Hunting, Firearms & Ammunition
Most hunting in South Africa will be on plains game species. We recommend you bring along your own rifle/s, as you are more familiar with them. Firearms can be hired by prior arrangement for those hunters wishing to travel without firearms.
For larger plains game species we recommend; 270, 30-06, 7 mm, 300 Win Mag, 300 Weatherby and 338. For smaller plains game species we prefer; 222, 223 and 243. Most Southern African countries by law require a minimum of 375 for all dangerous game. We recommend at least a 375 on Buffalo or Lion. If you are hunting Hippo, Elephant or White Rhino you may want to consider a caliber larger than 375.
Select a good multi-purpose expanding bullet. Barnes X, Trophy Bonded or Hornedy all have proved to work very well in the past. We prefer soft nose tough expanding bullets for large plains game species and solids for smaller plains game species. For all dangerous game calibers we recommend a 50/50 split in soft noses and solids.
For bird hunting, we suggest #6 or #7 shot for pigeons and doves. For ducks and geese, #1 or 2 ¾ shot. When using a 12 gauge shot gun on some of our smaller game such as Caracal or Blue Duiker, we suggest AAA or #2 ¾. Acquiring shot gun shells in South Africa is not a problem and at your request John X Safaris can arrange for shells to be in camp before your arrival.
Always ensure you have a strong protective rifle case to travel with internationally, with a separate case for ammunition. Having good locks on these cases are essential. We advise you bring along an extra soft case per gun, the soft case not only protects the rifle from dust, but also ensures the rifles are secure in rifle racks on the back of vehicles when traveling.
Zero all rifles with scopes before leaving home. Scopes will be checked again before hunting starts as they might have shifted during transit. Where possible go for a scope with variable power and try and find scope covers, as dust and moisture can affect ones chances of success.
Please note - South Africa requires a temporary import/export permit for firearms and ammunition when traveling to South Africa. We strongly recommend using a clearing agent to assist you through this process. For further detailed information with regards to Traveling with Rifles, please visit the relevant section for the country you'll be hunting from.
Bring along a good quality pair of binoculars as hunting is more than just the final shot. The more you can see what your PH is spotting, the more enjoyable your hunting experience will be.
A camera is one of the most important pieces of equipment to bring along. Ensure that your flash is working and if possible check that the setting is on the highest possible resolution with digital cameras. Bring extra batteries and charges.
From past experience we have found that most hunters would like a copy of their PHs’ pictures at the end of their safari. Bring along an extra USB Flash drive or SD card to copy pictures onto.
Note: The standard electricity supply in Southern Africa is 220 V AC. You may need to bring a power and / or plug converter for your trip.
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What People Are Saying
"We were here 2 years ago and had so much fun we wanted to come back with friends. This time there were six of us. The hunting was great and the hospitality was even better than I remember. When you come on a John X Safari you are treated like royalty. Thanks again."~ Larry & Rita Heim '13 from
"From the moment we stepped off the plane our experience with John X Safaris was nothing short of the most fun we’ve ever had. Everything, including the accommodations, service, hunting, culture, food, and property, was so much better than we could have ever imagined that it’s difficult for us to put our experience in to words. What Carl and his lovely wife are offering in South Africa is truly incredible. Thank you Carl and Trish for treating Paige and I to a safari we will remember forever!"~ Phil & Paige Nelsen from
"You would think after four exciting hunts with John X, including one to Mozambique, there couldn't be any new experiences. Wrong! Our trip to the Umkomaas Valley, staying in canvas sided, thatch roofed huts, situated along a beautiful waterway was another. Despite a few days of rain putting a damper on hunting, the "big one" being elusive, Ed Wilson, our PH and the superb staff at camp made this hunt a very memorable one. Each of our experiences have been different but exciting - wetting our whistle in anticipation of our next trip with John X."~ John & Lynn Nowlin '13 from USA
Everything was beyond excellent. Carl worked extremely hard and was a pleasure to be around. With John X Safaris I was able to experience African hunting with luxury. Carl was able to get me every animal that I wanted. Coming to Africa I had no idea what to expect but this trip will be one that I will remember for a long time. Our tracker Zwayi worked extremely hard as well.~ Robert Smith '15 from
"Some experiences impact you for the rest of your life. This father and son safari was definitely one of them. The bonding we had is irreplaceable. We each had our sights set on various species and the trophies we’re taking home have surpassed our wildest dreams. "Crums Man" you will not find a better PH/Tracker combo than Greg and Bless - They made everyday a new adventure with new friends. Thanks to everyone at John X Safaris for making this dream come true."~ D. & J. Tomcheck '14 from
"Jonathan gave me the best time ever. Carl has been so great and friendly. I will never forget this journey. It feels so sad that I have to go home now. I'll be back next year. Thank you so much Jono. You brought so much fun and experience into the hunt. You gave me a memory for a lifetime. Thank you everyone!"~ Mikael Wallenstam '12 from