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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: The village of Saint Thomas, Franklin County, PA 4B, but most likely hunting in either 4A or 2C
Re: EAI Outdoors....Africa lets try again
Drop me a PM and I will give you a website addy where you can find answers to those types of questions.
I assume by "customs permit" you mean customs form 4457 which is not a permit but is your proof of ownership for your guns, cameras, binoculars, or any other expensive items you might be charged import tax for when bringing it home. You need this form to be filled out before you go. The Harrisburg airport customs office is used to doing this and they are very nice about it. I have one for each of my rifles, my cameras, and my binocs. If the rifle is scoped, they will include the serial number of the scope on the same form as the rifle. You need this form also in South Africa to prove that you legally own the rifle you are taking. You will also need the same form if you ever decide to go hunting in Canada.
In short, so long as you fly into JFK, there will be no problem with the Bloomberg/NYC gun mafia. If you drive, make certain not to get stopped in NYC for any sort of traffic violation or fender bender. We are flying out of Dulles on June 6. A short hop to JFK and then taking the SAA direct flight to Johannesburg. You can fly out of Dulles or go via Atlanta, but what happens is that you land in South Africa at 5:20 in the afternoon. This kills a whole day of your hunting trip because the next day will probably be the travel day. If you choose that option, you should probably fly a day earlier and plan to overnight in Johannesburg and have your outfitter pick you up the next day. This will add another unnecessary expense to your trip.
The biggest firearms hassle used to be with the police at Johannesburg airport. The last time I hunted in South Africa it took me four hours for the retarded grapes to process a form I had filled out in advance. It was totally ridiculous watching a guy laboriously copy my entire form by hand into a notebook in which he had to draw his own lines, then hand the form to a second guy who did the exact same thing. After all of this, one of them examined my rifles and I was done. Some of the people had connecting flights and missed them, but nobody at the police gun check station seemed to care.
After this, I wrote a letter to the ministry of tourism in South Africa and told them exactly what happened, including the statement made by one of their police about my guns not making it on to the flight home unless I gave them a nice tip (while standing next to a sign that said "tipping is prohibited). I was not alone. They got thousands of such letters and emails. From what I understand now, things have improved tremendously. I talked to a guy who went hunting in RSA last year and he told me it took only 20 minutes to process his rifles.