake.

    -Artificial mouth to mouth resuscitation must be done if breathing becomes almost impossible. It may even be good to ensure the patient that you will do it to him/her, thus making him/her more calm about the growing problem. The airways have to be kept open at all time.

    -Bites by a boomslang, vine snake or bergadder can't be handled by anti venom in usual serum kits, but can be taken care of by medical doctors. Cleaning it and putting on ice or cold water is the best to do. Although very poisonous, it yields more time to have the patient hospitalized.

    -Don't be fooled by an adder bite getting better after a few days. The limb may still be lost, even months after the initial treatment. Listen to the medical advice and go for the prescribed treatment.

    -It may be useful to take the patients pulse and respiration regularly, in order to make the best decisions and to know when to start with emergency treatment if no help is available.

    -Small bites from non-venomous snakes needs medical attention too, for infections may set in.

    -Remember the Lord's advice is only a prayer away!










During the sixteenth century, firearms slowly replaced the faithful old bow and arrow as the most effective long range weapon in the military and hunting scene. Although some archery clubs prevailed during the centuries, most of them have faded by the end of the nineteenth century. But early in the twentieth century, if revived as a true sport that gained Olympic status, with clubs all over the world. But the hunting possibilities of archery wasn't utilized until much later in the same century.

Since 1983, bow hunting is legalized in South Africa in terms of prescribed circumstances under the Nature Conservation Ordinance 12.

To many hunters, this is a very sporting way to equalize the hunter's challenge with the animal's defenses, for one has to work much harder (with your camouflage, hiding and stalking) at distances less than 30 meters to obtain your goal. Small wonder then, that this sport has keep on growing in popularity ever since.

But even after this legislation, a lot of restrictions still applied:the risk of closing in on an elephant, a rhino, a buffalo or a hippo, and even a giraffe, with only an bow and arrow in hand, was considered too much because of their thick hides. Also, the risks involved in trying to take down predators like a lion, a crocodile, a leopard and a spotted or brown hyena, as well as those animals mentioned earlier, was considered to be too much for any person's safety. And lastly, it was considered cruel from the outset to plan to take down any animal with too little penetrating power. And naturally, many wounded animals will in the end result in many wounded (or killed) hunters. Therefore, all the above mentioned animals were excluded from the 1983 law.

As was later realized, the bow and arrow industry have produced much improved shooting power since the re-vitalizing of the ancient sport in the early twentieth century. Today, the penetrating power of the bow and arrow are simply awesome! With new information by local and international role players, attained on invitation of the Chief Directorate of Nature and Environmental Conservation, a new set of standards was formulated and selected after comments for the change of policy was received from

  • The international office of Safari Club International
  • The local office of Safari Club International
  • Professional Hunter's Association of South Africa
  • The Confederation of Hunting Associations of South Africa
  • Dallas Safari Club

This new set of standards then, was applied by an Executive Committee ruling in 1992. Now, the law opened up the way, with the result that all animals in South Africa may now, under certain conditions, be hunted with bow and arrow.

The possibilities and use of the modern bow and arrow in South African hunting circumstances

Once the experts have it their way, the modern bow and arrow is a most effective hunting weapon! In the USA bow hunting is flourishing to the extent that 2,6 million people are taking up the bow annually.

If the bow and arrow is used under the professional hunter's supervision, and if the stipulated conditions of use is adhered to, bow hunting can without doubt be used to hunt literally ALL the South African animals even the most dangerous of them! The Executive Committee's ruling in 1992 thus was received much enthusiasm. At last, the art of archery could once again be utilized in its true original conditions!

Bow hunting is much more difficult that hunting with a rifle. Everyone in the bow hunting field also have to reckon with the history of previously restrictive legislation, which means that no bow hunter outfitter will risk the entire bow hunting sport in South Africa by letting a hunting safari turn into a ugly party of killed and wounded tourists, because of unprofessional conduct. Experience with bow hunting thus is important to the extreme when dangerous animals are to be hunted.

Any bow hunter setting out to hunt dangerous game therefore, have to obtain a certificate of competence, issued by someone to whom the Department of Nature Conservation have given the right to be the judge of competence. Some outfitters have the right to issue the documentary proof that is needed. This may be a good talking point between a prospective hunter and an outfitter who advertise bow hunting services. Not only will the document of competence be needed to obtain bow hunting rights from the authorities ; the competency itself will be most important when drawing near that majestic buffalo or lion‚ which leads us also the question of what kind or category of animal may be encountered with what type of shooting power.

Amount of bow hunting energy needed for different categories of animals

Category I ‚ III requires 25 mm cutting width
Category IV ‚ V requires 28 mm cutting width

  Animals   Min. Kinetic Max. kinetic
Category I All smaller species up to the female   25 350
  nyala (the ewe) and blesbok, excluding      
  the warthog and bushpig and predators      
  larger than the black backed jackal      
Category II Most medium species, including the   40 400
  kudu, nyala bull, warthog, bushpig,      
  and about all predators, but excluding      
  the lion, leopard, gemsbuck and sable      
  antelope, and the crocodile      
Category III Still larger species, including the crocodile, 65 450
  lion, leopard, gemsbuck and sable antelope,    
  excluding the giraffe and buffalo      
Category IV Large animals, namely the giraffe and   80 700
Category V Enormously large animals, namely the   105 850
  Black rhino, the white rhino, the hippo-      
  potamus and, of course, the elephant      


Hunting a dangerous animal with bow and arrow

Dangerous animals can only be hunted if a very good chance exist that the animal will not be wounded, but killed first time round. Danger looms the moment an animal, let alone a most dangerous one, is hurt but still powerful enough to use its natural power.

This well known hunting tip applies all the more when the hunt is done by bow and arrow.A strict set of hunting conduct, standard routine for the accompanying professional hunter, will be applied for bow hunting:

The hunt will not be done if the hunter can't move in to no more than 25 metres from the dangerous animal

Hunting of the hippopotamus and the crocodile can only take place if the target that a hunter should aim to, is above the water.

When a buffalo is standing sideways, with its tail somewhat to the side of the hunter, no shot can be fired to the side of the buffalo if the angle with which the arrow will penetrate the animal exceeds 25 degrees (compared to an imaginative line from the head to the tail). If it is standing sideways with its head towards the hunter, don't fire at all at angles! And when the Category V animals are taken on, don't fire unless you're using a flat 90degree angle with the above mentioned line.

If a hide is taken as camouflage, remember that it also restricts movement. Two-way radio communication and good enforcement of the hide(s) may not be such a bad idea. We are talking about brute animals here!

The use of aids is allowed with the idea of both safeguarding the hunter and helping to cut down on the unnecessary wounding (or prolonged wounding) of animals. This may also helps with the determining of arrow placing.

These, amongst others, may include:

-a radio transmitter in the shaft of the arrow to trace down your hippopotamus or crocodile (floating buoy's and tow-lines may also be used)

infra red sensors to trace animals that have been shot right before sunset, at night or that have been shot in a very dense bush

night seeing equipment to increase the bow hunters effectiveness at night ; also, the use of luminous material at the impact side of the arrow, or the use of an arrow with a knock that features its own light.


Listing of different types of bows


The crossbow isn't used much in South Africa, mostly due to its short arrow, which makes it somewhat ineffective for hunting. Modifications have resulted in other types of bows that will be discussed below. A highly sophisticated compound crossbow is available which can be as accurate as a rifle. To some hunters, its sophistication level is simply too high and one tend to forget that it is bow hunting we're talking about.


Combining elements of the American flatbow and the old English longbow, resulted a very deadly bow with a composite of wood and glass fibre, utilizing a heavy arrow - the modern longbow. It's disadvantages for bushveld hunting is that its handling runs you into trouble once the density of the bush increases, while its propulsion, due to the heavy arrow, isn't as quick as that of the recurve or compound bow. But: it was the longbow (one made of bamboo used by Howard Hill) that - in modern recording - first took down the Big Five. The longbow will always be the favourite to those that feels that the modern bows‚ sophistication level is becoming an overkill.

Recurve Bows

If shooting with a short bow and a light arrow with a flat trajectory is what you have been seeking, you may opt for the recurve bow. In contrast to the longbow, it yields brilliant power over long distances. It is also made of glas fibre and wood, or out of solid glas fibre.But it is a most unforgiving bow as well: errors from the archer will be boldly underlined on the target (if it hits the target at all!). Another disadvantage is that a split second is given to the animal to dodge away, for a slap of the string against the bow's recurve side may disclose that the race between arrow and soundis still won by sound. Silencers fittings at the recurve side of the bow may help.

Compound bows

This very sophisticated bow may be called the favourite of the hunting bows in use today. Designed like other bows, but given enhanced leverage, it features cables, pulleys and cams to thrust out the arrow with immense power. To most people, its hunting record is much better than what they achieve with the other bows. It is shorter than the longbow, and much faster and steady than the others. The secret of this one's popularity may especially be due to the fact that it's back pull reaches a peak, after which more pull actually isn't such an effort any more, by still enhances performance. It also results in a much easier aim. So, if a steady aim with very good striking power is what you're after, this is the one!

Arrows and Arrowheads

Restrictions have been assimilated into legislation that concerns arrows and the devices fitted in front of the arrows. This means:

  • Category I and II animals may be hunted with any fixed or removable arrowheads. The minimum width should be 2,8 cm.
  • Category III animals may only be hunted with a single forged arrowhead with two cutting edges, which starts at the tip, or with fitted double bladed arrowheads with a carbon/steel rod at it's centre, also withminimum width of 2,8 cm
  • All arrowheads must have at least two cutting edges.
  • Arrowheads are not allowed to have moving parts or barbs.
  • Wood, glass fibre, carbon fibre or aluminium may be used for the production of arrows.


Safeguarding the hunter from abroad

Since 1981, the hunting, outfitting and hunting industries became the object of new legislation to safeguard and protect the touring hunter. This legislation ensures that the overseas client experience a standard of expertise and service that one may expect from someone licensed to operate as a professional hunter. This legislation also demanded that, after such licenses were granted, they had to be maintained by obligatory inspections as well.

Since each province in the country have an own conservation department, legislation concerning the hunting industry may differ from area to area. This may include legislation concerning certain types of weapons, etc. However, both outfitters and professional hunters will be well informed about their own provinces requirements. Naturally, national legislation covers the central issues and the provincial legislation the regional aspects that takes the wildlife of the area itself into consideration. The national legislation, for example, stipulates that all outfitters and professional hunters obtain the necessary insurance that covers their profession's risks. The provincial legislation may decide on the use of bow hunting on certain species that is indigenous to that region.

Legally, a hunting outfitter or a professional hunter can obtain a license if:

  • The candidates have past a first examinations which test knowledge of game animal's habits, social behaviour, breeding cycles, preparation and care of trophies and requirements for entering trophies into the record books (Rowland Ward and Safari Club International)
  • The candidates have past a written examination of all the laws applicable to hunting in each province
  • The candidate, after successfully completed the written exams, also passes a practical test in the bush about spoor identification, spoor tracking, evaluation at distances of horn lengths, skinning, shooting, knowledge of the bush, first aid, animal behaviour, hunting ability, extensive knowledge of firearms, and preparation and care of trophies

Only now the successful candidate is issued a license from the nature conservation authorities to operate. Up and above these requirements, the outfitter wishing to qualify as a professional outfitter, also have to apply to an obligatory standard of facilities, vehicles and personal that the authorities will inspect before granting the outfitters license. The outfitter's advertising also have to comply to set standards to avoid misleading advertising. Follow-up checks by officials are performed regularly.

Part of this legal requirements stipulates that, before the actual hunt takes place, a written agreement between outfitter and hunter is entered into to cover the expectations concerning the detailed costs (which means the trophy fees, the daily fees, etc.) duration of the safari and services provided on the one hand, and the species of game offered, the sex of the game the hunter intend to shoot, conditions of payment etc. on the other hand.

By law, the outfitter also has to obtain all the documents and hunting permits needed. Once a trophy animal was brought down, the outfitter has the responsibility to remove the trophy from the hunting area and handle and dispatched it in the correct manner. The outfitter has to facilitate the hunter's lodging, meals, and transportation professionally. As was mentioned, the legislation also covers the way in which he is allowed to advertise.

In 1990, the government opted for the privatization of the examinations and licensing of professional hunters. Since then, only the very highest standards prevailed in the few private professional hunting schools.

The professional hunter's responsibilities includes:

  • to be present for the whole duration of the safari to fulfill the supervising role
  • to ensure that the laws governing game hunting is adhered to, and at the same time that the conditions stipulated in the hunter's contract is met
  • to report any illegal behaviour
  • to be a source of knowledge about the bush, the hunt and conservation to the client

What this legislation means for the foreign client is protection against misleading hunting promises or deals, it means that standards are set and met, it means that he will encounter professionals that are licensed because they proved that they could provide and sustain the high standards set by law.

The standards of hunting in South Africa today is something the country may be proud of. You may still find the odd misleading advertisement, but when tourists asks for proof of adherence to the legislation, an unlicensed outfitter will quickly be identified and if a foreign client chooses to use an unlicensed outfitter he is on the thin edge of our country's law.

Any hunter have the right to report a complaint should he or she feels to be at the losing end of a hunting deal or suspected any unethical behaviour.



A hunter who hopes to obtain a brilliant trophy is spending a lot to come to a foreign hunting ground. He may just as well do the most important part as the textbook prescribes. That is, handling the actual skin, scull and horns correctly so that the trophy may come to its full potential.

The outfitter, professional hunter or the hunter himself cannot predetermine exactly what the quality of the animal that will be shot may turn out to be. And to some extent, one have to satisfy yourself that the first shot was the best possible one under the circumstances. BUT: from the moment that the first shot hits the target, each action taken shortly afterwards, is those that determine the quality of that specific trophy in a very real sense. And the hunting group have everything in the world to do with the actions that follow.

So remember:

  • If a second shot is a prerequisite for safety, the hunter should take care not to ruin the skin, scull or horns, for he most often not have the time to plan this shot.
  • Finish all safety precautions, meaning making sure that the animal is dead and that the other animals of the herd doesn't pose a threat and then go through the safety drill of the rifle(s).
  • Don't spend too much time, but to take a good photo in the hunting field may be a good idea, for it should be skinned as soon as possible when arriving at base camp. However, don't damage the skin by dragging it on the ground, not even a few metres.
  • If it is a trophy hunt, leave one member of the hunting safari at the animal if you have reason to think that the hyenas, lions, jackal and other carnivores may arrive before the 4 x 4 crew. Usually you will have an hour or two to assemble your trophy before that kind of danger becomes very prominent, but remember that if it is a trophy hunt, you do want to skin it as soon as possible. The danger of putrefaction is a most important aspect. If the animal is left alone when the hunting party return to base camp, first MARK THE PLACE VERY CLEARLY with a bright cloth, or a stick that is scratched on the ground all the way to the vehicles pathway (not a good method late in the afternoon shortly before nightfall), or even with toilet paper!It may also be a good idea to mark the first little road that vehicles will be using with a very obvious marking, in order that all may know where to start the search.
  • Normally a bush vehicle will be used to assemble the catch. The vehicle will either go into the bush up to the dead trophy animal, or as close as possible. The loading, transport and delivery of the animal usually will be the outfitter's efforts and equipment. If you haven't taken a photo yet, now may be your last chance.
  • Use only the very best skinning knives, solid patterns and a hand-sharpener to avoid accidental cuts (mostly, it still takes place even with good knives!)
  • Skin the animal within a short a time after the hunt as possible (no more than two hours if possible at all). If it is possible to skin it professionally right away in the bush, do it, but if may be much better to skin it in the cool room of the outfitter
  • Don't drag the carcass over stones or even sand if possible, and be careful, when loading or unloading, not to damage it
  • Don't expose the carcass to hard sunlight after it is taken down. Try to carry it into the shade
  • Skin the animal preferably in a cool room where flies can't enter
  • Be especially careful with the skin of antelope like the impala, bushbuck, nyala, eland, kudu and gemsbuck, as they may be damaged very easily
  • Don't leave any meat or fat on the skin and NEVER put an undried skin in a plastic bag
  • Blood and sand or dust should be washed off the skin by thorough care
  • Let the skin dry in a cold wind for some time to dry it out somewhat before it is salted
  • Carnivores and the zebra have a lot of fat on their skins, particularly at the mane area. This may take time, but it have to be cleaned thoroughly


Your outfitter and his staff are used to handle the whole process of field preparation, skinning, salting and the storage of trophies. They know that the skin mustn't be stained at all. Very few parts of the animal will be wasted. The meat will be handled with care and in good hygienic fashion. If the hunter is willing, some of the tasty cuts of most (but not all) animals may be served as a treat or part of a meal at base camp. It may be necessary to enquire whether the handling and preparation of trophies are included in the trophy fees or not. (Field preparation is included in your daily rate when hunting with Marvel Africa Safaris)



Firearms & Calibers

When a hunter is planning a South African hunting expedition, one of the first questions that is usually asked, concerns the weaponry that will be needed for such a safari. To straighten out what exactly is meant by words like ‚medium caliber‚ or what models of rifles one's talking about, the following general list of firearms gives you a basic idea to work with:

Light Caliber

.222 Remington Magnum
.243 Winchester

Medium Caliber
.264 Winchester Magnum
.300 Winchester Magnum

Heavy Caliber
.375 Holland & Holland
.378 Weatherby Magnum
.458 Wincherster Magnum
.460 Weatherby Magnum

Hunting Rifles: Recommended Ammunition and Calibers

South Africa's Rifle and Ammunition stores provide good quality ammunition for almost all types of calibers. You will be asked for your rifle's license/prove of rightful ownership. All you need to know is the caliber of your gun and the type of game you intend to shoot, and you will be assisted accordingly. Buying up to 50 or 60 rounds for each rifle is more than enough to see your rifles sighted-in and leaving you with the ammunition needed for your trophy.

Because game hunting would almost surely result in the client paying trophy fees for lost/wounded animals (after a shot was fired), it is important to aim with the firearm suited best for the type of game that you plan to shoot. Yet, it is possible to shoot quite a wide range of game with a mid-range rifle like the .300 caliber. If the caliber is extended to a .375, hunting the Big Five becomes possible, while it still suites a whole number of the bigger antelopes and the hunter wouldn't bother about bringing his whole armament to the hunting ground. Usually, hunting with a medium caliber like a .270 or a 30.06, would do quite well for most of South Africa's larger antelopes. Smaller antelope could be brought down easily with a well aimed shot from a .222 to a .243 caliber.

At the shooting range: Sighting-in and Rifle-defects

Almost all game-camps will provide a suitable shooting range where sighting-in of the rifles will be possible (Marvel Africa Safaris have a shooting range at our main camp in Limpopo). Travel and moisture-levels surely have an influence on the accuracy of the rifle. Most safaris starts of with the sighting-in of the hunting rifles. In the case of rifle-defects upon arrival, most professional outfitters will be able to provide a substitute, while fixing the gun would surely be a possibility (either at the game-camp or at a nearby rifle-workshop). The customary sighting-in will take you to the 100 yards-mark (91meters), where your rifles could be zeroed-in (or, as some hunters prefer, being 25 - 40mm high at 100 yards) with the necessary equipment which the outfitter will provide.

Hiring of Firearms

Under certain conditions, unplanned borrowing of rifles from the outfitter may be possible if the hunter runs into trouble with his own. Usually, it will be perfectly possible to rent/hire a firearm from your outfitter or professional hunter, as most of them offer a wide variety of rifles with different calibers. It could be worthwhile to make this issue a talking point with the outfitter before departure, saving an unnecessary import. But at least, the hunter should confirm if the outfitter does have the caliber available that will suite your hunt's needs.

Firearm imports

Most hunters prefer to bring along their own rifles/guns. With the exception of fully automatic weapons, the import of weapons for temporary use in South Africa, won't cause the hunter much trouble. Such a temporary permit is valid for six months. It is advisable to check such imports with your outfitter or professional hunter first, for it may, at least,cause time-consuming delays if the hunter also wishes to tour to neighboring states as well.

Hunting with a Handgun

All handgun hunters who wishes to sport the stalking and handgun game in the South African setting, will be most welcome to do so. Areas may be selected that suite handgun hunting best.



Conservation in SA

South Africa today have one of the most up-to-date conservationist policies in the world. First world standards apply in a geographical area that yields the wild open spaces that is associated only with wild Africa.

While about six million hectares of land is used as public conservation reserves, the privately owned areas of conservation have now risen to over eight million hectares, and the number is growing annually. While industrial development have been the main driving force of the South African economy for the previous century, the tourist industry seems set to take over this role in the century to come. Of course, a repeat of the 11 September 2001 attacks in New York (may God forbid it) may have its toll on the heritage of the African wildlife in the long run as well, for the Eco- and hunting industry is interwoven with that of the rest of the world.

Today, most, but in particular the northern provinces,may be likened to an era of more than a century ago. Game quantities have improved greatly in the last two decades. Property combinations and co-operational actions have in some instances taken place where fences have been lifted to improve land size and the free movement of game have taken on a new dimension in such areas as well. Although still in process, some areas as big as 30 000 - 50 000 hectares and more can now be visited without having to pass a single wire of fence in between. Elephants, Rhino and other exclusive game are being re-introduced in areas that haven't seen these beasts for more than a hundred years! And the prized kind of the jungle, the lion, can today be seen in half a dozen game reserves. This turn of conservationist efforts came about, as was indicated earlier, especially in the private sector, since the dawn of economically viable game hunting took off. The moment this industry was able to match (and exceed) conventional farming in the private farmers purse, the wildlife heritage of this country was guaranteed for future generations!

The role of hunting, Eco-tourism and game farming in South African conservation

The viewpoint that hunting cannot be good for conservation, stems from well-meant documentaries about obscure people in isolated regions, hunting recklessly with scorching self-interest. The endeavors of these men can best be described as twisted sub-cultures that doesn't form part of a coherent system in a country with a healthy economy. And it is a good thing that their disgusting malpractices should come to light.

The hunting industry in South Africa, however, forms part and parcel of a well-kept tourist industry that generates large fees of foreign income, most of which is destined to be reinvested in the same conservationist institutes. This includes the buying of new bloodlines of game, or new species, improvement of the natural state of those Eco-systems which carries the fauna and flora, spending on infra-structure and staff to be qualified as conservationists, trackers, field guides and chefs or hosts for tourists. Nature-friendly lodging and bush transport (for example, sometimes on horseback) isn't cheap as well. The point is: by and large, the hunters and Eco-tourists are, considered both in per capita spending and as lovers of nature, the most prized tourists this country could wish to host if one look from a perspective of conservation. Or, to put it somewhat negatively: there would, by now, be very little left of the South African wildlife scene if it hadn't been for the paying hunters. Since the last decade, you can add Eco-Tourists to the equation. The hunting industry in South Africa can best be described as well-controlled hunting in Eco-friendly, conservationist style.

Another factor often missed in a naive anti-hunting approach, is that over-population and interbreeding of game have its own regulating demands, caused not by man's conservationist misconduct in our own time, but by unnatural structural developments of many decades earlier that causes game to be fenced away from natural rivers or roaming spaces. If the game isn't hunted, cycles of nature will cause it to be deformed or become vulnerable to diseases. Another remark in this regard: the very natural selection that takes place in a superior Park such as the Kruger National Park, which simply means killings performed by lions, hyenas, leopards etc. have to be done artificially. In this, under controlled circumstances such as will be find in South Africa, the hunter is playing a stabilizing role in nature. And incidentally, even the Kruger Park runs its own scientific based programs of hunting for the sake of safeguarding certain species). This same truth applies when a farm that has no elephants: some disturbance to the trees and bushes may be needed to fulfill the role that the elephant should naturally be taking care of.

Lastly, hunting in the country is regulated by a monitor system of conservation authorities that means the requirement of hunting permits, the regulation of hunting to set dates each season, stock counting, handling of hunting complaints, field workers etc. But as will be found in almost any game farm, today the same conservational interest is driving the game rancher and outfitter that previously had to be regulated by legal force. And, in the last instance, this, more than anything else, is why the wildlife is South Africa is in such a healthy state.

Eland Shotplacement


Shot Placement

Hitting the target on the aimed spot and aiming at the correct position is paramount to the success of any hunt. This of course means that the hunter has to be able to do fairly accurate (if not state of the art) shooting, combined with some refined knowledge about the vital organ positioning in the animal's bodies.

The right ballistics may be a helpful aspect, but is by no means nearly as important as the accurate placement of the shot. Most hunters will aim for the heart, which can be reached by aiming to the low, forward part of the chest cavity. This spot is situated almost on the front leg (slightly to the back part of it, vertically) and about 25% up the chest/belly (on the horizontal line). This has the advantage of not spoiling the head of the trophy. Although the telescope helps to spot the target, shortening the distance to the animal will by far be the best way to increases effectiveness. Only extremely good hunters take aim at the head or neck. The fact that you don't wound an animal that easy when aiming at the neck or head shouldn't be the deciding factor not to aim at the heart, because if wounding is such a great possibility, the shooting range must be the place to spent your time, and not the hunting ground. Your chance to get the trophy when aiming at the heart, is considerably bigger, not only because of the position of the vital organs, but also because animals will start most movement by head and neck mobility. Brain or neck shots naturally spoils the least amount of the skin and meat, but may, on the other hand, damage the trophy's head.

If the animal isn't standing at a right angle towards the hunter, compensation can be made until a certain point. If the angle becomes bigger, certainty about the effect of the shot decreases. It may be necessary to take aim in quite another way, or to hold back until the animal yields a better shot. No hope for the best shots should ever be taken, al the more when hunting dangerous game. A frontal standing of the animal also makes for a good shot at the heart. In this case the lowest position right between the front legs will be the perfect target.

If at all possible, move to a better position if the angle to the target poses a problem. Do remember that the animals usually can hear, see and smell far better than human. Also keep in mind that you will be having seconds, rather than minutes, to make the decision to shoot. The professional hunter may give the thumbs up, but the final decision to take the shot is the responsibility of the hunter himself. Many good hunters will only shoot with a clear picture of the animal, standing at a good angle towards the hunter, because previous experiences of wounding an animal when taking a risky shot have tempered the idealism.

Effectiveness increases if the following actions are taken:

  • Never set of to the hunting field before you've been on the shooting range with your rifle. After some handling or transporting of your rifle, sighting in is needed.
  • Don't use the telescopic view before you've checked that the line of fire is clear, because small branches or obstacles may deflect the projectile (or even cause danger to the hunter).
  • Be patient, very silent and don't get anxious
  • If you're aiming at a rhino/elephant/lion (and paying large amounts for the privilege), spare a moment to determine if you aren‚Äôt going to wound another big one standing behind your target!
  • Don't aim at the animal. Aim at one spot on the animal as your target.
  • Remember your safety drills

The moment a shot is fired, immediately chamber another round! This is the best time to make a noise, but, much more important, the safest way to secure your own life and your trophy. This must be done regardless of outcome of your shot.

As two exceptions, it may be recommended, provided that the position of the brain is well known to the hunter, to take down the elephant and the hippopotamus with a shot to the brain.A word of caution, however: many hunters uses soft-nosed ammunition to hunt with, which may be perfectly in order. But when hunting a thick-skinned animals, like the elephant, rhino or buffalo, solid (or hard-nosed) bullets must be used to penetrate the animal. This emphasizes the need to do a well-placed first shot. Even if the animal is taken down, give it a second shot in any case as well! If a buffalo is wounded, no matter what type of bullet was used, fit a hard-nose one for your second shot! And if the elephant is shot to it's head, but the bullets hits slightly too high or low, it will may take no effect. And if the shot isn't penetrating or the shot hits the scull or tusk, the trophy will be spoiled and the hunter may experience the wild fury the elephant!

Tracking a wild animal's spoor:

Tracking is the art of finding an animal by following the signs (called spoor) it left when it passed a certain place. This means that, by crossing a place that the animal passed earlier, and by carefully following the spoor of the animal, that animal can be caught from behind if the right spoor is followed.

An animal leave behind a spoor through:

  • its hooves/feet that makes tracks/footsteps on the ground which can be followed
  • its breaking of dry grass and small branches that can be monitored
  • urine or manure
  • its odour
  • its blood (when wounded)

It is important to strive to track down an animal when hunting in the South African bushveld, because of the density of the hunting ground. The animals aren't locked up in a small area, and the hunt is much, much more than a mere selection and target shooting. It combines a solid safari-experience, an eco-tour through the thickest of bush, an understanding of the geographical area, the time of year, the direction that the wind blows and the behaviour of the animals. If the area is known, the hunter will for example - not go to dry grasslands at the time that the animals may be expected to crunch their thirst at the waterhole. The movement of different animals also differs, meaning that it have to be taken in consideration that a lion may be expected at the waterhole at night, the kudu early in the morning or late in the afternoon, etc. The knowledge of the professional hunter will be very helpful in this regard.

But the person most likely to do the intensive study of the spoor will be the tracker. He may be the same person as the professional hunter. Usually, however, the tracker will be one of the native locals who have lived in the bush a great deal (or all) of his life. He have developed the art of sensing the slightest change in the field, realizing many things that the ordinary hunter won't see at all. He will know how to look for the fresh spoor following it like a hunting dog, yet not only having his nose on the ground but also his eyes out there. Usually, he will be the first to spot the animal you are looking for.

How does he do it? Some useful insights, which will help the hunter to enjoy the long, walk in the bush, and to appreciate the work that the tracker puts into the hunt, may be the following:

  • he knows that most animals will take the bush trails instead of forcing a way trough the thick bushes
  • he have spotted those animals quite a few time before in their habitat and knows most of their likes and dislikes
  • he knows at which times, more or less, they will be on their way to the water and he know where the waterholes are
  • he knows at which direction the wind are blowing and won't easily be heading into the wrong direction
  • he knows at what times the animals are taking shelter under the shade
  • he will be looking for a fresh spoor and will be avoiding the old ones. To many of us the two may look the same, but if you look carefully, you'll see that the fresh one is slightly darker/more moist than the other, or it have slightly less wind wear or less little leaves or grass into it, meaning it was made later than the other
  • he will not be discouraged by three hours of mere walking because the bush, to him, is alive and he senses the communicative value of birds, the type of trees, the wind and the sounds around him, enjoying a much richer dimension of the bush than most of us can dream of
  • he thinks like the animals and does so especially when an animal is wounded
  • he will catch the faintest spread of blood on a leave if in pursuit of an animal
  • he will watch the direction that the grass or branches have been bent
  • he appreciates the place where an animal (like the lion) was lying by taking for granted that that place was under the shade of a tree by the time the animal was lying there, and thus looking at where the sun would have been by then, guessing how far the animal may be in front of the hunting party
  • he knows what each animal feeds on at the different seasons
  • he will climb a tree or hill, spot a far off animal and then moves in a different direction than you though he should, but he have taken into account the direction of the wind, the bush trail and the geographical surroundings that, in the end, proofs to be the right decision
  • he not only knows each animal from their unique spoor, he will tell you the size and often the gender of the animal merely by looking at it. The good trackers can even tell you of the different walking styles of some of the individual ones
  • he knows which animals associates with one another
  • he knows how to pick up a spoor again if it is lost on rocky terrain or in shallow water, for example by doing a 360degree circle or because he has remembered the landmarks where it has last been seen (and working out the most likely route from there)
  • he can walk in dead silence, often bowing his head if the game is nearby (with the understanding that the rest of the safari-group ought to do the same)
  • he will use the moments after a shot has been fired in his own advantage, moving to a better, closer hideout (while the animals are bewildered in any case) without being seen
  • he knows when to stop following due to extreme danger, but may take a hunting party around the danger area, providing a new angle or line of fire
  • he knows that a wounded animal behaves differently than the rest of the herd, often following the one spoor that doesn't go with the bunch
  • he knows when to stop following a wounded animal, usually not far from a dense area in the bush and to wait, even for a substantial amount of time, before taking on the same blood spoor again, for this gives the bullet wound time to have effect. Otherwise, too much adrenaline may give the animal the energy to run for miles and miles around, even when wounded badly
  • he will seldom walk ON the spoor, for he may need to follow it back, make an adjustment and take another again by comparing the two
  • he will smile if the spoor had to be tracked shortly after a fall of rain
  • he knows how to read a spoor even if it isn't well-defined (as in very loose sand of very wet mud)
  • he knows that certain animals (like the bush pig or leopard, or certain antelope) may swim a few yards in a river, after which the trail may be picked up again at some distance on the other side
  • he senses the broken branch, the moved stone, or the patch of (even dried) urine that most of us will be missing
  • he knows that blood may quickly turns dark when it dries, but not necessarily
  • he can sense the speed at which the animal walked or run from the length between two of the spoor as well as from the depth of each
  • he will sense the atmosphere amongst the animals by the difference between the grazing spoor (those going to bushes, plucked trees, grass or vegetation) and those of animals that is alerted and wary (going passed the bushes, circling behind a hiding place, etc.)
  • he will be able to tell if a spoor was made before of after sunrise by the night- or daytime signs going over the spoor (like nocturnal animals which passed after the spoor was made indicating a night walk)
  • he knows that the bush is alive and that the wind, the dew, the small pieces of leaves or grass all alter the impression of a fresh spoor into an old spoor.
  • he doesn't necessarily jump to the conclusion that a spoor is old simply because insects or birds have superimposed their spoor on the one that is being followed, but too much of that definitely indicates in that direction
  • he's aware of colour chances as a spoor gets older, fading away from a position of strong contrast to a point of very little contrast to the surroundings over a period of time
  • he knows that even a very fresh spoor may seem to be old if some rain have fallen in the meantime
  • he knows the time it takes insects, ants or a cobweb spinner to dig or spin their labours over or between two bushes above a spoor and will judge the time laps accordingly
  • he remembers when he himself or other people have walked the same route and will be more interested in those markings that is superimposed on the footprints of those humans
  • broken ticks or trampled vegetation will indicate to him if the animal passes that place long ago or not, for if it still is white or green and wet, you can't be far behind
  • he will be very alert if the urine is still wet and more so if it is still warm (yes, he sometimes touches it) ; he may do the same with very fresh dung
  • wet mud patches against tree trunks may be an indication to him that the hunter's elephant or bush pig is about to be seen
  • he will be very alert to sounds and signs (some herds can be very noisy or kicking up dust, even if they are only grazing, like elephants and buffalo's)
  • he knows that wounded animals will shortly be followed by the hyenas, the jackals and the vultures and he don't mind their navigational offers at all
  • he knows what the birds, flies and insects have the habit of following a big herd of game and will know when they announce the presence of the game
  • he can smell a lion from a zebra, a waterbuck from a giraffe, a buffalo from an elephant, etc. (to learn this, the internet won't help much!). This knowledge is particularly helpful when hunting on horseback
  • he understands the warning cries from the birds like the rhino birds or knows how to avoid instigating some of these birds to warn the animals. He will also uses these warning signs to stop in time before he crash into the bush where the wounded buffalo or lion is lying
  • he can distinguishes between the normal sounds animals makes and their warning utterances before they attack. The lion, the elephant, the buffalo's, all have their distinct way of giving notice of their state of mind!
  • he won't be disappointed to hear somebody cough at night at a place where nobody is supposed to be, realizing the presence of the most dangerous leopard
  • he will laugh at your fear of the lion who have roared close by, showing you that the very real lion's roar‚ is only an ostrich's voice (the list of these examples may go on and on)
  • he have an endless stock of warning signs in his mind about the meaning of bird, animal and insect sounds in daytime or at night, each having it own special meaning
  • he knows‚ (so much still to be said!)

BUT: Would an overseas hunter at any stage seriously be following a spoor? And if so, why?

The answer is: yes, and the most obvious reason is, sadly, in case of a wounded animal. This, however, is part of hunting and isn't too unfamiliar to most outfitters. What should the hunters-safari be looking for in case of a wounded animal (apart from taking the best possible safety precautions)

  • Detect if the shot was missed altogether or not. A shot that was missed sounds differently from a shot that hits the target. Your guide will also be a better source of information about this than the hunter, for he heard the shot from a distance and he haven't had his eyes fixed on the target alone (through a telescope). Therefore, he knows if it was a miss or if it resulted in a wounding.
  • First, do the best possible search in the area where the animal was shot. Very often, an animal may run a couple of yards before he falls down. This may be regarded as a solid shot, but the danger of still losing the animal becomes more possible if the bush is very dense. Therefore, do an extremely good spoor tracking for the first 100 yards or so, even again and again, before any spoor is taken or the conclusion is made that the animal have fled. It may be lying under a nearby bush!
  • Look for signs such as bloodstains or parts of the skin, bones or organs of the animal. This may give an indication of what part of the animal have been hit. The colour of blood of different animals may vary, therefore, try to acquaint yourself with the colour of this animal's blood, for you may be looking for that coloured stains for the next ten miles!
  • Remember that not all bloodstains turns into dark brown/black, but most do
  • Light pink blood indicates an organ hit of the bullet. This may indicate that the hunt may still turns out successful, but it all the more stresses the importance of finding it. A foamy blood indicates that the lungs are hit. However, an animal can still go very far if wounded in this way, but will breath heavily and may be heard from a distance
  • A leg injury will be detected by the tracker, for drag marks by one of the legs, instead of the usual spoor, will be seen
  • A drop of blood in the dust or sand amounts to an insignificant little rounded sandy dot of dark brown colour and may easily be missed
  • Even if the animal is bleeding heavily, if it is still running, a bloodstain every 50 feet may be all you will be able to see
  • If stomach contents are found, be prepared to walk another long, long way (and even loose the animal), for they will not necessarily drop down from such a hit. The bloodspoor may later chance to an ordinary spoor. Silent following will be your only chance, but this animal will be as alert as can be!
  • An buffalo that is wounded, maytake a rest every now and then, left loads of blood at every resting place and still be able to do the most brutal attack once it can surprises you in dense bushes
  • The topic of tracking wounded animals is something with much too many aspects or even dimensions to exhaust in this presentation. But maybe the most important of this may be the following: once you‚Äôve seen that you‚Äôve wounded an animal and isn‚Äôt able to find it shortly afterwards, if at all possible, go fetch a hunting dog. A trained hunting dog can find that animal in a shorter period than a dozen of the best trackers can dream of.

All animals, even the most dangerous, prefer walking away from confrontation to taking on an unidentified enemy (man). But most animals, even the seemingly harmless ones, will, if cornered, be prepared to put up the most fearsome fight one can think of. So don't underestimate any of the bush's mammals!



Aimed at the preservation of nature's wildlife treasures, the CITES regulations was formulated and, by international agreement, became one on the cornerstones of wildlife conservation worldwide. It regulates trade of endangered species and stipulates which animals should be considered as very rare animals, those in danger of becoming extinct.

CITES aims to preserve indigenous fauna and flora by regulating exports, imports and trade of game, trophies, or specimens of wildlife (which includes all types and parts of plant specimens as well). Only through agreement and after conditions have been met, the CITES system of permits and certificates yields those consignments that legally are to be shipped or flown to other countries. CITES enforces the use of scientific - and management authorities which have the right to issue these certificates and licenses.

According to the CITES agreement, three appendices of animal and plant species are distinguished. Authorization for trade in only the most exceptional circumstances, concerns those listed in the first Appendix and deals with species threatened with extinction. At all times, an import permit have to be obtained before any export permit could be granted. The export permit thus is dependent upon the presentation of the import permit (with the exception of a very special CITES export permit, which includes, amongst other things, the exporting of specimens or species to registered breeding endeavours of just this CITES Appendix 1 species or specimens.)

To prevent unauthorized trading even more strictly, even re-exporting permits can't be issued unless the authorities can trace down the path that the specimens came into the country. Only if it was done according to the CITES regulations, a re-exporting permit will be issued.

The species named under the second Appendix are species that isn't endangered right now, may become on the danger list if steps aren't taken to prevent it. It also specified regulations concerning species that isn't endangered at all, but have a strong similarity to other species that is and may easily be confused with one another.

For transport of the species listed under this heading, one first needs proof that the product or specimen was obtained in accordance to the ordinances of the Nature Conservation Law, after which an export or re-export permit may be obtained. After that, an import permit can be issued. The re-exporting permit isn't issued, unless proof can be given that the CITES provisions have been met.

The species listed under the third Appendix concerns species that are restricted because of concern of their numbers by a certain Party (usually because of low numbers in a certain area). The co-operation of other Parties, however, are needed, in order to prevent misconduct in the jurisdiction of the first Party. The same restrictions as was mentioned under the second Appendix listing will, in such instances, be followed.

This schedule 1 animals (Appendix 1)need a special import permit from the hunter/conservationist's country and should be obtained before the he sets of on his (in such instances) very ambitious safari.

The issue of permits depends upon the answering of questions about trading, and the type of trade in the species involved. The impact of hunting or capturing animals to the survival strategy of listed animals will be important. In case of shipment of live animals, the standard of the shipping operation will be evaluated. The process of the acquisition of specimens will usually be traced. Questions about, and proof of the necessary facilities on the importing side will be asked and needed. Details about the care and future of live stock will be asked. Imports of Appendix 1 specimen's will usually only be allowed if it could enhance the survival strategies of that specimen. Commercial benefits to the importer doesn't weigh much in this regard and are forbidden by the CITES Convention.

These listings may change from time to time and it is strongly recommended to have this information updated with both their Professional Hunter and Outfitter, as with wildlife authorities in their own countries, before the planned safari's take off. This may be the single most important reason why a hunter may loose a prized trophy : failure to obtain the specified special permit prior to the hunt. Hunters thus both needs the import permit or license of his own country and the export permit from the country where the animal will be hunted.

It may be quite legal to hunt a certain animal in South Africa (as, for instance, the leopard). But, as in the case with some countries, it may just as much be prohibited to have this trophy imported into the hunter's country of citizenship.

(Apart from the export and import permits, the veterinary permits also have to accompany all raw or mounted trophies.)

CITES also distinguishes schedule 2 (Appendix 2) animals that aren't endangered, but are threatened nonetheless. Although permits for the hunting of these animals may be granted more freely, the hunter in the end still have to obtain both an export permit from the hunting ground's country, as well as an import license from his own country.

Although, from time to time, changes may be made to the list, some of the South African animals one can expect to find on the CITES 1 list are the:

- elephant

- cheetah

- leopard

- cape mountain zebra

- white rhino

The South African animals most likely to appear on the CITES 2 list may include the following:

- crocodile

- lion

- all primates

- minor cats

- Hartsmann's zebra

- blue duiker

- bontebok

The CITES 1 and 2 listing is, naturally, much longer and it may be worth while to approach the authorities to obtain the youngest listing.


History of Hunting

South Africa

Herodotus, the great historian of old, reports that in the year 700 BC, the Egyptian Pharao challenged those brilliant sailors, the Fenicians, to try and sail around the southern landmass on which Egypt was build (Africa).

A few boats, reports the historian, did depart from the Red Sea at the Arabian side of the continent that would later be called Africa. More than two years later, some of the ships sailed through the pillars of Herakles (Gibraltar, near Spain) to finish a most mysterious journey which is almost beyond believe. Their tales was just as unbelievable: they told untrustworthy stories of the sun which turned to the wrong side of the boat, of a wonderful green jungle beneath the dry Sahara desert, of this jungle being inhabited by dwarfs so who in his right mind could believe such fairytales?

So, because of disbelieve, it took man another 2200 years before the Portugese discoverer, Bartolomias Dias, also experienced the same incredible sun which turned to the wrong side of the boat (in 1488) when he sailed around the Cape. His boat however, was damaged so heavily in the waters of the "Cape of storms" that his sailor staff refused to finish the trip to India. On Christmas day, 1497, Vasco da Gama discovered Natal, sailed pass the whole of Southern Africa and became the first man to do what the Fenesians did 2209 years ago, according to the legend that Herodotus described.

In 1503, a man with the name of Saldanha, was the first to discover Table Bay and to report a climb to the top of Table mountain in the Cape Peninsula. This sight of the South African shores, fauna and flora have ever since took the breath of whomever went up that mountain after Saldanha.

In 1510, the Portugese crew which included their captain, D. Almeida, lost their lives in a fight with the Koi people at the shore of Table Bay. By 1600, the Xhosa migration to the south, have reached the Umtata river in the (now called) Eastern Cape. In 1652 the Dutch East Indian Company planted a outpost in the Cape under command of Jan van Riebeeck. They started to hunt big animals, but, as is recorded in Van Riebeeck's journal, only to protect people and crops. More and more people from Holland came to the Cape, and some of them turned from company employees to "Free Citizens" of the Cape and became full time farmers. This was helped by the arrival of the French Hugenote who fled their country after the Law of Nantes, that protected Protestants, was cancelled in France in 1685. Hunting naturally went with it.

In 1725, the Dutch East Indian Company send an expedition of 31 men under the leadership of Francois de Kuiper from the old Delagoa Bay to inspect possibilities for trade with the indigenous people. At Gomondwane, in the area which today is called the Kruger National Park (near Pretoriuskop), fighting occurred against the locals, which kept that area of abundant wildlife clear of any white people for another 100 years.

From the Cape's side, the white hunters, nomad farmers and, all the same, explorers, reached the Gariep River (Orange River) in 1760. It was crossed the first time by Jacobus Coets ©, possibly with the aim of hunting elephants!

Almost at the turn of the eighteenth century, the missionary movement from Europe and England also made an impact on Southern Africa when, at different places simultaneously, missionaries moved into some of the continent's biggest people groups. Dr. Livingstone was such a missionary who later did a lot of discoveries in Southern Africa as well.

Two of the biggest historical movements that permanently changed the scene in South Africa, was first the coming of the British settlers in 1820, and the inland movement of the Voortrekkers from 1838. Some of the British settlers didn't make it as farmers or tradesmen, and opted for the idea of professional hunting as a living. Improved rifles became available for hunting. One of them, John Thackwray, have killed lots of elephants in just a few years, and was killed himself by an elephant in the Fish River bush. They solely hunted for profit. And there were many of these hunters.

The Voortrekkers helped to safeguard movement of the white people in the midlands of the later Free State, parts of Natal and the later Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek by breaking the military might of the Zulus and Basotho people. For the first time, the inland plato's was open for fairly free and safe movement of people and cattle. This wasn't good news for the millions and millions of wild animals that was roaming the vast fields of South Africa, for it turned South Africa into the greatest game-hunting ground this world has ever seen. The Voortrekker farmers themselves wanted to cultivate crops and raise cattle. It suited them to shoot the wild animals that disturbed their farming ideals.

But by far the most devastating effect on the wild fauna of South Africa, came from hunting parties. Led by ruthless professional hunters, they came from the Cape or Natal to the seemingly endless masses of brilliant wildlife in the midlands of the country. One such a hunter was M.J. Koekemoer who, in the middle of the nineteenth century, shot 108 lions in just one single year! There was various herds of antelope, each well over a million, available on the beautiful open grasslands.And the hunters caused havoc, shooting for the pleasure of killing and this was the case for 60 to 80 years. They shot the majestic Cape Lion, Blue Buck and Quagga to total extinction. Some of their guests included the royal houses of more than one country. One such hunting party (at the end of the nineteenth century by the prince of Whales), caused the death of an totally unbelievable number of animals. At the infancy period of the British occupation of Natal, the British lived by hunting and trading in big game. Ivory, ostrich feathers, hides, skins, trophies or exceptional horns, and animal specimens of any rare quality, in fact any exceptional or strange natural object, filled many a hunter's purse, and then the middle man, then the VIP's dining room or the museum's chamber.

The discovery of gold and diamonds in the midlands of the country during the second half of the nineteenth century didn't help either. By 1869, the time of the discovery of gold in the district of Lydenburg (and also Baberton), the wildlife in the Plato regions of South Africa had already been given a severe blow. But suddenly, people were flocking to the Lowveld regions which, because of the heat and malaria, had been ignored until then. The abundance of wildlife once again seemed unending. The wonderful winter weather came to be well known and farmers started to take their cattle to the region during winter times. And: again, the hunting parties came in and started shooting almost indiscriminately.

It was in this circumstances of declining game numbers, that the famous pres. S.P.J. (Paul) Kruger proposed in the parliament of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek in 1884 that a wild animal reserve should be erected to save the wild from extinction. This was only done 14 years later, on 26 March 1898that the proclamation was made.

But the worst period for the game in South Africa was yet to come.The last straw in the South African game destruction history came with the devastating Anglo-Boer War which raged from 1899 to 1902. The British scorched earth war policy ruined the wildlife to such an extend that the midlands of this country totally lost all its game. What was left, was driven to the most densely bush and border areas.

The plans that Kruger started gracefully survived, and in 1903 the Sabi- and Shingwedzi Reserve was formed as a conservation area of 4600 square kilometer. But only after the Law on National Parks was passed on 31 May 1926, did the tide again turned in favor of the conservation of the wildlife in South Africa. Since then, millions of square km was added to Nature Parks in this country, but it was done mostly with state funding.

At that time, professional hunting was no longer done. Some people had the means to continue hunting, but only as a sporting game. This era was necessary, for it helped to restore some of the very low numbers of game. But it was also a dangerous time for the South African wildlife. There was no money in hunting anymore. Farmers thus all switched to cattle and crops to make a living and wild animals was seen as pests.

The movement that helped to turn the tide once and for all, was the introduction of legitimized tourists-hunting. This was the single most important economic safeguard for the protection of wildlife this country has ever seen, because since the farmers realized that it was an economical option to host hunters and Eco-tourist, the money for conservation became available via the introduction of new Game Parks, the well managed buying and selling of game, the erection of a tourist infrastructure and the professional conservation strategy to meet nature's own demands.

Now, the farmers good knowledge of rifles, the game and the bush became useful to zoological investigation and geographical study, while many a black citizen's extensive field knowledge, gathered over generations, and his craftsmanship, could come to use in favour of conservational purposes, for tourism and to preserve the age-old art of tracking a spoor and hunting in a positive, synergistic way.

Today the number of free living game in South Africa is well on its way to equal some of those astounding figures that our own fathers and grandfathers never experienced, but was reported by their grandfathers!



They shoot, mostly finding their target. They sometimes miss their targets. They very often end with breathtaking trophies‚ to show for their efforts. Wildlife photography is an extremely popular sport-cum-art ‚ much more, if all participants are counted, than hunting!

The joy of it is that you may, without the legislative constrains, aim at a much, much greater variety o ftargets, having less weight to carry afterwards, less red tape, much less expenses and still doing the same route, with much the same amount of enjoyment on the way. Yeah, it's a safari, all right!

Photographers have the freedom to shoot any of the almost 400 species of mammals, 800 species of birds, 20 000 species of flora, an absolute uncountable number of insects and reptiles, let alone the scenic heavens, mountains, rivers and fields which won't object a single time to do the background artistry.

Wildlife photographers may decide for themselves the league in which they wish to compete against the hunter which have to obey the ballistic rule of the thumb. Which means that you may shoot the biggest elephant with the most tiny little photo graphical junk if you like. And just the same you may do the photo of your live on the little white bird taking off from a submerging hippo (if you have the right equipment).

As with everything, the better your knowledge of the subject, the greater your encounters become. Knowledge of the bush, the animals or the surroundings, combined with knowledge of your equipment, will yield one of the most satisfying sporting experiences anyone could wish for. Interested in an Eco-safari, armed with your camera? Prepare yourself for one of the most richly rewarding experiences!

Of course, a full photographic course can't be given here. But it will serve the interest of many aspiring safari-going tourists to have a few hints about the use of a camera in the bush, especially coming from a source who have had the good, the bad and the ugly experiences in this regard!

We will share some information on this topic covering some practical hints about both the conventional and digital cameras, and covering also some information about the use of the videocameras/camcorders, lighting, lenses, filters, film and tripod's.

We would like to draw the attention to the fact that some magazines, like the very readable Nature Wildlife and Safari Magazine, that covers exactly this topic as it's leitmotiv or even great tourist guiding magazine's like Getaway, that almost always features articles on South African wildlife photography.

Hints when setting off into the wild, camera in hand

  • Plan the shots you would like to take (for example, if it is action photo's of running wildlife, you won't fit 100 A S A film, but 400 A S A into the camera) and make a list of the equipment needed.. Although this is obvious, the excitement of the safari may tempt people to forget that good planning needs to be done on the equipment side as well. A forgotten tri-pod or a flat camera-battery can't easily be replaced deep in the bush. And bring along enough film, you may never know what scenery is waiting around the next bush.
  • Always have the camera well-cleaned and well-covered. Even the sandy bushveld in South Africa, have it's own fine dust (let alone the red powder-dust of some places). When the big wheels of the 4 x 4 vehicles are turning, or the zebra's are running flat out in a herd, equipment may become very dirty if not enclosed in a dust proof bag. What's more: South Africa, even in wintertime, can become very hot. Heat will damage all conventional film and even most digital equipment (if, for instance, left in closed vehicles for a long time). Always make provision for protection in this regard, even if it only means to open the car window a centimeter or two to cool of the vehicle. A cooler box with some softening inside, may even be the best camera-bag in South Africa! Even using your sleeping bag to protect your film isn't such a bad idea for those that haven't earlier made provision for the heat.
  • Light-readings of cameras may not be as accurate in the bushes where shadow, light and dust intermingle, and, if shots are done very professionally, it even may be necessary to bring along a second meter. Because of the fact that the camera-person and hunter may be together on the same mission, or simply because of the absolute silence that may sometimes be needed in order to prevent a rare specie to take flight, or because of the rough terrain, all settings should be done as early as possible. Once the beautiful animal is flashing his magnificence, one may experience the same fever as hunters do. This simply means messing up the shot because of the excitement of the moment, not finding the right settings, making a stupid noise or realizing too late that the film hasn't lock in because of a over eagerness.
  • Animals are best shot on film at your well-known shutter speed of 250th of a second. This is because they mostly will be photographed standing still. If you are using 35 mm film (which is freely available in South Africa), an A S A film of 100 will do just great. Doing shots of running game out of a helicopter will naturally be another matter! (Quicker shutter-speeds and higher A S A!)
  • Plan each shot in advance, for all almost professional hunters will be perfectly at peace with the idea of taking you to a terrific scene to facilitate that awesome shot you planned. Communicate your planned photographic needs as part of your safari's formal agreement with the outfitter.
  • Except for ray-lighting scenes or profile shots at dawn and at sunset, take early photo's always with your back as much to the east as possible and late afternoon shots with your back as much to the west as possible. This will ensure crisp, sharp-edged photo's.
  • Early morning dawn scenes, as well as sunset scenes in South Africa amounts to the best of photos one could hope to take. It is also the best times to encounter animals at their natural best (for instance, on their way to the waterhole). Now the animals can be photographed in bright sunlight, while in the middle of the day they may be lying in the shade.
  • When clouds forms part of the sky, the most magnificent sunset pictures will be taken. A fully overcast day is also a good day to take great pictures: simply adjust your shutter speed somewhat (to achieve 250 th/s again). Most modern cameras will do that automatically once it is set. Although this may not always be possible, remember that, generally speaking, photos of game comes out better where the horizon features as part of the photo.
  • An open space near a waterhole may be a excellent place to cover with your lenses in search of that photo of a life-time. But take care if you are taking a hideout: where will the grueling sun be shining in a hour or two's time? In which direction can the wind be expected to blow? The golden rule is: stay downwind from the direction you are planning to photograph. (To determine wind direction, throw some dust into the air or hold in the air some good old toilet paper, not a bad thing to take along in any case). Animals are excellent to pick up a scent, and you may be excused if you thought that your sunshine lotion will be just the thing to take along. If you want to smoke, take a good seat at the safari campfire and do magazine-hunting, because animals will smell a Camel for a mile or three! (In strong down-winds, you may still have a slight chance to fool them. But be careful: game reserves usually have long grass that may easily set on fire, and no cigarette look nice in the natural bush.)
  • If you and your camera are left alone to take the prized photo, have you brought along some drinking water?
  • Try to understand the animal behavior. They are reacting in common sense: if they keep on looking nervous and avoiding the water, it may be, of course because of a wonderful hyena catch about to happen. Or it may simply be that they can see through your stakeout!
  • The use of a car as a hideout isn't such a bad idea, provided it is parked in the shade with fresh air running through. This isn't because the animals will think it is a stone, or can't smell your oil leakage, but because it is in a motionless state long enough to calm them and give you space to get your picture. Your movement inside the car will not be easily picked up and your noises will be fainter. But don't park your vehicle in the natural footpaths or walkways of the animals. Mrs. Elephant may have had a bad day!
  • Always avoid artificial structures or objects in your picture. Humans aren't artificial at all, provided that they don't stand with the video camera, tri-pod or camera bag in their hands!
  • Be as quite as possible for as long as possible. Animals that have seen you, may overcome their fear, or be inquisitive enough to pose for your calendar shot, but that's the odd ones. Even a lion may choose to avoid a human-infected waterhole!
  • Game in the Kruger National Park may be quite used to vehicles, but it may be different at other reserves or game farms. A slow drive and gradual stop, without switching off the vehicle, may give you the best change to do your pic out of a vehicle. Sudden noises or movement is the surest way to loose that beautiful photo you could have taken.
  • Be on the alert if any animal have a young one with her/him. Motherhood in nature is typified by the instinct to fend off ALL danger, even if it means killing the intruder. A very good photo still isn't worth a human life. Also, watch out for older or injured animals, often recognized by their solitary wandering. The rule is: don't disturb the animals you are privileged to see.
  • A car's windscreen is as good as NO Protection against an ivory teeth or even a lion's paw. It won't happen easily if unprovoked, however. But don't try to photograph the colour of the eyes with a 35 mm lens !
  • Animals may be inquisitive. It may also be the most dangerous ones that don't need to fear others, that dares to come closest. But, if you see a lion coming right to your car, just close the windows and stay put. Don't make sudden movements and don't become hysterical inside or try to better the quarter mile record. On the other hand, it is best to move out of an elephant's way if it draws near. But if it isn't trumpeting or shaking it's ears, you are still fairly save. And if it does become wild and noisy, there will usually be quite enough time to move away, because most elephant's will behave in such a way to chase away irritating disturbances. It is only saying that you are in the way or too close for comfort.
  • Birds are sensitive to unknown disturbances. You may cause a bird to leave a young one in a nest permanently because it was disturbed by a camera flash or an unknown odour.
  • To avoid taking photos into strong light that grants only the silhouette of the object that was photographed, overriding the exposure meter by a stop or two (to open the lens longer) may help. Modern cameras will have some manual switch which have to be used in this instances. Remember that the background will then be over-illuminated. And, on the other hand, if the silhouette scene is the one your'e looking for, quickening the exposure meter manually may do the trick.
  • Remember to stay sober in case of a highly exciting scene. A few lions taking down a buffalo may be out of this world, of course, but 36 expensive photo's of the same thing may, in the end, not be what you planned to do with your film. And in case you're working with a digital camera, you may ran out of bytes and not be able to do the leopard and the zebra around the next tree. (And OK, if you can load dozens and dozens of new memory cards or whatever and have them in the bag with you, go on, click-click, enjoy the day! But you may loose some time sorting them out on the laptop tonight while the others are enjoying the campfire)
  • Any camera including a cheap one can take a prize-winning photo provided the owner knows how to handle it. Having some practice before the actual safari may help beginners in this regard. Mountain and scenery landscapes is, at any rate, best pictured by wide angle lenses, found in the cheapest of cameras (and, of course, by the most expensive ones as well).
  • Some people store conventional film in a refrigerator to protect it from the heat. It is OK only if it isn't opened yet.
  • Bring along a charger for electronic devices is great, but it may be that, in some areas, there's no common electricity available. And the South African power connections may vary to those that tourists are used to. Clear this beforehand with your outfitter and yes, bring along that spare battery!
  • If photographing quality pictures is important to you, use the eyes as the focal point of your picture for closer shots. Many professional photographers had prefer the manual settings to that of an automatic ones. But these days, and definitely for most of us, an automatic focus will do quite well. Just remember that some grass of small branch may cause your automatic focus to play cat and mouse in a dense bush.
  • Expensive equipment may be damaged by some of the outdoor activities. Take along only what is necessary, don't put any equipment on the open ground and don't wear it casually in a pocket or at a string if you aren't dead certain what may be waiting around the next bush. And there are some dangerous snakes, if not lions, to make you forget about equipment at some time.



Veterinary Control

Internationally, any country into which an import is aimed, have the final say about the conditions regarding the import, or if the import is allowed at all. This means that the hunter (who hopes to obtain a special hunter's trophy which he would want to take back home) should in the first instance approach the veterinary authorities of his own country.This must be done before he sets off on his South African safari! The following should be obtained

1)An import permit, authorizing the import of his planned trophy, or, in case no permit is needed, a written letter indicating that a permit isn't required, should be brought to South Africa.

2)All requirements of the veterinary authorities of the hunter's own country should also be brought along in writing with the aim of presenting it to the South African veterinarian to adhere to.

Veterinary and export permits may be obtained from the State or Regional Veterinarians, but almost all taxidermists (the people who mount the trophy) will have the know how about the necessary paperwork for shipping a trophy abroad. The outfitter, without doubt, will have at least one or two taxidermists as part of his regular hunting network and may easily help to hunter in this regard.

After the (successful) hunting safari, the hunter has to approach the South African official veterinarian in the same area where the hunt has been done. Now, the above mentioned paperwork will be needed to finalize all compliance's and health requirements. On his turn, the state veterinarian will now be issuing the hunter with a veterinary health certificate concerning the trophies. The contact numbers and addresses of the district state veterinarians, as well as the Regional Director of Veterinary Services (who may be contacted in case any other information is needed), are listed in this presentation at *****************. If the hunting safari is finalized, an informational call to the South African Regional Director of Veterinary Services may be worthwhile at any rate, because an unexpected disease may hit a geographical area, changing control measurements just enough to make the safari uncomfortable.

At large, South Africa seldom experience much more than standard restrictions concerning the foot-and-mouth disease as well as those for the African swine fever. Both of these are well-known measurements to more or less all outfitters and officials in the hunting industry and wouldn't cause much discomfort at all. Apart from the above mentioned factors, movement of game products is, with the written permission of the outfitter, almost no problem in South Africa.

Of course, veterinary movement permits cannot be issued by outfitters themselves. This has to be done by State Veterinarians or by the Regional Veterinarian's office.

Foreign hunters may feel more comfortable with a more detailed picture of the standard restrictions concerning the foot-and-mouth disease as well as those for the African swine fever” that was mentioned earlier. For their convenience, the detail (which almost all outfitters will be familiar with), will be given in the paragraph to follow:
Restrictions concerning foot-and-mouth disease

Cloven-hoofed animals or products of them have, in the areas shown on the map, restrictions every hunter has to adhere to. Movement of these products has to be accompanied by a veterinary permit which the district's State Veterinarian can provide. The permit is granted for a single movement only.

The four foot-and-mouth disease zones are:

1)The Kruger national park zone

Only the Parks Board abattoir in Skukuza, the main camp of the Kruger Park, can process and treat cloven-hooves game's products from the Park itself, for it is an endemic disease area.

2)The red line zone

A line, extending about 15 km (10 miles) wide outside the Kruger National Park, running all along the Kruger Park, to the west and south, extending in the same way alongside the Mozambique border (thus 15 km wide from Komatipoort to Swaziland).

Here, carcasses or meat from the specified game may not be moved out of the area, with the exception of biltong (dried, salted meat, seen as a most delicate treat in South Africa). The biltong has to be totally dry and prepared with vinegar.

Well treated trophies, skins and hides may be moved out of this area under the following conditions:

a) Immersion of all horns in a mixture that includes at least 5 % formalin or 5 % washing soda for at least 24 hours.

b) Masks should be treated with salt and 5 % washing soda and be stored for a period of at least one month under supervision of a State Veterinarian


After it been salted and dried, stored for a period of at least three months under
supervision of a State Veterinarian


Immersed in a solution of sodium silica-fluoride saturated salt, mixed 1:2 500, and kept there for 24 - 48 hours (depending on the size)under supervision of a State Veterinarian

c) Skulls and skeletons should be boiled and dried

Skins and hides

Treated with salt and 5 % washing soda and be stored for a period of at least one month under supervision of a State Veterinarian


After it been salted and dried, stored for a period of at least three months under
supervision of a State Veterinarian


Immersed in a solution of sodium silica-fluoride saturated salt, mixed 1:2 500, and kept there for 24 – 48 hours (depending on the thickness of the skin)under supervision of a State Veterinarian

3) The secondary zone

This area, 10 - 20 km (6 to 12 miles) wide, which extended to the west along the same lines as the red-line area. Products of cloven-hooved animals are allowed to move out of this zone with a veterinary movement permit without any other regulation other that all carcasses should be without any entrails, head and feet, and it should be clean and properly dressed.

4) The remainder of the controlled zone

If a veterinary movement permit is obtained, no other regulations have to be adhered to.

Restrictions concerning African swine fever

The restrictions concern the handling of the domestic pig, the warthog and the bushpig.

As with foot-and-mouth disease, a veterinary movement permit is prescribed for the movement into, within or out of this area. Carcasses and meat of this three animals may be moved within this area, but isn't allowed to be taken out of the restricted zone. Trophies and skins, however, may be moved out of the area if the following conditions are met:

Kruger Safari In South Africa

South Africa

Why Visit South Africa

Most Southern African Countries will entertain its tourists on a wildlife experience that will be remembered for life (and probably be the start of a series of re-visits).

South Africa, however, may rightly be proud of the exceptional blend of attractions for it's tourists, ranging from the wildest African safari's to the cheekiest urban entertainment (a blend that few, or none, of it's neighboring countries could meet).

It's beaches, mountains, open spaces, African bush and modern cities, combined with it's well-maintained tourist industry, made it the logical choice for millions of satisfied tourists over many years.

Lately, with the exchange rate (against most developed countries) being as it is, South Africa can host most foreign tourist in glorious style without hurting their budgets too much.

In the South African bush alone you will find more mammals than those of the Americas together, more wild plant species than the United States, both smaller and bigger animals, almost a thousand bird species, a number of the very largest cats in the world, the largest antelopes in size, numbers and in variety. Of course, you'll also find the biggest and most dangerous of all animal creatures in South Africa, with the elephant, lion, rhino, hippo, leopard, buffalo and some very interesting reptiles in the country.

This country, with it's rainbow of people-groups (and eleven official languages), it's first world standards and it's undiscovered open countryside, is truly the place to have an out of this world holiday and hunting experience!